As State-Local Partner with California Arts Council, Nevada County Arts Council commits to a policy of Access, Equity and Community Engagement through promotion of arts education projects. As a partner with California Alliance for Arts Education we aim to improve teacher preparation, advocate for public funding for the arts, and ensure equity and access to arts education by closing opportunity gaps and eliminating inequities in access to arts education. As a partner with Create CA we form part of a coalition of dedicated and innovative leaders who understand that together we have the power to create lasting change for every California student, helping them to reach their full potential by advancing an education model that promotes creativity and the arts for the workforce of tomorrow. Our Education Committee is active in all these ways and more. Scroll down for an overview of ongoing projects and planning.

picture this

Picture This is a developing project through which children whose lives have been affected by the juvenile justice system are guided through a 500-year relationship between scientific discovery and photography, on a journey of self-reflection and individual creativity

education survey

During 2018, Nevada County Arts Council conducted an exhaustive survey of arts education in schools across Western Nevada County TK-12.  We interviewed principals and staff across 32 schools and, in grades 7-12, looked at 2017 data submitted to the state. 

artists in the schools

Each year we expand upon our California Arts Council-funded programs to support much needed arts education in schools where core-funding is not offered.

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 2018, Nevada County Arts Council piloted this program in the United States and, during 2019 will again partner with Twin Ridges Schools District to coach children in poetry at Washington and Grizzly Hill Schools. Dream a Difference.

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.

student opportunities

Each year we create a poster for schools, administrators, teachers, parents and students with fresh information on some of Nevada County’s most iconic arts scholarships, contests, exhibitions and extra-curricula arts programs.

student voices

Each year, we encourage schools across the county to participate the Student Voices Campaign. In California, the Local Control Funding Formula, guarantees students a voice in planning and budgeting for their school district.


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, and to ensure that teacher, parents and students know how to apply for scholarship funds. 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.

HOPE by Mario Sanchez

HOPE by Mario Sanchez

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. In 2016, 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 a full twelve months. Learn more about the competition in Western Nevada County. Learn more about the competition in Eastern 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.




[Via] Eliza Tudor and Brian Buckley, of Nevada County Arts Council, knew that a sure-fire way to start a conversation was by introducing data from a high-quality assessment. That’s why they set about collecting baseline data about arts programming in Nevada County schools, highlighting their unique and creative “flagship” programs, and identifying gaps in addressing standards or issues of access. They gathered a team of retired educators, including two leading lights of the Council’s Education Committee, Liz McAteer and Stan Miller, and used those connections to interview principals in the TK-12 schools. They presented their findings at their Arts Now Breakfast Launch event held by all the local partners. They then completed a successful application for Strategic Arts Planning Support via California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA) in partnership with the Nevada County Superintendent of Schools, which they will implement with the help of the California Alliance's Arts Now Planning Initiative. Check out the results of their State of the Arts survey here.