The North Star Historic Conservancy is proud to be part of the history and culture of Grass Valley.
In 2017, the California Arts Council selected 14 districts to serve as California’s inaugural state-designated Cultural Districts. Nevada County was bestowed the great honor of being home to 2 of the 14 districts – Grass Valley/Nevada City and Truckee.
Steeped in history and with the most famous gold-mining district in California, Grass Valley and Nevada City experienced a “cultural revolution” from the mid-20th Century that has reshaped the local economy and continues to influence the statewide arts scene. Starting in the ’60s, Beat Generation and deep ecology poet Gary Snyder, singer Utah Phillips, and a host of authors and musicians settled here. Now, for more than 50 high-tech companies – including a virtual and augmented reality hub – creativity occurs in peaceful, natural environments far from major urban centers.
Between them, Grass Valley and Nevada City are home to the Nevada Theatre, the oldest theater in California, and more than 100 arts-related organizations producing upwards of 1,000 events a year, scores of annual festivals, street fairs, art walks and studio tours, and a generous base of artists and makers.
As well as for its arts, the district is known for its expanding vineyards, wineries, and tasting rooms, and a trail network of outstanding natural beauty. The Nisenan lived in the region for thousands of years as part of a perfectly balanced ecosystem, thriving on the Yuba, Bear, and American river watersheds – and, over time, their sacred places are being rediscovered and cherished.