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Nevada County Arts Council offers CARES relief grants, partners with California Arts Council to serve communities of color locally

As the State-Local Partner with California Arts Council in Nevada County, Nevada County Arts Council has announced the re-granting of $12,600 among six cultural organizations serving communities of color disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

Ana Mendez, Tracy Pepper and Daniela Fernández of Color Me Human.
Photo courtesy of Tracy Pepper


Olivia Pritchett (left) and Michele Fitzhugh Nesbit in CATS production of “The Joy Luck Club.”
Photo by David Wong
Artist Spencer McClay at Neighborhood Center of the Arts.
Photo courtesy Amee Madeiros

Eliza Tudor, Executive Director, says, “Our application season for Nevada County CARES for the Arts closed in mid-December and we have been thrilled with the caliber of work of our applicants. Each organization showed integrity in serving different communities of color through creativity and the arts, and, as we turn the corner on a New Year, we are pleased to be able to reward their work.”

The Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act recognized that the nonprofit creative sector is a vital part of America’s economy. In response to the COVID-19 public health crisis, the National Endowment for the Arts awarded 40% of its CARES appropriation directly to state and regional arts agencies.  California Arts Council distributed its share of funding to those among its State Local-Partners (SLPs) who elected to opt in.

Tudor says, “Naturally, we opted in, calling this opportunity Nevada County CARES for the Arts. Our initiative aligned with both the California Arts Council’s public mission and commitment to racial equity, and Nevada County Arts Council’s own equity principles, which respect and value diverse life experiences and heritages, and ensure that all voices are valued and heard.”

The following organizations are now in receipt of funding from Nevada County CARES for the Arts:

California Heritage: Indigenous Research Project (CHIRP) has received $3,000 to support general operations at a time when capacity building to help re-claim its federal recognition is all-important.

Color Me Human has been awarded $3,000 to support its Intimate Stories from the Shadows series, initially sharing stories from three black women. Tracy Pepper, Director of Color me Human, said: “We’re excited to help raise the voices of Black, Indigenous, people of color in Nevada county and thankful for Nevada County Art’s council support of our project.”

Community Asian Theatre of the Sierra (CATS) has similarly received $3,000 in support of its production of Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club, with monies funding expenses related to the show’s postponement from March, 2020 to 2021, including director, designer, and actor stipends, rents for the Nevada Theatre and rehearsal space, completion of the set and costumes, and marketing. Executive Director, Jeannie Woods, says: ”It’s an honor for CATS to be recognized in this way and we are grateful that Nevada County Arts Council supports our vision of multicultural theatre and diversity in the arts.”

Trails & Vistas has been awarded $1,600 to support stipends for artists and presenters as part of its virtual field trip film, The Dreaming Tree. Jean Varda, board president, and Nancy Lopez, Executive Director, issued a joint statement: “We are grateful to Nevada County Arts Council for its decision to invest in Trails & Vistas’ extra curricula virtual field trip film, The Dreaming Tree, through our support of Latinx students in the Truckee Community. An inclusive and diverse group of artists and speakers in the film, including a member of the Native American Washoe Tribe of California and Nevada, as well as other cultural guides, will be featured.”

Neighborhood Center of the Arts in Grass Valley will receive $1,500 to support three developmentally disabled or intellectually challenged adults of color, whose participation has been severely hampered by COVID, and will be used to purchase art supplies and teaching artists to support these students. Amee Madeiros, Executive Director said: “We are honored to receive this grant. With the Center closed due to our Shelter-in-Place mandate, many of our artists continue to create art. However, many are sad and at times unmotivated to create while away from our community here at the center. This grant allows us to support and inspire our artists – creating a spark of new motivation. We look forward to see what they create!”

Additionally, Grass Valley Taiko will receive $500 towards rent to preserve space for classes which support a centuries old Japanese art form, one that originated in China and Korea, and was then later refined in Japan.

As well as its first priority of supporting Nevada County’s creative sector, Nevada County Arts Council has also been providing peer support and mentoring for Sierra County Art Council in the administering of its own grantmaking process.

