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April 25, 2013
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10,9,8 … station, theater prepare building launch

It’s the largest arts building project in Nevada City since the construction of the Nevada Theatre nearly 150 years ago.

KVMR 89.5 FM and the Nevada Theatre Commission will celebrate the launch of their new $3 million collaborative construction of a new home and state-of-the-art studios for the radio station and significant backstage expansion for the theater at 9:45 a.m. Monday.

The festivities — with the public and regional media invited — start in the Nevada Theater and then move to the site of the new 8,000 square foot building at Spring and Bridge streets.

That’s where board members of the two arts organizations will symbolically start dismantling the three tin sheds at the construction site. The tin and wood beams from the sheds will be reused in the new building, which will closely resemble the sheds in a homage to Nevada City’s historic character.

Included in the new building is a performance studio/community room where area groups can provide live music and community forums as well as a pair of broadcast studios and some 1,500 square feet of backstage and dressing room space accessible to the old Nevada Theatre’s stage.

Radio station and theater officials are hoping the launch will spur community financial support for the project as it officially begins. Information on giving to the Capital Campaign is available from KVMR Development Director Rick Sharkey (development@kvmr.org) and contributions can be sent to KVMR Capital Campaign, 401 Spring Street, Nevada City CA 95959.

Official groundbreaking for the new building will take place this summer.

As for the overall project...

“It’s where the theater of the stage meets the theater of the mind,” beams KVMR Board President Michael Young, with his most symbolic of smiles.

Remembering Richie Havens at KVMR

As news spread of the death this week of folk icon and legendary Woodstock performer Richie Havens, some KVMR broadcasters recalled the music giant’s visit to the Nevada City radio station in 2009.

“He was one of the most original and inventive guitarists around,” said Tuesday Morning Show host Paul Emery, then grinning added, “and he had these huge hands...”

Havens visited KVMR and chatted on air with Espresso Music Magazine host Hap Hazard before a show at the Miner’s Foundry Cultural Center that was produced by Emery. The station will rebroadcast the interview on Hazard’s show between 4 and 6 p.m. this Friday (KVMR 89.5 FM, kvmr.org streaming).

“He was a wonderful raconteur with a charismatic spirit,” recalls Hazard of the interview. “We could’ve talked for hours.”

Havens was relaxed, playful and humble.

“I was very fortunate to land where I did when I did,” he told listeners of his ‘60s era in New York City’s Greenwich Village.

Emery recalls literally having to drag Havens to the Foundry for his sound check because the folksinger was having such fun at the station.

Havens — who also headlined the 2007 “Stars At The Ridgetop” benefit concert for the Nevada County Land Trust — passed away after a sudden heart attack Monday morning at his home in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Money makes KVMR go round …

More than 800 listeners contributed nearly $93,000 during KVMR 89.5 FM’s Spring Membership Drive, nearly a 20 percent increase over the station’s previous on-air fundraiser last October.

“With other revenue we expect to be receiving, we should be in good financial shape now into our 35th birthday celebration this summer,” said KVMR General Manager David Levin.

The station received a number of gifts from the Woodland/Davis/West Sacramento areas, where a new signal at 104.7 FM was activated in March.

“One of the sweetest gifts was from 90-year-old Tom Christison of Woodland,” said Program Director Steve Baker. “He says it’s a hoot that he can hear our signal so much better now.”

Station officials also said 100 listeners became new members during the drive. The best day of the campaign was Saturday, April 20 when the station raised over $14,000 on the drive’s final day.

A weekly wrap-up of news and oddities about community radio station KVMR (89.5 FM, kvmr.org streaming), a noncommercial station offering diverse musical programming, independent news and provocative public affairs from about 150 volunteer “citizen-broadcasters.” Complete program listings are available at kvmr.org.

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The Union Updated May 1, 2013 12:42PM Published Apr 25, 2013 04:10PM Copyright 2013 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.