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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!

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.

 

Events

Animal House Revisit-TIN

KVMR, the Nevada Theatre, and NC Arts will present the Animal House Revisit-TIN celebration – a fundraiser, party, auction, and competition on Sunday, March 26, 2017, from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m., at the Miners Foundry.  Animal House Revisit-TIN is a silent and live auction event offering animal shelters created by local artists made with repurposed tin from the old building where KVMR now stands, as well as poetry by Molly Fisk and music by Possum.  The afternoon will feature a no-host bar and food available for purchase.  Animal House Revisit-TIN is a benefit for the Bridge Street Project and NC Arts, with a portion of proceeds to the artists.  For more inforamtion, please call the KVMR office at (530) 265-9073.

KVMR and NC Arts have teamed up to showcase shelters for creatures utilizing recycled tin from the old Bridge Street building where KVMR now stands, made by local artists.  The shelters will be on display at various local businesses during the month of March and will be available at the event on March 26th which will include both a silent and live auction of the pieces.  The shelters include housing for Dogs, Cats, Birds, Turtles, Owls, Chickens and even a Worm box!

In 2013, KVMR and the Nevada Theatre joined forces to build a new home for the station, build a backstage for the theater and make some much needed repairs to the 150-year old theater.  Behind the theater were three tin sheds, and some of that tin was re-purposed in the new building. Now, the remaining tin is now being re-purposed to build these one-of-a-kind animal shelters by local artists.

This collaborative endeavor showcases the unique pioneering spirit of Nevada County by combining the creative, ecological, cooperative, aesthetic, and often humorous qualities that continue to sustain a vibrant and eclectic community.  Entertainment will showcase poetry by Molly Fisk, and music by the band Possum, and will be emceed by KVMR Board Member and Broadcaster Phil Northcutt and Melinda Booth will run the auction.  Food will be available for purchase from Horn of the Bull Taqueria and Cheri’s Ice Cream, and the event will have a no-host bar.

Join us for an afternoon of fun and entertainment!