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Faces of the Foundry: David “Sparky” Parker

Group 4

Chris Harada

 

Artist, historian, firefighter, bartender, and community leader David “Sparky” Parker has a long history with the Miners Foundry and Nevada City.  Here he shares a healthy dose of Spring Street history, where our community’s heart beats, and why he always looks at man hole covers.

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

After 46 years of living here it seems original but the answer is no. A college fraternity brother’s future wife lived in Nevada City and we would visit town. Loved it from the start. After graduation spent a Spring through Fall in Squaw Valley mostly having days filled with out door adventures with night adventures at the infamous Bear Pen Bar.  When the snow started to fly went down the hill to Winter in Nevada City and never left. Grew up in California’s rich farm land in the Sacramento—San Joaquin River Delta.

How did you first  discover the Miners Foundry?

So my first look at Miners Foundry, the place was a working foundry with what is the now parking lot filled with steel stuff and a very busy forklift. One of the things manufactured there were man hole covers which for years had me looking at man hole covers everywhere I went. The City of Sacramento had many, as on each cover you could find Miners Foundry Nevada City California on it. Spring Street was very different in those days as next door was Len’s Surplus (Sushi in the Raw to Nevada City Winery) which was really a fine junk yard.

What were your initial impressions of the Foundry?

My first real impressions came when Charles Osborn and David Woods began work towards starting the American Victorian Museum (AVM). I give full credit to Charles and David for saving the Foundry from destruction. Then they founded Community Radio KVMR and that became a Nevada City gem as well.  The AVM began to become a museum and in the process started a Sunday brunch which became a Sunday thing to do in town. That is when I fell in love with the Stone Room and all it’s charm which has never left me.

What do you like best about the Miners Foundry?

The feeling that Miners Foundry is one of the beating hearts of our community.

Why did you choose to become involved with the Foundry?

Let’s face it.  There is no better place with great history, charm and staff and is the home of America’s one-of-a-kind group The Famous Marching Presidents of Nevada City California.

What types of events do you most enjoy?

Many events at the venue advance the pleasure too.

Do you have a funny or touching story to share about an experience you’ve had at the Foundry?

In 2016 The Famous Marching Presidents turn 29 and almost half that time the Foundry has been our home. Each year the group honors an individual for outstanding community service with the Col. William “ Bill “ Lambert Award.  I have had the honor for 25 years to give the Lambert Award to the honoree. Almost all in the Stone Room. Woo woo to that!

 

 

Our History

Old Foundry

By Paul Matson, President, Miners Foundry Board of Trustees

Charles Woods and David Osborn moved to Nevada City in 1957, leaving San Francisco to continue their work as artists and preservationists in the Sierra Nevada foothills. They shared a passion for all things Victorian, historical and artistic. Nevada City, with its wealth of neglected, but intact array of Victorian, Gold Rush era buildings was a perfect new home for them, for the rest of their lives.

Immediately they plunged into civic life by vigorously opposing the construction of the freeway through the middle of town in the 1960’s. Subsequent to that they worked with city officials to create Nevada City’s Historical Ordinance. They joined and helped create the first Board of Directors to purchase, operate and restore the Nevada Theatre, so that it could once again take its place serving as a live theater. They designed and produced posters promoting the reopening the Theatre and the Nevada City bike races, to name a very few contributions.

In 1972 they purchased the then defunct Miners Foundry which for many decades had produced equipment for the mines of our region and points beyond. With their eye for the historic, their artistic gifts and a vast collection of Victoriana, they transformed this dark, gritty industrial space into a vital, driving force in our community. Naturally, the buildings were rehabilitated with a meticulous care exercised toward maintaining their historical integrity. They are Historic Landmarks locally as well as nationally.

A few years later I was elected to my first of five terms on the Nevada City Council and began attending a multitude of events at the Foundry, then known as the American Victorian Museum (AVM). My life-long friendship with Charles Woods and David Osborn began there, allowing us to collaborate on numerous city issues, often having to do with historic preservation in our little town.

Osborn/Woods encouraged Terry Brown and Paul Perry to make the move from San Francisco to Nevada City. Paul and Terry soon established Music in the Mountains. Osborn/Woods founded KVMR community radio right there at the AVM, along with a string of annual events including the International Teddy Bear Convention and Robbie Burns Night. My personal favorite is Fright Night, which to this day is one huge, rocking, costume extravaganza.

