Many years back Fox E. Jeff was working for The Orion at Chico State. He wrote for the A&E section and had an AMAZING section editor in Ashiah Scharaga who somehow not only knew but followed the best practices to make news stories the most interesting. He followed everything Ashiah (who works for CNR now) taught him. He started winning awards including that year's "Online MVP" award by not only following those guidelines but also, didn’t realize until his letter of recommendation, that no one else was doing all their own audio, video, and photos for the articles and the faculty advisor said he was the first to realize modern-day journalism by adding links and name dropping as cross-promotion.

"At the time that I was working at The Orion, I was doing Programming Director at KCSC Radio. I was kind of obsessed with filming things right after my 2006 aneurysm as a way to remember the fun and capture it in time. I was known at the radio station for filming and putting out videos of our KCSC events.

One day one of the DJs asked to pay him if I would make a promo video for an EDM gig he had coming up. I turned him down because it was a big party at a fraternity and that was so just not my style-plus I was married at the time, and didn’t go to parties. I mentioned this film gig on a Facebook post and my friend Noah Ben-Eishai said he wanted to check out a frat party so I accepted the gig. Noah backed out at the last minute and the professional I try to be didn’t cancel. I made another post and a bunch of my radio station friends chimed in that they wanted to go. For some reason, I had about five video cameras at the time (2 GoPros, 2 Sony Handycams, and a point and shoot). My plan was to put a camera in 5 people’s hands and we made a video that went viral. The photo stills went even crazier because there were hundreds of people at the party and we encouraged everyone to tag and it seemed like eventually hundreds had tagged and shared all across the Chico State student community. I was getting real-world experience with my major, Mass Communication Design.

The night of that party as I lay in bed (well on the couch downstairs since I got home so late) I started to fall asleep and in that in-between state where I am going between conscious and subconscious I had a vision to start a company called Foxy Productions. I instantly made a group chat with the 4 guys who helped him film with the idea and Dominick Dayton Finetti said “how about Get Foxy Productions?", so we went with that. The next day I set up our social media page and we were off. We started filming parties and tagging people who tagged people. Things were blowing up and I am not kidding when I say I got popular, for the first time ever, in college -at a university. His DJ name was Foxy Jeff (Angel first to call him Foxy and Jeremiah Wade first time I heard "Foxy Jeff"). When I say popular what I mean is I couldn’t walk from one class to the other without being late due to being stopped every time I tried to walk. I also mean that there were strangers in all my classes who knew who I was as if it was a given. It’s kind of like in Fight Club where Edward Norton realized everyone knew exactly who he was —it was surreal. Sounds dramatic but I even heard whispers as I walk down the hall "psh psh psh Foxy Jeff psh psh psh". The media he was producing was receiving hundreds of thousands of local hits and most of the University students knew someone who was in some of the semi-controversial content.

We kept filming parties and adding onto Get Foxy Productions and eventually had about a dozen people. At that point, I stopped going to the parties myself and had whoever wanted to film sign a document stating they would pay for my lost or damaged cameras and I would meet up with the crew before the parties —give them a ride and someone would text at the end and I would go pick them up. Things got crazier when professors started talking about seeing our posts and one particular professor who ran SOTA Productions and was an entertainment attorney contacted him about things like: encouraging student parties and drinking and some of the stuff my interns were putting in the videos and getting students in trouble and things. I took it seriously and put out a PR statement, as suggested, but my main editors were in conflict with him and argued about keeping parties raw and uncensored. At the time besides Dom who was my right-hand person we had Trevor Driscoll as the head camera person. Trevor is now a Ph.D. in linguistics and teaches at MIT. The rest of the crew was great - we had a stand out in a German exchange student who went by "Herman the German" (Koray Saglam). I don’t remember how much each of these folks were involved but on the Get Foxy Productions Facebook page it lists the interns:

-Dom Finetti (Music Industry)

-Trevor Drescoll (Humanities)

-Matt Castillo (Communication Design)

-Michael Snow (Music | Jazz Studies)

-Braden Danyus (Visual Media Arts)

-Koray Captain McRocket (International Finance)

-Noah Ben Eishai (Public Relations)

