Art & Music Sponsorships Now Available

Press Release from Sierra County Arts Council

SIERRA CITY – Sierra County Arts Council is pleased to offer Art and Music Sponsorships (AMS) 2022. The Sierra County Arts Council is always seeking opportunities to bring more cultural events and programs to our geographically isolated communities. We do not enjoy the same volunteer base and funding resources as our urban neighbors. The AMS program is designed to make the greatest use of our resources and to collaborate with local organizations to bring more art and music to all parts of Sierra County. We introduced the AMS program in 2016 and since then have funded music for events for local organizations across Sierra County including the Loyalton Rotary, local library summer reading programs, the Forest City Historical Society, Downieville Lions, local community improvement groups, the Sierra County Historical Society, local fire departments, and many other organizations.

B. J. Jordan, Executive Director of the Sierra County Arts Council, has been busy working with art advocacy groups across the state to promote funding for the arts, particularly in the rural frontier of Sierra County. As a result, we have seen an increase in funding to our local arts council through the California Arts Council. The Arts Council has also applied for and received funding for Covid Relief grants. As a result of these efforts, the Arts Council has bolstered the Art & Music Sponsorship program and expanded it to include individual artists and their projects.

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Timberfest Returns

By Duncan A. Kennedy

LOYALTON – For the first time since 2000, Sierra Timberfest will be returning to Loyalton this Saturday, May 14th.

This event, a fixture of Loyalton life every year during the 1990s. Timberfest was originally organized as a protest to the slow strangulation of the timber industry by federal injunctions and environmental regulations, but it also served as a way to keep a sense of community going while the town reeled from the declining employment in the timber industry.

The original Timberfest featured a truck parade, logging show, street fair, and a rib cookoff (the inspiration for the birth of the annual Sierra County tradition seen every March – the Great Yuba Pass Chili Cook-Off).

Sadly, after nearly ten years of annual celebration, Timberfest went away the same year the Sierra Pacific Industries opted to close their Loyalton mill, an event sending the town into a downward spiral from which they have still yet to fully recover.

However, now, twenty-two years later, the event has returned thanks to the sponsorship of the Eastern Sierra Valley Chamber of Commerce and CTL Forest Management (the new owners of the Loyalton Sawmill and the Golden West Saloon and Hotel) and the tireless work of community organizers such as Supervisor Terry LeBlanc.

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Sierra County Visited by California’s Natural Resources Agency Secretary, Wade Crowfoot

By Duncan A. Kennedy

SIERRA CITY – Saturday, April 30th, saw Sacramento big-shot Wade Crowfoot, Director of California’s Natural Resource Agency, traveling to Sierra City for a special meet-and-greet hosted by Sierra Pines Resort. The event was set-up and moderated by District Two Supervisor candidate Sandy Sanders, a longtime friend of Crowfoot.

Crowfoot is a native of northern Michigan who moved to California in the mid-1990s. His formal education consists of a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science (University of Wisconsin – Madison, 1996) and a Master of Public Policy (London School of Economics, 2004). Crowfoot has previously worked as West Coast regional director for the Environmental Defense Fund and as a senior environmental advisor for Gavin Newsom during his tenure as Mayor of San Francisco. Wade met Sanders on a men’s soccer team around two decades ago; according to Sanders, “Crowfoot and [Rob] Bonta [currently California’s Attorney General] were our two best players.”

Crowfoot began with of primer on the history of fire in the West and how putting all fires out by “10 AM the next day” rule was the wrong approach, both from an ecological and fire safety standpoint. According to Crowfoot, “we now know the notion of healthy forests as untouched to be absolutely wrong,” a stance defying modern conservationist dogma but backed heavily by scientific research in fire ecology and Native American oral histories on land and fire use.

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Nisenan Mural Community Celebration on May 22

On Sunday, May 22, from 3 pm – 6 pm, the community is invited to join members of the Nevada City Rancheria Nisenan Tribal to admire and celebrate the new mural created by Nisenan artists on at 309 Neal Street in downtown Grass Valley.

With food and beverages made available by the new El Barrio Mexican Market, music by local artists, and talks by Tribal Spokesperson Shelly Covert, Tribal member Jennifer Plunkett, muralist Nikila Badua, youth assistant Naomi Alani, and mural curator Haven Caravelli the public will learn more about the story behind the mural, local Indigenous history, the Nisenan’s recent addition to the California State Native American Heritage Commission list, an important acknowledgment for the tribe, and a big step forward in their ongoing fight for restoration of the federal recognition taken away from them by Congressional action in 1964.

Cold Rush Café Grand Opening May 12-15th

DOWNIEVILLE – Downieville’s iconic Cold Rush Café ( is holding its Grand Opening from May 12-15th to celebrate its new ownership. Four local friends came together to form a partnership, which they call Empire Creek Provisions, which focuses on keeping year-round businesses alive in their remote community in Sierra County, which largely is supported by seasonal tourism. Located in the historic “gold” building that once housed the 1950s-era Quartz Café in the quaint mountain town—200 Main Street, Downieville, CA—Cold Rush Café is one of the first sights for visitors as they drive eastbound along Highway 49 & the Scenic Yuba River Byway as they enter the pioneer town of Downieville, CA. This gourmet coffee shop, cafe, and ice cream parlor is just steps away from the confluence of the emerald green waters of the Downie and North Yuba Rivers where families stop to picnic, swim, spend their family vacation, mountain bike, or simply relax along the sandy shores and shaded banks.

Cold Rush has been operating under a “soft opening” in April and May of 2022 to prepare for the summer season, but is excited to relaunch the café and introduce new hours and new menu items for breakfast and lunch including a variety of bakery items, organic grab-and-go goods, and bagels with a variety spreads. This summer, Cold Rush plans on opening their Build-Your-Own (BYO) Sandwich Bar for lunch options. “We’re excited to welcome guests year round, seven days a week, and to carry as many fresh and organic ingredients as possible. We aim to carry on the tradition of Cold Rush Cafe, and the spirit of Quartz Cafe before that. A community hub, a gathering place to connect, socialize and make memories.” said Sonya Ziegler Meline, investor in Cold Rush Cafe.

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