Stuart Baker Named Executive Director of Nevada City Chamber of Commerce

Stuart Baker Named Executive Director of Nevada City Chamber of Commerce

After a competitive three month search the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the hire of new Executive Director Stuart Baker.

“The Chamber Board of Directors are delighted to welcome Stuart. He comes to the Chamber with a wealth of experience working in marketing, business development and with city and county agencies,” said Gretchen Bond, Board President. “He will bring fresh, new energy to all of Nevada City and we have every confidence that he will be able to honor our history while leading us into the future.”

Baker has resided off and on in Nevada City since 1997 when he first discovered the town while attending California College of Ayurveda. For four and a half years he served as the Executive Director of the Telegraph Business Improvement District (TBID) in Berkeley, CA, while also serving on the Board of Directors of the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce. As Executive Director, Baker led a staff of twelve, worked with over 150 merchants and nearly 200 property owners when undertaking initiatives to improve area infrastructure and district aesthetics, developed partnerships with the Berkeley YMCA and University of California at Berkeley, and worked with the City’s Planning and Zoning Commissions, developers and student activists to promote the construction of housing projects within blocks of the campus.

Another exciting initiative Baker spearheaded was working with the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism to create a smartphone-enabled walking tour app that documents and shares the rich history of Telegraph Avenue. The app is so popular it is now part of the University’s orientation materials to all new students.

When Baker left TBID in 2019, he was honored by the Berkeley City Council with a proclamation recognizing the work he had accomplished during his tenure.

“I am excited to be part of the post-COVID renaissance in Nevada City. We are welcoming back folks with a full slate of events–and the many other enjoyments in town. The Chamber is also focusing on new ways to strengthen and support our business community–both in Downtown and Seven Hills,” said Baker.

Prior to Baker’s work at the Berkeley TBID, he served as Vice President of Business Development for EdenredUSA, one of the largest providers of transportation-related benefits in the US, while also working with the non-profit Fund for the Environment and Urban Life (FEUL) a foundation focused on improving the built environment with projects such as transit-oriented development, San Francisco parklets, and more.

“While the pandemic has been crushing for merchants, I believe we are on the cusp of a combination of positive events,” said Baker. “As many travelers will initially be inclined to avoid unnecessary air travel, there will be a great opportunity to entice Northern Californians to pay us a visit. While locals love to visit on Summer Nights and Victorian Christmas, the post-pandemic period will be ideal to engage locals to rediscover the historical district and create new routines. The unique appeal of the historical core of Nevada City is that it is not just a visitor destination, it is a place of business as well. Working to make doing business here easy will keep the district diverse and interesting.”

The first major projects Baker will focus on include increasing and sustaining new revenue streams for the Chamber, building a support network to help business comply with myriad regulations, overseeing the production of popular events such as Summer Nights and Victorian Christmas, and the development of a new strategic plan.

NEVADA COUNTY ARTIST RELIEF FUND OPENS FOR APPLICATIONS

NEVADA COUNTY ARTIST RELIEF FUND OPENS FOR APPLICATIONS

As 2020 draws to a close Nevada County Arts Council is inviting professional artists whose livelihoods have been impacted by the COVID-19 public health crisis, to apply for relief funding.

Eliza Tudor, Executive Director at the Council, says: “We are grateful that, with the support of our coalition of local arts organizations, we have now reached a critical sum from which to launch the application phase of the Nevada County Artist Relief Fund, and we invite artists in all disciplines to apply for a micro-grant.”

Nevada County Artist Relief fund will disperse $500 per successful applicant, with artists meeting criteria in order to apply. They must reside in Nevada County, be over 21 years of age, work professionally or vocationally in the arts, and have experienced a loss of income due to COVID-19, whether by cancelled performances, exhibitions, programs, classes, or organizational closures, or loss of non-arts supplemental income or jobs.

Tudor says: “Priority will be given to artists whose livelihoods are dependent on a fractured local creative sector.”

Jesse Locks, who serves Nevada County Arts Council’s board of directors, says: “We are grateful to the many contributors to our fund, as well as to those artists who supported the summer festival which launched our fund, ‘WHAT A RELIEF!’ As we turn the corner on a year of loss and devastation, we know our journey to recovery will be a long and winding road. But it’s in sight, and Nevada County Artist Relief Fund is one of several initiatives aimed at supporting our creative economy.”

In addition to its Artist Relief Fund, Nevada County Arts Council is simultaneously running two other initiatives, both connected with its work in support of Nevada County’s two California Cultural Districts during the pandemic. Shopping with Artists is a local, online shopping experience designed for a holiday season like none other, at the same time as supporting local professional artists. Artists in Storefronts is a revitalization project bringing to life six otherwise vacant storefronts with the work of eleven artists.

Says Tudor: “The resounding message these inspiring installations share is, ‘Grass Valley-Nevada City Cultural District is alive and well – our downtown spaces are beautiful, innovative and industrious.’”

The coronavirus has had a devastating impact on America’s arts sector. According to the latest estimates from Americans for the Arts, the total economic impact to date of COVID-19 on the creative economy nationwide is $14.6 billion, with 96% of arts organizations reporting canceled events, 62,359 reporting staff lay-offs, with a further 49,559 in furloughs. Yet 89% of the same organizations have been delivering artistic content in order to raise community spirits and morale during the pandemic, and a third volunteering their time to coronavirus mitigation efforts.

