A cultural district, as outlined by the program, is a well-defined geographic area with a high concentration of cultural resources and activities. The 14 districts that comprise the program’s first cohort were selected with variety in mind, intended to help tailor the program to meet the complex needs of a state kaleidoscopic in nature.
The Truckee Cultural District is organized by a partnership between the Town of Truckee, Truckee Public Arts Commission, and Truckee Chamber of Commerce, with support from Truckee Arts Alliance and the Nevada County Arts Council.
Eliza Tudor, Executive Director at NCArts, says: “It was always clear to us that Truckee should position itself for designation. The arts community is young, growing, vibrant and real. We’ve enjoyed working with such a fabulous and committed partnership - this community is clearly going places, and we are honored to support its exciting trajectory.”
Truckee Cultural District’s stunning High Sierra setting provides compelling opportunities to interpret, capture and inspire artistic and cultural creation. In addition to the captivating outdoors, Truckee is a designated Historic District and presents a rich combination of historic assets that highlight Truckee as the gateway to westward expansion, include numerous historic buildings which give Truckee a unique sense of place.
Over the years Truckee has attracted and grown a vibrant, entrepreneurial, artistic community which has birthed over a dozen art galleries and exhibit spaces, created continuous year-round artistic and cultural events, inspired numerous public art pieces across Town, and most recently created the 3,000 square foot makerspace that offers the community a place to learn, build and practice a wide variety of art and creative skills. As part of the application process, Truckee Chamber of Commerce created an online "cultural asset inventory" which highlights over one hundred existing cultural assets, including venues, organizations, activities, events, and historic sites. This searchable inventory is available at TruckeeCulturalDistrict.com.
"We are thrilled that the selection committee chose our unique mountain community as a cultural district,” said Morgan Goodwin, Truckee Mayor. “This recognition will allow us to do even more to celebrate the countless ways in which we are preserving our heritage and advancing our strong sense of place. We look forward to adding more public art, cultural events and involving more and more people in actively creating a strong cultural identity around our beloved town. "
“We are very proud of being designated a Cultural District by the California Arts Council. This project represents significant collaborative effort by the cultural community of Truckee,” stated Lynn Saunders, President/CEO of Truckee Chamber of Commerce. “It also is in alignment with our economic development initiatives as the presence of arts in a community contributes to the quality of life and is especially important to individuals looking to relocate.”
“Recognition of our unique Arts and Culture as a small mountain town and as an important thread in the fabric of our state’s culture, is not only commendable but so very exciting. I can truly say, as a very long-time resident of the region, that I am extremely proud of this achievement,” stated Robie Litchfield, Co-Chair of Truckee Public Arts Commission and Co-founder of Truckee Arts Alliance.
“State-level designation of Cultural Districts, with California’s diverse geography and regional variety, allowed for an entirely new and comprehensive look at our deeply valued cultural assets,” said Donn K. Harris, California Arts Council Chair. “Truckee’s personal and generational commitment to these assets speaks of a state deeply invested in the places and people that celebrate local traditions and creativity. Our goal with the pilot launch of this new program was to support a group of districts that met high but broad standards of coherence, vision, and purpose – ones that could set an example for districts that will follow as the program develops and grows.”
“These Cultural Districts showcase California’s cultural diversity and vibrant experiences," said Caroline Beteta, president and CEO of Visit California. “The districts are one more way to highlight the one-of-a-kind places throughout our state that inspire residents and visitors alike.”
Originating with the adoption of Assembly Bill 189 in 2015, authored by Assemblyman Richard Bloom, the California Cultural Districts program aims to leverage the state’s artistic and cultural assets. Aligning with the mission and values of the California Arts Council, the districts will celebrate the diversity of California while unifying under an umbrella of shared values—helping to grow and sustain authentic grassroots arts and cultural opportunities, increasing the visibility of local artists and community participation in local arts and culture, and promoting socioeconomic and ethnic diversity. Districts will also play a conscious role in tackling issues of artist displacement.
Truckee Cultural District will receive the designation for a period of five years, per state legislation. Designation, under this pilot launch of the program, includes benefits such as technical assistance, peer-to-peer exchanges, and branding materials and promotional strategy. The California Arts Council has partnered with Visit California and Caltrans for strategic statewide marketing and resource support.
Truckee Cultural District and 13 other pilot districts will offer feedback to the Council to ensure the subsequent launch of the full program will be supportive, accessible and appropriate for all types of cultural centers. The pilot cohort program will run until 2019, after which additional new districts will be eligible to apply for a state designation through the finalized certification process.
Selection for the California Cultural districts was conducted through a multistep process, including an open call for initial letters of intent, a peer panel review, site visits for semi-finalists, and an invited finalist application. The program was highly competitive and received interest and submissions from dozens of communities across the state.
The Truckee Cultural District’s application process received significant support and participation from Truckee artists, creatives, and art and culture organizations:
“KidZone Children’s Museum is excited to see our town being designated a Cultural District,” stated Carol Meager, KidZone Executive Director. “We can’t wait to add even more art and cultural opportunities for children in our region.”
“The awarding of the California Arts Council’s State Cultural District designation to the Truckee community not only reaffirms what we already know locally, it also broadcasts out to the rest of the world that Truckee has become an emerging and vibrant hub for visual art, performance and music," said Troy Corliss, Truckee artist and co-owner of Gallery 5830’.
“Art and science are both creative human activities that create new knowledge; the two can complement each other to expand thinking and enhance basic discovery. We are excited that our local and state communities understand and support our efforts to reconnect arts and humanities to the lengthy and extensive field science tradition at Sagehen," stated Faerthen Felix, Sagehen Creek Field Station Assistant Manager.
“The award of the California Arts Council’s State Cultural District showcases the bright future of the arts in Truckee. Since 2004, Trails & Vistas has established a regional and local partnership program designed to foster the performing, visual and literary arts, and inspire environmental stewardship. Truckee’s landscape has played host to our cherished Art Hikes, a World Concert, and our immersive arts-in-nature field trips for local students,” stated Nancy Tieken Lopez, Trails & Vistas Executive Director. “How proud we all are of this esteemed award of the California Cultural District to Truckee."
Learn more about the California Cultural Districts program at www.caculturaldistricts.org.
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About Truckee Chamber of Commerce
The Truckee Chamber of Commerce is a business membership organization that develops and promotes local business, tourism and community engagement. With over 600 members representing over 7,000 jobs, the Chamber is the largest, most connected business organization in Truckee. The Chamber’s three focus areas are economy, tourism and community. Location and mailing address: 10065 Donner Pass Road, Truckee, CA 96161.
The mission of the California Arts Council, a state agency, is to advance California through the arts and creativity. The Council is committed to building public will and resources for the arts; fostering accessible arts initiatives that reflect contributions from all of California's diverse populations; serving as a thought leader and champion for the arts; and providing effective and relevant programs and services. Members of the California Arts Council include: Chair Donn K. Harris, Vice Chair Nashormeh Lindo, Larry Baza, Phoebe Beasley, Christopher Coppola, Juan Devis, Kathleen Gallegos, Jaime Galli, Louise McGuinness, Steven Oliver, and Rosalind Wyman. Learn more at www.arts.ca.gov.