In 1989 the AVM fell of hard times and the property was acquired by the Nevada City Winery. The winery had the brilliance, the resources, and skills to help establish the Miners Foundry Cultural Preservation Trust, to which the building was dedicated and donated. This wonderful structure, in the heart of the Queen City of the Northern Mines, was once again on line to serve as a hub, a focal point, and a center for all things cultural, educational and civic.

Alan Haley, a prominent local attorney and member of the Board of Directors of the Nevada City Winery crafted the Indentures of Trust. To this day those Indentures govern and guide the Miners Foundry Trustees in their custodianship of the facility and its multitude of activities. We are so fortunate that the Nevada City Winery was able to secure the property, and immediately return it to its all important role of community service.

For me, it’s all come full circle. A few years back I joined the Foundry Board of Trustees, and am honored to work as its President on its behalf for our town and surrounding areas. It is an incredible gift we have received. To say that it is a remarkable asset is an understatement.

Thank you, and we’ll see you at the Miners Foundry sometime soon!

Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration ~ Monday, January 19, 2015


Bethel AME Choir

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

KVMR Radio and the Miners Foundry Cultural Center will present “Serving the Community, Honoring the Dream”, a celebration of the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  The celebration will be on Monday, January 19, 2015 and will feature the 33rd year of the Bethel AME Church Choir of Marysville, CA.  The celebration is free to the public and donations will be accepted.

Doors open at 11:15 a.m. and the celebration begins at 12:00 p.m.  Limited seating will be available.  The concert will also be broadcast live on KVMR 89.5FM, 105.1FM, and online.

KVMR_2008_logo_calA vibrant community is well informed and involved, embraces diversity, respectfully shares opinions and fosters economic and social justice. KVMR builds community by bringing people together to celebrate the music of the world and give voice to the community.

 

 

 

 

Photo by Akim Aginksy

Photo by Akim Aginksy

The Mission of the Miners Foundry Cultural Center is to preserve, enhance and utilize the historic Miners Foundry for cultural, educational and social activities.

The Foundry is a non profit organization, pleased to support the Nevada County theatre community.

To support cultural programming and the preservation of the historic Miners Foundry, please become a member or make a donation today.

Pato Banton ~ Thursday, June 26, 2014


Pato Banton ~ “My Opinion III”

2014 04 09 Pato FINAL

The Miners Foundry is proud to present Pato Banton on Thursday, June 26, 2014!  Positive Vibrations abound with a beat to keep you on your dancing feet, while Pato delivers a message that is food for the mind and soul. Many have considered his charismatic performance as live theatre where no show is alike and audience members become participants in the experienceDoors open at 8:00 p.m. and the music begins at 9:00 p.m., with KVMR’s Reggae DJ Redlocks opening.  Tickets are $20.00 in Advance and $24.00 at the Door, and are available online, by phone, or in person at the Miners Foundry, or in person at Briar Patch Co-Op.  A Pato Banton concert is an event not to be missed and an experience not to be forgotten!

Tickets

 

Born in Birmingham, Banton first came to public attention in the early 1980s when he worked with The Beat. He recorded “Pato and Roger a Go Talk” with Ranking Roger, included on the 1982 album Special Beat Service.

Pato 2A period of deep reflection and meditation left Pato feeling guided to continue his musical journey. In early 2005 Spiritual Guide Yahe Boda invited Pato to do a short tour across America to “Gather the People in Praise.”  Pato’s most recent release is Destination Paradise (2008). He began 2009 with the formation of a new band, The Now Generation, who undertook a state wide tour of the United States, with a commitment to spreading the teachings of The Urantia Book. In the early 2010 Pato performed a special Ska-version show in Tijuana with The Ghostownians as backing-band. Throughout the performance he gave a peace message to the audience to counter the violence there at the time.

Pato Banton

 

 

 

Akim Aginksy

Akim Aginksy

The Mission of the Miners Foundry Cultural Center is to preserve, enhance and utilize the historic Miners Foundry for cultural, educational and social activities.   The Foundry is a non profit organization.