Says Tudor, “The State-Local Partner network extends the length and breadth of California. This provides leadership in the arts in every corner of the state, and while not all agencies had the capacity to opt-in to California Arts Council’s re-granting initiative, it felt important to support our neighbors. We were thrilled, at the end of the day, that cultural organizations and less formal groups offering support to communities of color were able to benefit from monies from the state both within and beyond county lines. This support has never been felt more deeply – and particularly in our rural underserved communities.”

Source: Nevada County Arts Council

WinterWonderGrass festival postponed again to April 2022

The WinterWonderGrass Music & Brew Festival announced Wednesday that it is postponing its rescheduled 2020 festival ahead to April 1-3, 2022.

The initially rescheduled dates were April 9-11, 2021. The festival will take place at its traditional California home of Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows in North Lake Tahoe.

The festival confirmed that all but one act from the 2020 lineup will fully return in April of 2022.

The festival will be anchored by a two-set Billy Strings headlining Sunday night performance, and will once again welcome The Infamous Stringdusters, Keller and the Keels, Peter Rowan, Fruition, The War and Treaty, Brothers Comatose, The Lil Smokies, Lindsay Lou, Pickin on the Dead and more.

WinterWonderGrass postpones festival to April 2022.

WinterWonderGrass will be making a special announcement of the third and final headliner this year to replace The Devil Makes Three, at this time they are not confirming any future dates.

Along with the announcement of this postponement, WinterWonderGrass has presented festival ticket holders, and those without tickets that are interested in attending in 2022, with options outlined on their website.

For more information, visit https://winterwondergrass.com.

Listen: Greater Sacramento Region moves back to purple, Sahara gets snow and more on Tahoe Talk podcast

Here are some conversation starters from around the globe and within your local community to add to your social toolkit:

Listen here.

Regional News:

– Greater Sacramento region (includes Tahoe) moves back into the “Purple Tier” and catches a lot of business off guard

– Chick-fil-A in Carson City opens this weekend

– Big Tree hunter discovers 3 of the tallest sugar pines

– Mutt Madness contest coming up soon to find the cutest dog photo in Lake Tahoe

Global News:

– The Sahara Desert in Africa has a fresh blanket of snow after temperatures recently dropped to 27ºF. The area has experienced snow only three other times in the last 42 years; 1979, 2017, and 2018. The average temperature in January is 57ºF. In the summer, temperatures can exceed 120ºF.

– Ski resorts in Italy remain closed as government postpones opening day again! January 18th was supposed to be the most recent opening day, but the Italian government recently announced that the public would have to wait – at least until February 15h, possibly March 5th

– Top snow totals in North America: #1: Alyeska, AK – 480” #10: Mt Hood, OR – 196”

– Most Affordable Ski Resort: Titus Mountain, NY… Hotel night avg: $53, Day life ticket avg.: $39

– Most Expensive Ski Resort: Deer Valley, UT… Hotel night avg. $286, Day life ticket avg.: $229

– SF software developer was awarded 7,000 bitcoins back in 2011 for producing a video explains the cryptocurrency. Price then $2. Price now $41k. That’s not the story though. This man lost his password and you only have 10 chances to guess. Two more wrong guesses and he loses $220M

– South Coast air quality management district has lifted the limits on the number of cremations that can be performed in Los Angeles county, citing a death rate that is more than double the pre-pandemic norm and an unmanageable backlog of dead bodies. More than 2,700 bodies were being stored at local hospitals and the county coroner’s office as of Friday, Jan. 15

– Donald who? The measures Biden plans to enact are geared toward undoing some of President Trump’s most controversial policies. That includes 1) scrapping the travel ban on majority-Muslim countries 2) rejoining the Paris Agreement and 3) establishing a path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants. Biden also plans to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline permit on his first day

Grab and go with the library

Donna gives out activity bags during curbside pickup at the Grass Valley Library.
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Amy at the Grass Valley Library presents Random Acts of Science over Facebook live.
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Mellisa presents Pajama Storytime from the Grass Valley Library, using Facebook live.
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The Madelyn Helling Library in Nevada City.
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Librarians and staff at Madelyn Helling Library in Nevada City are on site and available by phone and email.
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American writer Sidney Sheldon once said, “Libraries store the energy that fuels the imagination. They open up windows to the world and inspire us to explore and achieve and contribute to improving our quality of life.” Nevada County is enriched by a strong and active library system that has managed to continue to connect the community through engagement and resources, even as the pandemic continues to limit opportunities to gather in person.

