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 gallery hosts works by artists both professional and up-and-coming, students, and other local nonprofits. From contemporary to classic, you can view artwork and ideas that range over a wide variety of mediums including sculpture, photography, fiber arts, painting, jewelry, installation and more!

Never a boring place to be, the gallery also hosts a myriad of artistic endeavors throughout the year including:

During our renovations we have a temporary gallery, The Plaza Gallery, hosts an array of events including art exhibitions, youth programming, music performances and more. Stop by our location at 998 Plaza Drive in Grass Valley where the creativity keeps flowing! For up to date information on our exhibitions visit our Events Calendar

Open Studios is a self-guided tour through artist studios & 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. 

For more information visit

California WorldFest

California WorldFest – July 9-12, 2020
Tickets for WorldFest 2020 on sale Friday, December 6!


Youth Arts Education Program

The Center for the Arts is committed to working with the schools, youth organizations, and families in our community to provide arts education to help local youth thrive.

Our Youth Arts Education Program provides after-school and summer camp opportunities for kids to participate in a wide range of professionally guided and instructed art programs. With four schools within walking distance, we are truly at “The Center” and excited to offer even more options for local students. The newly renovated building offers a more flexible space and will enable us to expand and improve our Youth Arts Education programs. 


  •     Student Matinee Series.“The Call of the Wild,” scheduled for March 2020, is the first of our new Student Matinee series offering low-to-no cost tickets to students. Based on the classic novel by Jack London, the theatrical presentation features a 180-degree multimedia projection that surrounds actor Noel Gaulin, who plays all of the roles in telling the story of the legendary sled dog Buck. The production is uniquely designed to encourage audience participation through imagination as the story unfolds on stage. We are grateful to BriarPatch for sponsoring the first two Student Matinees at The New Center allowing us to offer student tickets of $5. Thank you to Deer Creek School for being the first to take advantage of this series!
  •     After School & Summer Camps. The Center will continue working with OnTheGo partners The Curious Forge Makerspace and the Nevada City School of the Arts to expand and develop new camps and opportunities for area youth. Camps will continue to be held in multiple locations to expand our reach to children in the community.
  •     Family Fun Day. Offered four times a year, these are free all-day events geared toward families and introduces many young children in our community to their first-ever arts experience. We offer families the opportunity to participate in healthy art-based activities together, such as face painting, crafts, and a balloon artist and other fun entertainment.


Upcoming Youth Arts Events:


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