Gretchen Bond has over 15 years of progressive experience in the nonprofit arts arena. Ms. Bond has held influential and leadership roles with the School of the Arts Educational Foundation, Squaw Valley Community of Writers, Literature Alive and the Miners Foundry Cultural Center. Gretchen was instrumental in the founding of the Bitney Springs Charter High School; the first Charter High School in Nevada County, as well as one of the original organizers of “Moms on the Mountains”; a unique fundraising event which has raised over $400,000 for the Nevada City Schools arts programs. She is also a Board Member of Nevada County Arts, the official Arts Council of Nevada County.
Gretchen moved to Nevada County, from Connecticut, in the mid 1980’s to make it her home. At that time, the Miners Foundry Cultural Center was the American Victorian Museum, as she recalls the AVM was “the place for entertainment in Nevada County.” With an Art History degree from the University of Richmond, VA, Gretchen has an appreciation for art, historic preservation and culture. Gretchen understands the essential role the arts play in the lives of the people and their community.
Hired by the Board of Trustees in 2005, Gretchen recognizes the unique place the Miners Foundry holds in the community; a cultural center that presents music and theatrical events while offering an elegant venue for weddings and private parties. The venue hosts art shows in the newly established Box Office Gallery, and is a perfect location for nonprofit fundraisers and an historic treasure to be preserved.
When asked what she loves most about the Miners Foundry, she said, “The Foundry has captured the spirit of the community, past and present. When you walk in to this building you get a sense that wonderful things happen here, it’s as if the walls of these great halls have absorbed everything that has taken place here and are holding these feelings to share with all of us”.
Cherylynn Allen joined the Miners Foundry Cultural Center in April of 2006 as a contract book keeper, and took over as part time Event Coordinator when the position became available. Since 2006, Cherylynn has worked closely with Gretchen Bond, Executive Director, and was promoted to Operations Manager in 2009.
Cherylynn has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Fine Art and Art Education, graduating from San Jose State in 1993. Since that time, she has put her educational and art training into working as After School Program Director for several child care schools in the Bay Area. In June of 2000, she followed her mother’s move to Nevada County to raise her son. From Preschool Director, After School Child Care Director, Volunteer Coordinator and Board Member for School of the Arts Educational Foundation to contract bookkeeping, Cherylynn has worked in the non-profit industry for over 10 years.
Cherylynn enjoys giving back to the community and loves the mission of the Miners Foundry to support educational, cultural and artistic endeavors in Nevada County. “One of the things I like about working at the Foundry is how we are able to bring artistic endeavors of many kinds to our community”. In addition to working at the Foundry, Cherylynn volunteers her time with the Gold County Youth Soccer League as a coaching coordinator and coach, and at Sammie’s Friends Animal Shelter.
Kat Kress, Event Coordinator
Kat Kress joined the staff of the Miners Foundry Cultural Center in 2011 as the Event Coordinator. She graduated in 2000 from Mercyhurst College in Erie, PA with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communications and a Minor in English.
Kat moved to Nevada County in 2005 after searching for a unique place with the perfect blend of arts, culture, recreation, and the outdoors. Kat lives in Nevada County with her husband and 7 year old son and enjoys volunteering with local organizations such as The Friendship Club.
“For me, the Foundry is the perfect blend of history, the arts, and community. It’s truly a joy to share in something bigger than myself and to use my skills to contribute to our community.”
Photos by Akim Aginksy