A quick look at the library calendar of events shows a robust list of activities geared toward all ages, and includes both online and “grab and go” resources.

For more info on the many services offered by the county libraries, visit mynevadacounty.com/library.

Adult Services Librarian at the Madelyn Helling Library in Nevada City (just one of six branch libraries serving Nevada County) Megan Lloyd said there was some regrouping to be done when the shut down began in March, but the libraries are extremely active.

“There was a little bit of a learning curve,” explained Lloyd. “We got everything digital as quickly as we could and started thinking about how to reach people who might not have great access to digital, so we started offering grab bags and we have found that combination has worked pretty well for the community.”

“Grab Bags” is an activity or other program in a bag.

“Whatever we would normally do, like an art program or a science program, we have put together all of the supplies so people can pick them up, take them home and do them along with us with an online tutorial or just on their own,” Lloyd said. Activities are organized for children and for adults. Each week there is an art activity for adults with grab bags available for pick up at the Madelyn Helling Library in Nevada City, at the Grass Valley Library Royce Branch, and sometimes at the Truckee Library in eastern Nevada County. The art programs have been offered for years through the library system — in person before the pandemic — and continuing now with a bit of innovation.


Another program the library continues to bring to residents is the Winter Reading Challenge. Lloyd said people are asking for an outlet.

“If you are staying at home alone, or having to quarantine with your family, it’s nice to have an activity that you don’t have to come up with and try to figure out how to keep yourself or your family entertained. People have been very into that,” said Lloyd.

The Winter Reading challenge suggests just 30 minutes of reading a week for adults and 10 minutes a day for youths. Prizes are given just for signing up and more prizes are available as participants meet the challenge through Jan. 31.

“Parents come in to sign their kids up and then realize that there is an adult version on it too and get really excited and sign up themselves,” Lloyd said.

Other popular programs offered an no cost to county residents include a monthly virtual crafting circle where librarians get on the library Facebook live page and complete a craft and talk about crafting. The libraries also offer a number of online books clubs including one on diverse perspectives.

“This is a cool way to explore different perspectives and lots of different ways of approaching diversity,” said Lloyd. “This month was for National Religious Freedom Day and last month was around World Aids Day. “

The library also offers ‘Online Lawyer in the Library’ because of a great group of volunteers, Lloyd said. “We have a couple of local lawyer volunteers who give up their time on the first Friday of the month to sit down with people and talk about their court cases, and legal issues they are dealing with. They (the lawyers) are really, really incredible. I can not say enough about how amazing our lawyer volunteers are. They really bend over backwards to help people out.”

Everything the library offers is free. Funding comes in a variety of sources including grants, donations made through the nonprofit “Friends of the Library” and a bit from a voter approved sales tax.


Nevada County Reads and Writes

Nevada County Reads and Writes kicks off Feb. 1. This year, “The Roundhouse” by Louise Erdrich — winner of the National Book Award for fiction — was chosen and several events are planned.

“It is a little bit challenging with COVID,” said Lloyd. “But we are doing what we can to make sure there is stuff for everybody. We have an art walk from Feb. 8 through 13 in Nevada City where you can walk around and see art inspired by ’The Roundhouse’ or connected to it somehow, including at the space for CHIRP (California Heritage Indigenous Research Project) with local Niesenan. That is a very cool thing we are able to incorporate this year. It culminates with a digital event on Zoom featuring CHIRP spokesperson Shelly Covert.”

When asked what she wishes the library could do more of, Lloyd said one of the challenges is bridging the digital divide. “I wish we had more funding to be able to give people more wi-fi. The library does have a number of hotspots they offer on loan for up to 14 days at time.”

Lloyd said the role of the library is to provide a community center.