Tudor says the Nevada County creative sector is reflective of the national picture, with struggling arts organizations “continuing to operate, despite unbelievable pressures, for the benefit of our community during dark times.”

“It speaks reams that our longest standing arts organizations – themselves battling to survive and thrive – are so supportive of our artists,” says Jon Blinder, Board President at Nevada County Arts Council. “It points to the healthy respect of one part of our sector for another, and the knowledge we all share that the arts have a critical role to play in driving our economy beyond COVID-19. What’s good for the arts is good for us all!”

Artists who wish to apply for micro-grants can do so by visiting Nevada County Arts Council’s Artist Relief Fund page at https://www.nevadacountyarts.org/artist-relief-fund where guidelines and eligibility criteria are outlined, and where a link to apply can be found. The deadline to apply is Friday, January 15, and the fund will support up to thirty micro-grants for its first round.

New Book: Over the Henness Pass

New Book: Over the Henness Pass

A 19th century version of the 20th century’s Route 66, the legendary Henness Pass Road moved people, goods and gold between California and Nevada. Now you can enjoy the excitement and experience the challenges of the pioneers by driving your 4-wheel vehicle along the partly unpaved actual wagon route. The field guide takes you to most of the early stage and hotel stops, from Bridgeport, California to Virginia City, Nevada. Along the way, you can learn about the road and bridge builders and robber barons who built the road and many of the other transportation facilities that enabled the Gold and Silver Rushes of the 1850s and 60s. They sped up the opening of the West and helped develop modern day California and Nevada.

Written by Chuck Scimeca, a retired California state park ranger, the ebook contains over a hundred maps and images as well as mileages and GPS coordinates to more than 25 of the original hotel and stage stops.

Available from Apple Books at an irresistible price: free! Click here to go directly to the book on Apple Books.

Or you can download a free pdf by clicking here.

Tickets for the 2021 Wild & Scenic Film Festival are ON SALE NOW!

Tickets for the 2021 Wild & Scenic Film Festival are ON SALE NOW!

Join Wild & Scenic Film Festival this January 14-24, 2021 for more than 100 environmental and adventure films, including 13 world premieres! This year the festival is taking place as an entirely virtual experience over the course of eleven days and will feature activist workshops, an art exhibition, youth programs, as well as opportunities to interact with filmmakers and special guests.

Wild & Scenic Film Festival is bringing our films to you this year, where you can watch curated sessions of shorts and features on your favorite devices from the comfort and safety of your own home. Through our virtual platform, you will be able to purchase tickets and passes that suit your budget and schedule then decide which film sessions you’d like to experience.

Each year, Wild & Scenic unites top filmmakers, activists, and social innovators to inspire environmental awareness and action through film and art. This year’s program combines superb filmmaking, breathtaking cinematography, and second to none storytelling to inform, inspire, and help actualize change. With the event going 100% virtual, this is a great year to give your friends and family the opportunity to experience the magic of Wild & Scenic. Passes and tickets can be purchased as gifts so we hope you will consider giving the present of inspiration this year!

We are ecstatic to share our 2021 Official Selections with you! Click here to explore the full list of films.

In exploring this year’s theme of Resilient by Nature, festival-goers can expect to see award-winning films about nature, community activism, adventure, conservation, water, energy and climate change, wildlife, environmental justice, agriculture, and more.

Throughout the programming, you will see the theme reflected and be reminded that, as individuals and communities, we are inherently resilient, drawing on our strengths, talents, and lived experiences to innovate and inspire positive change for a better world. The theme also offers a lens to help us look to nature as a model for resiliency and seek to create solutions to environmental challenges through nature-inspired designs and strategies.

There are so many wonderful films this year it’s hard to choose which to highlight, but below are a few favorites.  Stay tuned for other film highlights and synopses along with trailers, filmmaker interviews & more in the forthcoming newsletters throughout December and January.


In Pedal Through, you are invited into the world of director-lead Analise Cleopatra as she discovers the healing and joy of mountain biking. Analise had never camped or ridden a bike off the pavement when she decided to plan a week-long mountain biking adventure with an all-black female team. Together, they traverse the backcountry on an adventure full of exploration, curiosity, waterfalls, old-growth forest, sparkling starscapes, and deep healing.

Resilience Is In Our Nature is a snapshot of the Portland, Oregon community during the COVID-19 pandemic and Black Lives Matter uprising, Resilience Is In Our Nature captures resilience that can be found within us and around us. Whether it’s putting a mask on and enjoying outside, learning how to thrive and grow in quarantine, maintaining balance physically and mentally in nature, or a small business adapting and staying afloat – this film centers the fabric of what makes Oregon’s neighborhoods, cities, and state a special place to live.

The Woman Who Loves Giraffes – In 1956, four years before Jane Goodall ventured into the world of chimpanzees and seven years before Dian Fossey left to work with mountain gorillas, 23-year-old biologist Anne Innis Dagg made an unprecedented solo journey to South Africa to study giraffes in the wild. In The Woman Who Loves Giraffes, Anne (now 86) retraces her steps and with letters and stunning, original 16mm film footage offers an intimate window into her life as a young woman, juxtaposed with a first-hand look at the devastating reality that giraffes are facing today.

Tickets for the 2021 Wild & Scenic Film Festival are ON SALE NOW!

