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Foundations of Community: The Story of Building a Handcrafted 1970s Sierra Foothills School

posted Oct 6, 2016, 9:37 AM by Kristin Snell   [ updated Oct 6, 2016, 9:51 AM ]

From an event flier

4 pm—Light fare & refreshments * 6:15 pm—Live conversation with original participants followed by Q&A

Canessa Gallery in North Beach * 708 Montgomery Street, San Francisco, CA *

In the 1970s, a small group of artists and craftspeople bid farewell to the city and embarked upon a series of experiments in place and community in the Sierra Nevada foothills.  However, these new settlers were also confronting long-established ways of the San Juan Ridge, a remote region of Nevada County, California, in the Yuba River watershed.  Despite considerably different cultural backgrounds and political persuasions, old-timers and newcomers were able to come together—against great odds—to build a new public school for their children.  Foundations of Community tells this story featuring excerpts from interviews with the construction crew and volunteer craftspeople, the teachers and staff of the school, and the students who attended it.  Drawings and documentation of the design process, original photography, and other artifacts supplement the exhibition.

Produced by the North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center, a non-profit organization in Nevada City, CA *

This project is made possible with support from California Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.  Visit