“It’s a place where everybody and anybody is welcome and everybody and anybody does come to the library. It doesn’t matter what your background is or where you are at in life. We get young families. We get seniors, and everybody in between. It’s a place to come and be. You get your free wi-fi. You get your books. You get access to information which is one of our favorite things to give people access to, but we also have programs and events and ways to connect with each other.”

More information about each of the mentioned programs and more can be found online by going to mynevadacounty.com/library or by calling any of the branches.

Hollie Grimaldi Flores is a Nevada County resident and freelance writer for hire, as well as a podcaster at HollieGrams. You can hear her episodes at https://www.buzzsprout.com/1332253. She can be reached at holliesallwrite@ gmail.com.


Tahoe Talk: 2020 was hottest year ever; Record snow in Spain

Here are some conversation starters from around the globe and within your local community to add to your social toolkit.

Listen to the podcast here:

Regional News:

– Douglas Co. kicks off Tier 2 vaccinations and state of NV extends mitigation measures for another 30 days.

– $200k-plus raised for Clean Up The Lake in effort to collect underwater trash in all 72 miles of shoreline in Tahoe

– Rock Tahoe half-marathon canceled for 2021, Tahoe BrewFest being postponed to mid-September

– Tahoe Chamber “GoLocal” campaign and Tahoe AleworX’s “Feel Good Movement” blow away expectations with funds raised

– Prescribed burns resume in Tahoe basin with mild, warm weather in the forecast with little to no wind

National News:

– 2020 ties 2016 for the hottest year on record for Earth. The Earth is nearly 2 degrees Fahrenheit warmer now than it was in the 20th century as greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere continue to rise. 56.95 degrees Fahrenheit was the mark, which is 1.75 degrees above that 20th century average

– CES 2021: Monday, the 54th annual tech show kicks off virtually for the first time ever: home entertainment systems, connected fitness equipment, air purifiers are the most popular items to look for innovation but the biggest = Hologram technology inspired by “Star Wars” could bring “new dimension” to smartphones

– The anti-return policy: Walmart, Amazon and Chewy don’t want your stuff back. These online giants are starting to say “keep it,”… They’ll refund you for that tight-fitting beanie — but they don’t want it back. Why so nice? It’s a price thing. Some returns are more expensive to process and ship than the products actually cost — especially cheap or heavy items. Companies use AI to do the math. Returns can cost companies $10 to $20, excluding transportation. So it makes more economic sense to just refund you for that $7 PopSocket

– Podcasts are as old as the 2004 iPod — the term is actually a mashup of “iPod” and “broadcast.” But the Big Pod Boom came more recently: global monthly podcast listeners grew from 287M in 2016 to 1B+ in 2020 — and they’re expected to hit 1.85B in 2023

– ViacomCBS Inc. said Monday it has reached a distribution agreement with Walt Disney Co.’s Hulu that puts many of its most popular cable channels on the live-television video-streaming service. The deal adds 14 cable networks from ViacomCBS to Hulu’s live-TV option, including Comedy Central, MTV and children-friendly channel Nickelodeon.

– Friday 1/15 = Nat’l Bagel Day!

6 places to go ice fishing in Lake Tahoe

Ice fishermen try their luck at Red Lake in the Carson Pass area.

Our mountain lakes may be frozen, but underneath the ice there is a whole lot of life swimming around.

Ice fishing is popular at Lake Tahoe and it doesn’t take a lot of equipment, mostly motivation to be out in the cold. All you need is a fishing pole, bait, an ice auger to cut through the ice and a shovel in case there is snow covering the ice.

You can bring a cooler and barbecue and make a day out of it.

Victor Babbit, owner of Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters, recommended some places to go.

1. Red Lake in the Carson Pass region is one of the most popular spots for ice fishing. On a bluebird day, people can be seen ice skating, playing hockey and ice fishing on the lake. Babbit says at Red Lake you can catch several fish but they are generally smaller in size. Red Lake is easily accessible. Fishermen will often fish close to the dam and on the south side of the lake.

2. Caples Lake near Kirkwood is another top spot to ice fish in Lake Tahoe. Babbit says that at Caples, one typically catches less fish, but bigger fish.

“Chances for catching a Mackinaw are better,” he said.