Hosted and produced by South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL), our flagship festival is the largest fundraising event of the year for SYRCL, helping to sustain integral programs such as River Water Monitoring and River Ambassadors. ​If you are a SYRCL member please keep your eyes out for another separate email with a special member-only discount code! Not a member? Click here to learn about the huge impact our members make in the Yuba River watershed and buy your membership to receive your pass discount.

 

Nevada City Winery’s Art Gallery – Now through January 3

Crossings & Thresholds

New works by Jennifer Rain Crosby

Nevada City Winery’s Art Gallery – November 19–January 3

This show entices us to explore places of solitude and wonder, while traveling deeper into our imaginations. Jennifer’s work is a visual journey, taking us to familiar soothing terrines or miraculous secret enclaves of reflection. “Crossings and Thresholds” asks us to enter or return to places that make us curious and perhaps, we long for.

Jennifer talks about “Crossings & Thresholds”.

Crossings

There is a saying in the I Ching, “it furthers one to cross the great water”. It means, to not only complete the old, but to take final leave of it and address the new.

These oil paintings with gold or silver leaf were my meditation practice. I saw myself in a small one-person boat crossing a sea of possibility…

After Covid-19 swept the world I saw that we were all in our own little one-person boats on the Sea of Possibility. Perhaps these paintings can bring others hope as they have for me.

Thresholds

A few weeks into the Covid-19 lockdown I began experimenting with mixed media in my oil paintings and developed these mirror paintings. They were labor intensive, with many steps in the process, but with a delightful end result. It was fun to make art where the viewer could be an active part of it! The mirror paintings have a magical child-like quality to them. Whether the mirror was an eye, a moon, or a doorway between trees, they all felt like thresholds to me. I hope that they bring unexpected joy and wonder to viewers.

Paintings are primarily on wood panels using handcrafted oil paints. Some of Jennifer’s works are mixed media, combining mirror, mortar, paper, gold and silver leaf with oil paints for a surprising twist.

Jennifer explains… “One year ago, I decided to stop using commercial oil paints and committed to making my own with natural ingredients. My paints are made with natural pigment, walnut oil, cold wax and mineral spirits, works feature beautiful local landscapes, both real and imagined. “

To find out more about Jennifer and “Crossings & Thresholds” visit: https://www.ncwinery.com/artgallery

jenniferraincrosby.com or @jenniferraincrosby on Instagram

About Nevada City Winery

Nevada City Winery offers a diverse selection of wines that can be enjoyed in a tasting, by the glass, and by the bottle. Guests are welcome to join us in our Tasting Room in Downtown Nevada City. Our gift shop has a wonderful selection of wine-gifts and accessories, cheeses, and other treats to enjoy during your visit. Our barrel room and production facilities are on the premises and located directly below the tasting room, enabling us to share crush related activities. Our gallery hosts a different local artist each month and is open to the public free of charge. Learn more on our website www.NCWinery.com.

 

NEVADA COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS FOUNDATION MAKES $100,000 DONATION TO FAIRGROUNDS

NEVADA COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS FOUNDATION MAKES $100,000 DONATION TO FAIRGROUNDS

The Nevada County Fairgrounds Foundation made a generous donation of $100,000 to the Nevada County Fairgrounds and will begin a membership drive for 2021 to continue raising much-needed funds for the Nevada County Fairgrounds.

The donation comes during a year when COVID-19 restrictions on events and gatherings have financially devastated the Nevada County Fairgrounds. With the cancellation of the annual Fair, the Draft Horse Classic, Country Christmas Faire, music festivals and more than a hundred events on the grounds, revenue at the Fairgrounds has been severely impacted.

“The Foundation plays a critical role in supporting the Fairgrounds, especially during this time of financial crisis,” said Patrick Eidman, CEO of the Nevada County Fairgrounds. “We are extremely thankful to the Foundation for their support and advocacy efforts on behalf of the Fairgrounds. We are very fortunate to have a partner in the Foundation that was ready and willing to step up – in a big way – during a time of great need.”

The Nevada County Fairgrounds Foundation was established in 2005 to fulfill the mission of “building a better Nevada County Fairgrounds through fundraising and contributions to the Fairgrounds.” Its mission is supported by individual memberships, the annual Cioppino Feed, beer sales from the Foundation Station during Fair, the pouring of cocktails at the Draft Horse Classic and County Christmas Faire, charitable donations, and the recent Fairgrounds BBQ Drive Thru Event. Additionally, there have been several fundraising events in support of the Foundation and the Fairgrounds, including a fundraising events hosted by West Coast Equine Sports Therapy, Emily Catering’s Cookie for a Cause, Three Lilies Photography, and Nevada Union FFA’s BBQ event.

“We are pleased to be able to support our community Fairgrounds in such a significant way,” said Robin Hauck, President of the Fairgrounds Foundation. “The donation represents many hundreds of hours of volunteer labor by the Board and member volunteers, all of whom work tirelessly on behalf of the Fairgrounds. We are also extremely thankful to the community and individuals for their donations and fundraising efforts, and their generosity, kindness and creativity to raise funds to preserve one of Nevada County’s most treasured assets.”

“Given that this substantial donation has almost depleted the Fairgrounds Foundation’s reserves, we are now asking the community to support the Fairgrounds and the Fairgrounds Foundation by helping reach the goal of 1,000 memberships in 2021,” said Eidman. “Please consider becoming a member today. Every new membership is an investment in ensuring the survival and viability of the Fairgrounds for future generations.

