NEVADA CITY, CA – CHIRP will hold an educational fundraiser June 18th at The Center for the Arts in Grass Valley. Featuring guest lecturer, Benjamin Madley, researcher and book author (An American Genocide) and Associate Professor of history at UCLA.  Joining Madley are Jordan Reznick, Getty/National Endowment for the Humanities Postdoctoral Fellow at the Getty Research Institute and Megan Renoir, PhD Candidate at the University of Cambridge and freelance researcher. Musical artists Mariee Siou and Nikila Badua will share offerings to balance the powerhouse academic presentations.

CHIRP | Building a Framework for Truth

The June fundraiser “Building a Framework for Truth”, raises money for programmatic activities that promote CHIRP’s mission: To Preserve, Protect and Perpetuate Nisenan Culture. Longtime CHIRP Board President, Niel Locke will be acknowledged as he terms out of his CHIRP Board of Directors seat, following 7 years of service. Locke was a founding CHIRP Board Member and has been a close friend and ally to the Nevada City Rancheria Nisenan Tribe. In his honor, the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce awarded the Dave Lions Lifetime Achievement to Locke, highlighting his work on the Historic Landmarks Commission, as Clerk of Nevada City and his work with CHIRP. The Board is excited to welcome new President, Julie Baker and Vice-President, Nikila Badua.

Julie Baker, Photo credit Kim Sayre
Julie Baker. Photo credit Kim Sayre

Newly elected President Baker has served as Executive Director of California’s arts advocacy organizations – Californians for the Arts and CA Arts Advocates – since 2018 where she works to increase the legislative clout and visibility of art and culture by building coalitions across the for and non-profit sectors. Baker also produces a month-long arts awareness and advocacy campaign in April for resources and legislation to serve and protect artists and cultural workers. She serves as the CA State Captain to Americans for the Arts; National Arts Action Summit and as the co-chair of the Western Arts Advocacy network for WESTAF. Baker is a founding member of the Nevada County Relief Fund advisory council and was elected to the Nevada County school board in November 2020. She is the recipient of the 2021 Americans for the Arts Alene Valkanas State Arts Advocacy Award that honors an individual at the state level whose arts advocacy efforts have dramatically affected the political landscape.

When asked about her new position, Baker remarked, “I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to not only work in Nevada County, but to also call this beautiful place home. For more than twenty-five years I have lived here in the Ancestral homelands of the Nevada City Rancheria Nisenan Tribe. During this time I’ve had many opportunities to give back to the local community. Today, as CHIRP’s newly elected Board President, I have an opportunity to align my work with the Nevada City Rancheria Nisenan people, who still today remain in a fight to be seen, included, and to have their ancient history acknowledged.” CHIRP is excited to start a new chapter with this new executive leadership. 

Nikila Badua
Nikila Badua

Vice-President Badua is a Cultural Community Artist and organizer. Self-taught in the multidisciplinary arts as a muralist, designer, performer, and arts educator, she dedicated herself to serving cultural, environmental, youth, and social justice projects for over 25 years. As a muralist, she has painted installations from California to New York, and Hawaii to Puerto Rico, including murals for clients such as: Hawaiian Airlines, Pow Wow Hawaii, and Worldwide Walls, as well as California Tribal collaborations with the Ramytush Ohlone, Winnemem Wintu, Nevada City Rancheria Nisenan Tribes, and international Indigenous organization Native Like Water

‘Uba Seo Gallery

CHIRP has a busy season ahead with a new exhibit, HAMUKUM: Whispers Through Time, at ‘UBA SEO: Nisenan Arts and Culture at 225 Broad Street in downtown Nevada City. ‘Uba Seo has just launched a new $3,000 website to house past exhibits, virtual tours, and provide expanded, digital access to art created through the Visibility Through Art initiative via an NEH/ATALM Smart Grant.

CHIRP has much to celebrate with new leadership announced this month as well as a new funding grant for a Youth Substance Use Disorder (YSUD) Program through ELEVATE YOUTH, as well as Medications for Addiction Treatment (MAT), both funded by the Sierra Health Foundation and California’s Prop 64. Hired through this funding are Daniela Fernandez, current Vice-Mayor of Nevada City, Jessica Thomas (Hoopa), and spouse Saxon Thomas, a member of the Nevada City Rancheria Tribal Council. We are thrilled to have these talented individuals join CHIRP’s staff. The YSUD programing supports youth through a combination of Cultural values, art, technology and history; shaping the conversation about substance use into a curriculum worth everyone’s time. 

Nevada City Rancheria Nisenan Tribe and California Heritage: Indigenous Research Project (CHIRP) invite all supporters to join in celebrating a season that is bringing an infusion of opportunity, excitement and outreach. 

For more information, contact CHIRP at, learn more about the Nevada City Rancheria Nisenan Tribe and CHIRP by visiting