3. Twin Lakes is a great backcountry spot to ice fish if you have a snowmobile, Babbit said.

4. Blue Lakes is 12 miles south of California State Route 88 in Hope Valley. This is another spot where you are going to want to pack your supplies on a snowmobile to get to the lake.

5. Silver Lake is just past Caples Lake. Babbit says that while Silver Lake is a good spot, Caples is just as good and closer to South Lake Tahoe.

6. Spooner Lake is another option for ice fishing and is accessible throughout the season. About 10 miles from Incline Village, this lake has rainbow, brown and large cutthroat trout.

Babbit recommends drilling a hole by an outlet or inlet. He says that while it sounds like an oddity, sometimes he fishes close to the shoreline where it may only be about 3 feet deep.

Babbit says he will also fish in areas where the water is 10-15 feet deep.

“You’re trying to figure out where and how deep they [the fish] are,” he said.

For bait a piece of a worm, cooked bay shrimp, salmon eggs, Power Bait or mealworms can be used.

Babbit says he prefers a ⅜ ounce Kastmaster fishing jig. All bait, other than the shrimp are available at his shop.

Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters rents and sells ice augers (they are currently out of stock, but more are on the way), tackle and all the rods anyone would need.

Babbit says if you don’t have an auger or are unable to get one, if you bring $5-10 or even a pack of beer, usually another angler out on the ice will drill a hole for you, especially if you go to the popular areas like Red Lake.

This is the first time in years, Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitter will not be offering ice fishing tours this year.

Venture at your own risk. Make sure the ice is solid before attempting to walk on. Also, the ice can be very slick, especially before snow falls on top. Bring ice grips for shoes. Life jackets and ropes are always a good idea and bring a friend. Make sure to have a valid fishing license. Respect local wildlife and leave no trace.


LISTEN: ’Stay at Home’ order continues, ’The Great Gatsby’ enters public domain and more on Tahoe Talk podcast

From around the globe to out your backdoor, here are the topics to keep you relevant and up-to-date!

Listen here!

Regional News:

– Region’s ICU capacity keeps Greater Sacramento region in “Stay at Home Order”

– Mellow NYE at Stateline in South Lake and first time U.S. Hwy 50 has been open to thru-traffic since 1980s

– NHL announces two regular season games will be played outdoors at Edgewood Tahoe in February. Las Vegas Knights vs. Colorado Avalanche and Philadelphia Flyers vs. Boston Bruins

– New business, Ladles by the Lake, now serving bread bowl soups

– Volunteer opportunities: Tahoe Institute of Natural Science needs help with their annual eagle survey and a six week B-level movie video shoot in February.

National News:

– Mt. Baker has received up to 84 inches (7 feet) of snow in the last eight days, and another 4-5 feet of snow is forecasted over the next 10 days. Seems like the pacific northwest is the only region benefitting from La Nina.


– West Virginia was one of the few states without a National Park, but that is expected to change after the COVID-19 relief bill passed in Congress last week. The New River Gorge is the nation’s newest national park. The park is highlighted by the absolutely massive New River Gorge Bridge that spans 3,031 feet, and 876 feet above the New River. The area is extremely popular amongst rock climbers, rafters, and hikers.

– The remains of a wooly rhino were discovered in Siberia, and scientists believe that the creature had been preserved by permafrost for more than 20,000 years. The rhino was preserved with its fur, limbs, tusk, and most of its organs. Discoveries, like this rhino, are becoming more common with the thawing of permafrost due to climate change

– The Great Gatsby is among a number of classic works copyrighted in 1925 that have entered the public domain. Copyright protection lasts for the life of the author plus an additional 70 years. Sold fewer than 25,000 copies before Fitzgerald died. It has since sold nearly 30 million. Now, there’s chatter of all sorts of remakes of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic.

– Planning a trip in 2021? Southwest just launched a fare sale with tickets starting at $29 one way. As with all airline sales, there is fine print galore, but SW has an easy “low fare calculator”

– 17% of US restaurants have closed due to the pandemic as of Dec. 1. That’s more than 500,000 restaurants of every type — from independent, to franchise, and chain — that have gone under.

