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Nevada City Chamber of Commerce Announces Annual Award Recipients

Nevada City Chamber of Commerce Announces Annual Award Recipients

The Nevada City Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the 2020 Awards for outstanding community service. These annual awards honor both organizations and individuals who have made significant contributions to the Nevada City community through their time, actions, talents and dedication. Those selected serve as a role model for compassion and service, and are constantly striving to make the world a better place.

The Nevada County Relief Fund is the recipient of the prestigious Elza Kilroy award for the group’s work in leading the community to raise over $1 million dollars to support local businesses impacted by COVID-19. The Kilroy award, established in 1969, is given annually to a citizen or organization whose efforts help make Nevada City a better community.

The Nevada County Relief Fund was created through a partnership between the County of Nevada, Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Foundation, Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation, the Sierra Business Council, Center for Nonprofit Leadership, and the Economic Resource Council.

The Fund was established in April 2020 with a $100,000 “challenge grant” from the Nevada County Board of Supervisors to mitigate the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis by directing vital resources to our most vulnerable neighbors and support our small businesses.

Nevada County photographer, author, hiking guide, archaeologist, and historian Hank Meals will receive the Dave Irons Lifetime Achievement Award for his efforts in sharing the natural history stories of the Yuba River Watershed and educating the community about our trails. Meals is the author of several books including Yuba Trails 1 & 2, and the River. He has been leading guided hikes and sharing his knowledge of local history with local non-profits for nearly 30 years. Named for long time Chamber board member and community arts leader Dave Irons, this award celebrates the individuals in our community who have dedicated their life to serving the residents of Nevada City.

Other recipients are:

Nevada County Arts Council is being honored with the Dr. Leland and Sally Lewis Visual Arts Award for their work on the What a Relief Artist Relief Fund to support local working artists, along with their leadership with arts in education, establishing Nevada City and Grass Valley a California State Cultural District, and the promotion of the visual, literary and performing arts of Nevada County in order to advance the cultural, social and economic life of our community.

Sierra Poetry Festival is the recipient of the Dr. Leland and Sally Lewis Performing Arts Award. Now in its fifth year the festival is nationally recognized with past keynote speakers including Pulitzer Prize-winner Forrest Gander.

The Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum is being recognized with the annual Stan Halls Architectural Award for an extensive remodel and expansion of the intersection of Sacramento Street and Railroad Avenue, also known as Clamper’s Square. This remodel has brought life back to this unique, but historical location in Nevada City, while also honoring the accomplishments of John and Sarah Kidder. After John Kidder’s death, Sarah became president of Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad (NCNGRR) from 1901 to 1913 and became the first female railroad president in the world. This project was a joint venture between the City of Nevada City and the railroad museum that began in June 2018.

Local musician Peter Wilson is the recipient of the Live Music Award. Wilson has performed extensively as a solo act and with groups such as the Deadbeats and Troubadour Camp. He is a founding member of Paul Emery’s A Thousand Kisses Deep: The Songs of Leonard Cohen and through his production company Strings Concerts, he has worked with the Center for the Arts, Miners Foundry Cultural Center and world-renowned fiddler Alasdair Fraser to bring artists to Nevada County.

The award winners were nominated and selected by the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

The Nevada City Chamber of Commerce would have celebrated the 119th annual Installation and Awards Dinner at the Miners Foundry Cultural Center, but due to COVID-19, the organization will instead post later this month an online video tribute to this year’s awardees.



The Moore Brothers live From The Center

The Moore Brothers live From The Center

The Moore Brothers will be performing live From The Center on Friday, February 12, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. This is a ticketed show and a live streaming event.  While the live experience is best, ticket holders will have 48 hours to enjoy the show. Members of The Center for the Arts get free tickets to the live experience and unlimited access to watch the replay in the new Member Library at, an exciting new member benefit for 2021!

Unlike many bands claiming to be brothers, Greg and Thom Moore actually are siblings, growing up together in Altadena, CA. And although they had both been playing in various projects for years, it wasn’t until 2001 that the two finally established the Moore Brothers. Beginning in the late ’80s, Thom Moore formed several bands, including Colorful Calliope with R&B singer Jon B. Greg released a solo record before joining Thom for the folk-punk band Thumb of the Maid. After its other members departed, Thom and Greg formed Moore Brothers and released their debut, Colossal Small, on Amazing Grease (founded by Pavement’s Scott Kannberg). Their comprehensive discography is available on their website

Watch The Moore Brothers live From the Center on Friday, February 12, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. Be sure to get your tickets early. Advance tickets are $10 for the public and free for members of The Center for the Arts.  Tickets and membership information are available online at and by calling 530-274-8384 or visiting the box office located at 314 W. Main Street in downtown Grass Valley. The box office is open on Wednesdays and Fridays between 12:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.
WHAT:  The Moore Brothers LIVE From The Center
WHEN: Friday, February 12, 2021 | 7:00 p.m. PT
WHERE: 314 W. Main Street Grass Valley, CA
ADMISSION: $10 Public, Free to Members
INFO: | 530-274-8384

Valentine’s Day Recital: A Musical Showcase

Valentine’s Day Recital: A Musical Showcase

InConcert Sierra has a treat in store on Valentine’s Day—open to all. Not a bouquet of roses or a box of chocolates, but a virtual recital featuring seven young musicians, ranging in age from 7 to 15. And while the musicians would relish the chance to perform live, adapting to the pandemic, they have polished and recorded their pieces, hoping their music will warm the hearts of their listeners.

