Mary Kiesau Community Fellowship Awards Granted

On the first day of May, friends and family of Mary Kiesau gathered in the TwispWorks Community Plaza to honor her life and to celebrate her passion for the natural world. Mary passed unexpectedly on April 15th of last year and at long last, an opportunity to grieve as a community finally came. Along with a deep sense of loss, those that knew Mary also lifted up her remarkable life as a naturalist, educator, and photographer. Many people have been touched by her passion for the flora and fauna of the Methow, and many homes are graced by the fruits of her dedication to photography. In honor of this legacy, a memorial fund was created in her name soon after her passing. The Mary Kiesau Community Fellowship Fund was generously kick-started by numerous friends and family members with the goal of awarding at least two $1,000 fellowships to artists, photographers or naturalists every year. Through this fund, the spirit of Mary will continue to live on in the form of creative and educational projects dreamed up by fellowship recipients. What a beautiful gift to the world! The inaugural year of the fund resulted in ‘too many great proposals,’ so the selection panel voted to award three fellowships.

The 2021 Mary Kiesau Fellowship recipients are: David Lukas, Dave Moskowitz and Etsuko Ichikawa. Naturalist David Lukas will use the fellowship to create a series of short video vignettes introducing wildflowers of the Methow Valley, one of Mary’s favorite subjects. Photographer, naturalist and educator Dave Moskowitz envisions creating a portfolio of photographs highlighting wildlife captured by camera traps and images of people interacting with the Methow landscape. Multi-discipline artist Etsuko Ichikawa, who is based in Seattle, will spend a month in the Methow this fall exploring the various native soils in an effort to create dyes for fabric. She envisions creating woven artworks that highlight the different dye characteristics and replicating this process at other locations around the country. All three artists are extremely grateful for the award and are committed to sharing the outcomes of their projects with the community. Stay tuned for future opportunities to see the final works created by the 2021 fellowship recipients.

Small Business Emergency Grant – Success Stories

SBEG Grant Recipients – 2021

Brix Wine BarBrix

Brix is a grateful recipient of TwispWorks small business grant. During this pandemic we have had a substantial loss to overall business and revenue. We were unable to qualify for government grants which for the most part, went to larger businesses. The SBEG will help cover monthly and ongoing overhead – insurance, supplies, communications and our merchant service system. Thank you to the Methow Valley community and TwispWorks for your generosity and support!

The Fork Food TruckThe Fork Food Truck

Thank you so much TwispWorks Foundation! I appreciate your continued support of small businesses in the Methow Valley. This grant will be used to help us design a logo and expand our marketing materials, possibly including branded merchandise to sell from the truck. We plan on working with a local designer and local businesses, which means this money will continue to circulate throughout the community. Thank you again for your support!

Methow Moments Tent and Event RentalsMethow Moments Tent and Event Rentals

On behalf of Methow Moments and our family of 6, we would like to thank Twisp Works for awarding us this $5,000 grant. As you can imagine the event industry, along with many others, was hit quite hard in 2020. When our scheduled list of events went from over 60 to less than 10 in 2020, we were unable to make planned purchases for the upcoming season. We currently own two dance floors but needed a third. We have several dates booked for 2021 that three dance floors are needed and this $5,000 grant will go towards paying a portion of that purchase. Thank you for your generosity and your continued support of local business growth.

Methow Valley News - Don WilsonMethow Valley News

Like newspapers around the country, we have seen a substantial advertising revenue decline as local businesses were shut down or limited by COVID restrictions. Community support is vital to our survival as a connection point for the valley, and the Small Business Emergency Grant will make a meaningful difference. We are grateful and appreciative.

Motive Yoga StudioMotive Yoga

On February 8, 2021, Motive Yoga Co. celebrated the 1 year anniversary of our Winthrop studio. And, what a year it was!  Five weeks after opening the doors to our brand new studio we closed them down due to Covid. We were sustained through live-stream classes, and with the help of Twispworks’ first round of small business grants we launched Motive Yoga Online— our on-demand video channel. Many of us are feeling the financial pinch and we are so happy to offer more cost-accessible yoga. This most recent grant support from Twispworks will help expand the reach of MYO into the safety of people’s homes and the small spaces of their busy lives so they don’t have to sacrifice their health and wellbeing during this time. 

