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Sonoma County Gazette
Healdsburg by Healdsburg Coalition

Healdsburg's Ongoing Response to Fires

Feb 28, 2018


Ongoing response to fires

Healdsburg was mercifully spared from the October 2017 fires that threatened on 3 sides but the community continues to generously respond in multiple ways to those who were less fortunate (100,000 were displaced), including offering rooms, driveways and rentals for those in need. One of those spontaneous efforts to help fire victims was the Healdsburg Free Store. Through donations, volunteers were able to stock a store with new goods, FREE to fire victims. The store was underwritten by Corazón Healdsburg, a local nonprofit. Ellen DeGeneres invited the founders to her birthday show and honored their kindness with a cash gift which they have turned into a Kinder2College fund for local students. ReadHealdsburg Tribune: “Healdsburg Free Store stars on ‘Ellen,’” 1/23/18 and “Healdsburg nonprofit gifts big birthday present from Ellen,” 2/7/18.

Though the flames didn’t touch Healdsburg the knowledge of the regional fires did negatively impact the number of visitors to the city. For some locals, seeing the vulnerability of our visitor economy was a warning sign to diversity for a more sustainable economy.

Speaking of “sustainability.” Healdsburg is getting prepared for the The American Institute of Architects (AIA)’s“Sustainable Design Assessment Team” (SDAT) to visit for 1 and 1/2 days on March 17 and 18. Two AIA staff members and a team leader will tour the town and talk with groups representing important topics for study. The purpose of the preliminary visit is to identify who should be part of the team of experts who will come here in mid-June for three days of intensive community workshops and a town hall meeting. Over 30 community members have volunteered to work on Healdsburg’s SDAT Steering Committee to guide the process.

To learn more and participate in visioning and planning for Healdsburg’s future process, visit

Healing Jazz connects diverse communities in positive ways

While recognizing the value of a diversified economy Healdsburg also enjoys the benefits of a visitor destination. The Healdsburg Jazz Festival is one of those benefits. The 20th anniversary of this well attended Festival is set for June 1-10, 2018. Jazz was making plans last Fall to produce the “biggest and best festival in its 20 year history” when those October fires curtailed their event fundraising efforts. They switched gears and held a fire relief fundraiser instead. The event included eight jazz bands, all of whom donated their time and music. They raised over $15,000 which Jazz donated to Corazón Healdsburg and the Sonoma County Resilience Fund to address the mid to long-term needs of those impacted by these devastating fires.

The producers of Jazz bring high quality music and education programming to locals and visitors alike. They recognize the many ways that music unites, heals and builds community, especially at this crucial time when the region rebounds from the fires. “Healdsburg Jazz Festival gives the community the opportunity to hear outstanding musicians perform in the community, far removed from the urban centers that traditionally support jazz. The festival engages established audiences, children and adults and introduces new ones to jazz’s storied history, and community building values of respect civility and cooperation.”

“No Cover” Live Jazz, Saturday nights at Hotel Healdsburg

The Spring Music Series features some of the best players in the region performing an eclectic mix of jazz with diverse influences—Cuban, Romani/gypsy, blues, Brazilian, classic jazz standards and more. There is no cover charge; drinks from the Spirit Bar and small plates from Dry Creek Kitchen are available. Call (707) 431-2800 or visit Hotel Healdsburg online for the live music scheduled for these Saturdays: March 3, 10, 24 and 31.

*The Healdsburg Coalition is taking a break to devote their efforts to the SDAT.


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