Five of the young musicians will be playing the piano, presenting a couple of elementary pieces for beginners, as well as traditional works by Beethoven and Clementi. And one item of special interest: Baraka Anderson, 14, will play Simone’s Lullaby, a challenging piece with cluster chords and a wistful melody penned by Terry Riley—a local composer of world renown who wrote the lullaby as a tribute to his newborn granddaughter.

Rounding out the program will be two string performances. Noah Wong, talented beyond his tender age of seven, will play his child-sized cello and dive into J.B. Brevel’s Concerto in D, producing a quality of music unexpected from somebody so young. And at the other end of the spectrum, violinist Athena Giuliani, 15, will display her virtuosity in a performance of Tomaso Antonio Vitali’s Chaconne, accompanied by Ken Hardin on piano.

According to Athena’s teacher, Nancy Hill, Athena feels the virtual concerts help with discipline and motivation, but she misses the spontaneity and inspiration generated by a live audience. And yet, Hill notes, the looming of a performance, live or virtual, is a positive force. “There is often that last ten percent of energy and perfection that happens more readily for a concert deadline. Look at it as a carrot on a stick.”

Piano teacher Lynn Schugren, with four of her students in the upcoming concert, also underscores the value of both live and virtual performances, suggesting it takes as long to polish a piece as it does to learn it initially. “When you play it long enough to perform it, you’re letting the music flow through you,” she says. “You’re re-creating.”

By asking her students, “What is this piece saying?” she believes they learn to express themselves; to go into what she calls “the outer zone”.

“It’s a great stimulator of musical growth,” she reflects. “You find more and more layers of music as you play.” So paradoxically, “the music becomes more complex and clearer at the same time. You go through degrees of meticulousness and understanding and freedom. It will set you free to play the music and let it speak.”

InConcert Sierra is pleased to present this virtual student showcase on Valentine’s Day, expressing a love of music, commitment to educate through their “Bach to the Future” Education programs, and the vision of live music on the not-so-far horizon.

For more information, visit or call (530) 273-3990.


WHO: InConcert Sierra “Bach to the Future” Education Programs
WHAT: Virtual Student Recital Showcase
WHEN: 2 p.m., Sunday, February 14
WHERE:  InConcert Sierra YouTube Channel or
MORE INFO:   Call 530-273-3990 or email

Music in the Mountains to Hold Virtual Highlights Concert

Music in the Mountains to Hold Virtual Highlights Concert

With the upcoming 2021 season, Music in the Mountains (MIM) will celebrate its Ruby Anniversary, commemorating 40 years of bringing classical music to Nevada County. The 2021 season will begin with a specially-curated highlights concert and new performances from the Music in the Mountains orchestra players on Friday, February 12th airing online at 7pm.

Music in the Mountains confronted the challenges of 2020 by moving high-quality music performances to online platforms. Meeting the challenge of social distancing with live virtual concerts and interactive educational programming, MIM produced over 250 hours of virtual programming in 2020. By producing music and education using cutting-edge technology, MIM was able to create a wonderful repertoire while keeping the community connected and safe.

The SummerFest Highlights Concert will include brand new performances from Music in the Mountains orchestra musicians, as well as some never before shared archival video from past summer festivals. The concert is free, giving patrons access on a pay-what-they-can basis. Patrons are encouraged to RSVP at in order to be sent a direct link to the concert as well as an electronic copy of the concert program order.

“We invite the public to join us as we relive some of the great moments of our 2020 Virtual Summerfest. This is a wonderful opportunity to hear your favorite pieces again,” said Ryan Murray, MIM’s enthusiastic and innovative Artistic Director & Conductor.  “It’s going to be a fantastic concert, and I look forward to seeing you there.” Music in the Mountains hosted several concerts last year on their Youtube channel, which included pre-concert talks and a friendly live chat during the concerts.

Music in the Mountains has been performing and producing high-quality classical music for Nevada County and surrounding communities for 40 years.  They continue to bring wonderful classical music performances and educational programs through cutting-edge technology and virtual performances.  In 2021, MIM is excited to bring all new musical performances and educational experiences for our local community and for anyone with access to the World Wide Web, and ultimately plans to resume live concerts again in the summer. For more information call 530-265-6124 or email  Always open at



On February 13,  get a glimpse into the art of jewelry-making, the tools and supplies that go into it, and the opportunities available to learn the art. Jewelry Artist Pamela Klein will be at Art Works Gallery to answer questions about current work, custom design, and will also be doing some jewelry making demonstrations, weather permitting.  You may know Pam from Mana Beads, the shop that she owned in Nevada City from 2005 to 2015, through her classes at Mana Beads or ASIF Studio or from her work at Art Works Gallery Co-op where she has been an Artist/Owner since 2018.