– January is named after the Roman god Janus, whose two faces allowed him to look simultaneously into the past and the future (deep)

– Wed. 1/6 = Nat’l Take Down Your Christmas Tree Day

Listen to the discussion here!

’Resilient by nature’: Wild & Scenic Film Festival goes virtual

'Salmon' crossing the street during the 2020 Wild & Scenic Film Festival in downtown Nevada City. This year the beloved festival goes virtual, reaching a global audience.
Photo by Josh Miller
The official poster art for the 2021 Wild & Scenic Film Festival.
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A still from the film “2040,” just one of many films featured at the 2021 Wild & Scenic Film Festival.
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A mom and her two children take a look at a brochure outside the Nevada Theatre during the 2020 Wild & Scenic Film Festival.
Photo by Josh Miller
“Rise Beyond Gold" is a film about a proposal to re-open a relic gold mine in Nevada County. The community faces a foreign corporation that would take the gold from under their property and leave a toxic legacy. ”Rise Beyond Gold“ raises bigger questions for the world at large. Why do we desire gold; and ultimately, is it worth it?
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WHAT: The 19th annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival

WHEN: Jan. 14 through Jan. 24, 2021

WHERE: Online

MORE INFO: https://wsff.eventive.org

For many people, there is simply nothing better than watching a film on a giant screen, while eating popcorn in the dark. For others, watching a movie from the comfort of their own home is the ultimate pleasure. This year, as movie theaters have been forced to close, the big screen option is more of a challenge, but can still be done through the magic of technology and with the help of the Wild & Scenic Film Festival, as they bring the opportunity to watch over 100 films, including 13 world premieres, on whatever size screen you can manage!

The 19th annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival takes place Jan. 14 through Jan. 24, 2021 with over 100 environmental and adventure films, activist workshops, programs for youth, an art exhibition, and the opportunity to meet filmmakers – all presented online.

Festival Producer Eric Dunn said the event, which is the largest fundraiser for South Yuba River Citizen’s League, is going completely virtual.

“We made the decision to go all virtual pretty early on and we are feeling good about the decision,” said Dunn. “We have been able to put ourselves into planning and sculpting this new format for the festival.”

Leaders of the organization decided to move forward with a virtual event to bring the festival’s tagline “Where activism gets inspired” to life. Dunn said, “I think that in a crazy year like this and crazy times overall, we could all use some inspiration. And not only that, the environmental movement, environmental justice movement, those things don’t stop because of a pandemic or because of politics. They are always important, and even more so in times like these. We felt it was important to bring these messages to inspire activism and interest in these subjects.” Support of the community and support of SYRCL is also vital.

With a virtual event, many limitations have been removed including the overall reach of the films.

“In making the most of the situation, we feel this is a great year to expand the scope of who is able to be part of this and who is able to get these films in front of them or engage in the workshops and other programming,” said Dunn. “Hopefully, that leads to Wild & Scenic coming back in 2022 bigger and better than ever, having garnered a bunch of new folks who didn’t know about the festival before, who will be inspired to come up to western Nevada County and spend some money and engage in our community in a physical festival in the future.”

As with past festivals, there will still be free programming such as Activist Center Workshops, an Art Exhibition, and the Enviro Fair. There are self-guided excursions available and even an online beer and Kombucha tasting! Many elements encourage community engagement – even without the purchase of a festival pass – though that is encouraged.

The festival programming still has thematic tracks and this year there are several pass options to consider, from single sessions to the Watershed Pass which includes the entire festival. Many of the films will be available on demand while others come with restrictions such as availability and caps on the number of viewers in a session. Each session is about an hour and a half long and includes three to six films of varying length.

Some of the featured films at the 2021 festival have local interest including “Rise Beyond Gold” about the proposal to reopen a relic gold mine in Nevada County; “The Hidden Bear” which takes viewers down eight and a half miles of the Bear River that would be flooded by the Centennial Dam project; the Ron Howard film, “Rebuilding Paradise” which showcases the devastating 2018 Camp Fire, and a film featuring a local craftsman on the San Juan Ridge, “The Local Woods.”

