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Faces of the Foundry – Jeffrey Dupra

Jeffrey Dupra

 

Jeffrey Dupra could be described as a true Renaissance man of Nevada County.  A talented writer, artist, performer, and musician, he generously spends much of his time volunteering for many local organizations, including the Miners Foundry.   Today he shares his love of the Yuba, history, and Iris Dement.

Are you originally from Nevada County?  If not, why did you decide to move to Nevada County?  Where are you from originally? 

I am from Rochester New York originally. I discovered Nevada County via a teammate on my College Track and Field team who was from Grass Valley. One look at the Yuba River and I knew I was coming back.

How did you first discover the Miners Foundry?

The first time I ever set foot inside the Foundry I saw a Michael Franti and Spearhead show, about the best introduction one could have.

What were your initial impressions of the Foundry?   

I love history- particularly living history as embodied by the Foundry; it was a beautiful old building with great energy and on the night I first saw it the Foundry was filled to the roof with beautiful people.

What do you like the best about the Miners Foundry?

The Foundry holds an energy and a place in the Nevada City community that is inspiring and accessible; my favorite thing about the Foundry is that it is available as an artist, to rehearse, to practice, to create.

How did you become involved with Beyond Fire Tribe?

Along with Jesse Churchill, Aeron Miller, Isaiah Duseljee, and Jessica Wadatz, I am one of the OG members of the tribe. We started as a small, close group of friends who liked to burn.

What types of Foundry events do you most enjoy? 

The Foundry is a great place for diversity; personal favorites include Burnal Equinox, Iris Dement, Greg Brown, and the Psychic Fair and Fright Night.

Would you encourage others to become involved with the Miners Foundry?  Why? 

The Foundry is a hub for creativity, art, expression, and is a great place to be, feel, and get connected to the community at large, so  YES- I would encourage anyone to step in and be involved in whatever capacity fits their vision and need for creative outlet. I would recommend that people volunteer at the Foundry. There is a palpable sense of creativity in our community and performing and creating artistically is just one part of this whole- volunteering supports others doing the same thing and really gives a sense of investment and responsibility in not just creating that vibe but sustaining it as well.

 

Faces of the Foundry – Janis de Santi

Janis de Santi

Janis de Santi @ Fright Night | Photo by John Taber

 

Because of the variety of events at the Foundry, volunteers may help at a Greg Brown show one night, then pivot to a major production like Fright Night, sometimes in the same week.  Miners Foundry volunteers are often asked to do a number of tasks, from wrist banding patrons, to ushering, to checking I.D.s.   Janis de Santi has done all of these and more, always with style and a smile!

Are you originally from Nevada County?  If not, why did you decide to move to Nevada County?  Where are you from originally? 

I was born in the Bronx, New York and moved to the the suburbs when I was 10 years old.  I relocated to south Florida in 1975 and continued living there until my move to Grass Valley on December 16, 2013. I had been out to Grass Valley to visit my brother, Bob, and his wife, Anne, after my retirement and fell in love with the area; as well as all it had to offer in the way of the Arts, Music and the venues they were offered in.

How did you first discover the Miners Foundry?

I first discovered the Miners Foundry on a trip to visit my brother and his wife.  They took me around showing me the sites and telling me about the history of the area.  That, naturally, meant a visit to not only Empire Mine, but also to the Miners Foundry.

What were your initial impressions of the Foundry?   

I was immediately struck by the building’s architecture and the role it played in the history of the area.

What do you like the best about the Miners Foundry?

The first thing that caught my attention was the massive stone fireplace.  I got a kick out of standing inside it and visualizing what might have taken place in such a space. I truly was and still am impressed by this massive structure’s ambiance.

Why did you choose to become involved with the Foundry? 

When I relocated it was my intent to make new acquaintances and because of my love of music and the theater, I knew volunteering was to be part of my lifestyle.  The events, activities,concerts, and reader’s theater (just to name a few) are all wonderful forms of entertainment that the Miners Foundry offers to the community and naturally, I had to be a part of this.

Would you encourage others to become involved with the Miners Foundry?  Why? 

I’ve made many friends and acquaintances while volunteering here, and have enjoyed so many of the events that I always look forward to my time spent here.  And not to be forgotten,  is the staff–they are an extraordinary group of professional, organized and super-friendly people to work with.  The Miners Foundry openly and easily gives to the community, we in turn, should consider giving back through volunteering — it’s fun and the events are worthy of our time.

