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, in 2017 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, and in late 2018 was recognized for her outstanding leadership by the California Senate, Congress and Assembly.

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eve diamond

special projects

Eve holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in Environmental Studies and Geography from the University of California at Santa Barbara. Eve has been a graphic artist, commercial artist representative, personnel agency account executive, hotel sales representative, and meeting and conference planner; before serving for 14 years as Analyst to the Nevada County Board of Supervisors. In that role she managed the County's contract with the Economic Resource Council. Eve now pursues her love of mosaics, cooking, crafting and hiking, while providing project management for Nevada County Arts Council.




Shelly Covert is the Spokesperson for the Nevada City Rancheria Nisenan Tribe. She sits on the Tribal Council and is community outreach liaison. She is also the Executive Director of the non-profit, C.H.I.R.P. (the California Heritage: Indigenous Research Project), whose mission is to preserve, protect and perpetuate Nisenan Culture. The Nevada City Rancheria Nisenan Tribal homelands lay within the Bear and Yuba River watersheds. The Nisenan are the indigenous people who were here before the Gold Rush and they remain in their ancestral homelands today. Shelly is a singer / song writer, artist and tradition keeper within her Tribal group. She works with environmental and social justice causes and advocates for the Nisenan people and the restoration of their Federal recognition and Tribal sovereignty. Having Shelly among us is a reminder. She brings empathy, knowledge, wisdom and meaning to our role as State-Local Partner with the California Arts Council and, in turn, we try to shine a light on the extraordinary work of the Nisenan in restoring recognition for the wealth of truths and traditions that their culture and history offer our California Cultural Districts within Nevada County.



web master, design 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 explores 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, Picture This and FOREST⇌FIRE

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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Rachel Howard is the author of a memoir, The Lost Night, and a novel, The Risk of Us. She is also a dance critic, writing teacher, and editor.

Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Gulf Coast, ZYZZYVA,Waxwing (nominated for a Pushcart Prize), O Magazine, OZY, Canteen, Berfrois, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and other venues. Her journalism and dance writing have appeared in The New Yorker Online, the New York Times, Ballet Review, and the Hudson Review, among other publications. She wrote about dance for the San Francisco Chronicle for 12 years, serving as chief Dance Correspondent for six of those.

Rachel lives in Nevada City, where she founded the Yuba Lit reading series in fall of 2015. RachelHoward.com


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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Chris Olander

Nevada County Poet Laureate

Chris is a poet and bio-educator, and has taught with California Poets in the Schools since 1984. He blends performance techniques with spoken word to create what he calls an ‘Action Art Poetry - musical images phrasing to dramatize relative experiences – a poetry arising from oral and bardic traditions.’ Chris Olander’s debut book of poems is River Light. Kirk Lumpkin says, “What has always impressed me about Chris Olander’s poetry is how present, how kinetically alive the energies of nature are in it and of how the words dance in the breath and sinew of it.” 

“More dynamic than listening to a recording or reading, I become the poem. I use contemporary events to bring forth and reveal mythic themes and archetypes that social and religious institutions repress through duty, shame, routine and repetitive behaviors. For me, recognition of common archetypes re-establishes respect between humans and the others of nature and renews the integrity of all individual species within the community of a given place.” - Chris Olander

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Conrad Cecil has lived in London, Paris, and, since 2016, in California. In France, he founded La Compagnie de la Tangente under the patronage of award-winning poet and playwright Roland Dubillard (Moliere 2011 award), and performed in French at the Avignon Festival and on the Champs Elysees, in collaboration with German filmmaker Werner Schroeter. Conrad can be seen in historical dramas and contemporary thrillers alongside Sophie Marceau, Liam Cunningham, Clémence Poésy, Johan Leysen and Moritz Bleibtreu. His book, L’anglais pour la diffusion international du spectacle, is in French and English and focuses on performing arts production, and he has prepared a fine press edition of Shakespeare's Sonnets with Petrarch Press. He divides his time between Los Angeles and the Sierra Foothills, running workshops on performing poetry at Beyond Baroque literary arts center in Venice, and coaching poetry for both Poetry Out Loud and Dream A Difference at Nevada County Arts Council. He has a master’s degree in Directing and Dramaturgy from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and King's College London.


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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