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KVMR, StoryCatchers Reel in 2nd State Grant to Support Homeless Project

You could say the fishing's been good for KVMR 89.5 FM volunteer broadcaster/producers Betty Louise and Susan Davis. 

Not only have they "caught" over 50 personal stories so far as part of the KVMR StoryCatchers, but they and KVMR just reeled in a second grant for their "A Place To Call Home" multimedia project, this one for $12,000 from the California Arts Council as part of its Arts and Public Media Program. 

That follows a $5,000 California Humanities For All "quick grant" they and the Nevada City community radio station received back in December. 

"We're ecstatic," beams Davis. "It's confirmation that we're doing something respected and needed throughout the state." 

"Well, it (the new grant) is really going to allow us to expand the project and pay artists and media people who are involved," notes Louise. "With every bit (of funding) we get, it allows us to get there and keep the conversation going."

Right now, they've been "storycatching" the homeless themselves, those working with groups serving the homeless, officials charged with trying to find solutions and community members wary of the homeless. 



According to the California Arts Council, the grant allows KVMR to "enhance and extend" the ongoing project. 

"Story connects us to our humanity, and when the arts and media communicate story, there is opportunity for creative collaborative solutions and cultural transformation," the Council says. "Our goals are to inspire respect and empathy, and engender positive action. A live community event with spoken/written word, film/video, fine art, music and experiential perception shifting activities will feature the collected stories."

That'll take place at the Center for the Arts November 17. 

"Public media is crucial to the Arts Council's mission of providing access and exposure to the arts for all Californians," adds Council Chair Donn K. Harrison. "Expanding the reach of arts coverage and fostering community dialogue and engagement through arts and culture-based activities broadens overall support for the arts." 

KVMR General Manager Julie Chiarelli calls the timing of the grant "perfect for this project."

"Homelessness and housing are very much the topic at the forefront these days," she says, "and we're very interested in giving people in our community a chance to tell their story." 



"A Place To Call Home" -- which has a Facebook page and can be found in blogs on the KVMR website, kvmr.org -- recently held a public forum, for instance.  And plans to hold more.

"Shifting perceptions is not an easy thing to do," says Betty Louise. "One woman at the forum couldn't believe this other person was homeless because she didn't look homeless and had four children. You see what I mean?"

Sure do. 

"Our goal is to promote compassionate action by the community at large and inspire inclusion in common humanity with homeless people," according to Davis. 

And then, adds Chiarelli, there's that "power of storytelling." 

"The more we can connect with each other, the better..."

That could be part of the lure of the fishing story about Betty Louise and Susan Davis you were hearing.  Now they've also cast their lines into the world of indiegogo for the "A Place To Call Home" expedition, trolling to net an additional $80,000 from the independent funding waters. 

Maybe they'll catch a nourishing number of medium or small donors. Then there's always the Big One out there, just waitin' to bite...



In many ways, it was the national beginning of "The Summer Of Love," which KVMR 89.5 FM will celebrate its fiftieth anniversarySaturday, July 8 at Nevada City's Pioneer Park.

Promoters were too wary to call the 1967 Monterey International Pop Festival a "rock festival" (hence the safer "pop" description), but it was the coming out party -- in many ways -- for Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Otis Redding and Janis Joplin. All four really hadn't been on the national media stage much before.  

That sets the stage for KVMR's July 4th gift to its listeners with the two-hour radio special "Why Monterey  Pop Mattered: The First Ever Pop/Rock Festival At 50" from veteran independent radio producer Paul Ingels (Tuesday, July 4, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., 89.5 FM, kvmr.org streaming).

A panel of music writers and photographers join festival co-producer Lou Adler, documentary filmmaker DA Pennebaker, guitarist Steve Cropper, and Grace Slick of the Jefferson Airplane to discuss what was so special about Monterey Pop, along with Ingels. 

Slick has quite the comment about watching from side stage as Hendrix lights his guitar on fire.

The second hour highlights "The Best of the Rest," which included 33 acts in 3 days, a bit of a rift among San Francisco Sound bands and those from Los Angeles.



KVMR will broadcast over 30 hours of the High Sierra Music Festival from Quincy 8 p.m. this Thursday through Sunday at midnight (89.5 FM, kvmr.org streaming).