Grass Valley-Nevada City and Truckee selected for state Cultural Districts, as expected

Grass Valley-Nevada City and Truckee on Monday were two of 14 districts selected statewide for a five-year California Cultural Districts program, a major boost for our region’s cultural tourism.

Their likely selection was first reported in Sierra FoodWineArt magazine last week.

The board of the California Arts Council accepted the staff’s recommendation at a board meeting on Monday in Sacramento. The staff’s recommendation was included in the meeting packet last week.

“It was a very competitive pool of applicants,” as Caitlin Fitzwater, director of public affairs and interim program coordinator of the California Cultural Districts program, told the Shasta County Arts Council.

The 14 districts recommended for state designation represent a broad diversity of California – geographically, culturally, and artistically – as set forth by the program goals and values.  It was a six-month long process that included 43 original applicants with 22 semi-finalists and 14 actual designated districts. 

Each applicant receives $5,000 annually to participate in the pilot two-year program though the designation lasts for five years. The Cultural Districts also will have a presence on, the state’s tourism website.

The designation for Grass Valley-Nevada City and Truckee is a coup for the Nevada County Arts Council under Executive Director Eliza Tudor. (An interview with Tudor in our magazine is here).

The Arts Council and its multi-partner team plans its own press release this week after meeting together. We will publish that release.

We are proud that our magazine’s ongoing reporting of the region’s arts and culture scene was cited in the proposals. An example was this report. Our current issue is dedicated to Cultural Districts, with features on Grass Valley-Nevada City and Truckee.

In its press release, the Shasta County Arts Council said it is expected that the pilot cohort of certified cultural districts will receive an array of benefits that will include:

“Official state certification – each district will enter into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the CAC certifying state designation as a cultural district for a period of five years and granting the district the right to use the state cultural district brand in its marketing

“Branding materials – including the state cultural district logo, as well signage and banner templates

“Technical assistance – including at a minimum an annual convening session, as well as peer to peer and other group learning opportunities given available resources

“Joint marketing support – leveraging resources from state tourism partners

“A stipend – up to $5,000 per district per year, to be used to support participation in the developmental evaluation process that will lead to the refinement of the design of the cultural districts program

“Participation in developmental evaluation – the pilot cohort will receive support from the consulting team conducting the developmental evaluation of the cultural districts program, including at a minimum one site visit per year.”

(Photo: Kial James)

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