GRASS VALLEY, CA, March 10, 2023 – With a state and local level disaster category, western Nevada County has been hit with a winter storm system that halted services and schools for almost two weeks. Thanks to the overwhelming support from our local community, the show went on at The Center for the Arts with the production of Meeting Mozart.    

Meeting Mozart

What was intended to be the first in a student matinee series was ultimately canceled due to school closures when a snowstorm hit the community really hard. In an incredible pivot, The Center for the Arts opened its doors to the public and offered the free matinee to community members which was held in the Marisa Funk Theater on March 3, 2023. The show was produced by CDP Theatre Producers who are based in Sydney, Australia. The Center for the Arts made the event accessible for anyone that could get there safely. With actors that have traveled all the way from Australia to teach about Mozart, The Center took responsibility to give them an audience for the first stop on their U.S. tour. 

Executive Director of The Center, Amber Jo Manuel states, “They are so talented and they deserve an audience!” And thanks to the resilience of our local community, they sure did with a packed house of over 400 in attendance. 

Attendee Rebecca Fischer states, “This was such a neat event! I am so thankful to have community events such as this when kids are crazy, parents are stressed and funds are tight. The Center for the Arts, our buckets are full today.” 

Premiering at Sydney Opera House in 2013, Meeting Mozart is a 50-minute theater work that instills a love and appreciation of classical music through an atmosphere that is fun, participatory, and inclusive. Through live music, stories, and songs, Meeting Mozart took the audience on an interactive journey to explore and learn about the instruments, scores, and themes that inspired Mozart to compose his greatest works, from variations on ‘Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star’ to his large-scale orchestral pieces.

Amber Jo Manuel reflects, “I believe the parents were just as ecstatic as the kids last Friday. We are thrilled to open our doors to the community and be inspired by the audience’s enthusiasm – from adults to small kids everyone loved it!”

“After a week of tough and stressful storms, it was truly rewarding to see all the smiling faces fill our theater, and enjoy an amazing free production,” remarks Athena Aronow, Education, and Outreach Coordinator at The Center. 

The student matinee series was made possible by a grant from the California Arts Council which will pay for 2 years of student matinees and will provide free educational programming for our community youth.   

Since 2000, The Center for the Arts, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organization, has grown into a leading presenter of music, dance, theater, comedy, literary and visual art, and family programming, offering more than 150 events per year from its location in downtown Grass Valley. The Center recently completed a major renovation of its multiuse, 21,000-square-foot facility in downtown Grass Valley, making it a premier performing arts destination. The venue includes the Main Stage, which accommodates up to 492 guests in configurable theater seats and up to 700 patrons for dance shows, and a 90-seat studio theater.