Eliza Tudor

Executive Director

Eliza Tudor's experience as an arts leader spans the visual, literary and performing arts across three continents. From ten years producing film and theatre in Australia, to producing opera, Ancient Greek theatre and ballet in the Sierra, Eliza then moved to the UK to complete her MA in Cultural Policy. Working as Senior Commissioner for the UK's National Health Service in one of London's most deprived areas, she then worked as Senior Development Executive – Arts & Humanities at the University of Oxford, while also serving on the Board of Trustees of Magdalen Road Studios and Rosetta Life – working nationally through the arts with people suffering life limiting illnesses. Eliza returned in February 2015 to direct Yuba Sutter Arts, then in 2016 accepted the role of Executive Director with Nevada County Arts Council. This implied simultaneous overview of three counties under California Arts Council's State-Local Partnership Program. Since late 2016 Eliza has focused solely on Nevada County Arts Council, last year gaining state recognition for Nevada County through consulting two successful applications for California Cultural District designation. She currently sits on the board of directors for both California Arts Advocates and Californians for the Arts.

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Administative support and marketing

Beth Ford lives and works in Nevada City. A graphic artist, book designer, essayist, poet, and award-winning florist, her work has been reviewed locally and nationally. With a passion for visual language, color theory and typography, her designs are known for their depth of atmosphere and layered collage. Recent projects include collaborations with Oregon’s Poet Laureate, graphics for a Bach Festival in Maine, and collateral for The Sierra Poetry Festival. A native San Franciscan, she is equally obsessed with birding, botany, books, fresh air…. Portfolios at: www.GlibCommunications.com

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Ruth Chase

Artist-in-Residence for Belonging

Ruth is a California-based painter using biographical portraiture to communicate stories of compassion and insight in order to promote positive social change. A graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute, she has been exhibiting since 1990 and has been awarded grants as an artist and as Artist in Residence at the Millay Colony for the Arts in New York and published in Catapult Art Magazine, Huffington Post, Nevada County Arts Council and others. She has taught at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento has recently been a featured sketch artist on The Dead Files for the Travel Channel. Her award winning series, the West of Lincoln Project focused on the people who grew up in - and shaped - Venice, CA, and adversity transformed into valuable life wisdom, despite gentrification.

Her current project, Belonging, is about our vulnerable mountain home and the people who tend it, love it and depend on it. During Year One, Ruth directed a documentary film and community exhibition, together with a year's worth of public art making workshops and dialogue. "Belonging", the film, was screened at 18th Annual Nevada City Film Festival (AKA "the Sundance of the Sierra"), during 2018.

During Year Two of Belonging, I AM HERE will explore how women find and maintain their sense of belonging in our changing rural landscape, culminating in an interactive public installation in downtown Nevada City. I AM HERE is, ultimately, a community conversation - a way to connect, explore and empower. 

Examples of Ruth’s work can be found at https://ruthchase.com

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Michael Llewellyn

Artist-in-Residence for Image Nation

Michael Llewellyn is a national award-winning photographer and teacher. His work has appeared in Time, Esquire, National Geographic, Fortune, Popular Science, Entertainment Weekly, Greenpeace, Rolling Stone and others. He has photographed Fortune 500 CEO's and celebrities including Wynton Marsalis, Rodney Dangerfield, Dana Carvey, Gene Wilder, Rosie O'Donnell, Rage against the Machine, Van Halen, and K.D. Lang. His innovative work, acknowledged for its unique style & technical excellence by his peers, has won awards from Communication Arts, Graphis, AIGA, Kodak International, Hasselblad, American Photography, Photo District News, Applied Arts, Uber Morgan, Blad and the British Journal of Photography. Recent examples of Michael’s work can be found here – http://www.michaelllewellyn.com.

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John Deaderick

Artist in Residence for ACTING UP

John is an actor, director and playwright, with a special fondness for Beckett, Albee, Shakespeare and Euripides. He is a member of Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) and has been in over 200 plays, films and commercials. He has also acted and presented for radio – with KXPR in Sacramento and KVMR in Nevada City.  John directed Nevada County Arts Council in the early 80s, and chaired the Drama Department at Colfax High School for many years. He now teaches Acting and Theatre History at Sierra College in Rocklin and at Sierra College’s Grass Valley Campus – and, in his spare time, reviews National Theatre Live and The Metropolitan Opera Live at Sierra Cinemas.

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Nancy Schaefer

Artist in Residence and Lead Teaching Artist for ARTISTS IN SCHOOLS

Nancy is a painter and multi-media teaching artist, who, since graduating with a BFA from CSU Humboldt and the University of Chicago, has taught in San Francisco, Chicago and Mexico. Now a resident of Nevada County, Nancy teaches 3rd and 4th graders in the Grass Valley and Penn Valley School Districts. She also teaches a variety of painting classes with ArtsCool at ASiF, and at the Northern California Center for the Arts.

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Molly Fisk

Nevada County Poet Laureate

Born in San Francisco, poet Molly Fisk earned a BA at Radcliffe College/Harvard University and an MBA at Simmons College Graduate School of Management. In her poems, Fisk probes transitional periods in family life with clarity and wry humor. She is the author of the poetry collections Houston, We Have a Possum: Further Observations from a Working Poet; The More Difficult Beauty (2010); Listening to Winter (2000); Terrain (1998) and a volume of radio essays, Blow-Drying a Chicken: Observations from a Working Poet (2013). Her recorded CDs of radio commentary include Blow-Drying a Chicken (2008) and Using Your Turn Signal Promotes World Peace (2005).

Fisk’s honors include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Marin Arts Council, and the California Arts Council as well as a Robinson Jeffers Tor House Prize in Poetry, a Dogwood Prize, a Billee Murray Denny Prize, a National Writer’s Union Prize, and a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Fisk was chosen poet laureate of Nevada City’s radio station, KVMR-FM.

Fisk has taught at the UC Davis Extension and with the California Poets in the Schools program. She teaches private writing classes online, works as a life coach, and lives in Nevada City, California, where she serves our Nevada County community with depth, humor and wisdom.

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Julie Valin

Co-coordinator Poetry Out Loud and Sierra Poetry Festival

Julie is a published poet, writer, editor and self-publishing expert with her small business, Self to Shelf Publishing Services. She is a poet-teacher with California Poets in the Schools (CPITS), and was the Editor for their 2016 and 2017 Statewide Anthologies, the foreword for which was written by Molly Fisk, our inaugural Nevada County Poet Laureate, and Dana Gioia, the State Poet Laureate. Julie is a key member of our leadership teams for Poetry Out Loud, for both Nevada and Placer Counties, and for our annual Sierra Poetry Festival. She is also an accomplished website and book designer, copy editor and social media guru.

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