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Faces of the Foundry – Nick Ggem

Nick Ggem

It’s tough to capture a photo of Nick Ggem at the Miners Foundry, as he’s always in motion.  Regular visitors to the building, however, are very familiar with his quick smile and calm demeanor.  Here he reveals his stage diving past, a melt your heart wedding moment, and his behind the scenes advice to anyone planning a Foundry event.

 

Are you originally from Nevada County?  Why did you decide to move to Nevada County?

I was born and raised in Los Angeles.  I came to here to disappear.  Ha!

How did you first discover the Foundry?

I came to see a punk show in 1992, I believe.  There may have been stage diving…

What were your initial impressions of the Foundry?

I thought it was a funky, rustic little venue that perfectly suited this town.

How long have you been working at the Foundry?

A few years.

What do you like best about the Miners Foundry?

The Foundry is a place where art and culture are consistently appreciated by locals and visitors.

What are your favorite types of events at the Foundry?

Tough to pick one… but I think my favorites are the outdoor First Friday Art Walk concerts in summer.  Long summer evenings, music, wine, people… what’s not to love?

Do you have a story to share about an event at the Foundry?

I was in the kitchen when a bride and groom came in after their wedding ceremony.  They were in each other’s arms, giggling, saying “I can’t believe we did it!”  They looked like kids on Christmas morning.  They didn’t see me, but I’ll never forget the genuine, blissful look of pure happiness on their faces.  I think I got something in my eyes after that one…

What advice would you give clients planning an event at the Foundry? 

Ask staff such as myself, Kat, and Gretchen questions, and tell us what you are planning.  There is a good chance we could make suggestions on how to make your event smoother.

 

A Message from Gold Country Piano Institute

Pauline Yang

It was the collective dream shared by Allan Haley, Pawel Skrzypek, and me that helped to create the Gold Country Piano Institute in 1999.  Polish concert pianist Skrzypek had first come to Nevada County in 1990 to perform for Twin Concert Cities Association (now InConcert Sierra); it was then that we three began a wonderful musical friendship.  After several years of Pawel returning to concertize and teach, he invited me to attend his Warsaw Piano Workshop in Poland, which I found to be an amazingly challenging and positive experience.

I was so excited by the format of the workshop that I suggested to Pawel that we create the same kind of workshop back here in Nevada City where he could invite other master teachers to teach alongside him and offer their expertise to students who might not consider going abroad to study, but who could receive world-class instruction here in the States.

After a short 5-day experiment in the autumn of 1999, we were able to launch our 10-day Master Course in Interpretation at the Miners Foundry in June 2000. Over the next 9 years, Nevada County families opened their homes and hearts to over 100 students from 5 continents and 10 master teachers from Poland, England, Singapore, Canada and the U.S.  And our audiences were mesmerized by the talented young pianists who performed in the Stone Hall.

Now, after a 5-year hiatus, Julie Cobden, the Miners Foundry and I are so pleased to welcome back our alumni as part of GCPI: The Alumni Series.  We are thrilled to be able to present some of the students who have grown up before our eyes, and who are creating their own exciting professional careers.

Here’s to many years of presenting our delightful and talented GCPI Alumni!

Andrea Fox

Purchase Tickets Here

Miners Foundry Featured on Martha Stewart Weddings

The Miners Foundry Cultural Center was recently featured on Martha Stewart Weddings for the beautiful, rustic wedding reception of a hometown bride and groom.

Tara and Nick wed exactly five years and five days after they began dating.  Their November 20, 2011, wedding, was big on DIY details, sustainable elements – and lots of heart.

Tara and Nick chose Squirrel Creek Ranch, located in Grass Valley, California, for its proximity to the summer camp where they first met as 9-year-olds.  The wedding reception was held at the nearby historic Miners Foundry Cultural Center, in Nevada City, California. The newlyweds welcomed their guests by lighting a warm fire in the majestic fireplace in the Stone Hall.  The 115 guests sat at long tables in the hall set with burlap runners, centerpieces made by the bride’s mother and a friend, and arrangements of eucalyptus leaves, carnations, lavender, and cotton blooms were housed in various glass vessels.

“The Miners Foundry averages 35 weddings a year”, explains Kat Kress, Event Coordinator for the Miners Foundry.  “Clients use the venue for ceremonies, receptions, engagement parties, and rehearsal dinners.”

Kress says the top reasons couples choose the Foundry as a location for their wedding is that they are looking for a venue that is rustic, elegant, classic, and historic.  “Getting married is an historic joining of two families, and it’s fitting for the setting to be historic as well,” says Kress.  “Also, the Miners Foundry is a blank slate with character, so couples are able to create a setting and flow for their day that really reflects them as a couple.”

Every January, the Miners Foundry hosts the annual wedding fair “An Affair for All Seasons”.  The event showcases local vendors (caterers, photographers, florists, etc), along with Nevada County’s four distinct seasons.  It is a fantastic opportunity to generate ideas on how to transform a space rich with history into your own just like Tara and Nick.

Interested in renting the Foundry?  Contact Kat Kress at (530) 265-5040 or kat@minersfoundry.org

About the Miners Foundry: The Miners Foundry Cultural Center is a living historic treasure serving Nevada County as a cultural arts and community events center. It is a symbol of California’s rich historical heritage, providing an educational and social bridge from our past to the present and future.  Fore more information go to www.minersfoundry.org or join the Miners Foundry on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Photos by Ryan Ray

Events

Ecstatic Dance

Tuesdays 7:30 – 10:00 PM

Ecstatic Dance in its most basic definition is free-form movement /dance inspired by music, allowing bodies to move freely without judgment or concern for the “grace” or beauty of the dance. This is the dance you dance when nobody is watching! This dance is an inner/outer journey of moving meditation. It develops a direct body-spirit connection, letting your body and inner guide be your teachers. It’s about being present with your own energy and discovering your own dance within using this movement and energetic experience to release stuck patterns in your body, emotions, mind and spirit.

Because Movement is Our Medicine

No Shoes, No Booze, Just Dance

Ecstatic Dance

Thursday 7:30 – 10:00 PM

Ecstatic Dance in its most basic definition is free-form movement /dance inspired by music, allowing bodies to move freely without judgment or concern for the “grace” or beauty of the dance. This is the dance you dance when nobody is watching! This dance is an inner/outer journey of moving meditation. It develops a direct body-spirit connection, letting your body and inner guide be your teachers. It’s about being present with your own energy and discovering your own dance within using this movement and energetic experience to release stuck patterns in your body, emotions, mind and spirit.

Because Movement is Our Medicine

No Shoes, No Booze, Just Dance

Ecstatic Dance

Tuesdays 7:30 – 10:00 PM

Ecstatic Dance in its most basic definition is free-form movement /dance inspired by music, allowing bodies to move freely without judgment or concern for the “grace” or beauty of the dance. This is the dance you dance when nobody is watching! This dance is an inner/outer journey of moving meditation. It develops a direct body-spirit connection, letting your body and inner guide be your teachers. It’s about being present with your own energy and discovering your own dance within using this movement and energetic experience to release stuck patterns in your body, emotions, mind and spirit.

Because Movement is Our Medicine

No Shoes, No Booze, Just Dance