Winthrop FitnessWinthrop Fitness

We here at Winthrop Physical Therapy and Fitness want to thank Twisp works and the community for your support! The Small Business Emergency Grant will help us offset some of the lost revenue that occurred during our closures. It will also go towards purchasing extra cleaning equipment and supplies to help keep the gym a clean and safe place for our dedicated members and patients. We hope to see you all again soon.

SBEG Grant Recipients, June – September 2020

Barnyard Cinema business grantBarnyard Cinema

Thanks so much for your generous grant to the Barnyard Cinema. Although we have been able to re-jig our operations in the form of private screenings and a new film series we hope takes flight, and we definitely benefit from the incredible support from this community, our overhead is significant and we live on the edge of uncertainty daily. The Small Business Emergency Grant helps.

Bear Creek Golf Course

Receiving an emergency grant is such a relief to us during the Covid-19 business climate. Our grant will go directly towards fixing our main work cart that has been out of service for over a month so far! This work cart is important to us for our daily maintenance operations, as well as for necessary special projects on the golf course. It is a very big expense for us, so this Grant will go a long way to helping relieve some of the financial stress of paying the invoice. And, we can now take on those projects we have been delaying until the work cart is back on sight and running! Thank you, TwispWorks Foundation, for helping our anchor community business during this 2020 Covid-19 golf season!

2020 SBEG Diamond PatinaDiamond Patina

Diamond Patina feels extremely blessed for this opportunity to receive such an amazing grant. We just started this small business journey not even a year ago and this money has allowed up to stay afloat during these hard times by helping with our many bills and providing comfort when we needed it the most. We are so very grateful!

eqpd geareqpd gear

Thank you TwispWorks Foundation for continuing to support small businesses in the valley.
We have been partnered with you since 2014 and it’s for reasons like the Small Business Emergency Grant we remain here in continued mutual support of our missions. I feel like we help reinforce the values of creative business and inspire others to continue or start their own. Thanks for looking out for us, it’s nice to feel both needed and supported. We will use this grant to both help offset current payroll expenses, and to train a new full-time employee. We are happy to call Twisp our home and glad we can be here for each other! Thank you TwispWorks and to all those who contributed to the fund – we deeply appreciate your support.

2020 SBEG FiberFiber

Thank You TwispWorks for this small business grant! My business fell through the cracks of all the big government grants and even state level grants. This local grant will help cover my rent for 2 months while I try to regain all the momentum my business had before the covid shutdown. Thank You to all the donors that want to keep our valley healthy and prosperous. Now we just need shoppers!

2020 SBEG GatheredGathered

The Small Business Emergency Grant money will help Gathered build an online presence that could help sustain business during the uncertain winter months to come.

2020 SBEG Becky StudenGoldenhorn Enterprises

The Emergency Small Business Grant has enabled me and my yoga business, Goldenhorn Enterprises, to continue to pay rent for my yoga studio space at Twisp Movement Studio. I have not been able to teach yoga since late March and as a result, have had no income coming into my yoga business. Before I received this grant, I was contemplating closing my yoga business after teaching in Twisp for over ten years. This grant has enabled me to plan for the time when I will begin to teach classes in the studio setting again. I am deeply grateful to those that made this grant possible and gave me the boost I needed to continue on during this challenging time. Namaste

2020 SBEG Hoodoo BloomsHoodoo Blooms

We picked a unique time to start a small farm business. Before the pandemic, we anticipated in-person community connections, to help us make our presence known, and distribute our products. Given social distancing mandates and lockdowns, we’ve had to restructure. Thanks to this grant, we’re able to offset those unforeseen marketing costs and purchase our first greenhouse! Thanks to the generosity and support of so many here in our Methow community, in the form of relief funds, we can grow a wider diversity of nutritious and delicious food.

La Fonda Lopez Small Business Emergency GrantLa Fonda Lopez

Hey TwispWorks, thank you very much for the grant. In this pandemic time this grant will help a lot and thank you for supporting small businesses in the Methow Valley. We will use this grant to help pay for utilities, buy some inventory also to help pay employees. Thank you again!