To become a member of the Nevada County Fairgrounds Foundation or to make a donation, visit NevadaCountyFair.com/Foundation.

Ring in the New Year with The Center for the Arts & The Gold Souls

Ring in the New Year with The Center for the Arts & The Gold Souls

WHO: The Gold Souls
WHAT:  A Funktastic New Years Eve From The Center
WHEN: Thursday, December 31, 2020 | 7:00pm
WHERE: Online Broadcast
WEBSITE:   https://thecenterforthearts.org/event/funktastic-new-years-eve/
ADMISSION: Free Public Broadcast, Donations Welcome
INFO: thecenterforthearts.org | 530-274-8384

The Gold Souls are bringing the driving grooves of funk, the rich textures of soul, and the compelling storytelling of the blues to you, at home, with a special New Year’s Eve broadcast From The Center. Visit thecenterforthearts.org to RSVP for free.  Tune in on Thursday, December 31, 2020, at 7:00 p.m. Pacific time, or watch the replay whenever you’re ready to bring a little funk to your New Year.

This show was pre-recorded before the current stay-at-home order went into effect, and it will be the last free broadcast in the From The Center series.  The series began in June when The Center leaped into the world of livestreaming to provide gigs for artists and crews, and musical experiences for fans and members at a time when live audiences were not possible. While it is still unknown when audiences will be able to return to the auditorium, The Center continues to develop more ways for us to stay connected through the arts. Starting in 2021, From The Center shows will be ticketed. The Center for the Arts encourages you to become a member for free or discounted access to future livestreams and replays.

The Gold Souls burst on the Sacramento music scene in early 2017 and are swiftly becoming one of the most promising new talents in the area. Led by the dynamic Juniper Waller, the group is made up of young talent hailing from the Bay and Sacramento areas. With Darius Upshaw on guitar, Alex Severson on the keys, Billy D. Thompson on the drums, and Jace Dorn on bass, each member has a hand in writing and song composition, making The Gold Souls a truly collaborative effort.

They released their self-titled five song EP in May of 2017 and toured down the California coast soon after in support of the fresh blues, soul-funk EP. Their next single, “Nobody,” was released in late 2017 and was featured on Apple Music Blues’ Hot Tracks list. They released their full length album, “Good to Feel,” in June of 2018, an album that stuck to their core oath to never sacrifice the groove. Their next single, “True Blue,” was produced/engineered by multi-Grammy winner Timothy Bloom (Smokey Robinson) and was released in February of 2019. This past April, the band went on tour through Southern California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and New Orleans. Their latest single, “Strongman,” was released this past summer (2019), a single that promotes a story of female-empowerment through rich soul textures and a vintage-inspired sound. The release was accompanied by a visually stunning lyric video in October of this year. After their debut at the Joshua Tree Music Festival, The Gold Souls wrapped 2019 with a NYE show with their fans at The Palm Playhouse.

This New Year’s Eve, you can join The Gold Souls and The Center for the Arts for a Funktastic New Year’s Eve.  This is a free public broadcast that will stream on YouTube and Facebook on Thursday, December 31, 2020 at 7:00pm Pacific time. Donations are appreciated to help compensate the artists and the crews working hard behind the scenes to bring art and music into your home during this challenging time. Visit thecenterforthearts.org to RSVP and for more information.


Since 2000, The Center for the Arts, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organization, has grown into a leading presenter of music, dance, theater, comedy, literary and visual art, and family programming offering more than 150 events per year from its location in downtown Grass Valley. The Center recently completed a major renovation of its multiuse 21,000-square-foot facility in downtown Grass Valley, making it a premier performing arts destination. The venue includes the main stage, which accommodates up to 492 guests in configurable theater seats and up to 700 patrons for dance shows, and a 90-seat studio theater.

FOREST⇌FIRE LAUNCHES ONLINE CAMPAIGN

FOREST⇌FIRE LAUNCHES ONLINE CAMPAIGN

FOREST⇌FIRE: Nevada County Arts Council is announcing the launch of an online campaign to match state and local funds, in contributing to the movement to save our forests and watersheds.

Nevada County Arts Council’s groundbreaking project, FOREST⇌FIRE is a multi-partner project to raise awareness for the forests we live in and the connection between their little heard history, their current management and health, and the health of our watersheds and air.

Michelle Amador, Nevada County Arts Council’s Fund Development Chair, says, “Every dollar given via our GoFundMe campaign for FOREST⇌FIRE, will be matched with funds leveraged via state and local sources. The problems this project addresses have urgency for us all, and every cent contributed brings us closer to broad community awareness and real solutions.”`

The Council is working with local creatives, Michael and Heather Llewellyn, of Llewellyn Studio, who introduced UC Berkely’s Sagehen Creek Field Station as a leading partner for FOREST⇌FIRE. Sagehen has a long history of collaborating with artists, and hosts an artist-in-residency program in partnership with the Nevada Museum of Art – Center for Art + Environment.

Jeff Brown, Co-Director for Arts at Sagehen Creek Field Station, says: “Our world has changed, the climate has shifted, humans place on this planet continues to blur, our forests are in peril. FOREST⇌FIRE provides us an opportunity to take pause, see how our forests were managed in the past, how they are now, and provides us an opportunity to imagine them as they could be. I believe that once we can see the future, we can then make the changes needed to shift to a more “eco-resilient” path, one that benefits us all.”

