ARCHIVE – Discover 2017

Woodstock Festival Founder Michael Lang and Center for the Arts Executive Director Julie Baker

Woodstock Festival Founder Michael Lang and Center for the Arts Executive Director Julie Baker


California WorldFest – Award Winning Festival
Music Festival Innovation Winner
Fest Forums – November 21, 2016

“We are thrilled to be recognized by Fest Forums as innovators in the festival market after only three years of ownership of California WorldFest. Honoring Native Peoples, emphasizing conscious living and sustainability practices, providing a safe and friendly environment for families to gather, celebrating global cultures and bringing people together through music is our mission. The staff of the Center works hard to provide a quality and engaging experience for our artists, patrons, volunteers and vendors. It is an honor to be recognized for our efforts.” – Center for the Arts Executive Director, Julie Baker


sm-sheck-3437-500California WorldFest

presented by The Center for the Arts

Since 2000, The Center for the Arts, a non-profit arts organization, has grown into a leading presenter of music, dance, theater, comedy, literary, visual art and family programming managing a 21,000 square foot venue in downtown Grass Valley and presenting over 150 events per year.

Pioneer Curiosity:
California WorldFest Embraces and Challenges in an Unlikely International Arts Haven at the Edge of the Sierra Nevada

Once a summer, in the heart of the Sierra Nevada, near a former gold rush town, there’s a pop-up village that teaches beekeeping and sways to Afropop, where steampunk medicine shows cozy up to Arab Spring arts instigators. Where hiking and farm stands meet Apple researchers practicing street magic.

Drawing on California’s many facets–its wild-eyed dreams, its cultural savvy and technological edge, its down-to-earth rugged legacies–the California WorldFest in Grass Valley, CA shows how a small community can foster a friendly global arts hub within easy striking distance of the Bay Area. “Some people comment that it’s a strange place for a world music festival,” recounts Julie Baker, Executive Director of Grass Valley’s Center for the Arts. “But we’re pioneers and tend to be curious people.”

Held this year on July 13-16, 2017, the festival feeds this curiosity with high-caliber global sounds, both established names (past headliners include Lucinda Williams, Richard Thompson, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Ani DiFranco, Ziggy Marley, Cake, Michael Franti, Los Lobos) and startling discoveries (past artists: Dakhabrakha, Beats Antique, Yemen Blues). This vivid diversity rocks multiple stages (8 stages of music for 3 days and 4 nights, to be exact) and has built a community of diehard fans: WorldFest regulars often buy tickets and reserve campsites at the woodsy Nevada County Fairgrounds site before the festival’s first act is announced.

Yet the festival also creates a space that manages to be exploratory and challenging, as well as welcoming and friendly. “We’ve struck a balance between family-friendly elements and activities, and opportunities for festival-goers to encounter something new, something that shakes their assumptions and makes them think,” Baker says. “We want people to hear something new, to learn something new, and to go away with a deeper understanding and connection to the world.”

global-indigineous-500-sm-sheck-5054Global Indigenous Peoples Village

We have expanded the Native People’s Village to the Global Indigenous Peoples Village to celebrate indigenous peoples, voices, crafts and entertainment and to encourage cultural exchange and awareness through music and dance.

The Global Village has its own stage dedicated to Indigenous People’s music and dance performances and workshops.


Conscious Living

Get involved!  WorldFest brings great ideas, exhibits and workshops with topics including solar building, nutrition, stream ecology, gardening and more.

Family Fun

four-teens-smilingTeen Scene

The Teen Scene is an area of creativity and fun! This section features many activities like ping pong, giant jenga, relaxing tents and painting. It is also right next to the Pine Tree Stage. So come over and expand your creativity alongside your fellow teen festival goers while listening to some awesome music. Sponsored by NEO.

kids-Sheckter-1058The WorldFest Playground

Kids of all ages create their own WorldFest during the fun-filled supervised activities for children of all ages. Come play with us on the meadow, attend workshops for preschoolers through teens, create thematic art projects, hang out with other kids and join the spectacular kids’ parade.

kids-Sheckter-9835California Kids Arts & Crafts

Don’t miss our exciting art activities in the airy Sugar Pine Lodge. Children of all ages are welcome to come and create with us. We have a theme every year that helps get everyone excited and ready for the parade. Everyone leaves with WorldFest art treasures to remind them of the festival all year long!

 Brazilian Inspired Games on the Green

kids-Sheckter-1164The beautiful grass of the green kids’ meadow is full of fun as Bia Navarro Edwards leads the games and activities.

NorCal Curumim’s sole purpose is to bring unity by serving the community with an array of children and adults classes in Brazilian arts. Bia Edwards, NorCal Curumim’s founder, has dedicated her life to educating children in percussion, dance and Brazilian folklore.

Games on the Green will have chill-out area, book tree, folkloric bean bag toss (map of Brazil), rain forest table games, musical experience, mini-soccer, creative recycled toys, moving the skeleton hula hoops, beach ball mania and MORE!