2020 SBEG Mary Gray Personal TrainerMary Gray

Mary Gray, certified personal trainer, “I’m immensely grateful to whoever the decision-makers are for the small business grants. It is encouraging to know that people feel that I’ve contributed to the health and wellness of Methow Valley. That’s what I strive to do.”

The Merc Playhouse Small Business Emergency GrantThe Merc Playhouse

The Merc is grateful to receive a TwispWorks Emergency Grant because funding is helping us provide after school programming at Methow Valley Elementary’s Cub Club. Students from each cohort in grades 3 and 4 have the opportunity to dance with Missi on Tuesdays and Thursdays. They will learn a variety of dance styles to lots of different music while learning how dance can enhance theater in many ways. While The Merc doesn’t have programming income through ticket sales and tuition, the funding from TwispWorks is helping provide this program to the 19 students currently registered.

Methow Valley Community Center Small Business Emergency GrantThe Methow Valley Community Center

Thank you so much for your help. The Methow Valley Community Center is addressing the possibility of adding ESL and Spanish as a second language for the facility. We have the room to start small and provide a much needed service to those from Spanish speaking nations, and to people who wish to travel there with more ease.
We are so very grateful, Thank You!

2020 SBEG Motive YogaMotive Yoga

Motive’s yoga studio opened its doors for our first yoga class on February 8 and on March 14 we closed them due to covid-19. The first thing I asked myself as a brand- new studio owner was “How can we continue to serve the Valley’s yoga community especially in a time like this?”  This grant will help us finance the technology and marketing needed for our online offerings and to help pay the lease on our beautiful studio space that we will warmly welcome our students back to with a slow re-opening. Thank you TwispWorks for helping us weather this storm with a feeling of support and hope!

Small Business Emergency Grant - Mount Gardner MassageMount Gardner Massage

This Small Business Emergency Grant obtained through TwispWorks is so helpful during this pandemic. Besides using it for overhead costs like rent and supplies, some of it will be used to buy an air purifier and more safety PPE like hand sanitizer, masks, gloves and cleaning supplies. Thank you to the folks at TwispWorks for helping to keep me and my clients safe!

Nectar Skin Bar Small Business Emergency GrantNectar Skin Bar

Thank you TwispWorks for the Small Business Emergency Grant. This grant will help with improvements to our website as well as getting more inventory for the holidays. Over the past six months our website has become more important for our business. We began online sales in March/April during the shutdown and people continue to use the website more now than ever before. With increased traffic to the website we have realized that it is a great time for updating and making it more user-friendly.

2020 SBEG OSBOld Schoolhouse Brewery

The Old Schoolhouse Brewery was delighted to be selected for this grant, and immediately put this money to work hiring new staff and training all staff on the new COVID-19 Protocols. We concurrently purchased several pallets of cans and hired a mobile canner so that we can put our beer into more markets. This pandemic has been very hard on the hospitality industry, and the brewery industry as a whole, and we are grateful for this local grant that enables us to continue being a leader in the Methow Valley.

2020 SBEG River RunRiver Run Inn

The River Run Inn is a small, private, family-owned business that relies solely on tourism and people looking for a place to go for vacation. Unfortunately, since the state had been closed for non-essential travel/activities and being a small business with no outside funding, we are really hurting right now. This grant is really going to help us in paying off some bills we are behind on due to the pandemic. Thank you so much for choosing our business for the TwispWorks Small Business Emergency Grant, this is such an honor and a huge help to our small business here in the Methow Valley.

2020 SBEG Terrys Appliance RepairTerry’s Appliance Repair

My responsibility as “Terry’s Appliance” consist of repairs to domestic household appliances including refrigeration and warranty work. I am 79 years old in good health but due to my age and other household member’s health, I had to discontinue working in March. Appliance repair is considered essential due to the need for clean laundry, refrigeration and cooking and I have recently returned to work on a part time basis. The lack of income for 2 months created a need for additional funds for continued obligations to creditors, utilities and suppliers. Thank you for the support.

