newsletter   may   2014

In This Issue
Focus on a Member: Music in the Mountains
Arts Day of Giving
Sierra Festival of the Arts
Rehabilitative Arts Program
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Last Friday evening, it was almost impossible for me to find a parking place in Nevada City.  The major reason: A combination of the wildly successful initial First Friday ArtWalk for 2014 and the equally impressive Engage the Arts - the Nevada Union Art Department's annual fundraiser - held at The Miners Foundry.

The Foundry was packed with people enjoying a very well organized evening with wine and beer tasting, appetizers, entertainment, a well-stocked silent auction, tables full of raffle gift bags, art activity areas, and a vast array of high quality student artworks (paintings, photography, ceramics) for sale. The community support for art education was evident in the quality and quantity of donated goods, and the hundreds of attendees all paying $25 a ticket to join in the fun. Hats off to the staff and students of NU for organizing an event that made the ticket price a bargain!

Stepping outside the Miners Foundry, the streets of Nevada City were filled with both locals and tourists enjoying fine artworks, listening to good music, imbibing local wines, and tasting delicious food. It was a fantastic start to the weekend!

NCArts recently co-wrote a $7,000 grant application in support of the First Friday ArtWalks.  We won't know until June if the application was successful, but we've got our fingers crossed.

NCArts is also working hard in support of arts education.  We've formed an Arts Education Leadership group with educators, artists, executives from MIM and The Center of Arts, three school district superintendents, and County Superintendent of Schools Holly Hermansen.  The sole purpose of the group is to raise awareness of the importance of arts education and to restore support and funding for school art programs - an area that has been decimated by budget cutbacks and low prioritization.  Another part of NCArts' school outreach program is the identification, development, and support of talented Nevada County high school students through participation in the acclaimed and often life-changing California Summer School of the Arts.

NCArts supports and develops the arts in Nevada County.  (For another example, see the article on the Sierra Festival of the Arts in Grass Valley.)  In turn, we ask for your support to do this important work.  Your donations are leveraged in a way that multiplies each dollar many times over in support of our local economy and the many cultural events that sustain a high quality of life in our community. Each of us has an opportunity to express support for the arts with the Arts Day of Giving on May 6 - which coincides with the national Big Day of Giving campaign.  Simply go to the website, click on the Arts Day of Giving, and donate any amount you are willing to support the arts. Check out the article below for more information. Keep your dollars local - and participate in the Arts Day of Giving on May 6.  (We'll even keep the donation button active all throughout May, just in case you want to give more once you get your tax refund!!)  


Finally, as always, we'd love to have you as member of NCArts if  you are not already.  For less than ten cents a day you can be Part of the Arts! 


Brian Buckley
Executive Director

Nevada County Arts


The outdoor stage at the Nevada County Fairgrounds will feature
MIM's SummerFest with a Grand Fiddler's Rally, Beatles Tribute band,
the music of John Williams, and Happy Birthday USA


Focus on a Member:

Music in the Mountains   


Celebrating its 33rd year, Music in the Mountains (MIM) has established itself as the premiere classical music festival and music education organization in the Sierra foothills. For three weeks in June, over a hundred musicians come together to create programs of world-class music. The renovated 600-seat Amaral Center and the great lawn at the Nevada County Fairgrounds provide the perfect setting. This year's expanded festival includes a diverse array of musicians, soloists and guest conductors. From Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, to Alasdair Fraser's Celtic fiddle, to the music of the Beatles and Hollywood, SummerFest 2014 takes the audience around the world and across the universe, telling stories of adventure, romance, and beauty.


MIM weaves together world-class artistic programming with the region's most extensive music education initiatives. From performances in schools throughout Nevada County, to the Young Musicians Competition and Young Composers Project, to family concerts, scholarships and more, MIM education programs touch the lives of 6,000 students and their families throughout the region.


Two new education initiatives will debut with MIM at the Nevada Theater this Memorial Day weekend. The fledgling Nevada County Youth Orchestra will open a concert featuring the winners of the Young Musicians Competition, and the Apprentice Musician Project (or AMP), a student/teacher/professional ensemble will be the opening act for Songs of Peace and Remembrance. This concert celebrates peace and peacemakers, with a musical eulogy to Nelson Mandela.


The Young Composer Project (YCP) will take center stage this summer with their Prelude for Yuba Salmon, a collaborative adventure in musicianship, composition, and environmental stewardship. Teaming with educators at Sierra Streams Institute, YCP students have engaged in a curriculum focused on the plight of the salmon and their importance to the environmental health of the Yuba River watershed. Students have composed music that responds to their experience, with the advanced students composing works for the MIM Orchestra to debut at this year's Young Geniuses concert. The experience, inspiration and process will be captured in a 30-minute documentary film, where the music created will also serve as the score for the film.  The film will then be submitted to SYRCL's Wild and Scenic Film Festival, and will also be promoted by KVIE public television in Sacramento.


Kids may recognize a familiar literary character in Nathaniel Stookey's "Lemony Snicket: The Composer is Dead", which headlines this year's Family Music Faire. This fabulous program was commissioned just a few years ago by the San Francisco Symphony, and promises to be a hit with young and old alike. Free to kids under 17, the concert is followed by a free lunch and community faire with over a dozen interactive activities.