FOREST⇌FIRE addresses the fact that much of California is faced with the threat of catastrophic fire. This year four million acres have burned in California, the most in recorded history, while choking smoke has at times blotted out the sun, and scientists warning that if predictions hold, this year may soon seem mild by future comparisons. Together with its partners the Council is leveraging an unparalleled opportunity to create a shift in cultural perceptions of forest management.

Eliza Tudor, Executive Director at Nevada County Arts Council, says: “FOREST⇌FIRE shatters common misperceptions that art exists only in service to itself. Rather, it places art in service to fundamentally important issues of forest resiliency, the health of our land, water and air – and the impact of these on our watersheds and open spaces.”

Stacy Caldwell, CEO and President at Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation, says: “As partners we view FOREST⇌FIRE as a public will campaign through which the public can be better educated in authentic, real solutions bound to regional needs – solutions that can then be shared with other regions facing similar threats.”

Llewellyn says: “FOREST⇌FIRE invites science-based solutions to catastrophic fire and an economically sustainable, hopeful future. It exposes the public to the 13,000-year history of our forest ecology, its relationship to fire, and the human role within that relationship. Our goal is to create a common understanding of our fire-adapted, forest ecology and a shared vision for the future of our forests.”

Heather Llewellyn speaks of the vulnerability of our forests and watersheds to fire, and of the exhibition itself: “Over the course of four months, Truckee Recreation Center’s public art wing will immerse visitors in the living evolution of their forest’s ecology.  In wandering through the art and story of the FOREST⇌FIRE exhibition, they will be able to imagine the old-growth forest as it was created and cared for by the Washoe Tribe and their ancestors, understand the volatile and vulnerable forest of modern times, and be inspired by a vision for a vibrant, future forest and the role they can play in making it so.”

Finally, FOREST⇌FIRE shares a vision for future forests where we all, once again, understand and support a resilient ecology that safeguards California’s precious watersheds and provides many other benefits, especially in the face of climate change.”

FOREST⇌FIRE’s exhibition will include Spanish and Washoe translations which Nevada County Arts Council believes is particularly important as we look at our forests and watersheds through the lens of history and its peoples. It is both a sign of respect and acknowledgement of all that it means to carry two of the state’s coveted California Cultural District designations.

Nevada County Arts Council and its partners, UC Berkeley’s Sagehen Creek Field Station and Truckee Donner Recreation & Park District, are grateful to the California Arts Council, for its generous support through a Creative California Communities grant. This is matched with support from California Humanities, Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation, the Queens of Hearts Fund, The Nature Fund and Tahoe Truckee Airport District. Excellence in Education Foundation is also funding an exciting partnership with Tahoe Truckee Tahoe Unified School District through Sierra Watershed Education Partnerships in partnership with the Council.

Community partners supporting FOREST⇌FIRE are the Truckee Public Art Commission and Truckee Arts Alliance. Says Eliza Tudor: “Nevada County Arts Council is now hard at work to raise additional matching funds to complete this wholly exciting initiative. We are on the last stretch – and the last stretch is the most critical.” More information on FOREST⇌FIRE can be found at nevadacountyarts.org/forestfire.

You can donate to FOREST⇌FIRE‘s online campaign using this link: https://charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/forestfire.

 

41st EcoFarm Conference goes virtual in partnership with Sierra Harvest

EcoFarm Conference –Live, Online!

Register now for the 41st annual EcoFarm Conference, January 20 – 23, 2021

41st EcoFarm Conference goes virtual in partnership with Sierra Harvest. Calling all farmers, ranchers, home gardeners and foodies! Sierra Harvest is collaborating with EcoFarm for the 41st annual event online from January 20-23, 2021. The move to a virtual format opens up this inspirational conference to a wider audience, with even more amazing speakers and a lower price tag.

A few of this year’s visionary keynote speakers include: Rupa Marya, M.D. , John Kempf, and Reginaldo (Regi) Haslett Marroquin. Focusing on everything from ecology and climate change to regenerative strategies for soil health to sustainable poultry systems, even the most seasoned grower will find something new to learn in this year’s conference.

In addition to these world-class keynotes, the conference will be offering 50+ workshops, networking opportunities, and a virtual vendor expo.

To learn more about EcoFarm Conference and to register, visit www.eco-farm.org/conference

2020 Holiday Gift Guide

This holiday season the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce is encouraging the community to “Put Your Money Where Your Heart Is” and shop and eat local.

Now more than ever, it’s important to support local small businesses.  They make up the fabric of our community by providing jobs, investment in local charities, and bring life and vitality to our downtowns.

This year we’ve created our 2020 Holiday Guide to dozens of local shops and Victorian Christmas and Summer Nights vendors selling thousands of handmade and unique goods and wares. Many shops this year are offering online, to-go, and curbside pickup options! Don’t Forget Gift Cards! Everyone loves a Gift Card!

Click here for the 2020 Gift Guide!

Victorian Christmas 2020

A HOMETOWN VICTORIAN HOLIDAY

nevada city at night

(Updated December 11, 2020)

On December 9, the State announced that Nevada County, along with neighboring counties in the Greater Sacramento region, would be moving into the State’s Regional Stay at Home Order beginning Friday, December 11th. The order will remain in effect for a minimum of three weeks. This means that retail shops are open with 20% capacity and restaurants are only able to offer take-out. Masks are also now required to be worn in downtown Nevada City. 

