The North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center gives the rural San Juan Ridge community a local place to meet, to share its creativity, and to participate in a wide variety of enriching activities. Located 20 miles north of Nevada City, the Schoolhouse was built by the mining community in 1875, and has a long tradition of serving the community as a school and public meeting hall. 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.
Over the years, the Cultural Center has hosted hundreds of unique cultural events with artists, musicians, and writers from all over the world. The Center also hosts film screenings, community forums, classes, festivals, and the nationally renowned Sierra Storytelling Festival.