CFTA Programs

In addition to our live performance schedule, The Center is host to a series of exciting community focused programs throughout the year.

Explore our Programs

Visual Arts

In addition to the impressive array of performances The Center hosts each year, we are equally as committed to the visual arts. Our two in-house community art galleries – the main gallery and the Granucci Room – are consistently filled with works from local artists in a wide variety of mediums. Our walls and space have been filled with everything from papier-mache to photography to jewelry. The galleries change every three week so there is always something exciting to see.

Never a boring place to be, the visual arts galleries host a myriad of artistic endeavors throughout the year including:

  • Fall Colors Open Studios Tour
  • Annual Gallery selections for the Wild & Scenic Film Festival
  • Nevada City School of the Arts
  • Pioneer Arts Club
  • Art Salons
  • Nevada County Arts
  • Mini Altar Show
  • Annual Art Market Artisan Show
  • Group and Individual Shows


Open Studios is a self-guided tour through artist studios & fine art galleries in Western Nevada County. The event takes place the second and third weekends in October and showcases fine art and fine craft in a broad range of media and styles. Open Studios contributes to public awareness about the quality and diversity of art created in our community and provides visitors with opportunities to view and purchase a wide range of original work by individual artists.

Additionally, Open Studios fosters an interest in, and a greater understanding of, the artistic process and provides the public with a unique opportunity to enter the world of a visual artist to experience how, why and where art is created.

California WorldFest

Music industry magazine Pollstar calls the California WorldFest a “festival of discovery.” FestForum awarded WorldFest their 2016 award for “Innovation in Music”. 2016 headliner Nahko Bear says, “It’s not very often that I get to play a festival where Indigenous People are held in such an honorable way.”

Accolades for California WorldFest continue to pour in. For 20 years this music festival has sought to bring people and cultures together to celebrate music and art, and seek the common thread.

The Sierra Gold Country festival transforms “California’s most beautiful fairgrounds” into a world village complete with seven stages of live music, sustainability workshops, a global Indigenous People’s village, onsite camping and a village marketplace complete with crafts, shopping, dining and foods of the world. Families are encouraged to attend with family-friendly activities and classes to keep kids of all ages enriched and entertained.

WorldFest is presented by regional arts non-profit The Center for the Arts. Center executive director Julie Baker says: “Honoring Native Peoples, emphasizing conscious living and sustainability practices, providing a safe and friendly environment for families to gather, celebrating global cultures and bringing people together through music is our mission.”



The quality is showcased in traditional festival format, on stages, as well as in less expected contexts. WorldFest arranges times for festival-goers to meet and talk with performers in the Global Lounge, as well as hear novel combinations of musicians jam, a format that brings fans right into the creative process.

This year WorldFest plans to expand the Global Indigenous People’s Village to celebrate indigenous voices, crafts, and entertainment and to encourage a more broad cultural exchange and awareness through dance and music. The Global Village also houses its own stage featuring music, dance performances and workshops promoting knowledge and understanding of world cultures.

WorldFest also offers a family-friendly atmosphere for all ages. With three areas dedicated to activities and music for kids from toddlers to teenagers, parents can relax knowing their children are engaged in a safe and friendly environment.

Attendees can camp onsite in tents or RVs, participate in over 50 workshops in music, dance, and wellness; shop world crafts from artisans and food vendors; and learn about beekeeping and cob home building in the Conscious Living expo.

Click below to learn more about California WorldFest, the 2017 line-up, and how to get tickets!


Youth Arts Education Program

The Center for the Arts believes that participation in the arts is one of the key elements to building creative thinking, problem-solving skills and high self-esteem in youth. The Center is committed to working with the schools, youth organizations, and families in our community to bridge the gap between arts education in our schools and what youth need in order to thrive. Our Youth Arts Education Program provides after-school and summer camp opportunities for youth to participate in a wide range of professionally guided and instructed art programs.