-Sarah West (Music Industry)

-Kelsey "Batz" Hernandez (Music Industry/Recording Arts)

-Cameron Hobbs (Music Industry)

-Sunshine Rain (Music Industry)

Through all this, I was still working for The Orion and it was during an interview with the local indie jazz group Bogg that Gavin Fitzgerald said something about local music needing support and how students stick to their parties but don’t venture out as much as they should to support the local artist. That is when I had ah ha moment that would be a win-win and get rid of the trouble our company was starting to cause. At the next group meeting, I told everyone that we were going to stop promoting parties and start promoting the music scene and the rest is history. It was also around this time I started getting super into the idea of promoting art and community. The community I was born and raised in. It was during this time I started saying we were actually “a promotion company disguised as a production company” and it was at this time I really realized in my heart and soul my true mission and that was to promote community for many reasons including mental health and the expression of Love. I wanted to show enough Love that it would be contagious and everyone would spread it. I was even further inspired when I realized they were cutting art/music from the traditional education system and that people were losing the heart-oriented part of being human.

Eventually Get Foxy Productions had close to 20 interns but since I was running things I was getting burnt out, and losing that passion was disheartening. I slowly watched all my interns graduate and move away and I didn’t replace them. Instead, I tried to run Get Foxy with my heart passion (which they never really had for a town they were only here for temporarily). I continued filming and editing year after year until I was alone. I knew most musicians after a while and one of them was this guy Julian Ruck who had an idea for a video short he wanted him to film. I barely knew him but he seemed to have as much passion as I did for local music and it was inspiring. I still had a small crew of about 3 or 4 so we set out to make a quick video with Julian. For this quick video, we set up a Facebook group called I Play in Chico (the name of the little video). After that first day of filming, we kept having musicians express ideas and people we should interview so we kept going and going and going for months until we had enough to create a long video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMQOa7LFTRA) which premiered at the Pageant Theatre. During our dozens of interviews, I met the side of the music scene outside the one I already knew which was the rock/punk stuff playing at venues. Julian knew the other folks —the veterans, acoustic players, and open mic musicians basically. He also developed this idea halfway through the interviews about doing a longest concert in the world. I will not go off on that since it ended up Julian burned almost every bridge in town after that but I will say I and hundreds of community members all worked together —maybe thousands of people in the community eventually to actually for real have the longest concert in the history of the world for 36 days non-stop —with witnesses and audience members there every step of the way.

It was around this time I realized I was giving more to the community than I was to my wife. I invited her to everything and she mostly didn’t want to go but she also didn’t really complain much about it. On occasion, she would say something but she would let him be. I realize now it was the beginning of the end for us after 25 years together. I gave til it hurt and she did the same at her jobs and neither of us had much to give to one another. I was going to school and working by day and at night dedicating my time to promoting art/community. I also felt like the community was my family as I had gone from having a huge family with 57 cousins and all get-togethers and getting along to everyone not wanting to associate anymore.

Soon after all this is when I started volunteering for Chico E-R because I really liked what my previous Cheif editor of The Orion, Ernesto Rivera and Leila Rodriguez were doing with the video series called E-R Sessions. Ernesto was leaving so Leila asked him to step in. Many at the Chico E-R at that time had previously worked at The Orion and knew of my awards there so I easily got in but when I told the editor I wanted to primarily cover local music they said that wasn’t a thing and that it was mainly previews of upcoming shows for national acts. I ignored them since I was a volunteer and sought out opportunities to cover only local music which is what I did for the next few years. Together Leila and I filmed hundreds of local musicians multi-angle and I interviewed them and wrote the articles. Things got better when James Chato saw mhimat a show and explained how he could bring up our production value with professional sound so we brought him on and the three of us went to town filming every single week and sometimes multiple times a week (https://www.youtube.com/playlist...). We started live-streaming my interviews (https://www.facebook.com/groups/ERSessions). Eventually, we were told by the editorial staff that we were “saving the arts and entertainment section”. It was a good things Chico E-R was still covering local art since we had lost the Synthesis but, thanks to covid, Chico E-R had to cut the dedicated A&E section.

