Keeping the Arts Alive
This year is all about coming together as a community, and The Center for the Arts has continued to create experiences, opportunities and new ways for us to unite through the arts. Due to the uncertainties of 2020, The Center for the Arts held off on their Spring and Fall Membership Drives. Now, they have put together a host of bonus gifts, weekly drawings, a silent auction, and new programming announcements to celebrate a special End of Year Membership Drive. They are asking for your support to help keep the arts alive by becoming a member now.
After undergoing a two-year, $6.1 million renovation, The Center is the only premier performing arts center of its kind in Nevada County. It’s fully ADA accessible, features a visual arts gallery with 602 square feet of wall space, and an expanded auditorium with 492 luxury retractable seats and a state-of-the-art Meyer sound system. The Center reopened just two days before being required to close because of COVID-19.
Arts organizations are experiencing catastrophic financial losses and are fighting harder than ever to keep the arts alive in these challenging times. The Center has postponed or cancelled 140 events and lost nearly $3 million in projected ticket sales. For the City of Grass Valley, that’s caused a loss of over 60,000 visitors to the historic downtown and over $1.7 million in event-related spending. According to the National Independent Venue Association, for every $1 spent on a ticket at small performance venues, a total of $12 in economic activity is generated within communities on restaurants, hotels, taxis, and retail establishments. In normal times, more than 30 percent of Center audience members travel to Grass Valley from outlying areas, and their summer music festival, WorldFest, draws crowds of 5,000 daily.
Despite these challenges, since the start of COVID-19, The Center for the Arts has continued to inspire audiences and artists, brought joy to thousands of online viewers at home, and been devoted to providing opportunities for local staff, stage workers, and teaching artists.
In 2020, The Center delivered a dozen free concerts through their online broadcast series, From The Center, and opened The Backstage Bar in their back parking lot offering live music from behind a six-foot drum shield. The Center partnered with CHIRP and The Recording Academy’s MusiCares foundation to livestream fundraisers, and hosted five gallery exhibits and an Open Studios Tour with social distancing, private viewings, and virtual tours. Even when The Center is able to host concerts indoors again, they plan to continue their online offerings. Moving forward, members will have free or discounted access to all virtual events, including a new interactive series, In Conversation With.
In Conversation With will introduce local celebrities in conversations about Food, Nature, Art and Lifestyle. From tattoo artists to mushroom hunters, naturalists to nutritionists, farmers to brew masters, this weekly series will feature the very best of Nevada County. This weekly series is free to members and will begin January 3, 2021.
The Center has always believed that the arts must be accessible for all. They remain dedicated to removing financial barriers and making programs available to 7,500 youth annually. Knowing that many Nevada County students have reduced schedules and limited after school options, The Center provided additional arts education opportunities this fall and increased scholarship awards to $10,000 in anticipation of more families in need, despite the fact that they’ve been running camps and classes at a loss in order to maintain safe, reduced class sizes.
Though 2020 memberships are down 49%, donations both big and small have made it possible for The Center to continue. Their 2021 plans are to keep creating, and they hope that you will join them in supporting the arts and The Center. Memberships are paramount to keeping the doors open and making sure The Center is here for artists and audiences when it is safe to reopen, and to ensure the future of the arts in Nevada County.
Become a member of The Center for the Arts and your contributions will provide opportunities for artists and crews. Did you have tickets for a show in 2020? You can donate your tickets back to The Center in exchange for a membership! It’s a great way to give back. Members are rewarded with a virtual front-row seat to all creative experiences and events The Center has coming in 2021. Plus, you’ll receive bonus gifts and entries into weekly drawings when you join before December 31, 2020, during the End of Year Membership Drive.
Since 2000, The Center for the Arts, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organization, has grown into a leading presenter of music, dance, theater, comedy, literary and visual art, and family programming, offering more than 150 events per year from its location in downtown Grass Valley. The Center recently completed a major renovation of its multiuse, 21,000-square-foot facility in downtown Grass Valley, making it a premier performing arts destination. The venue includes the main stage, which accommodates up to 492 guests in configurable theater seats and up to 700 patrons for dance shows, plus a 90-seat studio theater.