Nevada County arts organizations awarded more than $350K by California Arts Council |

Nevada County arts organizations awarded more than $350K by California Arts Council

Music in the Mountains received a grant for its Full Circle Music Project, which offers free orchestra concerts with music written by students in MIM’s Young Composers Project and performed by student musicians in its Youth Orchestra.
Submitted photo

The California Arts Council recently announced it has approved grants to a number of Nevada County organizations, awarding them $350,683.

Awarded project designs span the whole of the arts and cultural fields, with funding offered in 14 program areas. Those areas address access, equity and inclusion; community vibrancy; arts learning and engagement; and aligning with the council’s vision of a state strengthened by a spectrum of art and artists.

The council awarded 1,243 grants statewide totaling $20.8 million, an increase of more than $8.1 million over last year, according to a release.

“Arts and culture are inextricably linked to our humanity,” said council Chair Nashormeh Lindo. “They serve as a universal touchpoint for understanding and addressing our societal issues — dismantling inequity, healing trauma, reframing justice, inspiring truth and shaping futures.”

Truckee-based Arts for the Schools received $15,300 to provide performing arts assemblies and master classes for 11 rural schools, reaching 9,000 students. It also received a $20,385 award to teach students a visual arts and music curriculum twice a week at the Tahoe-Truckee Community School for youth on probation.

Squaw Valley’s Community of Writers was awarded $8,024 to produce and distribute a free annual podcast featuring craft talks, panels and lectures by visiting literary luminaries and writing professionals. It will also facilitate the creation of a short film.

Trails and Vistas was awarded a Creative California Communities grant of $66,760 to produce Art in Nature events, collaborating with artists and nonprofit organizations in the Truckee/Tahoe community to showcase visual, performance, and literary artists with site-specific performance installations.

And Truckee Donner Recreation and Park District, in partnership with Nevada County Arts Council and UC Berkeley’s Sagehen Creek Field Station, received a Creative California Communities of $150,000. FOREST FIRE and its companion public and educational engagement platforms, Fire Circle and Forest Home, is a new project that will culminate in an art installation inviting science-based solutions to catastrophic fire and offering an economically sustainable, hopeful future.

Two additional grant programs, providing support for local, regional and statewide arts partnerships, are slated for approval by the California Arts Council at its meeting on June 25, increasing the total award amount for the 2018-19 fiscal year to a projected $24.5 million across more than 1,300 grants.

Western Nevada County grants

Artist Ruth Chase was awarded $16,200 for an Artists in Communities grant for a third phase of her Belonging initiative with Nevada County Arts Council. Artists in Communities grants support sustained artistic residencies in community settings. Artists must work closely with organizational partners and community members to produce creative projects that are relevant and responsive to their community.

Chase recently wrapped up I AM HERe, a public art installation in Nevada City. With Ideas of Home, Chase will elicit perspectives on cultural identity from minority populations in what is one of California’s most white rural communities. The topic will be explored through art making salons and theater, through the lens of Nevada County’s controversial Gold Rush history, the native population and recent immigrants. Critical bridge-building tools include a community exhibit and a film.

The Nevada County Arts Council also was awarded a JUMP StArts grant of $23,814. JUMP StArts supports high-quality arts education and artists-in-residence programs for youth engaged in the juvenile justice system. The council will implement an interdisciplinary photography curriculum, “Picture This,” at Charis Youth Center. Over 24 sessions, students will be guided on a journey of self-reflection and individual creativity.

The Nevada City Film Festival, in partnership with Nevada County Arts Council, was awarded an $18,000 Local Impact grant meant to foster equity, access, and opportunity in historically marginalized communities, to create a film documenting the recovery of the Nisenan language. Mentored by film industry professionals, the tribe will control the film’s voice and vision, learn valuable documentation skills, and participate in all aspects of a unique feature filmmaking process.

Music in the Mountains was awarded an Arts Education Exposure grant of $14,400 for its Full Circle Music Project, which offers free orchestra concerts throughout the Nevada County schools (grades K-12). Music will be written by students in the organization’s Young Composers Project and performed by student musicians in its Youth Orchestra.

An Artists in Schools grant of $15,300 was awarded to the Nevada County Arts Council to work with four local schools to provide second, third and fourth graders weekly visual arts lessons. A grant of $2,500 will help Nevada County to bring teaching artists and first grade classroom teachers together to develop 22 model lessons, as well as arts education workshops at various staff development events throughout Nevada County. The model lessons will be demonstrated at the countywide STEAM Expo.

Liz Kellar is a reporter at The Union, a sister publication of the Sierra Sun. Call her at 530-477-4236 or email

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