Grass Valley, Nevada City and Truckee Announced as State Designated Cultural District


The California Arts Council has announced the 14 districts that will serve as California’s inaugural state-designated Cultural Districts, highlighting thriving cultural diversity and unique artistic identities within local communities across California.


About the Grass Valley-Nevada City Cultural District

Steeped in history and with the most famous gold-mining district in California, the Grass Valley and Nevada City experienced a “cultural revolution” from the mid-20th century that has reshaped the local economy and continues to influence the statewide arts scene. Starting in the ’60s, Beat Generation and deep ecology poet Gary Snyder, singer Utah Phillips and a host of authors and musicians settled here. Now, for more than 50 high-tech companies – including a virtual and augmented reality hub – creativity occurs in peaceful, natural environments far from major urban centers.

Between them, Grass Valley and Nevada City are home to the Nevada Theatre, the oldest theater in California, and more than 100 arts-related organizations producing upwards of a thousand events a year, scores of annual festivals, street fairs, art walks and studio tours, and a generous base of artists and makers.

As well as for their arts, the district is known for its expanding vineyards, wineries and tasting rooms, and a trail network of outstanding natural beauty. The Nisenan lived in the region for thousands of years as part of a perfectly balanced ecosystem, thriving on the Yuba, Bear and American river watersheds – and, over time, their sacred places are being rediscovered and cherished.


About the Truckee Cultural District

The Truckee Cultural District, located in the High Sierra, is well-known for its forests, waterways, and spectacular mountain views, which attract visitors and residents alike. These assets offer diverse and readily accessible outdoor recreation and open-space opportunities for which Truckee is famous. This natural setting stimulates an outdoor adventure culture and provides compelling opportunities to interpret, capture and inspire artistic and cultural creation.

In addition to the captivating outdoors, Truckee is a designated Historic District and presents a rich combination of historic assets that highlight Truckee as the gateway to westward expansion and the site of the ill-fated Donner Party. Numerous historic buildings give Truckee a unique sense of place—including an historic jail museum, Donner Memorial State Park and Museum, interpretive trails, the railroad museum, and the Pioneer Monument.

Over the years Truckee has attracted and grown a vibrant, entrepreneurial, artistic community which has birthed over a dozen art galleries and exhibit spaces, created continuous year-round artistic and cultural events, inspired numerous public art pieces across town, and most recently, created a new 3,000-square-foot “makerspace” that offers the community a place to learn, build and practice a wide variety of art and creative skills.

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