Recently Nevada City’s annual holiday market Victorian Christmas was nationally recognized by popular travel website Trips to Discover as the “Most Festive Christmas Town in California” and Conde Nast Traveler magazine also named the event one of the “Best European-Style Christmas Markets in the United States”.

Praised for the event’s “warm and welcoming” and “festive” ambiance, the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce’s annual Victorian Christmas has been reimagined due to COVID-19 as a hometown Victorian holiday with an emphasis on showcasing Nevada City’s charming retail shops and restaurants, along with the town’s beautiful and festively decorated streets, homes, and buildings. There are no street closures or vendors, but Father Christmas will make his annual appearance on Sunday afternoons.

For those wishing to do curbside pickup from their favorite local small business, ten-minute parking spots will be designated for quick pick-ups and drop offs. For those who’d prefer to do their shopping online, participating merchants will offer an online tour of their shop via their website and social media, where you can then either purchase goods from their online store or call the shop directly.

The Chamber has created a Gift Guide which showcases local small businesses and merchants https://www.nevadacitychamber.com/holiday-gift-guide/

Visitors can take a self-guided tour of the various local Nevada City locations that served as the backdrop to the internationally popular Hallmark movie The Christmas Card, with comments by the film’s writer Joany Kane, and producer Lincoln Lageson.

Here is map of where to find the best christmas lights in Nevada County.

The Nevada City Chamber of Commerce understands that this year has asked more of us than we could have ever imagined. Our hope is that this low-key but equally warm, welcoming and joyous hometown holiday celebration will retain the historic charm and holiday spirit that brings so much joy to our community.

 

Nevada County Arts Council Launches Shopping with Artists

Nevada County Arts Council has launched Shopping with Artists – a local, online shopping experience. It also supports local professional artists during challenging times, as we navigate a global pandemic with devastating impacts on our local creative economy. Find the work of dozens of artists or if you are an artist submit your work to be included in the shop. https://www.nevadacountyarts.org/shopping-with-artists

If you are an artist wishing to be featured, please visit our Call to Artists page HERE, and follow the instructions on how to join our Shopping with Artists Initiative.

ART WORKS GALLERY ARTISTS AND PATRONS DONATE $1700 TO THE NEVADA COUNTY FOOD BANK 

ART WORKS GALLERY ARTISTS AND PATRONS DONATE $1700 TO THE NEVADA COUNTY FOOD BANK

Each year for the past 10 years Art Works Gallery artists have donated their beautiful pieces of art to raise money for The Food Bank of Nevada County.  For each $1 donated to the Food Bank in the gallery, donors receive a ticket to enter the drawing for the art of their choice.  In past years the drawings would take place at the annual Holiday Party amidst a gallery filled with excited donors hoping to go home with the art of their choice.

The community came together BIG TIME this year, not for a great party, great food or great drink, but to give through their donations to those for whom a Happy Holiday may simply mean food on the table.  In this year of safe distancing, gallery patrons donated more than ever before. Art Works will write a check to the Food Bank of Nevada County in the amount of $1700.  Winning tickets were quietly drawn before opening on December 12, and the happy phone calls began.  People were thrilled, so very happy – many have come in to get their prizes already.

Can’t make it into the gallery?  To make shopping easier during these times, try our new online shop from the comfort of your home by going to artworksgallery.myshopify.com

Art Works Gallery is a juried Artists’ Co-operative representing the work of thirty-three local artists. Voted The Union’s Best Art Gallery four years in a row, Art Works features a collection of unique jewelry, furniture, paintings, photography, ceramics, fiber arts, woodworking, glass, and mixed-media. The gallery is located at 113 Mill Street in historic downtown Grass Valley.  Open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily until  December 24 at 3 p.m., and we thank you for SHOPPING LOCAL.

Take “The Christmas Card” Self-Guided Tour

Take “The Christmas Card” Self-Guided Tour

A note from Joany Kane, writer of The Christmas Card, December 2020

Back in the tail end of 1998 I was working on a Christmas romance screenplay. I had the title, “The Christmas Card,” and I had the general idea, a serviceman serving overseas receives a Christmas card from a young woman and it touches him so deeply he sets out to meet her and to thank her. I knew I wanted to honor my dad who served in World War 2 and to honor my mom who faithfully sent out hundreds of Christmas cards every Christmas. Other than that, I didn’t have any details for the story.

The week between Christmas and New Years 1998 I started a new job working in the office of a lumber mill in western Massachusetts. It was a “day job” to pay the bills while I toiled at night trying to make my writing dreams come true. The first Friday of 1999, January 8th, a logger walked into the mill and for me it was love at first sight. That weekend I formulated “The Christmas Card” setting the family business at a lumber mill. I finished the script March 1999 and brought the very first printed copy of the script “The Christmas Card” to the logger (Dave), on March 23rd, and from that day until now we have been together, living a happily ever after for close to 22 years.

The story I had originally set in Vermont. At the time of writing the script I didn’t even know there was a Nevada City, CA. I eventually sold the script to Hallmark and it was a producer, Lincoln Lageson, from the Hallmark world who immediately thought of Nevada City as soon as he read the script. I bless Lincoln every day because he was spot on in the choice of location. Nevada City brought the story to life in ways I never even imagined. It was a perfect match of story and location. Pure harmony.

