Poetry Project: California Fire & Water

Molly Fisk, the poet laureate of Nevada County, has been named an Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellow — one of 13 nationwide to be honored. She is receiving a $75,000 award in recognition of her literary merit and to support civic programs.

Fisk plans to launch “California Fire & Water,” a statewide teaching, anthology, and public reading project addressing the recent devastating fires.

The program includes sending poet-teachers to California schools this fall to help students write about wildfire, flooding and other weather-related hardships; publishing an anthology of the students’ poems with adult poems on the subject; and organizing 20 readings during National Poetry Month next April from the anthology.

The Academy of American Poets is the nation’s leading champion of poets, poetry, and the work of poetry organizations.

Emergency Preparedness
With California Arts Council’s help, Nevada County Arts Council will be learning how to better support the ability of arts and cultural groups, artists and local communities to respond to disasters and emergencies. The idea is to build local knowledge and foster countywide emergency preparedness networks.

California Arts Grants
During June, California Arts Council announced its approval of grants to seven Nevada County groups, awarding them $317,583 in five program categories:

* Arts for the Schools: Jump StArts, $20,385
* Community of Writers: Arts and Public Media, $8,024
* Music in the Mountains: Arts Education Exposure, $14,440
* Nevada County Arts Council: Jump StArts, $23,814; and Artists in Communities, $16,200
* Nevada City Film Festival in partnership with Nevada County Arts Council: Local Impact, $18,000
* Trails and Vistas: Creative California Communities, $66,760
* Truckee Donner Recreation and Park District in partnership with Nevada County Arts and UC Berkeley’s Sagehen Creek Field Station: Creative California Communities, $150,000

The Nevada County Community Library is one of 78 nonprofit groups to receive an NEA (National Endowment for the Arts) Big Read grant to host a community reading program between September 2019 and June 2020. The NEA Big Read in Nevada County will take place next April and May and will focus on “Station 11” by Emily St. John Mandel, a story “about memory, art and survival.”

(Shawn Grammer’s mural “Beauty from Ashes” in Paradise)

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