The Center for the Arts is pleased to present Critters & Cocktails: Singers & Songs, a benefit for Rational Animal, a non-profit organization supporting at-risk animals, featuring Nevada County songwriters performing original music. 

On April 8, 2023, Nevada County artists come together for a night of uplifting live music to support the local animal rescue community with performances by songwriters Ray Laflin and band Dream & The Dreamer, JB Eckl (Grammy winner), Mei Lin Heirendt, Peter Blachley, Gary Bowman, and Mark Vieaux. Swazzle Puppet Studio will guest emcee throughout the night to bring levity and humor. 

Representatives of Grass Valley/Nevada City Animal Shelter, animal rescue organizations, and wildlife rescue will be in attendance as we celebrate animal rescue champions. A lobby “marketplace” will feature medallions to honor beloved pets at the shelter, and lots of gifts to help in the fundraising.

Rational Animal is a local, non-profit organization committed to helping the local animal rescue community, specifically the Grass Valley / Nevada City Animal Shelter. As the Grass Valley City Council recently voted to prioritize creating a new animal shelter, funds raised support Rational Animal’s work to help create the best animal shelter for companion animals and wildlife in Nevada County. In conjunction with this fundraiser, both BriarPatch Food Coop Café (starts April 1) and Nevada City Picture Framing (opening reception April 7) will display one-of-a-kind exhibits of fine art music photography as taken by world-renowned photographers featuring iconic musicians including the Beatles, David Bowie, Crosby, Still & Nash, Debbie Harry, Rod Stewart, Janet Jackson, Audrey Hepburn and more—for the entire month of April also benefiting the work of Rational Animal.

“We are so grateful to have this wonderful embrace and support by the artists and businesses who share their love of animals in the community,” said Susan Brandt, founder of Rational Animal. “We look forward to working with everyone to envision the future of animal rescue in Nevada County.”

April is for animals so don’t miss this fun night of music to help raise funds for Rational Animal at The Center for the Arts on April 8, 2023. In addition to this event, donations may be made at

WHAT: Critters & Cocktails: Singers and Songs

WHERE: The Center for the Arts | 314 West Main Street, Grass Valley, CA 95945

WHEN: Saturday, April 8, 2023 | Doors 6:00 p.m. Show 7:00 p.m.

TICKETS: $40 plus fees |

WEBSITE & INFO: or (530) 274-8384

Since 2000, The Center for the Arts, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organization, has grown into a leading presenter of music, dance, theater, comedy, literary and visual art, and family programming, offering more than 150 events per year from its location in downtown Grass Valley. The Center recently completed a major renovation of its multiuse, 21,000-square-foot facility in downtown Grass Valley, making it a premier performing arts destination. The venue includes the Main Stage, which accommodates up to 492 guests in configurable theater seats and up to 700 patrons for dance shows, and a 90-seat studio theater.