The movie premiered December 2006 and it shattered all time ratings records for Hallmark and helped launch their current craze for Christmas. Scenes of a Christmas dance, having fun baking cookies, a romantic sleigh ride, were novel at the time I wrote the script, and now they are staples in most every Hallmark Christmas movie. “The Christmas Card” received several Camie Awards and Ed Asner received an Emmy nomination. I get a ton of emails, letters and messages from fans of the movie and they always mention Nevada City. The movie wouldn’t have had the magic it did if it had been filmed anywhere else. Nevada City is truly special.

In 2010 the town of Nevada City invited me for a visit to honor me with a tour of the town and a certificate of recognition with regards to the “positive publicity “The Christmas Card” has brought to Nevada City and Nevada County.” It was a truly humbling experience, and it was the most amazing few days of my life. I fell in love at first sight with Nevada City just as I had with the logger who inspired the story. I cherished every moment spent in Nevada City. I stayed where Cody stayed, I had dinner where Faith and Paul dined, I spent time in the church and at the diner. I got to tour the mill and the Spelman house. And I stood in the very spot where Faith and Cody shared their happy ever after kiss by the South Yuba River. I have been so inspired by Nevada City, I’ve written several screenplays set in Nevada City that I hope one day will make it to the screen.

There’s magic in Nevada City. In the landscape, in the town, in the people. Nevada City turned “The Christmas Card” into magic and I’ll be forever grateful to the town and the community.

Download the map here

SYRCL Announces Virtual Salmon Adventures

SYRCL Announces Virtual Salmon Adventures

Each fall, the South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL) leads “Salmon Float and Hiking Expeditions” along the Lower Yuba River. This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the need to support remote learning for students, SYRCL’s River Education Program committed to developing creative new ways to deliver this program, and ensure students and community members still have the opportunity to connect with this year’s fall Chinook salmon run, and this unique section of the Yuba River.
On these expeditions, youth and community members witness endangered Chinook salmon returning to their ancestral spawning habitat and learn about the role salmon play as a keystone species within the watershed. This phenomenon also serves as the learning foundation for highlighting many of the other historical, environmental, and socioecological dynamics integral to the future protection of the Yuba watershed.
Thanks to generous funding provided by Yuba Water Agency, SYRCL has taken this year’s Salmon Expeditions virtual, inviting the public to join seven virtual adventures. Each video is individually designed for K-6th grade students (or the whole family) to explore a different ecological, cultural, or historical aspect of the fall Chinook salmon run, right in the backyard of the lower Yuba River.
These eight to 15-minute video episodes come as an educational unit package, which includes: a resource guide, pre-assessments, pre-episode activities, mid-episode activities, and post-assessments. All activities are designed for easy environmental science learning at home. All students need are paper, their writing utensil, a device to watch it on, and their curiosity. There are also Spanish subtitled versions of each episode.
For a limited time, through February 1st, the entire package of videos is available for just $15. Learn more and purchase here.
About SYRCL: The South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL, pronounced “circle”) is the leading voice for the protection and restoration of the Yuba River watershed. Founded in 1983 through a rural, grassroots campaign to defend the South Yuba River from proposed hydropower dams, SYRCL has developed into a vibrant community organization with over 3,500 members and volunteers based in Nevada City, CA. See:  www.yubariver.org

An Evening with Ellen

An Evening with Ellen

Locally produced video “An Evening with Ellen” sponsored by the Famous Marching Presidents is included in the WSP Fall 2020 Exhibit on “Women Suffragists” now open for viewing online from December 1-31, 2020. This online exhibit, “Women Soaring”, is available through December 31, 2020. https://www.womensoaringproject.com/gallery

This exhibit honors women suffragists, Like Nevada City former resident, Ellen Clark Sargent. (See also a Nevada City photo of the Famous Marching Presidents tree dedication including Sheila Stein, Council woman Erin Minett, Glady Birdsong and Fran Cole).

Please check out the WSP gallery and help us share widely with others in this continued celebration of the 100th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage. Learn more @womensoaringproject (Facebook and Instagram) and @womensoaring (Twitter) See the “An Evening with Ellen” video here and please share: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LN0gOftmPI&feature=youtu.be

Nevada City Craft Fair Holiday Social

Nevada City Craft Fair Holiday Social

Join us from November 27th to December 18th, 2020 for Nevada City Craft Fair Holiday Social; a virtual social media showcase of some really awesome makers that were going to be at Nevada City Craft Fair this year.

We can’t have events, but we can still shop. As the holiday shopping season is upon us, we hope that you remember to shop locally handmade gifts. For three weeks we’ll be sharing different crafter’s work on Nevada City Craft Fair’s social media pages on Facebook and Instagram and on this page. Follow and share this page to see what crafters have been up to these days, during Covid. Supporting your local makers has never been more important.

Welcome to Nevada City Craft Fair Holiday Social
Nevada City Craft Fair is a juried exhibition of makers curated in the aesthetics of the modern rustic lifestyle that NCCF embodies. Hip, sustainable, yet innovative, represents the best of the region in our bi-annual craft fair, normally held at the historic Miners Foundry in downtown Nevada City before covid restrictions. We plan to be back at the Miners Foundry with our usual Spring and Winter shows in 2021.

Click here for more info.

Night of Giving Returns as Virtual Benefit for Hospitality House

Night of Giving Returns as Virtual Benefit for Hospitality House

Know and “Go”:

When: Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020

Where: Watch from home at hhshelter.org,Facebook.com/hhshelter, YouTube.com/hhshelter or by watching Public Access Television: Comcast channel 11 or Suddenlink channel 16

Time: 6 – 8 pm

Cost: FREE but a $25 donation is suggested to help the shelter receive a triple match donation during the evening.

