North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center
Photo © North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center
Come on by and take in some culture on The Ridge in Nevada County!
Hootenannies, concerts, poetry readings, shindigs, art shows, theater, weddings, and all around good times are hosted at the North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center on the San Juan Ridge in the Sierra Nevada Foothills of California. The Schoolhouse, a graceful example of Western Colonial architecture, was built by the mining community in 1875, and has a long tradition of serving the community as a school and public meeting hall for over a century.
In 1979 it was forced to shut down as a school by legislation requiring earthquake-proof construction. It reopened as a community Cultural Center in 1980 after extensive restoration undertaken by two local architects, with the help of dedicated volunteers.
It's a unique building for a unique place with a unique culture. The mission of the North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center is to sustain the cultural life of the San Juan Ridge through the maintenance of a space for appreciation, education, and celebration.
It strives to provide programming that enhances our community life. Over the years, the Center has hosted hundreds of unique cultural events with artists, musicians, and writers from all over the world. It also hosts film screenings, community forums, classes, festivals, and the nationally renowned Sierra Storytelling Festival.
The Cultural Center has been recognized as a model rural arts organization and presenter of folk, traditional and contemporary art through grants from the California Arts Council, the Nevada County Arts Council, the L.J. and Mary C. Skaggs Foundation, the S.H. Cowell Foundation, the Rose Leo Memorial Philanthropic Fund, the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest fund and the National Endowment for the Arts. Innovative programming at the Schoolhouse has drawn attention from audiences and artists far beyond the San Juan Ridge.
Time Period Represented: 1875 to present day
Hours Open: Call for information.
Visitor Fees: Various, depending upon events.
Seasons Open: Year 'round
Call for information.