Grass Valley, CA, June 18, 2018 – California Arts Council has announced its plans to award $13,500 to Nevada County Arts Council as part of its Artists in Communities program, “Belonging”.

Program guidelines for Artists in Communities offer the premise that artists are integral to healthy communities, and that the arts are a societal cornerstone that bring people together, build community, and foster social progress. The Artists in Communities program supports artistic residencies by centralizing artists and their artistic processes as vehicles for community vitality. Funded projects are artist-driven and engage community members as active participants.

During the year to come Nevada County Arts Council will further develop its groundbreaking “Belonging” initiative. Artist Ruth Chase will elicit perspectives on how women maintain their sense of belonging in our changing rural landscape, and offer art-making salons to a broad constituency. An interactive public installation called I AM HERE, and a film, will emerge, manifesting as tools for activism and bridge building.

The City of Nevada City expressed its support for IAM HERE at the time of Nevada County Arts Council’s application to California Arts Council, in a statement signed by Duane Strawser, Mayor, and Catrina Olson, City Manager:

“The City of Nevada City is preparing to mark one hundred years since the signing of the 19th Amendment. This is relevant to all of us in that it gave women the freedom to vote. It was in Nevada City, forty-two years prior to the passing of the amendment that a Nevada City resident, Ellen Sargent, together with her husband, Aaron Sargent, introduced the 29 words that would later become the 19th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

“In 2020 we will be honoring the centenary of Aaron and Ellen Clark Sargent and we actively encourage arts initiatives such as Belonging, which seek to celebrate and give a voice to women in our community. I AM HERE will engage our community and pave the way for this important date so that attention is drawn and the public educated on its symbolism as a piece of living history in our own community.”

Nevada County Arts Council is one of 71 grantees chosen for the Artists in Communities program. The award was featured as part of a larger announcement from the California Arts Council.

Eliza Tudor, Executive Director at Nevada County Arts Council, said of the news: “We worked hard to produce a great application which expanded upon the first year of our program, Belonging. We were particularly inspired by Ruth’s stamina as an artist. This particular program takes the artist far from his or her studio and the “ivory tower” notion of working in isolation. It demands that the artist expose his or her community not only to art, but art in connection with ideas that shine a light on both our individuality and our sense of togetherness – our “belonging”. Ruth’s skills in communication and her ability to really listen to her community make her an excellent partner.”

“When artists and community come together, powerful ideas are forged,” said Nashormeh Lindo, Chair of the California Arts Council. “They create a symbiotic relationship, where each engages and inspires the other toward a common purpose. The partnership between Nevada County Arts Council and Ruth Chase established through this Artists in Communities project will be an invaluable asset to Nevada County.

To view a complete listing of all Artists in Communities grantees, visit

Nevada County Arts Council, by resolution of Nevada County Board of supervisors, is State-Local Partner with California Arts Council. A 501c3 not-for-profit organization, it facilitates collaborative efforts that promote and sustain the visual, literary and performing arts of Nevada County to advance the cultural, social and economic life of the community. In 2017 Nevada County Arts Council helped secure two designations as California Cultural Districts, making Nevada County unique across the state as the only rural county to be recognized for the breadth and diversity of its cultural assets in all its incorporated communities.

The mission of the California Arts Council, a state agency, is to advance California through the arts and creativity. The Council is committed to building public will and resources for the arts; fostering accessible arts initiatives that reflect contributions from all of California’s diverse populations; serving as a thought leader and champion for the arts; and providing effective and relevant programs and services. The California Arts Council recently held one of its five annual meetings in Nevada City at the Miners Foundry.

Members of the California Arts Council include: Chair Nashormeh Lindo, Vice Chair Larry Baza, Phoebe Beasley, Christopher Coppola, Juan Devis, Kathleen Gallegos, Jaime Galli, Donn K. Harris, Louise McGuinness, Steven Oliver, and Rosalind Wyman. Learn more at

2 replies on “Nevada County Arts Council Awarded California Arts Council “Artists in Communities” Grant”

  1. “Ivory Tower”? I prefer Sanctuary. Many artists work best in private space apart from groups. In fact some artists require peace and distance from the noise. It’s a matter of personal expression formed in the environment of the maker’s choice, and no artist owes anyone access. In fact many artists make their work for themselves and never even exhibit it. It may be a bit presumptuous to assume anything else.
    That said, congratulations on the grant money, may it go to good use.

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