 

Miners Foundry Open House & Community Party for the New Floor – February 15th

Celebrate the new wood floor in the Osborn/Woods Hall with live music from the Deadbeats, yoga & dance demonstrations, food & drink, plus more!

On Friday, February 15, 2013, The Miners Foundry Cultural Center will host an Open House and Community Party at the historic venue to celebrate the new wooden floor in the Osborn/Woods Hall and recognize those that have contributed to make this major, yet necessary, facility upgrade a reality.

Attendees are welcomed and encouraged to stroll through the Foundry, taking in the historic artifacts, beautiful stone walls, hand hewn wood beams, and of course the new wood floor.  They can also watch and participate in yoga, swing, salsa, and dance demonstrations from local instructors and organizations.  And finish the evening dancing on the new floor with old and new friends to the music of the Deadbeats and other local acts who have donated their time and talents to the cause. Food and a full no-host bar also available.

For the last year, the Miners Foundry Cultural Center has been hard at work quietly raising funds for a new wooden floor in the Osborn/Woods Hall, one of their two great halls.  A new wooden floor was needed in the Osborn/Woods Hall because the existing floor was rough, industrial concrete left over from the time when the room was a machine shop.  It was also uncomfortable for standing and dancing.  A new wood floor will beautify the hall – lighten the room, improve acoustics, attract more musical events that involve dancing, provide an elegant space for dinner dances, night-club-style events and dinner theatre, expand rental business to include more daytime uses such as exercise or dance classes and the floor will fulfill the vision outlined in Miners Foundry Strategic Plan of  becoming a first-class venue!
With the support of private donors, businesses, Nevada City, Nevada County and Nevada City Chamber of Commerce, the Foundry has raised 95% of their goal and hope the Open House and Community Party will help with the final amount needed.  Last week the new wood floor was installed by Youngs Carpet One.  Youngs Carpet has been instrumental in helping the Foundry select the new wood floor.  With their guidance the Foundry selected a Kahrs Activity Floor.  In addition to installing the floor, Youngs sealed and leveled the existing concrete floor and installed a moisture barrier.

“The Miners Foundry Cultural Center’s programs and historic preservation are funded, in part, by revenue generated from building rentals, however, individuals also play an essential role in maintaining our existing programming, expanding our offerings and ensuring the Foundry continues to enrich us for many decades to come,” explains Gretchen Bond, Executive Director.

There is still time for individuals, families, and businesses interested in donating $1,000 or more to have their named imprinted on the floor for generations to see and enjoy.

To make a tax-deductible donation you can do so online at www.minersfoundry.org or simply call (530) 265-5040. You can also mail in your donation to Miners Foundry, attn: Osborn/Woods Hall Floor, 325 Spring Street, Nevada City, CA, 95959. For questions or additional information please contact Gretchen Bond at (530) 265-5040 or Gretchen@minersfoundry.org

KNOW & GO

What: Miners Foundry Cultural Center Open House and Community Party
When: Friday, February 15, 2013, Doors 5:30pm, Demonstrations 6:30pm, Music 8pm
Where: Miners Foundry, 325 Spring Street, Nevada City, CA
Tickets: Suggested Donation of $10 at the door, no one will be turned away, children 13 and under FREE
Info: www.minersfoundry.org

Community Support for the New Floor Campaign

For the past year, the Miners Foundry Cultural Center has been hard at work quietly raising funds for a new wooden floor in the Osborn/Woods Hall, one of the two great halls. With the help and support of private donors, businesses, Nevada City, Nevada County and the Nevada City Chamber Commerce they have raised 85% of the total amount needed. With just one week remaining before breaking ground on February 4th, the Miners Foundry is reaching out to help make this much needed facility improvement a reality for the community to use and enjoy for generations to come.

“Like many non-profit arts venues, only 40% of the buildings operating costs are covered through rental income,” explains Gretchen Bond, Executive Director. “The remainder comes from Foundry-presented events, annual memberships, fundraising events, grants and donations. Individuals and businesses that choose to support the Foundry make an enormous difference and insure the legacy of this great building.”

Donations of any amount are welcome.  There is a deadline of February 4th for those who donate $1,000 or more and will have the name of their choice imprinted on the floor.

To make a tax-deductible donation you can do so online here or simply call (530) 265-5040. You can also mail in your donation to Miners Foundry, attn: Osborn/Woods Hall Floor, 325 Spring Street, Nevada City, CA, 95959. For questions or additional information please contact Gretchen Bond at (530) 265-5040 or Gretchen@minersfoundry.org

Below are a few testimonials from community stake-holders supporting the new floor campaign!