The 33 artists at Art Works Gallery have filled the shelves and walls with hundreds of gift choices for your VALENTINE.  Located at 113 Mill Street on the mall in Grass Valley.  Open Wednesday through Monday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  We are taking every precaution to keep us all safe including making SHOPPING ON LINE is available to you, our customers.  The online address is  We will mail your order to you or your Valentine, or you can even call for outside pickup.
WHO:  Pam Klein, Jeweler
WHAT:  Art Works Gallery 2nd Saturday Spotlight
WHERE:  113 Mill Street on the mall in historic downtown Grass Valley, CA
WHEN:  Saturday, February 13, from 1:00 p.m. to 3 p.m.  If weather permits.

Foothill Wine Festival Launched by Greater Folsom Partnership Launches– Competition and Public Event in 2021

Foothill Wine Festival Launched by Greater Folsom Partnership Launches– Competition and Public Event in 2021

The Greater Folsom Partnership, a collaborative effort of local business, tourism and economic development organizations, has announced the creation of an innovative wine competition and festival celebrating the wines of the Sierra Foothill Region of California, one of the state’s outstanding and truly unique wine regions.

This long-awaited effort is designed to share those locally-created wines with wine lovers in the greater Sacramento area. The competition, to be held in Folsom on May 15, will bring celebrated wine experts together to judge entries from Sierra Foothill Wineries. The Foothill Wine Festival will take place on Saturday,

November 20, providing a hyper-local wine experience and introducing consumers to the variety and quality of wines being created from grapes grown in their local foothill region.

All wines produced in the Sierra Foothills are eligible for entry to the competition. Award winners of Gold or Silver medals will be invited to be sampled by the public at the November festival. “We think that the time is right to showcase the amazing Sierra Foothill wines produced right in our backyard,” said Joe Gagliardi, CEO of the Great Folsom Partnership. “We know our regional wineries offer a signature experience marked by passionate winemakers, intimate tasting rooms and spectacular Sierra views. In 2021, we are discovering liquid gold!”

Heading up the wine side of the Foothill Wine Festival is Mike Owen, Founder of Crystal Basin Cellars in El Dorado County’s Apple Hill. Mike has 20+ years of winemaking experience and a keen interest in marketing the region to wine consumers. “Sierra Foothill wines have perhaps the best price-to-value ratio in California, said Mike Owen “There is an incredibly wide range of grape varieties being grown beautifully in the Foothills, and that diversity and innovation is leading to stellar wines across the region. We want to introduce everyone in the Sacramento area to our wines as a viable and tasty alternative to tasting in other regions.”

“It’s been a privilege to witness the steady progress that vineyard owners and winemakers in the Sierra Foothills have made in identifying their core strengths over the past decade,” said Laura Ness, wine columnist and judge. “Events that showcase the varietal abundance of this region can only help to further the appreciation of all this beautiful area has to offer.”

The Sierra Foothill region includes Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Mariposa, Nevada, Placer and Tuolumne Counties. All wines produced from grapes grown in those counties are eligible for entry. Wineries who are not located within the region but source grapes from vineyards located in the Sierra Foothills are also eligible to enter the competition. “Most people don’t draw county lines when they think of the Sierra Foothills,” said wine writer and judge Rick Kushman. “They just know they’re going to find great wines in spectacularly beautiful places. It makes so much sense to judge Foothill wines together and show off the terrific quality and range of the region.” Wineries are invited to enter at

“As experienced event producers, we understand the pent-up demand for fairs and festivals in this market,” said Joe Gagliardi. “We are committed to honoring the public health considerations and creating an event that will benefit the region’s winemakers and wine consumers for years to come.”

About the Greater Folsom PartnershipThe Greater Folsom Partnership is a collaboration of the Folsom Chamber of Commerce, the Folsom Tourism Bureau and the Folsom Economic Development Corporation. Representing approximately 1,000 members, these organizations are the principal advocates for business and a vibrant economy to support the quality of life in Folsom. A website has been established for the Festival at

About Crystal Basin Cellars
Crystal Basin Cellars is celebrating its 20th year as a commercial winery. Their Camino location has been producing wine and happy customers for over 15 years. Crystal Basin recently opened Crystal Basin Station, a cozy tasting room featuring its wines on Historic Sutter Street in Folsom. More details are available at and

Canned Food Drive and Restaurant Raffle February 13 in Nevada City

Canned Food Drive and Restaurant Raffle February 13 in Nevada City

Nevada City Rotary Club is hosting a drive thru canned food drive on behalf of the Nevada County Food Bank on Saturday, February 13 from 1pm – 3pm.  The public is invited to drive by and donate canned food – as many cans or packages of non-perishable food as you can – to support the urgent needs of our community.  Community members will be asked to stay in their cars and drive through the parking lot of Dave’s Auto Repair at 747 Zion St in Nevada City.  Cloth face masks for COVID protection will also be handed out until the supply runs out as people contribute cans of food.   The Rotary team will wear masks and gloves and maintain safe social distancing.
The food drive is part of Nevada City Rotary’s three phase project to support the Food Bank.  In January, the Club funded a pallet of 1,800 cans of vegetables and will be packaging food bags for the Food Bank in March.

