California Cultural Districts in Nevada County

State-level designation of Cultural Districts, with California’s diverse geography and regional variety, allowed for an entirely new and comprehensive look at our deeply valued cultural assets... Each community’s personal and generational commitment to these assets speaks of a state deeply invested in the places and people that celebrate local traditions and creativity.

The California Arts Council has selected 14 districts to serve as California's inaugural state-designated Cultural Districts. Nevada County was bestowed the great honor of being home to 2 of the 14 districts - Grass Valley-Nevada City and Truckee. Your participation is essential to the success of both Grass Valley-Nevada City Cultural District and Truckee Cultural District. Each one of us is an ambassador of our community. Help us celebrate our heritage and the people, places, traditions and events that contribute to the quality of life here!


Deep within California’s Gold Country, the historic twin cities of Grass Valley and Nevada City merge in the Sierra Foothills amidst pristine rivers and picturesque forests. Home to the Nisenan, the area’s oldest indigenous peoples, the district is rich in cultural histories and the arts, and has an exciting emerging wine culture. The twin cities boast outstanding year-round programming in music, theatre and dance; a density of artists and makers; and a festival culture to die for.

A High Sierra District, Truckee boasts world-class scenery and a rugged high alpine location that catalyzes and inspires art and culture.  Truckee’s rich history includes:  the Transcontinental Railroad, the infamous Donner Party, Charlie Chaplin performances, and the 1960 Winter Olympics.  The main features are Truckee’s historic downtown which is home to numerous galleries, workshops and events and Donner Summit which provides numerous trails and vista points highlighting our tremendous historic and cultural heritage. 

Our goal with the pilot launch of this new program was to support a group of districts that met high but broad standards of coherence, vision, and purpose – ones that could set an example for districts that will follow as the program develops and grows.
— Donn Harris, Chair of California Arts Council

Special thanks to Jesse Locks, Shelley Covert, Gretchen Bond, Julie Baker, Judith Lowry, Robie Litchfield, Lauren O'Brien, Troy Corliss and Sara Smith for being such key team players in helping to represent Nevada County's arts community during the application process for both our California Cultural Districts.

We also thank Nevada County Economic Resource Council and Sierra FoodWineArt.