The Josephy Center for Arts and Culture (JCAC) is a hub of arts and cultural activity, a place of celebration and learning, and home to a treasure trove of Nez Perce and western history. Its central location in downtown Joseph, OR makes it an anchor tenant for the community and a valuable catalyst for Main Street vitality and business development.
JCAC’s programs have something for everyone: Weekly and summer art education for K-12 students, a library that specializes in Nez Perce and local history, art and ceramics classes for all ages, readings, concerts, visual and performing art exhibitions, virtual programs and more. Its iconic log building, with soaring beams and superb acoustics, has become a much-loved gathering place—a HOME—for the whole community.
Programs & Services
Permanent Art Installations
- The Life and Work of Alvin Josephy: as the founding board chair of the Museum of the American Indian and chronicler of the Nimiipuu, Alvin's works brought the Nez Perce and all Plateau Indians to national attention.
- Ancestral Wallowa Lands: about the Joseph or Wal-lum-wat-kin band of Nez Perce, who made their home in the Wallowa for millennia. It includes a map of the Wallowa Country in English and Nez Perce/Cayuse.
- 'etweyé•wise sculpture - The Return: the first Native sculpture displayed publicly in Wallowa County. Created by Doug Hyde, the translation is "I return from a difficult journey." The bronze sculpture is in front of the Josephy Center.
Nez Perce Education
The Wallowa Valley is the traditional home of the walwa ma, or Joseph Band, of the Nez Perce Indians. The Josephy Center is committed to building relationships with Nez Perce artists and elders. We host Nez Perce artists and storytellers who share their tribal art, history, and culture with both residents and out of town visitors to the Center.
The Josephy Center supports budding artists and arts organizations by offering them consulting, promotional opportunities, and fiscal sponsorships. These services are facilitated by the Arts Council, a branch of the Josephy Center. The Center’s gift shop and exhibits sell local artists’ work and our brown bag lunchtime events offer artists a chance to speak to the public about their craft.
JCAC offers a wide variety of affordable, high-quality visual and performing arts education classes and workshops to people of all ages. Classes include printmaking, ceramics, painting, drawing, drama, dance, beading, wood carving, jewelry making, needle felting and much more.
Our extensive public library, donated from the personal collection of historian and American Indian advocate, Alvin Josephy, offers over 2,000 books, journals, manuscripts and artifacts about the American West and Nez Perce Indians. The Library is a branch of the Josephy Center which offers its own unique programs and services.
We offer free classes for low-income youth and adults and provide alternative education classes for at-risk high school students.
The Josephy Center’s prominent location on Main Street draws in thousands of residents and tourists of all backgrounds. Through art and friendly conversation with our team of volunteers, we help visitors get to know the character of this rural area and increase their connection to Wallowa County and the Pacific Northwest.
JCAC offers the public eight art exhibits a year by notable artists from the Northwest and beyond. These exhibits are complimented by related events which are designed to increase their impact by promoting further reflection and ongoing discussion. Events that compliment exhibits include a wide variety of discussions, plays, concerts, lectures on relevant topics, art workshops, etc.
The Josephy Center offers a valuable platform for discussions and the exchange of ideas. Sponsord by the Library, local residents can come to the Center to listen to lectures, learn about local businesses, watch performances, and share insights on a variety of pertinent topics. These free discussions are held twice a month on Tuesdays.
Our variety of youth classes, camps and workshops are designed to enhance thinking, empathy and creative problem-solving. We help engage youth in multiple forms of visual and performing arts.
Concerts, Festivals and Events
Each fall, the Josephy Center hosts an annual Festival of Arts, which attracts thousands of artists and art lovers to the county. In the spring the Josephy Center hosts a week-long Youth Arts Festival where hundreds of pieces of youth art are displayed for the public. We also offer a variety of musical performances in folk, jazz, and classical year-round.