Winner Takes all Raffle for $1,200 Restaurant Certificates
In conjunction with the Food Drive, Nevada City Rotary will draw its “Winner Takes All Raffle” for 12 $100 Dinners at top local restaurants – a $1,200 value. After multiple delays since March 2020, we are moving forward to host the drawing for our lucky winner!  Jason Jillson, winning Hungry Games chef from The Ham Stand, will draw the winning raffle at 2:45pm.  The lucky winner will be personally contacted and is not expected to be present to win.

A big thank you to our participating restaurants:
The Ham Stand  ~ Lefty’s Grill  ~  Sopa Thai  ~ Bistro 221 ~ New Moon Café
Three Forks Bakery & Brewing Co. ~ Sergio’s Café ~ Friar Tuck’s
Twelve 28 Kitchen ~ Casa Las Katerinas ~ One11 ~ Tofanelli’s

Raffle tickets sold over the course of the last 12 months are still valid!  Only 100 tickets will be sold.  Raffle tickets are still available and can be obtained at Inner Sanctum, from Nevada City Rotarians or by contacting A small number of tickets will also be available for purchase during the Canned Food Drive.

All proceeds from the raffle will help fund the many Nevada City Rotary youth and community service initiatives. The club sponsors local youth programs such as Girls Who Code, an afterschool program that encourages and trains middle school girls for careers in technology, Rotary youth leadership camps, academic scholarships, and high school music and speech competitions.

Because of the COVID pandemic, the Club again needed to postpone the Hungry Games event until March 2022.  A new additional raffle will be organized in conjunction with the 2022 event at Miners Foundry.  In the meantime, Nevada City Rotary is moving ahead to complete this year’s raffle and partnering to meet the urgent needs of our community!

Nevada City Rotary meets every Thursday via Zoom.  We welcome guests to join us 1st and 3rd Thursdays at 5:30pm and 2nd and 4th Thursdays at 12:15pm.  Visit to learn more about Nevada City Rotary or contact for meeting details and to request Zoom access.

CA Relief Grants: Second Round Opens Feb 2

CA Relief Grants: Second Round Opens Feb 2

Round 2 of the California Small Business Covid-19 Relief Grant Program opens February 2, 2021 at 8:00AM and closes on February 8, 2021 at 6:00PM.

If you did not receive a grant in the first round, there is no need to reapply. Your application will roll over to Round 2.

For questions about the grant application process, your Small Business Development Center – Sierra SBDC is here to help. Fastest way to reach us is at or you can contact Lendistry directly for assistance or review their FAQ page.

Apply Now t

Hot Topics in California Cannabis Agriculture

Hot Topics in California Cannabis Agriculture

Presented by Heather Burke, Attorney

Tuesday, February 16, 12:00-1:00 p.m. — $15 Registration Fee

Noon Time Legal Seminar (via Zoom)

Nevada County Superior Court, Law Library, 201 Church Street, Nevada City

Open to attorneys and the public. To enroll, please call 530-362-5329 or email Please send check for $15, payable to Nevada County Law Library, and send to 201 Church Street, #9, Nevada City, California 95959. Once we receive your check, we will confirm your registration and provide you with the Zoom link. As the Law Library is now alternating monthly seminars with the Nevada County Bar Association, we will no longer offer MCLE credit to attorneys. Only seminars presented by the Bar Association would offer MCLE (

As cannabis quickly becomes normalized in our community, local, state, federal and international approaches to cannabis farming are shifting, often in exciting and dramatic ways. Heather will be presenting on the current laws affecting cannabis farming, such as regional branding and cannabis appellations, the Williamson Act and Right to Farm ordinances, and the importance of the United Nations recent vote to remove cannabis from the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. The presentation will also discuss alternative cultivation methods such as “organic” or “regenerative.” Although many of the legal principles apply to cannabis activity generally, Heather’s presentation will focus on the intersection between cannabis cultivation and traditional agriculture.

About Heather Burke

Heather is a Partner of Origin Group Law LLP in Nevada City, where her practice focuses on legal issues affecting northern California cultivators. She co-founded The OG Law and Collaboration Center in Nevada City, California, a community collaboration center designed to support cannabis farmers throughout northern California.

Graduating from Humboldt State University in 2005, Heather has consistently set new legal precedent in California cannabis law. She was instrumental in the seminal California cannabis case, People v. Jovan Jackson, which established the rule that large-scale collectives and cooperatives may operate lawfully in California. She also co-drafted a proposed initiative for California cannabis legalization in 2016, entitled The California Craft Cannabis Initiative, and drafted the legal pleadings that resulted in a five-day evidentiary hearing regarding cannabis’ Schedule I status in U.S. v. Pickard in the United States District Court, Eastern District of California.