The Games On the Green is right next to the Music Meadow so parents can watch their kids and see the evening music as well.


An array of workshops are available throughout WorldFest including specially designed little one’s yoga, all age kid’s drumming, and the whirlwind of hula hooping.

Children are welcome at any of the music workshops or jam sessions during WorldFest.


The WorldFest Parade is an epic event for children of every age. Fabulous drummers and music makers lead the procession of costumed, decorated and excited revelry, highlighted by the art created at California Kids. The drummer’s jam at the end of the parade features an all ages dance circle of whirling bodies, stilt walkers, teens, jugglers and the young at heart!

World Marketplace

Dozens of vendors from near and far provide world-class dining and shopping opportunities.


crowd-background500Founded by Dan DeWayne and Christine Myers in 1997, WorldFest came under the umbrella of Grass Valley’s arts powerhouse, The Center for the Arts, in 2015.

Since 2000, The Center for the Arts, a non-profit performing arts organization, has grown into a leading presenter of music, dance, theater, comedy, literary, visual art and family programming managing a 21,000 square foot venue in downtown Grass Valley and presenting over 150 events per year. In 2014, The Center purchased California WorldFest from Dan DeWayne and Christine Meyers. Dan and Christine selected The Center to purchase and inherit their over 20 year old festival because as DeWayne says, “Their commitment to the local community, strong board, vast experience in presenting diverse performers, and our shared values of family-first make them the perfect match for continuing WorldFest for years to come.”

Drawing inspiration from the Vancouver Folk Festival, Strawberry Music Festival, MerleFest in North Carolina, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Telluride Bluegrass Festival, and the Newport Folk Festival, the California WorldFest includes eight performance stages, a complete children’s program, a community outreach history and a pledge to present the finest artists and performers from throughout our world.

From Afro/Pop to Bulgarian Harmonies, Latin to Bluegrass, Scottish fiddle tunes to Rock & Roll, Jumpin’ Jazz to Gypsy, Folk to New Acoustic, Mariachi to Russian Folk, Swing Jazz to Gospel, Bollywood to the newest Celtic incarnations, the California WorldFest is the home of our globes finest music and dance.

Photos by Alan Sheckter

Photos by Alan Sheckter

Photos by Alan Sheckter

Photos by Alan Sheckter

Past Performers at the California WorldFest have included:


Aaron Ross
Bear Fox & Kontiwennenhawi
Betsayda Machado
Bumper Jacksons
Calle Placer
Daniel Champagne
Earles Of Newtown
Feather River Singers
Hannah Jane Kile
Joan Soriano
Joe Craven & The Sometimers
Keith Secola
Kimberly Shining Star
La Misa Negra
Leyla Mccalla
Little Thunder
Los Hermanos Arango
Magic Giant
Mariachi Flor De Toloache
Martha Redbone Roots Project
Michael Franti & Spearhead
Nash Tavewa
Nattali Rize
Neena Mcnair Family Singers
Niki J. Crawford
Northern Roots
Off The Grid
One Tribe Movement & Aloka
Peter Yarrow With Bethany & Rufus
Pine Leaf Boys
Ranky Tanky
Raye Zaragoza
Red Circle
Ricardo Lemvo & Makina Loca
Secret Agent 23 Skidoo
Seventh Generation Rise
Southern Ca Mexica Dancers
The Jeffrey James Show
Tommy Emmanuel
Tubby Love & Amber Lily
Villalobos Brothers
Xiuhtezcatl & Isa




Awa Sangho
Banana Slug String Band
Boz Scaggs
Dana Louise & The Glorious Birds
Dead Winter Carpenters
Delhi 2 Dublin
Dirty Revival
Dustin Thomas
Earth Guardians
Élage Diouf
Emel Mathlouthi
Eva Salina
Grass Valley Taiko
Joe Kye
Joy & Madness
Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams
Lee Bob & The Truth
Liz Vice
Los Pinguos
Mariachi Flor De Toloache
My Bubba
Nahko & Medicine for the People
Nano Stern
Peter Mawanga & the Amaravi Movement
Rattlin’ Bones
Rita Hosking
Sahba Motallebi
Salt Petal
Secret Agent 23 Skidoo
Terrance Simien & the Zydeco Experience
The Fearless Kin
The Rayos
The Suitcase Junket
Third World