The chance to picnic under the stars with family, while listening to fabulous music, is the heart of MIM's summer music festival. Alasdair Fraser's Celtic Fiddle Extravaganza, a John Williams Spectacular, and The Fab Four (dubbed the "best Beatles show on earth" by the LA Times) are capped by Happy Birthday USA on July 3, which this year will branch out to celebrate Disney and Hollywood. A family pass keeps concerts affordable as well as fun.


Save the Dates! MIM Plays the Nevada Theater May 22-25, 2014, and SummerFest June 11-July 3. Find out more at



Support the Arts: Arts Day of Giving 
Ever wanted to be a part of something big, something that connects thousands if not millions of people?  

One such opportunity is coming up. The Big Day of Giving, known locally as the Arts Day of Giving, is next Tuesday, May 6th. The Day of Giving is a national movement, encouraging everyone to take a moment to give some much needed funding to their favorite charity.

In our area, Nevada County Arts has taken the lead and 100% of the donations will fund mini-grants for local artists, musicians, dancers, writers, theater groups and other organizations to use to engage in projects that benefit our community. Whether the artwork provides us with a new perspective, or simply an opportunity to enjoy something beautiful, the quality of life in our community will be enhanced through these projects, and they will be the direct result of your donations!

Here's how it works:  Simply visit,  click on the Arts Day of Giving button on our home page, and donate any amount you chose.  Again, all donations will go toward a granting program that funds projects of different art organizations and artists.  The donation page will be available throughout the month of May.

Donating to any arts organization is never a bad idea, but by making a donation to NCArts, you can be confident that the money will go to support a variety of artists and arts organizations throughout Nevada County.

Nevada County Arts is looking forward to starting these new mini-grants ($250 - $2,500).  We have other fundraisers in the works to build the endowment for this program, and we are anxious to see the creativity in our county unleashed through these funded projects.

Be part of something big. Be Part of the Arts. Donate on May 6th, the Arts Day of Giving. (Or donate now if you can't wait!) For more information contact NCArts Executive Director Brian Buckley at 278-5155, or email




Sierra Festival of the Arts
on May 25th in Grass Valley
Over 30 highly regarded artists from around the region will exhibit at the 32nd annual Sierra Festival of the Arts on Sunday, May 25th from 10am - 5pm in Grass Valley.  

The selection jury has included a variety of artists, including photographers, jewelers, painters, ceramicists, textile and fashion artists, all displaying their creations in the casual, relaxed atmosphere of historic downtown Grass Valley.  "This event is truly a symphony for the senses," explains Grass Valley Downtown Association Executive Director Julia Jordan. "Not only will there be incredible gallery quality art in a variety of media but also great music and entertainment." Local performers such as Louis Valentine Johnson on classical guitar; the band "Then Again", featuring their tight vocal harmonies and great renditions of  pop classics from the 60 and 70's; Young Musicians and Composers from Music In The Mountains; and many other musicians and dancers will perform on the Mill Street Stage.  All downtown shops, restaurants and tasting rooms will be open throughout the event.

Artists Take Note:  The deadline for applying for an exhibit booth in the Sierra Festival of the Arts has been extended to May 10.  Contact Libby Bonomolo or Julia Jordan of the Grass Valley Downtown Association at (530) 272-8315 or through their website, for more information.




Artists Invited to Participate in Rehabilitative Arts Program       

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and the California Arts Council(CAC) are partnering to bring rehabilitative arts programs to state prisons. Artists are invited to participate in this new program to help inmates develop skills. Click here to review the Request for Proposals.

The Arts in Corrections programs will offer an array of performing, literary and visual arts disciplines, such as theater, music, creative writing, poetry, painting, drawing and sculpture.

"Research has shown that structured arts programs improve inmates' problem-solving skills and self-discipline and increase their patience and their ability to work with others," said CDCR Secretary Jeff Beard. "These programs also direct inmates' energy in a positive direction, promote positive social interaction and lower tension levels, resulting in a safer environment for inmates and staff."


CDCR has a long history of providing arts programs, as institutions and community organizations have partnered to offer visual and performing arts programs to inmates. CDCR has committed $1 million funding to add structured, contracted Arts-in-Corrections programs in select state prisons. CDCR is also committed to a second year of support for fiscal year 2014-15. The funds will be administered by the California Arts Council.  


"The California Arts Council commends Secretary Beard on this investment. Arts engagement is a valuable rehabilitation method that can provide positive change for inmates and for communities across our state," said Wylie Aitken, Chair of the California Arts Council.


The California Arts Council will be seeking providers beginning May 2, 2014. Interested arts organizations will be considered through an open Request for Proposal (RFP) process. Proposals must be received by May 27, 2014. CDCR and the Arts Council will conduct a webinar for interested parties on Thursday, May 15, at 3 pm.


For more information on providing services, contact Mary Beth Barber at the California Arts Council at (916) 322-6588.


The mission of Nevada County Arts is to promote and sustain the visual, literary and performing arts of Nevada County in order to advance the cultural, social and economic life of our community.

If you have ideas about how we might better serve you - the artists and arts organizations of Nevada County - we would love to hear from you! Please email us at  


Please forward this newsletter to anyone who shares your interest in the arts; and if you are not already a member of NC Arts we hope you will become one. Working together we can continue to increase the vibrant energy of the arts in our community!



Top Artwork, left to right:

Annual Members Show at North Tahoe Arts  

"Findings" - An Auction of Upcyled Art by Local Artisans