Just weeks before covid my wife left him as we had gotten together as teenagers and grew apart in our quests in life. I graduated Chico State after going part time for 8 years (Major: Mass Communication Minors: Public Relations, Broadcasting and Instructional Design).

This all brings us to Chico A.R.T. Collective. I had already been a musician since the 90’s when I got my first guitar from Broadway Pawn. I was making cassettes for friends and they started playing my music at indie kid parties. Once I got my first computer I used programs like Fruity Loops, Acid Pro and SoundForge to make beats and loops and experimental dance music. My friends and family enjoyed it. Posted my stuff on Myspace. So when I started filming live music and being close to the stage I started visualizing myself performing. I played guitar and sang but went online and asked for keys and a drummer. Kat Johns answer my post and she and I (Cody at the time) started practicing in her garage and actually came up with a pretty cool original that I have recorded somewhere in my thousands of files. By the next week I had more responses and Madeleine Matthews (MAWD) joined on keys. She had an uncanny knack for coming up with melodies and we made another original and added on lead guitarist Adan Gonzalez, my manager Gus Bo on trumpet and vocal harmonies was the 3 Sarahs - Sarah West, Sarah Scharf and I think once or twice Sarah Brink.

So that is how I met Kat Johns - she was my drummer. And then there's Michael Whittemore. I met him at 1078 Gallery at his Batman Birthday Bash where GET FOXY played along with his band Handsome Devil. Through the years I worked with these two musicians as far as promoting their bands and making videos for them (especially Kats band Radio Relapse) but also realizing how much the two of them were promoting and lending to the music scene. Mickey Whitty even had a locals only radio show and played Get Foxy on the radio. I became good friends with both of them separately.

This past spring Michael and I started talking about getting a collective going and that we should invite Kat. Michael and I had been talking about it every time we saw each other. I eventually put them both in a group message and said something like “You two ready?” and Kat was like “huh” "what is this?” and from there we started meeting regularly at Woodstock's Pizza Chico and developing plans. We soon brought in Kat’s girlfriend Mary Jane who knows the ins and outs of finances and non-profit stuff and that’s when we started heading in a more serious direction to create a non-profit based on promoting art in the community and here we are- at the beginning of it. It feels like we have been at it for a while since we not only have official meetings at least once a week but we have since added on several others including Roni Wiedeman to help with social media, Dallas Darnell to help run stage and sound and of course Noah Skaiepz who really helps with everything to be honest-endless energy. We have a few freelancer who also volunteer there time and expertise. We will soon be adding more folks such a social media post writer who can help with things like Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, LinkTree and eventually TikTok.

For now I will tell you I have put in more consistent dedication to this endeavor than I did for anything. Right now I am pretty much the only one doing all of our stories each day and writing captions for all the posts. I do livestreams while at events and fix all post issues like missing tags or links. Most of us help with random things like occasionally Kat and I will provide footage for the posts. Or like with the Smokey On the Road series I filmed, edited and wrote the caption for that one. I used to be only one of two editors but since Noah came around I do maybe one a week like the Foxy Friday segment but am doing less of that lately.

This article in the CNR by Jason Cassidy serves as community acknowledgment (even though many musicians and artists in town have been acknowledging our efforts). I also want to point out our efforts to combine all the genres and ages for the first time I have not known it to be done. Chico ART Collective has deep connections to the college house shows and groups like Chico Common Collective, Living Room Gallery and Porchside as well as veteran musician connections that we will continue to try and foster.

Please watch our stories to stay up to date on art and music in the community. We also did a month of local art/music giveaways, a month of on the road with bands series and this month will be a dedication to culinary arts series.

This is just the beginning. We have no plans of stopping and will only get bigger and better as time rolls on. We have made zero money from these efforts and all we ask from the community is that you help promote art by sharing our posts and helping promote like some of you already do. We are a humble and nice group of people with a passion for our community and our hearts are inspired by giving love to you. Once we get our non-profit status (which is in process). We will be able to book shows and pay musicians and artists. Right now Get Foxy Productions is still booking shows but the musicians are only making a small amount through the venues --We want to change that. We want to pay you all well for your art - and we will!"