WOW! 2012 has been a truly astonishing year for the Miners Foundry Cultural Center. We estimate that nearly 50,000 people experienced the Foundry in the last twelve months to either attend a concert, theatrical production or reading, non-profit or school fundraiser, private party, wedding, or, just to admire the historic mining relics and the Foundry’s famous stone walls. It seems only fitting to take a moment and reflect on all the fun, the good, and the magic that happened in 2012 at the Miners Foundry. Here is a short list of highlights. If we missed anything be sure to add yours as a comment.
We kicked 2012 off as we do most years as one of the venues for the annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival. We also produced the annual Psychic Fair and The Burnal Equinox, a Burning Man sanctioned event, that had everything from fire dancers and art cars to vendors and music from Albino!. The Foundry was also home to two community favorites the Alasdair Fraser’s 4th Annual Community Music Workshop & Gathering and the 21st Annual Robert Burns Night. The Nevada City Box Office opened inside the Foundry and provided a downtown location and ticketing service for local promoters and arts organizations to sell their tickets and promote their events at the Box Office.
The spring was very busy with famed environmentalist and author Bill McKibben who received special introduction from Pulitzer-prize winning poet Gary Snyder. The event was co-sponsored by the Yuba Watershed Institute and Ananda College of Living Wisdom and brought together an incredible multi-generational audience including Governor Jerry Brown who was spotted in the audience. Also in April we collaborated with the Nevada City Film Festival on the monthly Food & Film Series, which paired a popular film with a unique dining experience. We started the series off with a sold-out screening of “Big Night” followed by an Italian Feast from The Old 5 Mile House. Beatles expert Scott Freiman visited us again to present his “Deconstructing the Beatles: Revolver”. Scott shares his presentation to folks with audiences across the country including Carnegie Hall, Google, Stanford University and more.
This year we partnered with renowned local promoter Paul Emery on a series of shows that included the San Francisco Mime Troupe, Kitka, Markus James and Johnny Winter, who nearly brought the house down in May with his legendary guitar playing.
In addition to bringing audiences famous and award-winning groups and musicians like Winter, Iris DeMent, and Dark Star Orchestra, we also hosted newly discovered talents such as Howlin Rain and Nico Vega. Later in the year, Nico Vega had their song “Beast” used in the trailer for the much-anticipated videogame, BioShock.
Just in time for summer, with the help of Dan St John, 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 and staff, we completed a major landscape project around the outside of the Foundry that included the removal of invasive trees and the addition of ornamental and native trees and shrubs.
Due to the Foundry’s versatility, every season really is wedding season at the Foundry. This summer, though, a beautiful rustic chic wedding at the Foundry was featured on Martha Stewart online, and before we knew it brides from all over the state were contacting us to book their weddings in 2013 and beyond. Weddings, too, are a cultural experience – brides and grooms share themselves and express their creativity through their weddings – from Steam Punk to the DIY wedding featured by Martha Stewart – there is something to be said about the many couples that choose to start their lives together at the Miners Foundry.
The Nevada City Craft Fair returned with two wildly successful events in August and then again in December, with over 1,700 people from across Northern California turning out to see the area’s top Etsy vendors and do-it-yourself crafters and artisans.
Also in August, the Nevada City Film Festival returned for their 12th Annual Film Festival and this year they hosted an impressive line up of comedians, writers and directors from Portlandia and Comedy Central.
In October, KVMR produced their annual event with Amy Goodman the host of Democracy Now! The Nisenan Heritage Day hosted traditional dancers, native artisans, basket weavers, and provided locals and visitors the history of the Nevada City Rancheria Nisenan.
We rounded out the year with the annual Fright Night fundraiser for the Foundry with the all-female Led Zeppelin tribute band Zepparella along with local favorites Achilles Wheel, Mount Whateverest, and Persist to Rise all performed to an all-ages crowd of brilliantly dressed in costume. Our photo contest was an online sensation garnering hundred of likes and new followers.
The 25th annual Artisans Festival returned to the Foundry over Thanksgiving Weekend. It was the first Artisans Festival since the passing of the event’s beloved producer and longtime Foundry supporter, Carol Herschleb. Carol’s sister Lissa and artist and designer LeeAnn Brook, worked with the Foundry to ensure the longstanding holiday tradition didn’t skip a beat. We are still deeply saddened by the loss of Carol, but look forward to celebrating her and her work at her Celebration of Life on February 17, 2013.
As you can see, it was an incredible year and we couldn’t have done it without the help of volunteers, staff, member, community and individual support. Thank you so much! We look forward to another successful, exciting and inspiring year of arts and culture in Nevada County. If you are interested in getting involved with the Foundry please consider making a tax deductible donation or volunteering your time or talents! Give us a call at (530) 265-5040 or email Executive Director, Gretchen Bond at [email protected].
Happy New Year!