In November of 2018, Heather was featured in MG Retailer’s article, “30 Powerful Cannabis Attorneys You Should Know.” In 2015, she was awarded NORML’s John Mark Flowers Scholar and was named one of Skunk Magazine’s Women of Weed. In 2017, the Nevada County Cannabis Cup named Heather “Attorney of the Year.” In addition to her vibrant law practice in the Sierra Nevada, Heather is a regular speaker and panelist at cannabis conferences throughout California. She pens a popular blog about legal issues affecting cannabis growers.



Choose your Valentine’s special gift from the artwork of 33 local artists.  With 4 Jewelers, Ceramic, Glass and Stone Art, Paintings and Photography, Mosaics and Wood art there are many choices for your Valentine Partner. Open Wednesday through Monday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  We are taking every precaution to keep us all safe including making SHOPPING ON LINE available to you, our customers.  The online address is  We will mail your order to you or you can even call for outside pickup.  Located at 113 Mill Street on the mall in Grass Valley.  (530) 477-1600

League of Women Voters event “Redistricting: What it is and Why it Matters”

League of Women Voters event “Redistricting: What it is and Why it Matters” – February 13

Redistricting, the process of redrawing electoral district boundaries based on new census data, is an invisible but influential force in elections. The League of Women Voters of Western Nevada County will host an online discussion about what redistricting is, how the process is conducted, and how it impacts voters.

Helen Hutchinson, Board member and past President of the League of Women Voters of California, and Nevada County Counsel Kit Elliott will address “Redistricting: What it is and Why it Matters” via Zoom on February 13 from 10 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. The link for the event is, and a replay will be posted on LWVWNC’s YouTube channel the following day.

With the data from the 2020 census expected to be released later this year, California redistricting committees at the state and local level are already beginning to prepare. This online presentation will explain how the redistricting process works and how people can get involved.

For more information, contact Fran Cole at or call (530) 210-3740.

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization encouraging informed and active participation in government. It influences public policy through education and advocacy. Learn more about the League of Women Voters of Western Nevada County at

28 Days of Share The Love 

Share the Love Nevada County

“When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.” – Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist


This February, Grass Valley and Nevada City are encouraging folks to Share the Love over the next 28 days! Here are a few simple ways to show your community and the people in it some love.

A strong and healthy community is created by passionate people with a strong sense of a neighborhood pride who are dedicated to making their little corner of the world the very best it can be.

Like and share with your network or tag us #sharethelovenevadacounty


28 Ways to Share the Love

1. Read a book to a young person in your life.

2. Shop local. Eat local.

3. Give “local love” by supporting local businesses on social media. Leave a positive note or review or share with your friends.

4. Show yourself compassion.

5. Send a physical card to a local nursing home to let folks know that someone is thinking of them.

6. Host a digital community meet up with your neighbors, friends, family or like-minded folks.

7. Support community organizations by either making a donation or volunteering if it’s possible.

8. Pay it forward – buy some groceries for a friend in need.

9. Cook a meal for a neighbor.

10. Send some digital love like a thoughtful text.

11. Have you called someone today to tell them you love them?

12. Pay it forward – buy the person behind you at the coffee shop a coffee.

13. Pick up trash in your neighborhood.

14. Help a neighbor or friend spruce up their yard or home.

15. Send a card to local front line workers thanking them for their work.

16. Ask someone how their day is going and really listen to them when they answer.

17. Donate bedding or food to a local animal shelter or better yet adopt a pet!

18. Plant a tree or flowers.

19. Give blood.

20. Welcome newcomers to the neighborhood with a pie, card or both!

21. Be polite – hold a door open, and use please and thank you.

22. Spread messages of hope and love to neighbors by using chalk art on your sidewalk.

23. Show your co-workers some love by writing an encouraging card or leaving something sweet on their desk.

24. Take flowers to someone as a surprise.

25. Write a thank you note to someone who has helped you recently.

26. Compliments are free, share the love to someone you admire and respect.

27. Donate food to a local shelter.

28. Wear a mask.

Need some more ideas on how to celebrate love in Nevada County? Check out the Outside Inn’s blog here.

BriarPatch launches canned food campaign to help Food Bank

BriarPatch launches canned food campaign to help Food Bank

When BriarPatch Food Co-op’s Marketing Department read that The Food Bank of Nevada County was being forced to scale back food distribution, the team quickly rushed to action.

Beginning Wednesday, Jan. 27, BriarPatch will launch a canned food drive in the store to help feed the 1,000 families in need that The Food Bank serves each month.

“When we learned that The Food Bank was struggling to feed people in our community, we knew that we needed to help. No one should ever have to go hungry, and the grocery and merchandising teams pitched in and it came together fast,” said Rebecca Torpie, Marketing Manager for BriarPatch Food Co-op.