To support cultural programming and the preservation of the historic Miners Foundry, please become a member or make a donation today.

Miners Foundry

Wake the Dead ~ Friday, May 9, 2014


Wake the Dead

KVMR_wakethedead_smallposter_webCeltic All-Star jam band Wake the Dead brings the Summer of Love back to Nevada City on Friday, May 9, 2014 in a Benefit concert for the KVMR NTC Bridge Street Project.  Wake the Dead is a romp flowing seamlessly from rock grooves to hot Irish reels, and from haunting airs to achingly beautiful melodies familiar to Deadheads everywhere.  Local favorites Kelly  Flemming and Juliette Gobert will open for Wake the Dead.  Doors open at 7:00 p.m. and the music starts at 8:00 p.m.  Tickets are $22.00 for KVMR and Nevada Theatre Members, and $25.00 for General Admission.  Tickets are available online, by phone or in person at the Miners Foundry, (530) 265-5040 or in person at Briar Patch Co-Op.

Tickets

 

 

 

Wake the DeadAs an expression of cultural joy, you can’t top an Irish wake.  And what is a wake but a celebration, a toast of appreciation, an expression of love, and a damn good party?  So when eight top Bay Area musicians realized they shared as deep a love for the songs of the Grateful Dead as they did for traditional Celtic tunes, some brand-new music sprang up and started partying.  The music takes off and the band follows with groove jams to keep the tie-dye swirling and the vocal harmonies floating like clouds.

 

The worlds aren’t colliding, they’re meshing, creating a whole new world of possibility, true to the spirits of the Grateful Dead and the eternally hopeful Celts.

Wake the Dead


KVMR Nevada Theatre Building Project from Richard Mentzer on Vimeo.

 

KVMR NTC Bridge Street ImageThe KVMR Community Radio and Nevada Theatre Bridge Street Project is where the Theater of the Stage meets the Theater of the Mind.  KVMR Community Radio and the historic Nevada Theatre have joined forces in a truly unique collaboration to build a new 8,000 square foot home for KVMR that also adds 1,600 square feet of new backstage space to the 148 year old theater. No other collaboration of this type exists within the country.

Bridge Street Project

 

 

 

Akim Aginksy

Akim Aginksy

The Mission of the Miners Foundry Cultural Center is to preserve, enhance and utilize the historic Miners Foundry for cultural, educational and social activities.   The Foundry is a non profit organization, pleased to support the KVMR NTC Bridge Street Project.

To support cultural programming and the preservation of the historic Miners Foundry, please become a member or make a donation today.

Miners Foundry

Bridge Street Project Benefit ~ Friday, October 4, 2013 ~ 6:30 p.m. Doors / 7:00 p.m. Music ~ $20.00 – $25.00

 

KVMR will present The Bridge Street Project Benefit, a fundraiser for the new KVMR building and Nevada Theatre backstage expansion project on Friday, October 4, 2013.

The dance party will feature James Carlson & Steadyhand, Buck Love & The Humperheads, and Joy & Madness.  Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the music starts at 7:00 p.m.  Tickets are $20.00 for KVMR and Nevada Theater Members and $25.00 for General Admission.  Tickets are available at the door.

 

Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration ~ Monday, January 21, 2013 ~ 11:15 a.m. Doors / 12:00 p.m. Show


Bethel AME Church Choir of Marysville ~ “This Little Light of Mine”

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

KVMR Radio and the Miners Foundry Cultural Center will present “Serving the Community, Honoring the Dream”, a celebration of the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  The celebration will be on Monday, January 21, 2013 and will feature the 31st  year of the Bethel AME Church Choir of Marysville, CA.  The celebration is free to the public and donations will be accepted.  Doors open at 11:15 a.m. and the celebration begins at 12:00 p.m.  Limited seating will be available.  The concert will also be broadcast live on KVMR 89.5FM, 105.1FM, and online.  Visit KVMR  for more information or to listen live.


Fright Night – Nevada County’s biggest Halloween bash 34 years and counting!

FRIGHT NIGHT, the Miners Foundry legendary Halloween Party is best known for fantastic decorations, titillating costumes, sweet treats, and lots and lots of rock n’ roll.