The Center is proud to be bringing these important Youth Arts Education Program to our community. We cover the facility rental fees, staff costs, program and promotional materials for the following Youth Arts Programs:

Student Matinee performances introduce literature, theater, music and artists from around the world to over 300 school-age children at each performance. A new endeavor intended to build youth specific programming, The Center selects artists whose presentation meets the needs and desires of our community and offers artistic learning opportunities to fit into school curriculum in a fun and creative context. In 2016, schools were invited to performances of the Shanghai Acrobats and the Russian National Ballet Theater.

Performance Arts Guild (PAG) has three production runs each year that are performed to sell-out audiences. The Center for the Arts supports PAG producing full-scale theater productions with all-child casts. PAG is the longest consecutive running theater company in Nevada County and produces three productions per year with over 60 youth participants. The Center underwrites the venue and provides marketing and box office support for these productions.

Summer Camps include Circus Camp, In Your Own Words Teen Writing Workshop, Teen Songwriting and Performance Workshop, Paint Like the Masters and Musical Theater. The Center has offered full and discounted scholarships to area youth in need so that every child may have the opportunity to attend one of our summer camps.

Family Fun Day: Quarterly Free program for families. Over 1400 children and adults attended the Family Fun Days throughout 2016. This free event opened our eyes to the need for events for young families. It allowed families who otherwise would not have access to the arts to participate in healthy, family-based arts activities. Balloon artist, card and craft projects, face painting, a day of entertainment which included The Amazing Bubble Man, Secret Agent 23 Skidoo – a 2017 Grammy recipient – and Air Aligned with youth performers.

Starz and WinterDance: These annual dance concerts performed each winter and spring showcase 100 local performers. 90% of the performers are under the age of 18. Participants get to perform their work in front of a live audience who would otherwise not have these performance opportunities.

How to Support Youth Arts Education at The Center:
Become a Member! Membership at The Center goes supports all that we do, including Youth Arts Education. You can also support Youth Arts Education through the e-Scrip program when you shop at your favorite SPD Market. SPD shoppers who use their SPD Community Card can register to have 3% of their purchases contributed to The Center’s Youth Arts Education Program. If you already have an SPD Community Card, simply click here and enter The Center for the Arts in the space for the Group Name and follow the instructions to register your card with The Center. If you don’t have an SPD Community Card, just ask for one the next time you go to SPD and tell them you would like to register your card for The Center for the Arts. It’s a quick, easy way to continue your support of The Center and our local business supporters.

Community Engagement

non-profit-LOGO400The Center for the Arts is committed to supporting our community through collaboration with other area not-for-profit organizations. We believe that collaboration is the key to greater strength and economic stability for all who serve our region through non-profit service. We offer our venue and our professional services and staff to many area non profits to support in their fundraising efforts. We donate tickets for auctions and give out free tickets to community members who cannot afford to attend an event. We are a place for the community to gather, share conversations and experience art.

One of the ways we are doing this is through our Community Non-Profit Partner Program. The Center for the Arts has partnered with various non-profit organizations to assist in fund-raising and outreach. We are making that effort even richer by expanding our collaborations with a focus on one non-profit each month with specific outreach and promotion for the organization during that month.

Each month, the Community Non-Profit Partner receive:

  • Banner and info on our website
  • Presence in our lobby (brochures, wish list, small display)
  • Ways to give info and logo on the Community Non-Profit Partner of the Month board
  • Presence on our pre show screening
  • Spotlight in our email newsletter at beginning of the month
  • A presence at Center events


In November of 2016, we asked members of community, The Center for the Arts Facebook fans & friends, and email subscribers to pick their favorite non-profit in Nevada County for The Center to partner with in 2017.

The following organizations are featured as 2017 Community Non-Profit Partners:
January –  Sierra Nevada Children’s Services
FebruaryCinderella Project
MarchInterfaith Food Ministry
AprilKARE Crisis Nursery
MayNevada City School of the Arts
June Wildlife Rehabilitation and Release
JulyWomen of Worth
AugustFriends of North Bloomfield & Malakoff Diggins
SeptemberSierra Harvest
November –  Sierra Roots
December Sierra Streams Institute

Thanks for your support of Nevada County’s non-profit organizations!

Our programs are made possible with the help of our generous sponsors