The “Wild Child” session is taking the place of the Saturday morning programming that happened at the Del Oro. There is a film focused on a group of black female mountain bikers “Pedal Through” which is in line with the focus of highlighting stories not traditionally featured in the outdoor world and many award winning environmental not-to-be-missed films.

Dunn said most of the films are available to watch anytime during the 11-day window of the festival. “Most of the film sessions are available on demand. There are only a handful of sessions that have some kind of restriction, be it when, or how many people can view it, that kind of thing, so most of these sessions are available to watch anytime during the festival window from the 14th through the 24th. We really tried to make things flexible for folks so they can get their dose of inspiration on their own schedule.” There are also age based programs with curriculum available.

For those who may not have the best internet quality available, a special “Staycation” package is being offered by Courtyard Suites with plenty of wi-fi included in the stay. And Three Forks Bakery and Brewery is offering meal packages during the festival.

The art exhibition is inspired by the 2021 Festival theme, “Resilient by Nature” and is in partnership with the Nevada County Arts Council. The online exhibition includes local as well as international artists.

Filmmaker Q&A sessions will be available. There will be a virtual lobby via Zoom of filmmakers and special guests as a way to engage, and there will be happy hours and chat rooms as well.

“We have workshops about everything from river restoration with some of our SYRCL crew to great talks about diversity, equity and inclusion in the outdoor space and we are also excited to have the President of Earthjustice joining us to talk about the legal work they are doing as we turn the calendar into 2021,” said Dunn. Dunn encourages people to go to the website to explore the many choices available throughout the festival.

“I hate to get ahead of myself, but I am cautiously optimistic we will gather in the streets again next January and I look forward to that,” said Dunn. “But we have to see the upside in all of these things, and we worked to make the most of it and still get these stories in front of folks. That is the name of game. I have heard several people speak to the idea that surviving is thriving in 2020.”

Go to https://wsff.eventive.org to explore the films, workshops, and other offerings of the 2021 Wild & Scenic Film Festival.

Hollie Grimaldi Flores is a freelancer writer for The Union, a sister publication of the Sierra Sun.

PBS to broadcast ’Classical Tahoe’ beginning New Year’s Day

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — The 9th annual Classical Tahoe festival looked a bit differently than usual, but had even more passion behind the music.

PBS Reno partnered with the annual classical musical festival that takes place in Lake Tahoe. Classical Tahoe features a world-renowned, diverse group of classical musicians who play professionally all over the country and world.

Each year, these musicians come together in Lake Tahoe at the Sierra Nevada University Pavilion to bring classical music to the community. However, due to the pandemic and the restrictions on large gatherings, organizers came up with a way to bring the magic of music to people even when it couldn’t be enjoyed in-person.

Laura Hamilton of Classical Tahoe.
Jeffrey Dow Photography

Joel Revzen, the founder and music director of Classical Tahoe Music Series, passed away from COVID-19 earlier this year.

Many of the musicians and people part of Classical Tahoe referred Revzen as “everybody’s best friend.”

“He was a magnet for the community,” said Laura Hamilton, concertmaster and Classical Tahoe’s interim artistic director and violinist.

Hamilton was the first musician engaged by Maestro Revzen in 2012 for Classical Tahoe.

Hamilton “never had any doubt” that Classical Tahoe needed to continue on to honor Revzen’s deep love and connection to music and commitment to Classical Tahoe.

Virtually overnight, Hamiliton put together the entire 2020 Chamber Series when the Classical Tahoe had to change from a traditional three-week Orchestra Festival to a Chamber Music Series, meaning a smaller group of musicians without a conductor.

“This is really dedicated to the memory of Joel,” she said.

Hamilton said that when Revzen was sick, he kept talking about this summer’s concert.

Revzen passed away on Memorial Day.

“It was such a tragedy, but continuing to bring music to Lake Tahoe fulfills his vision,” she said. “This festival will continue for many years.”

The large outdoor tent that is usually used for Classical Tahoe holds over 55 musicians and about 400 concert goers. To adhere to safety guidelines, it was downsized to a portable outdoor stage of about 10 musicians and 25 social distanced, masked attendees. Before traveling all musicians were tested for COVID-19 and took precautions throughout the concerts.