2020 SBEG Iron HorseThe Iron Horse

Owner Misuk Ko, “The generous grant will allow us to cover expenses for the nearly two months we were entirely closed prior to Phase I curbside sales: the (generously reduced) rents at the Farmers Exchange Building, utilities, and the costs of opening up online retail at the-iron-horse.company.site”

2020 SBEG Thrifty FoxThe Thrifty Fox

The Thrifty Fox had just made it through the slow winter and we were gearing up for a busy spring when we had to close. With the grant I received from Twisp Works, I was able to pay off my very late water bill that was growing way too large, was also able to pay rent and power for the month of June. My small savings that had dwindled over the winter had just run out, and I received this grant just in time! I am so grateful for our generous community, and feel so lucky to have a business here that people are willing to fight for. We miss everyone and we’ll see you soon! 

2020 SBEG Robin DoggettTrue North Letterpress

This little hamlet of a town never ceases to amaze. Thanks this grant the presses at True North Letterpress will keep turning. Small rural businesses like ours rely on their local community for longevity and we are SO thankful to be a part of this one! As a new business I was having a hard time qualifying for any of the federal funding available after Covid-19 stay at home orders went into place. With the help of this grant we’ve been able to stay in the black and purchase much needed supplies for printing more goods to sell as things start to re-open again. Establishing a business in an economy as small as ours takes time and without this little bit of help we may not have been able to see our vision through after such a major set-back.

2020 SBEG Twisp River Bed BreakfastTwisp River B&B

Denise and myself are very excited to have received a SBEG grant. The corona virus will have a lasting impact on us, as we have been closed for two months and we will now have reduced lodging capacity due to cleaning and sanitation protocol. We have been running the Twisp River Inn Bed & Breakfast for over 15 years in the upper Twisp River valley and have embraced the spirit of this community. Thank you for your support!

2020 SBEG Chaya KudlaTwisp River Wellness

Owner Chaya Kudla, “This grant has been so helpful. I haven’t been successful acquiring other means of support for my business during this time and the Twispworks grant helped pay for some of my monthly overhead expenses, to keep my business afloat. With children home from school and my practice abruptly halted, it was a relief to have some assistance during this time. Thank you so much!”

2020 SBEG Winthrop Guitar StudiosWinthrop Guitar Studios

Owner Steve Kish, “The Small Business Emergency Grant has manifested a moment of calm, and peace of mind. Like the contours of a melody emanating from the Symphony, fully engulfing the mind, allowing for a respite from uncertainty. CoVid and the lockdown, literally shutdown all my income streams. Not only reeling from the magnitude of a global pandemic and its immediate impact on my family and our well being, but then the reality of how do I pay rent? Where do I go from here? How secure is my safety net, and how long will my savings last? This grant gives me answers and clear direction. Thank You Twispworks and to all the people and organizations that have helped fund this project!”

Small Business Emergency Grant - Winthrop Ice RinkWinthrop Ice Rink

Since the Covid-19 public health emergency closed the Winthrop Rink mid-March, we have been unable to offer our popular summer programming of drop in pickleball, roller/inline skating, and roller hockey. We are now focused on reopening for winter operations, subject to public health safety guidelines. The Small Business Emergency Grant from Twisp Works will help fill the void of summer revenues and to cover costs of reopening the Rink for the winter. We look forward to providing a safe and exciting season of outdoor recreation- for our mind, body, and souls!

2020 SBEG YoDogYoDog

The business grant was much appreciated for YoDog. Being closed for a month and a half and receiving no other financial help took a toll on the pocketbook. The money will be used mostly to pay the bills. After several unsuccessful applications to regional grants, it was nice to finally feel the love from my local community. I have been open almost five years now and being a first time business owner I didn’t know what to expect. In these four years I have continued to receive an overwhelming amount of support and gratitude. Thanks a million. Very happy to live here. Perhaps when this all blows over we can get together in the new YoDog backyard for yappy hour and chat about it.

Don’s Big News

Don Linnertz AnniversaryDear TwispWorks Friends,

I never would have imagined that after joining the TwispWorks board in 2015, I would become the organization’s executive director just eight months later. It has been a true pleasure to serve this community for the last six years, and today I share the bittersweet news that I will be retiring in October.

At the outset of my time with TwispWorks, I outlined three important commitments to the organization: 1) completing the buildout of leasable space, 2) creating an equitable business plan that would ensure the stability of the campus facility, and 3) securing the deed to the property.