The BriarPatch campaign, “Yes, WE CAN” encourages BriarPatch shoppers to purchase cans of Natural Sea albacore tuna and Amy’s brand soup located in a visible display within the store.  For every can of tuna and soup sold, the Co-op will donate one, as well. Folks can then take it a step further and “double the love” by donating their purchased canned goods into the plastic blue donation barrels located in the front of the store. The campaign ends Feb. 2.

“BriarPatch is in a unique spot of being a community hub where we can help shine a light on the needs of our neighbors. When we can offer an opportunity for all of us to work together to fight food insecurity, we want to show up,” said Torpie.

The Food Bank was forced to scale back their food distribution from weekly to twice a month when a state contract changed affecting the food bank’s allocation from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, according to Executive Director Nicole McNeely.

Some of McNeely’s requests for food have come back empty at a time when more people than ever are in need of assistance due to job losses triggered by the pandemic. Without USDA commodities, The Food Bank is desperately short of protein and canned vegetables.

“It’s really concerning for me because the families we feed, many don’t go to the grocery stores because of COVID. It’s worrisome,” said McNeely.

Since Jan. 2020, The Food Bank has seen a dramatic increase in need – 328 percent increase in the number of households and 282 percent increase in the number of individuals served.  The coronavirus pandemic, California wildfires and PG&E power outages created a perfect storm of joblessness, houselessness and food insecurity in 2020. But McNeely remains hopeful that with community support, families will get through the winter.

Learn more:

Wild & Scenic Film Festival Announces 2021 Award Winners

Wild & Scenic Film Festival Announces 2021 Award Winners

The 19th Annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival has officially come to a close! What an incredibly inspiring 11 days, full of amazing humans celebrating captivating stories and calls to action from around the globe. From the art reception and excursions to the workshops and filmmaker Q&As, this year’s Wild & Scenic was one for the books.

The first ever virtual Wild & Scenic Film Festival featured award-winning films, activist workshops, and special guests such as Earthjustice President Abbie Dillen and artist Steph Littlebird Fogel. The festival presented panels on a variety of topics such as Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, with members of groups like Latino Outdoors and Save the Redwoods League. There were self-guided excursions including a hike virtually led by the Nevada City Nisenan tribe, as well as an art exhibition, EnviroFair, author presentations, and much more that rounded out the immersive event.

“I am incredibly proud of what our team accomplished and hope that festival-goers enjoyed our first-ever virtual festival. I am grateful to everyone who showed up, supported SYRCL and Wild & Scenic, and immersed themselves in the virtual festival experience. It is bittersweet to see the festival come to a close each year, but despite all the challenges 2020 threw our way, our team was determined to bring inspiring films to our community and create opportunities to engage in environmental and social justice issues. We hope not only was the event enjoyed, but each attendee took away a dose of inspiration that will turn into action in 2021,” said Festival Director Jess Swigonski.

Wild & Scenic is excited to share two special sessions featuring 2021 Award Winners. Both sessions are available for online viewing now through the end of the day on January 31st. Additionally we have made most of the Award-Winning films available individually to rent on demand, also available through the 31 st. Learn more and get tickets at WSFF.EVENTIVE.ORG.

2021 Award Winners:

Best of Festival:
The Last Ice

Best in Theme:
The Church Forests of Ethiopia

Spirit of Activism:
Our Mother’s Land

Most Inspiring Adventure Film:

Best Short:

Jury Award:
Public Trust
River’s End

People’s Choice:
River’s End

Student Filmmaker Award
Ellie Stones – The Pangolin Man

John de Graaf
Environmental Filmmaking Award
David Abel – Entangled

Honorable Mention:
Rebuilding Paradise
District 15

Best Children’s Film
Disappearing Penguins

“Guiding You Through Healthcare Directives”

“Guiding You Through Healthcare Directives”

Wednesday, January 27, 1:00 p.m. (PST)
Please preregister by completing the online registration form here: Shortly after we receive your registration you will be sent
a free copy of “Five Wishes”, the document that will be discussed during this informational
Webinar presenters:
Dylan Hendricks, Estate Planning Attorney
Pat Forman, Certified Advance Care Planning Trainer

Hospice of the Foothills is offering a free webinar titled “Guiding You Through Healthcare Directives” on Wednesday, January 27 from 1:00 to 2:00 pm. We invite anyone to participate who could use some guidance about completing a healthcare directive for themselves.

Leading the discussion will be Dylan Hendricks, Estate Planning Attorney who specializes in advance healthcare directives, and Pat Forman, who has 25 years’ experience as well as being a Certified Advance Care Planning Trainer.

Why is it important to have a healthcare directive? If something were to happen to you and you were not able to make your own medical decisions, having your wishes written down allows your family to make decisions on your behalf, confident this is what you would have wanted.