“A wooden dance floor will allow the Foundry to produce Swing, Ballroom, Salsa and Blues dance events  without making excuses about dancing on cement.  It’s a big step in the improvement of the Miners Foundry.” – Paul Emery, Producer & KVMR News Director

“The new wood floor in the Osborn/Woods Hall will transform the room into an elegant ballroom!. No more funky old formerly industrial room, but a first class venue for dinner dances, night-club-style events—and new daytime classes!” – Glady McWood Birdsong, President, Board of Directors, Miners Foundry

“Charles Woods and David Osborn had a magnificent vision that they made a reality; to create a cultural center for Nevada County from the ruins of a once bustling foundry which in its heyday served the mines of our region. Today what was then the American Victorian Museum is alive and well while actively fulfilling that original mission, in what is now know at the Miners Foundry.  The largest room on the property is Osborn/Woods Hall still using its original sooty, uneven, industrial concrete floor. The Miners Foundry is right on the cusp of having the needed financial resources to convert that floor to a danceable, bright, durable, user-friendly hardwood floor.” – Paul Matson, Board of Directors, Miners Foundry

“Heartwarming wood in the heart of the Foundry. What a great combo for our community!” – Sandra Rockman, Award-winning Director and Acting Coach

“For over 150 years, the Miners Foundry has been the cultural hub of Nevada County.  As a community we must support the necessary upgrades needed for all of us to continue to utilize and enjoy this great and historic building.” – Jesse Locks, Festival Director, Nevada City Film Festival

 

 

Planting Trees and ‘Herding Cats’

Planting Trees and ‘Herding Cats’
Words Carol Guild

Dan St. John has a passion for the Miners Foundry. He’s not one to brag or boast. Neither are the other volunteers who worked with him on the Miners Foundry landscape project, but a lot of fingers are pointing his way as the guy who gets things done — consistently.

Dan, who has served on Foundry committees before, came on board as the volunteer project coordinator, and, as Miners Foundry Executive Director Gretchen Bond dubs him, “Foundry volunteer extraordinaire.”

With the help of Nevada City Rotary, 49er Rotary, Rotary District 5190, Master Gardener Lyn Muth, Mike Nevius, Architect Diana Knutson, Boy Scout Troop 855, Eagle Scout McKiernan Flaherty, Wayne Brown Correctional Institute minimum security inmates, friends, family, family friends, friends of friends — well, you get the picture — Dan took the project to completion.

There was a lot of designing, planning, digging, uprooting, weeding, hauling, laying and planting to beautify this historic landmark.

Five invasive trees were removed and replaced with ornamental trees, which include:

• Japanese Maple

• Flowering Cherry

• Flowering Plum

• Red leaf Plum

• Redbud

Dan will plant one more tree, a native Dogwood that will live in the front of the Foundry. “But, I have
to wait until next February to dig it up from John Parent’s front yard,” he said. Thankfully for us, Dan’s
work is never really done. As for plants, Dan said there are about 200 individual plants from about 40
different species. Many were donated.

“My wife, Betsy, donated many plants from her gardens,” he said. “Lyn Muth and other master gardeners donated many plants as well. A-Z Garden Center donated some plants and gave me discounts on all other purchases.”

Some plants were also purchased from Prospector Nursery and Nevada County Farm Supply, both providing discounts and donations. “Hansen Bros. gave us a nice discount on soil, which made (the ground) more hospitable to plants,” he said.

Master Gardener Lyn Muth kindly volunteered to give plant recommendations and drew up designs for the project. “Dan was the moving force behind this project,” she said. “He spent so much time being there. I’m a bit-player … just my creativity. Dan’s blood, sweat, tears, and going through how many pairs of knee pads … He really deserves a lot of credit for this.”

McKiernan Flaherty took on the front gardens as his Eagle Scout project.

“I was really interested in this project,” he said. “And I was fortunately able to meet a lot of great people through this.”

Dan inspired McKiernan with his dedication to the project. “He is incredibly devout to the Foundry,” said Flaherty. “Just to see how much passion he has for the Foundry helped me to say this is something I want to take on as my Eagle project.”

The list of things Dan did or facilitated is long. From the onset of planning, through placement of historic artifacts and irrigation, Dan has been the driving force behind the project.

“His project management skills and tireless devotion to the project saw our dream become a reality,” said Gretchen.

“You’re correct,” Dan admits. “I worked a lot on this project. I dug in the dirt, shopped for plants, hunted for volunteers … but, as I told Gretchen, (he laughs) one of the big parts of my job was just ‘herding cats!’”

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