“We were so happy to have an outlet and opportunity to play together,” Hamilton said. “The pandemic has hit the performing arts industry especially hard. Our livelihood has been tremendously altered and put on hold.”

The sic different concerts were performed on six different nights from patrons’ residential yards in Incline Village. One location was at Maureen and Ron Ashley’s Estate, one concert in their lakefront garden and another in their forest oasis. The second weekend was held at the lakefront of Kern Schumacher’s Estate where Classical Tahoe has been holding a fundraiser every year for the last four years.

Classical Tahoe will debut on PBS Reno channel 5.1 starting New Years Day.
Jeffrey Dow Photography

PBS Reno recorded and live streamed the performances for those at home.

“Classical Tahoe and PBS Reno came together with imagination and courage to share music’s healing power as widely as possible,” said Karen Craig, Classical Tahoe executive director. “We had to address how to have a meaningful impact on more than just 25 people each night who could attend safely. Partnering with PBS Reno was a total game-changer.”

Classical Tahoe concerts include a world premiere of a new arrangement of a Debussy piece, along with music arranged by well-known composers including Mozart, Schubert, Fauré, Mahler and Bruch.

“It was really a gift,” said Hamilton. “It was healing and joyous to play for an audience of any size.”

“PBS Reno is so pleased to have this partnership with Classical Tahoe,” said Kurt Mische, PBS Reno president and CEO in a press release. “Being able to share these wonderful concerts with people all throughout our service area is a treat for our viewers and reminds us all of the world class music and art created right in our own backyard.”

Classical Tahoe will debut on PBS Reno channel 5.1 starting at 9:30 p.m., Friday, Jan. 1 and will run through Feb. 5. Each hour-long episode airs on Friday evenings and repeats the following Sunday at 4 p.m.

For more information, visit classicaltahoe.org.

Tahoe Talk: New Star Wars series, billionaire donates, NBA tips off


From around the globe to out your backdoor, here are the topics to keep you relevant and up-to-date. It’s officially winter, stimulus billed passed, and more vaccines en route around the nations. That’s the stuff you’ve probably heard about.

– Feel Good News: 8-year-old raises $10,000 to save his local ski area. Max Mostad raised the money to save Frost Fire Park located in Walhalla, ND. The area was on the verge of closing down for good when Mostad and the community rallied behind his lemonade stand.

– MacKenzie Scott, the world’s 18th-richest person and former spouse of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, has donated almost $6 billion of her fortune this year.

– A Chinese lunar capsule returned to Earth last Thursday with the first fresh rock samples from the moon in more than 40 years, offering the possibility of new insights into the history of the solar system and marking a new landmark for China’s rapidly advancing space program.

– L’Oreal rolls out a new product. Not a joke. Virtual makeup for Zoom calls and meetings. Think selfie filters on snapchat or FB messenger but for the professional side

– The Book of Boba Fett announcement for the Star Wars fans Sunday night sent fans into a frenzy. The new series is currently in production and will arrive December 2021, only on Disney-Plus

– NCAA Playoff stage is set: Alabama (1) vs. Notre Dame (4) and Clemson (2) vs. Ohio State (3) on Jan 1, 2021 at 2 and 6 p.m. Championship game set for Monday, Jan. 11 at 5 p.m.

– NBA’s 72 game season kicks off tonight. No bubble, different format, 10 games fewer and less intraconference play.

– 2021 Winter Dew Tour has been postponed indefinitely at Copper Mtn, CO. Xgames are still a go. No fans allowed allowed at Buttermilk in Aspen, CO Jan. 28-31, 2021

Local News:

– El Dorado and Placer Counties join a handful of other counties to push for local control over C19 restrictions

– Greater Sac region above threshold of 15% ICU capacity for first time in two weeks

– Class action lawsuit filed against Vail Resorts by three local employees

– Human powered travel and wilderness act looks to remove blanket ban that prohibits bikes on trails

– New business, Flatstick Pub, set to open early 2021 in SLT mixing mini-putt golf and pub vibes

– Shooting in Douglas Co. leaves deputy in hospital after suspect opens fire 3 times

– Barton Foundation virtual gala sets new record of $110K raised this year