Here is an example.
Mark was an average, healthy 55-year-old man. He brushed off his wife’s repeated suggestions they talk about what they would want should a time come when one of them might not be able to communicate their health care wishes. It was a conversation Mark was uncomfortable having, so he found ways to avoid it. When Mark was 57, a skiing injury left him in a coma. Never having had that important conversation, his wife had the added stress of trying to guess what life-sustaining measures Mark would (or would not) want.
It is not always easy to talk about end of life wishes and healthcare options. The fact we might one day become ill or injured and lose the ability to make our own decisions can be hard to think about, much less discuss. Hospice of the Foothills would like to make this process easier for you.

It is important to have these conversations long before you need decisions made on your behalf. It is a gift to your loved ones to put your wishes in writing, to take away their burden of having to make those decisions for you, not knowing what you would have wanted.

A health care directive will:
 Authorize decision-makers on your behalf should you be unable to make them on your own
 Specify your wishes related to life-sustaining treatment at various stages of illness or impairment (including COVID or dementia)
 Give your family peace of mind knowing exactly what your wishes are

To make it easier for you to have those conversations with your loved ones, Hospice of the Foothills is offering “Guiding You Through Healthcare Directives”. In this one-hour free interactive webinar, you will learn simple ways to create a legal Advance Healthcare Directive using the booklet, “Five Wishes.” Upon registration one will be mailed to you for use in the virtual webinar session.



Partnering with California Arts Council to Serve Communities of Color Locally

As the State-Local Partner with California Arts Council in Nevada County, Nevada County Arts Council has announced the re-granting of $12,600 among six cultural organizations serving communities of color disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

Eliza Tudor, Executive Director, says, “Our application season for Nevada County CARES for the Arts closed in mid-December and we have been thrilled with the caliber of work of our applicants. Each organization showed integrity in serving different communities of color through creativity and the arts, and, as we turn the corner on a New Year, we are pleased to be able to reward their work.”

The Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act recognized that the nonprofit creative sector is a vital part of America’s economy. In response to the COVID-19 public health crisis, the National Endowment for the Arts awarded 40% of its CARES appropriation directly to state and regional arts agencies.  California Arts Council distributed its share of funding to those among its State Local Partners (SLPs) who elected to opt in.

Tudor says, “Naturally, we opted in, calling this opportunity Nevada County CARES for the Arts. Our initiative aligned with both the California Arts Council’s public mission and commitment to racial equity, and Nevada County Arts Council’s own equity principles, which respect and value diverse life experiences and heritages, and ensure that all voices are valued and heard.”

The following organizations are now in receipt of funding from Nevada County CARES for the Arts:

California Heritage: Indigenous Research Project (CHIRP) has received $3,000 to support general operations at a time when capacity building to help re-claim its federal recognition is all-important.

Color Me Human has been awarded $3,000 to support its Intimate Stories from the Shadows series, initially sharing stories from three black women. Tracy Pepper, Director of Color me Human, said: “We’re excited to help raise the voices of Black, Indigenous, people of color in Nevada county and thankful for Nevada County Art's council support of our project.”

Community Asian Theatre of the Sierra (CATS) has similarly received $3,000 in support of its production of Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club, with monies funding expenses related to the show’s postponement from March, 2020 to 2021, including director, designer, and actor stipends, rents for the Nevada Theatre and rehearsal space, completion of the set and costumes, and marketing. Executive Director, Jeannie Woods, says: ”It’s an honor for CATS to be recognized in this way and we are grateful that Nevada County Arts Council supports our vision of multicultural theatre and diversity in the arts.”

Trails & Vistas has been awarded $1,600 to support stipends for artists and presenters as part of its virtual field trip film, The Dreaming Tree. Jean Varda, board president, and Nancy Lopez, Executive Director, issued a joint statement: “We are grateful to Nevada County Arts Council for its decision to invest in Trails &vVistas’ extra curricula virtual field trip film, The Dreaming Tree, through our support of Latinx students in the Truckee Community. An inclusive and diverse group of artists and speakers in the film, including a member of the Native American Washoe Tribe of California and Nevada, as well as other cultural guides, will be featured.”

Neighborhood Center of the Arts in Grass Valley will receive $1,500 to support three developmentally disabled or intellectually challenged adults of color, whose participation has been severely hampered by COVID, and will be used to purchase art supplies and teaching artists to support these students. Amee Madeiros, Executive Director said: “We are honored to receive this grant. With the Center closed due to our Shelter-in-Place mandate, many of our artists continue to create art. However, many are sad and at times unmotivated to create while away from our community here at the center. This grant allows us to support and inspire our artists – creating a spark of new motivation. We look forward to see what they create!”

Additionally, Grass Valley Taiko will receive $500 towards rent to preserve space for classes which support a centuries old Japanese art form, one that originated in China and Korea, and was then later refined in Japan.

As well as its first priority of supporting Nevada County’s creative sector, Nevada County Arts Council has also been providing peer support and mentoring for Sierra County Art Council in the administering of its own grantmaking process.