This year’s much anticipated FRIGHT NIGHT features four bands on two stages, two full bars, an infamous costume contest that always leaves the entire town talking, a spectacular light show, a photo booth to capture the good times, food to keep you fueled all night, plus the entire Foundry, with its beautiful stone halls and high wood beam ceilings, festively decorated.

Headlining FRIGHT NIGHT is Zepparella, the San Francisco based all-female Led Zeppelin tribute band.  Zepparella brings the passion, the beauty, the aggression, and the musicality of Led Zeppelin alive.  Lead by drummer extraordinaire Clementine, the band is also comprised of singer Noelle Doughty, guitarist Gretchen Menn and bassist Angeline Saris. The musicianship of the group is top-notch and evident with their embrace of Led Zeppelin’s penchant for improvisation. Often performing in angelic white, their live shows are disarming, mesmerizing, and, well, rocking.  The band promises a special surprise for FRIGHT NIGHT this year.

photo credit hojji firemaker

Also performing are local favorites Achilles Wheel featuring Gary Campus, Paul Kamm, and Mark McCartney of the Deadbeats, bassist Shelby Snow and guitarist, singer songwriter Jonny Mojo Flores.  Their blend of psychedellic rock, blues and bluegrass is fresh, lively and will make you want to dance.  Members of Achilles Wheel have headlined The Oregon Country Fair, The Trinity Tribal Stomp, The Marin Summer Music Festival, and performed at other festivals including The High Sierra Music Festival and The Kate Wolfe Festival.  Performing alongside Achilles Wheel are the exotic and mesmerizing Troupe Al Ama belly dancers.   Everyone’s favorite party band Mt Whateverest, will rock the Osborn & Woods Hall with their “astro-noise-space-grunge direct from the foothills to your skull”, their words not ours!  Rounding out this bill is Persist To Rise, an accomplished four-piece metal band that wowed audiences at this year’s Battle of the Bands.

 

This local tradition dates back to 1978 when Bobby Angel coined the name and produced the first five FRIGHT NIGHT’s at the American Victorian Museum as a fundraiser for community radio station KVMR.  Those first years are something of legend with elaborate set designs by Kitty and TJ Meekins, out of this world costumes, and a who’s who of local musicians performing.  The first Fright Night was $2 with costume; simulcast live on KVMR and featured Mighty Dread, Harry Harpoon and the House Wreckers, plus a special appearance by the Phantom of the Opera.

Thirty-four years later, FRIGHT NIGHT has gone through many producers including artists and visionaries David Osborn and Charles Woods, KVMR, Foothill Theatre Company and it is now considered one of the Miners Foundry’s largest annual fundraiser.  Expect an epic dance party, sensational costumes and theatrics, and a night you won’t forget.

KNOW & GO

What: FRIGHT NIGHT
Who: Zepparella, Achilles Wheel, Persist to Rise and Mt Whateverest
When: Saturday, October 27, Doors 8pm
Where: Miners Foundry, 325 Spring Street, Nevada City, CA
Tickets: $20 adv/$25 door, available at BriarPatch Co-op, Nevada City Box Office and online at www.nevadacityboxoffice.org.
For more information call 530 265 5040 or go to www.minersfoundry.org

 

Amy Goodman & Special Guest Denis Moynahan ~ Thursday, October 18, 2012 ~ 6:00 – 7:00 P.M. VIP Reception ~ 7:00 -8:30 p.m. Talk & Book Signing

 

KVMR will present Amy Goodman and Denis Moynahan on Thursday, October 18, 2012 at the Miners Foundry Cultural Center.  The VIP Reception is from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.  From 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., Amy Goodman and Denis Moynahan will host a talk and book signing of their new book “The Silenced Majority”, with forward by Michael Moore. General Admission seats are first come first serve basis. Coffee and no host bar will be available at the event. Limited seating tickets include, appetizers, one wine ticket and a copy of Amy Goodman’s new book “The Silenced Majority”.  Video Viewing ticket holders will have seats in the Stone Hall where the event will be projected live! (no direct line of sight with these tickets)

VIP Tickets $50.00 ($45.00 KVMR Members)

General Admission Tickets $29.00 ($25.00 KVMR Members)

Video Viewing TicketsVideo Viewing Only Tickets $20.00 ($15.00 KVMR Members)

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