Achilles Wheel
Beats Antique
Birds Of Chicago
Boca Do Rio
Brett Shady Band
Brian Hartman – Heartbass
Buffy Sainte-Marie
Daniel Champagne
Dengue Fever
Ed Masuga
Honey Of The Heart
Izzi Tooinsky – The Wild Man
Jeffrey Wanzer Dupra
John Trudell & Bad Dog
Joy & Madness
Justin Ancheta Band
Kacey Johansing
Las Cafeteras
Lolo Gervais
London Jax
Lucinda Williams Band
MaMuse – Singing Workshop
Mariee Sioux
Musical Robot
Nadi – Travelers Music
Native Musicians
Nick Fedoroff
Portland Cello Project
Richard Thompson
Rocky Dawuni
Samba Drop
Sean Hayes
Secret Agent 23 Skidoo
The Heifer Belles
The Sam Chase
Todo Mundo
Tuba Skinny
Village Song Ensemble
Wild & Scenic Film Festival
Worldfest Chorus


Achilles Wheel
Antsy Mcclain
Banana Slug String Band
Carlos Nunez
Claire Lynch Band
Clowns Not Bombs Circus
Delhi 2 Dublin
Jaffa Road
Led Kaapana
Los Lonely Boys
Matt Andersen
Mia Dyson
Pacific Curls
Patchy Sanders
Perla Batalla
Professor Merloch Silvermaine
Red Chamber
The Kruger Brothers
The Mondegreens
There Is No Mountain


Alasdair Fraser
Alison Brown Quartet
Badi Assad Band
Banana Slug String Band
Brittni Paiva
Bruce Cockburn
Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers
Daughters & Daddies
Delhi 2 Dublin
Jeffery Broussard & The Creole Cowboys
Leftover Cuties
Martha Redbone Roots Project
Masanga Marimba Ensemble
Pink Martini
Professor Merloch Silvermaine
Rita Hosking & Cousin Jack
The Brothers Comatose
The Novelists
Tibetan Monks Of The Mystical Arts Of Tibet
Vieux Farka Toure
Y La Bamba
Yemen Blues


Amanda Shaw & The Cute Guys
Ani Difranco
Break Of Reality
Brittni Paiva
California Guitar Trio
Delhi 2 Dublin
Earth’s Dinosaur Petting Zoo
Fishtank Ensemble
Fudan University Dance Troupe
Fudan University Glee Club
Jessica Fichot
Joe Craven Trio
Matt Andersen
Meklit Hadero
Mumbo Gumb0
New York Gypsy All Stars
Nigerian Brothers
Professor Merloch Silvermaine
Rosie Burgess Trio
Rupa & The April Fishes
Ruth Moody
The Kruger Brothers
The Railflowers
Tommy Emmanuel



Andrew York
Banana Slug String Band
Brass Mafia
Cafe Musique
David Grisman Bluegrass Experience
Delhi 2 Dublin
Doc Severinsen & San Miguel 5
Good Lovelies
Handful Of Luvin
India.Arie And Idan Raichel
Jake Shimabukuro
Jez Lowe
Khaira Arby & Her Band
Los Llaneros
Nanci Griffith
Plena Libre
Professor Merloch Silvermaine
Rani Arbo & Daisy Mayhem
Rosie Burgess Trio
Salaam Ensemble
Sid Lewis’ Jammin’ 101
Steve Riley & Mamou Playboys
The Greencards
The Railflowers
Troika Folk Dance Band
Village Folk Orkestra
Zili Misik


Banana Slug String Band
Alejo Aponte & Latonera
Chic Gamine
Christine & Rob Bonner
Dobet Gnahor
George Kahumoku
Jeffery Broussard & The Creole Cowboys
Joe Craven
Juan De Marcos & Afro-Cuban All Stars
Katia Moraes & Sambaguru
Keb’ Mo’
Kusun Ensemble
Los Cenzontles
Marc Atkinson Trio
Masanga Marimba Ensemble
Mia Dyson
Parno Graszt
Perla Batalla
Professor Merloch Silvermaine
Raul Midon
Sourdough Slim With Robert Armstrong
Tannahill Weavers
That 1 Guy
Troika Folk Dance Band
Ziggy Marley
Zili Misik


Banana Slug String Band
Del Castillo
Done Gone String Band
Fishtank Ensemble
Gokh-Bi System
Gordy Ohliger
Handful Of Luvin?
Indigo Girls
Issa Bagayogo
Jackie Greene & Tim Bluhm, Skinny Singers
Joe Craven
John Cruz
Ledward Kaapana
Leroy Bell & His Only Friends
Los Lobos
Markus James & The Wassonrai
Old Blind Dogs
On Ensemble
Radim Zenkl & Leo Chern
Sid Lewis’ Jammin’ 101
The Cuban Cowboys
Tommy Emmanuel
Troika Folk Dance Band
Wailing Souls
Wilson Triplets
Yeh Dede


Baka Beyond
Bat Makumba
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
California Guitar Trio
Chic Gamine
David Bromberg With Angel Band
David Lindley
Dobet Gnahore
Done Gone String Band
Emeline Michel
Fishtank Ensemble
George Kahumoku
Handsome Little Devils
Jabali Acrobats
Joe Craven
Khac Chi
Mariee Sioux
Moira Smiley & Voco
Strunz & Farah
Wailin’ Jennys

And MANY more!