artists in schools

Our California Arts Council-funded Artists in Schools Program sees us working with teaching artists in schools across Nevada County on seriously fun, creative lessons combining Visual Arts Content Standards with Common Core curriculum.

dream a difference


Dream a Difference began in 2016 as a poetry project connecting small schools in the United Kingdom with others in Jordan, Palestine, Malaysia and Zimbabwe. During 2017, Nevada County Arts Council piloted this program in the United States and, during 2018-19, will again partner with Twin Ridges Schools District to coach children in poetry at Washington and Grizzly Hill Schools.

Washington and Grizzly Hill Schools are situated on the Western Slope of the Sierra Nevada. Deeply remote and forming one of the smallest school districts in the US, students form part of an emerging global community of young people who are gaining awareness and learning empathy for the way others live and, in the spirit of sharing the poetry they write in the form of song and recitation, will share their own experience of life in rural California.

Students at these schools are also offered an opportunity to recite their poems at the Sierra Poetry Festival which takes place during national poetry month each year. Here they meet our Poetry Out Loud participants, gaining valuable foundational insight and preparation towards this nationally recognised high school program.

You can learn more about Dream a Difference here.

poetry out loud

Poetry Out Loud is a National Recitation contest that, for us, begins right here in Nevada County classrooms. Through Poetry Out Loud we help high school students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life. We work in schools across Nevada County to coach and mentor students in collaboration with California Teachers in the Schools (CPITS) and our Literary Arts Committee.

Participants in Poetry Out Loud are also offered an opportunity to recite their poems at the Sierra Poetry Festival which takes place during national poetry month each year.

You can learn more about Sierra Poetry Festival here.

student voices campaign

In California, the Local Control Funding Formula, or LCFF, guarantees students a voice in planning and budgeting for their school district.  The Student Voices Campaign is a creative way for young people to make their voices heard through creating short videos of no more than two minutes in legnth. In 2016, the California State First Prize went to Nevada County student, Aiden Conley of Bear River High School. We continue to promote the Student Voices Campaign in Nevada County.

Nevada County STEAM Expo

We support Nevada County Superintendent of Schools Office (NCSOS) in both planning and implementation on behalf of our arts community. Nevada County’s Annual STEAM Expo spotlights developments in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and math, and we led the Arts Agenda in tandem with NCSOS.

California State Summer School for the Arts

With California State Summer School for the Arts (CSSSA) our aim is to encourage high school participation from Nevada County in this rigorously competitive program. Most years this results in more high school attendees than from any other surrounding county. We are available for information and mentoring at any stage of the application.

national congressional art competition

As blind judges for the US House of Representatives National Congressional Art Competition – for both the 1st and 4th Congressional districts – our role is to encourage student participation from Nevada County. Las year a Nevada County Student, Noah Gregoire, won first place and was able to travel to Washington with his parents where he was celebrated among other students nationwide, and his work hung at Capitol Hill for twelve months.