Neighborhood Center of the Arts

200 Litton Dr. # 212

Grass Valley, CA 95959

530. 272. 7287

Monday-Friday 9-4

About NCA

Our History

NCA’s roots in Nevada County go back to 1966, when the Community Workshop was founded as a jobs training center for adults with developmental disabilities. A few years after that, in 1973, internationally acclaimed ceramicist Gillian Hodge began an art program at the Community Workshop. Ten years later, 1983, the art program ended due to government cutbacks.

In 1984 Gillian Hodge, along with community and parent supporters, founded the Neighborhood Center of the Arts, a new program to provide arts based training and education. The first location was in a small house in downtown Grass Valley. Over the next ten years NCA moved several times to accommodate the expanding program.

In 1992 the Nevada County Community Workshop/Community Achievement Center merged with Neighborhood Center of the Arts. NCA introduced the Miguel Quesada Program, what is now our 1:4 Community program, to serve a wider group of people with disabilities.

We’ve been at our current location, the Litton Building, since 1995. We’ve been able to take over more space in this facility as our program grows.

We are a 501c3 non-profit corporation. All donations are fully tax deductible.

Our Logo


The late Larry Mills was a client at the original Community Workshop. He was the person who inspired Gillian Hodge to apply for the arts grant, the seed that later became NCA. Larry was a prolific artist, known for flying coffee cups, frying pans and impossibly jointed men.

Larry worked at NCA until his sudden death in 2011. We felt it fitting to honor his memory and base our logo on one of his drawings.



Involvement with a variety of studio arts is the basis of this program, with a potential for art as an avenue for earning income through marketing and sales. We provide studio space, materials and instruction in a wide variety of media. Integration into the general community is achieved through exhibitions, performances and field trips to outside galleries and the studios of working artists.

Studios include Drawing, Painting, Mixed Media, Ceramics, Weaving, Jewelry, Woodworking, Cooking, Computers and Performing Arts.

The Miguel Quesada Community Program:

This community oriented program is taught on day trips to various locations through out the surrounding area as well as on site. It is the philosophy of this program that each client is a unique individual who is a worthy and contributing member of the community in which he or she lives. It is our intent to provide a program day that is meaningful and reflects a pattern of daily living activities similar to those of non-disabled adults.  Classes go out into the community to shop, volunteer, and practice general living skills and self-advocacy.



Exhibitions of selected artwork are regularly held in both our on-site gallery and in venues throughout the local community. In addition to this exposure, various NCA artists have had their work displayed in shows throughout the United States and Europe.

Artists receive a percentage from the sale of their work.


Clients are encourage to work in our on-site garden and green house alongside the staff. Our Garden Business class maintains the garden, shops for necessary supplies and determines what garden based products they can sell to the public.


We encourage clients from NCA to participate in activities outside of program.

  • We have raised money for the American Cancer Society through for Relay for Life
  • Partnered with FREED to make our voices heard in Sacramento
  • Assist Nevada County Association for the Developmentally Disabled  (NCADD) to raise funds working at the Nevada County Fair