I am pleased to share that all three of these goals and many more have been met. Today, the campus’s leasable space is fully occupied. A sound business plan is in place, and programs are available to every business in the Methow Valley. In 2019, TwispWorks’ 10th anniversary year, we secured the deed to the campus. Then board president Ray Johnston and I celebrated in high-balloon-fashion!
I often say, “We will always get farther, faster, together,” and today I credit the incredibly flexible, hard-working and dynamic staff, board, partners, and volunteers for making these achievements possible. Thank YOU for being a part of these amazing transformations.

For now, it’s back to work! But even in October, I will not be going far. The Methow is my home, and I look forward to continuing my volunteer work with the Twisp Chamber of Commerce and to helping develop local housing solutions. Of course, hiking, biking, gardening, skiing, and traveling are at the top of my “to-do whenever list.” I will look forward to seeing more of you and our wonderful community in my retirement.

With Gratitude,
Don

From The TwispWorks Board
Don LinnertzThe TwispWorks board of directors is grateful to Don for his exceptional commitment to this organization. We are happy he will be enjoying a well-deserved retirement, but he will be missed!
TwispWorks would not be the organization it is today without Don’s collaborative spirt and keen leadership. One hallmark of his service has been an unwavering willingness to partner with individuals and organizations to make their visions a reality. Whether inspiring TwispWorks’ many supporters; working with local educators to build opportunities for students of all ages; or championing sustainable economic development programs like the Methow Investment Network, Don leveraged partnerships to create win-win outcomes for the Methow community.

Current Board Chair Perri Howard affirms, “Don has helped build the organization into a problem-solving entity for all residents and businesses in the Methow Valley. TwispWorks would not be the organization is it today without Don’s collaborative spirt and keen leadership.”

Maggie Coon who, with her husband Mark Wolf-Armstrong led the earliest stages of TwispWorks, adds, “I deeply appreciate the personal touch which, I have to say, has been the watchword of [Don’s] time with TwispWorks. I believe it’s one of the most important reasons for the ongoing success of the enterprise.”

Founding Board Chair Ray Johnston has frequently noted that TwispWorks has been able to attract just the right person at the right time for the needs of the organization. To help find that next, right person, we have created a Hiring Task Force. The executive director position will be broadly advertised in early May with plans to hire before Don’s departure. If you or anyone you know is ready for this exciting opportunity, please contact Perri Howard Though Don’s perseverance, flexibility, and fun-loving nature will be hard to replace, we look forward to meeting TwispWorks’ next leader.

TwispWorks 2020 Annual Report

2020 was a challenging year for us all but thanks to your generosity, TwispWorks was able to provide support, deliver programs, and connect our local businesses to a host of financial assistance opportunities. While focused on assisting businesses impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, we also continued to invest in our campus and partner community. The results are something we should all be proud of. Please check out our 2020 annual report and see what an impact your support made to the economic and cultural vitality of the Methow Valley!

View Our 2020 Annual Report

TwispWorks welcomes Sarah Gilman to the TwispWorks Board

Sarah Gilman headshotSarah Gilman learned to love small-town life on Colorado’s West Slope, where she spent most of her adult life, building trails, collecting biological data, and mostly, working at a magazine about the American West.

After a brief stint in Portland, Oregon, she moved to the Methow Valley in 2018, to find her place in a tight-knit community again. Sarah is a freelance magazine journalist, editor, and illustrator with bylines and art in The Atlantic, Audubon, Hakai Magazine, High Country News, and others. In her writing, she seeks to illuminate the complicated ways people relate to landscapes and other species. In her visual art, she’s most interested in the cultivation of wonder, and the ways it might help more of us come to value and make space for wildness and each other.

Her current work is at the nexus of the two fields—a place where, she hopes, these themes can combine in immersive ways that foster empathy, respect for nuance over polarization, and a sense of awe for and accountability towards the world as it is—still huge and full of mystery and beauty. Sarah joined the Twispworks board hoping to support the artists and businesspeople who make this valley so wonderful, and to help provide opportunities to others to do the same. For a time, Sarah was perhaps best known for being the women’s wood splitting champion at the Carbondale, Colorado, Mountain Fair three years running. She has an absurd number of axes and mauls for someone whose current home does not include a wood stove.

Learn more about the TwispWorks Board of Directors here.