Says Tudor, “The State-Local Partner network extends the length and breadth of California. This provides leadership in the arts in every corner of the state, and while not all agencies had the capacity to opt-in to California Arts Council’s re-granting initiative, it felt important to support our neighbors. We were thrilled, at the end of the day, that cultural organizations and less formal groups offering support to communities of color were able to benefit from monies from the state both within and beyond county lines. This support has never been felt more deeply – and particularly in our rural underserved communities.”

Learn to write a short play with Patricia Cotter and The Center for the Arts

Learn to write a short play with Patricia Cotter and The Center for the Arts

WHAT:  Playwriting 101: Writing The Short Play
WHEN: Wednesdays from 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. February 10 through March 3, 2021.
WHERE: Online via Zoom
INFO: | 530-274-8384

The Center for the Arts is offering a new virtual class for adults 17 and up. Playwriting 101: Writing The Short Play teaches the specific art of writing a satisfying ten-minute play with the end goal of having students complete a rough first-draft by focusing on the fundamentals of playwriting (character, structure, dialogue, action, and conflict). The four-week Zoom class starts Wednesday, February 10, 2021 at 4:00pm and is taught by critically acclaimed and award-winning playwright, Patricia Cotter.

How do you begin writing a play when you don’t even know where to start? Many writers begin their play and then find themselves losing steam after only a few pages. Usually it’s because they aren’t quite clear regarding what or who they are writing about. The million-dollar question is: “What is your play about?” This workshop will help you discover the themes and the focus of your story in a safe and fun environment. Odds are your idea is in there — somewhere — and this workshop will guide you to discover the words and ways to express it. With lectures and in-class writing exercises, Patricia will guide you through the scary stuff and back to your idea — showing you how to make clean, clear and workable choices. “This workshop is designed to give you an introduction to the tools and the support you need to take the first step in writing your play,” says instructor Patricia Cotter. “You will leave the workshop armed with the information, focus, and confidence you need to continue writing.”

Patricia Cotter holds accolades including; American Academy of Arts Letters, Richard Rodgers Award, Daytime Emmy Award, and a Writers Guild of America Award. She has taught improv at The Groundling Theatre in L.A. and writing at San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theatre MFA Program, The Writing Salon, and at theatres throughout the country. Her play, The Daughters, received its world premiere at San Francisco Playhouse in 2019 and is slated to be presented as part of Pride Plays 2021. The Surrogate was the winner of the 2016 Susan Glaspell Award and a finalist at the 2016 O’Neill National Playwrights Conference. The Break Up Notebook was a GLAAD Award nominee. Musicals (librettist/ adaptations) include Rocket Science: A Musical and The Break- Up Notebook: A Musical (based on her play). She was asked by Disney Theatricals and MTI to write Mulan, Jr. (based on the Disney film Mulan), which is produced and performed nationally. Patricia adapted The Surrogate for Kanbar Entertainment and that film, Beautiful Dreamer, was released in 2020. In addition to writing for the stage, Patricia has written for Audible, Twentieth Century Fox Television, Disney Theatrical, and Comedy Central.

Offered as a part of The Center for the Arts’ arts education programs for adults, Playwriting 101: Writing The Short Play is designed to meet the needs of students with a wide range of writing experience.  Anyone interested in penning a short play is encouraged to sign up for this 4-week class. Classes are held online via Zoom on Wednesdays from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. For more information and to register, please visit

SBA and Treasury Announce PPP Re-Opening and Issue New Guidance

SBA and Treasury Announce PPP Re-Opening and Issue New Guidance

The U.S. Small Business Administration has announced that the Paycheck Protection Program will re-open the week of January 11 for new borrowers and certain existing PPP borrowers.

To promote access to capital, initially, only community financial institutions will be able to make First Draw PPP Loans on Monday, January 11, and Second Draw PPP Loans on Wednesday, January 13. The PPP will open to all participating lenders shortly thereafter. Regardless of your application date, contact your lender now to prepare your necessary documents. Regardless of your application date, contact your lender now to prepare your necessary documents.

This round of the PPP continues to prioritize millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $284 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses through March 31, 2021, and by allowing certain existing PPP borrowers to apply for a Second Draw PPP Loan.

Key PPP updates include:

  • PPP borrowers can set their PPP loan’s covered period to be any length between 8 and 24 weeks to best meet their business needs;
  • PPP loans will cover additional expenses, including operations expenditures, property damage costs, supplier costs, and worker protection expenditures;
  • The Program’s eligibility is expanded to include 501(c)(6)s, housing cooperatives, destination marketing organizations, among other types of organizations;
  • The PPP provides greater flexibility for seasonal employees;
  • Certain existing PPP borrowers can request to modify their First Draw PPP Loan amount; and
  • Certain existing PPP borrowers are now eligible to apply for a Second Draw PPP Loan.

A borrower is generally eligible for a Second Draw PPP Loan if the borrower:

  • Previously received a First Draw PPP Loan and will or has used the full amount only for authorized uses;
  • Has no more than 300 employees; and
  • Can demonstrate at least a 25% reduction in gross receipts between comparable quarters in 2019 and 2020.

The new guidance released includes:

Click here for the application.