Don’t miss the 15th annual Night of Giving on Dec. 19! This hometown holiday party is back as a virtual evening of musical entertainment and merriment to raise awareness and support for local families and individuals experiencing homelessness.

Night of Giving features many regional and local musicians who are making special performances just for the event as well as a virtual best of collection of performances from years past. Virtual attendees will also have an opportunity to go behind the scenes of Hospitality House’s homeless shelter, known as Utah’s Place, where they’ll meet real locals experiencing homelessness, hear a little of their story, and learn more about the services offered at the shelter.

“The show must go on,” said Mikail Graham, event host and founder of Night of Giving, who noted this would be his last year leading the event production efforts. “Now more than ever, this event matters. Hospitality House has helped 570 locals this year to date and as more people fall into homelessness, we as a community need to do more. We have a handful of angel donors who have stepped up for this event and any donation given to Hospitality House during the show will be tripled by their kind hearts. This is a big deal. We have an incredible opportunity to create impact while having a great night of music and entertainment, too.”

Production for Night of Giving is largely volunteer-driven and led by Graham, who explained every act featured is donating their time and talent to make the event possible. During the event, Hospitality House staff will be on standby, ready and hopeful to facilitate donations over the phone at 530-615-0852 or online at hhshelter.org. Donations sent via mail on or before Dec. 19 with “Night of Giving” in the memo will also be counted toward the match.

The entire community is invited to tune into Night of Giving safely from home at 6 p.m. on Dec. 19. For the best, optimal experience, attendees are encouraged to stream directly from hhshelter.org. Additional viewing options include Facebook.com/hhshelter, YouTube.com/hhshelter, and a viewer-friendly version made just for Public Access Television: Comcast channel 11 or Suddenlink channel 16.

There is no cost to watch Night of Giving from home, but a suggested donation of $25 is encouraged to help Hospitality House during the pandemic and beyond. Donations received during the event will be tripled by angel donors. If $25 is given, as an example, the angel donors will give $75 in response, which in turn will provide fuel and nourishment to 100 people.

“This event is all about togetherness,” added Graham. “What started as a small evening with friends has grown into what it is today—a community-driven musical benefit for those in need. Together, we’re raising awareness and support for our homeless community, and we’d love for you to join us.”

The Center’s Annual Holiday Art Market

The Center for the Arts wants to help you shop local

WHAT:  Holiday Art Market
WHEN: Saturday, December 19, and Sunday, December 20, 2020 – 11:00am – 4:00pm
WHERE: The Center for the Arts, 314 W. Main Street, Grass Valley, CA
WEBSITE:   www.thecenterforthearts.org
ADMISSION: Free. Retail Reservations Recommended.
INFO: thecenterforthearts.org | 530-274-8384
The Center’s Annual Holiday Art Market features goods from local artists, and is just in time for the holidays! Ceramics, paintings, stone carvings, and more will be featured as part of this beloved annual sale. This year, The Center is limiting capacity, requiring masks and checking temperatures for all retail shoppers entering the building.  The Backstage Bar will be open in the lower parking lot, weather permitting. Socially distancing will be strictly enforced inside and outside of The Center.
“We want to support local artisans affected by covid,” says Executive Director Amber Jo Manuel. “And we hope that the community will consider buying holiday gifts made from a local artist. They need us more than ever.”  Shoppers can reserve an hour time block on Saturday, December 19, or  Sunday, December 20, between 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. You can also just show up, but due to capacity limitations priority will be provided to those with a reservation.
The Center is in the middle of a special End of Year Membership Drive. Become a member while visiting the Holiday Art Market and get entered into a raffle to win a goody basket filled with gifts from the featured artists! Center memberships help to support important community programs like Family Fun Day, youth arts education, From The Center broadcasts, art exhibits and more.
Visitors to the Holiday Art Market will be able to explore works made from many local artists. Thomas Haddy turns stones such as Alabaster, Talc, Soapstone and Brucite into unique vessels. Suzanne Christ Burr creates one of a kind felt scarves and shawls. Katie Wolff paints portraits, pets, and sentimental items. Jay Gordin creates knives and cutting tools that are as artful as they are functional.
Clay artist Pam Montalbano, specializes in throwing and altering, she is currently working with porcelain and gas reduction firing. Stephanie Adam’s Pickle Pottery and Paul Steege’s Sweetland Pottery will also be featured at The Center’s Holiday Art Market. You can also support a couple of local young artists, Everett Noel creates custom knives and his brother, Bay Noel, is a woodworker.
The Center for the Arts wants to help you shop local and support local artists. Special Extended Weekend Sale hours at The Center are Saturday, December 19, and Sunday, December 20, from 11:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Reservations help The Center to ensure limited capacity and a safe shopping experience. Make a reservation to shop at the Holiday Art Market online at thecenterforthearts.org.

Mary Jane’s Marketplace Now Live!

Mary Jane’s Marketplace Now Live!

MaryJane’s Marketplace, is now LIVE! The Alliance is proud to partner with dozens of local Nevada County small businesses to bring this unique, silent auction holiday shopping experience! The proceeds raised from the auction will support the work of the Alliance and local economic development efforts through a thriving local cannabis industry. Share MaryJane’s Marketplace with your family, friends and throughout your communities! Silent Auction is open until December 18th with pick-ups in time for the holidays.