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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.

 

Faces of the Foundry – Bill Holman

BartendersKitka

John Lenz (left) and Bill Holman (right)

 

Stop by a Miners Foundry show and you are sure to meet Bill Holman, our volunteer Bar Manager.  Bill kindly consented to take part in our first Question & Answers session for Faces of the Foundry.  Read on to learn more about the man who makes your favorite martini!

Where are you from originally?  Why did you decide to move to Nevada County?

I grew up in Los Altos, CA and also had my advertising / graphic design business there.  I bought a house and property in Nevada City in 1984 as a vacation home to get out of the Bay Area on the weekends.  I moved to Nevada County permanently in 1988, and also moved my business here.

How did you discover the Miners Foundry? 

I was introduced to Miners Foundry in 1989 by George Foster, who was on the Board of Directors at the time.

What were your initial impressions of the Foundry? 

I was initially impressed with the history of the building as a metal foundry and machine shop.  I also realized the influence the Miners Foundry had on the community, as an events center that hosted so many different events supporting the arts and the community at large.

How long have you been volunteering at the Foundry?

I have been volunteering at the Miners Foundry since 1989.  In 1990, Miners Foundry became a client of mine.  I produced their marketing material, such as ads, newsletters, brochures, and promotional materials for special events.  I am now the Bar Manager for the Foundry.

What do you like best about the Miners Foundry building?

I like the history of the building, especially the Stone Hall with its massive fireplace.

What are your favorite types of events at the Foundry?

I enjoy the special events the Foundry has done, such as the Winefest Grape Stomp.  The Miners Foundry used to do a membership drive that coincided with the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee.  One of the jazz bands would perform at the Foundry.  Often the bands were from other countries such as Germany, Poland, or Russia.

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

Each New Year’s Eve, the Miners Foundry has a large party that can bring as many as 500 people.  On New Year’s Eve in 2014, the power went out for about two hours [due to a storm].  The bands couldn’t play due to the power outage, but the drummers could still play.  Achilles Wheel was the headliner that year, and they have two drum sets and two drummers.  The drummers did a 45 minute set while the power was out.  At the bar, we were making drinks by flashlight.  The power came back at 11:30, just in time to toast the New Year.

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

Getting involved with the Miners Foundry is a great way to meet people in our community and it also gives someone a chance to give back to the community.

 

Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities at the Foundry

Those who can, do.  Those who can do more, volunteer.
~Author Unknown

Volunteer at the Foundry and receive a complimentary ticket to the Foundry sponsored event of your choice!
(Must volunteer for a minimum of 6 hours to receive complimentary ticket)

Please contact Kat Kress at kat@minersfoundry.org (530) 265-5040 to Volunteer.

Volunteers are needed for the following events:

Dark Star Orchestra, Wednesday, October 10, 2012
All volunteer positions for this show have been filled.  Thank you!  Tickets are still available at the Nevada City Box Office or Briar Patch.

“Labyrinth”, Friday, October 19, 2012
The Miners Foundry Cultural Center and the Nevada City Film Festival presents “Labyrinth” (rated PG) the Jim Henson cult classic starring David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly.  Several Volunteer positions are available, including the Nevada City Box Office and Decorating.

Fright Night, Saturday, October 27, 2012
The Miners Foundry’s Annual Fundraising Event, FRIGHT NIGHT, returns this year with headliner Led Zeppelin Tribute Band,  Zepparella, as well as Achilles Wheel, Persist to Rise and Mt. Whateverest.  Many Volunteer positions are available, including the Decorating Committee and the Nevada City Box Office.

Power of 12 20th Anniversary Party, Sunday, November 4, 2012
Power of 12, Nevada County’s home grown R&B band, will be presenting a 20th anniversary concert in conjunction with The Miners Foundry.  Volunteer positions are available in the Nevada City Box Office.

Holiday Decorating Committee, November 12 & 13, 2012
The Foundry is currently seeking volunteers to help deck the halls, the wall, and everything in between!  This is a great opportunity for students to earn community service hours.

Artisans Festival, November 23 through 25, 2012
For over 35 years, Thanksgiving Weekend in Nevada City has featured a major art event, attracting thousands of visitors from near and far. Since 1993, this event has been Artisans Festival at Miners Foundry, hosting a small but select group of artists and craftspeople whose quality artwork has attracted a loyal and growing audience of admirers and patrons.  Many Volunteer positions are available.

Thank you to all of our wonderful volunteers!

October Volunteer Opportunities at the Foundry

Volunteer at the Foundry and receive a complimentary ticket to the Foundry sponsored event of your choice!
(Must volunteer for a minimum of 6 hours to receive complimentary ticket)

Please contact Kat Kress at kat@minersfoundry.org (530) 265-5040 to Volunteer.

Volunteers are needed for the following events:

Dark Star Orchestra, Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Performing to critical acclaim worldwide for over 13 years and more than 1800 shows, Dark Star Orchestra continues the Grateful Dead concert experience. Their shows are built off the Dead’s extensive catalog and the talent of these 7 fine musicians. On any given night the band will perform a show based on a set list from the Grateful Dead’s 30 years of extensive touring or use their catalog to program a unique set list for the show. This allows fans both young and old to share in the experience.   Volunteer half the show, then dance the rest!  If DSO isn’t your type of show, this is a great opportunity to volunteer for 6 hours and earn a complimentary ticket for another Foundry sponsored show.  Many Volunteer positions still available.

Fright Night, Saturday, October 27, 2012
The Miners Foundry’s Annual Fundraising Event, FRIGHT NIGHT, returns this year with headliner Led Zeppelin Tribute Band,  Zepparella, as well as Achilles Wheel, Persist to Rise and Mt. Whateverest.  Many Volunteer positions are available, including the Decorating Committee and the Nevada City Box Office.

Thank you to all of our wonderful volunteers!

 

 

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!’”