Community Program

The ­­­­ ­­­­Panamnik ­­­Building in Orleans, Humboldt County is the largest building in Orleans and the most centrally located. Since 2005 it has become the home of several non-profit organizations working to protect and restore the Klamath River. The building has been renovated to allow for offices, the Klamath-Salmon Natural History Library, and a sizable open space that has been dedicated for community use. Members of the Mid-Klamath Watershed Council (MKWC), the Klamath Riverkeeper and the Klamath-Salmon Media Collaborative, all of which have office space in the building, are working with the Somes Bar Art Council and interested individuals to develop a community program that will be housed in the building. Since MKWC took over tenancy, it has been used for fund-raising dinners, slide presentations, the Annual Bigfoot Birding day, art shows, exercise classes and various community meetings, including many related to fire safe and roads analysis issues.

Panamnik, (the Karukk name for Orleans), was one of over 100 villages in the Mid-Klamath region that extends from Happy Camp to Weitchpec. Along with Somes Bar, it was the stretch of river where the vast majority of the Karuk people lived and where the greatest concentration of their ceremonial sites was located. Karuk people still inhabit this section of their ancestral territory, sharing it with a few diverse sub-communities.

The purpose of the Panamnik Building Community Program is to foster and support:

  • community, family and youth events and activities
  • public dialogue on local, national and international issues
  • public meetings and presentations

The Panamnik Building Community Program

The building steering community and interested community members have been meeting quarterly to develop the program. Several of the initiatives outlined below are underway. The program will offer: 1) public services; 2) regularly scheduled programs and events; and 3) special events scheduled by local groups or individual community members.

1) Public Services

During the daytime hours that the building is open to the public, the following services will be available to the walk-in public:

  • The Mid-Klamath Watershed Association (MKWC) Information Center. MKWC, which works to protect and restore the streams of the Mid-Klamath region, is developing part of the public space as a watershed information center that also displays local art and artisans. It will also provide staff to respond to information requests from the public regarding the Klamath River and its tributaries.
  • A Children’s Corner: children's seating and a work table, as well as toys, art supplies and children’s books.
  • Public Book Exchange: Donated books and periodicals will be available for exchange in an area that provides comfortable seating. This material is separate from the valuable and specialized texts housed in the Natural History Library.
  • Other Services: A public phone for local calls and a restroom are available.

2) Regularly Scheduled Programs and Events

Below is a list of ongoing programs and new initiatives that have evolved from discussions among diverse community groups and members. Building utility and coordinating costs incurred by these programs and events will be covered by Community Program Fund, which will be raised through donations, community fund-raisers, and grants. **(These programs are not currently available or happen periodically - Please see the events page)

**Open Mic Night.This monthly event will be open to all members of the community who like to perform. It will be coordinated by the Panamnik Building event coordinator. The goal is to have an open forum where the diverse members of the community can practice free expression in a variety of ways. A piano has been donated to the community program and funds are needed to tune and refurbish it.

Yoga classes and Plyometrics. These classes are already taking place on a weekly basis.

**Open Night. This is envisioned as a volunteer-staffed open house that will encourage activities for youth, although it will not be limited to youth. Ping pong tables will be set up and there will be videos available in the library area. Open night might be a good venue for the Barter and Trade Exchange suggested by individuals interested in providing an opportunity for quality goods exchange.

Third Thursday Cafe. Since 2008, Third Thursdays have been a huge success in raising funds for the Panamnik Building Project. With a variety of local chefs and an ever-changing menu the Third Thursday Cafe brings a much needed service to Orleans Community. Through the Cafe we have raised thousands of dollars towards the purchase of the Panamnik Building. As of 2013 the reamaining amount has been donated and we finalized purchase of the Panamnik Building in August. We will continue to raise funds for the upgrades and restoration of the building and will also open the Cafe to other non-profits for their fundraising efforts.

Annual Banquet and Auction. Since 2005 the Panamnik Building has hosted the Mid Klamath Watershed Council's Annual Banquet and Auction. For the first Saturday in December the Panamnik Building is festooned with holiday lights, scents and decorations. There is a silent and live auction with arts, crafts and merchandise donated from local and regional shops, businesses and individuals. Live music, great food and great company can also be found at this fun and lively event.

Kids Playgroup. Every Friday Megan Vierra hosts a kids playgroup for children ages 0-5 from 10am-12pm. There are kids activities, songs, games, music, a snack and more. This program is funded by First 5 Humboldt.

3) Special Events

The community space will be available upon request for special events. A nominal fee for these uses will be charged to cover the cost of utilities and maintenance. Probable uses include:

Dances and musical events

Lectures and presentations

Children’s art exhibit

Creation of a children’s mural for interior of the building

Holiday Bazaar

Community purpose fund raisers, and catered events that do not need a kitchen.

4) Governance

Governance of the program is shared by the Mid-Klamath Watershed Council and the Panamnik Community Program Steering Committee. The Steering Committee has seven members who represent different sub-communities of the Orleans-Somes Bar area. They have developed the building public use policy, researched insurance costs, defined the role of the Program Coordinator and, in collaboration with MKWC, will oversee the community program and the Coordinator Position.

Mid Klamath Watershed Council (MKWC)

As the primary tenant of the building, MKWC is responsible for insuring that building uses conform to conditions specified in the lease, as well as for general oversight and maintenance of the building, MKWC staff members and/or board members attend steering committee meetings.

MKWC is also the fiscal agent for the Community Program, and will be responsible for maintaining the Community Program Fund and for all accounting records pursuant to the program.

The Panamnik Building Community Space Policies and Procedures


The Panamnik Building Community Space is available to support new and existing community events that serve the greater Orleans/Somes Bar area, from Happy Camp to Weitchpec. Up to 3,000 square feet can be used for free or for a nominal rental fee, depending upon the purpose for which it is requested.

Hours of Availability

Weekdays: In general, the Panamnik Building Community Space is available for quiet activities during weekdays between 10am and 4pm.

Evenings: A variety of activities take place between 5 and 11pm on weekdays. Exceptions include regular events currently scheduled for the  3rd Thursday of each month.

Weekends: The building is generally available between 9am and 11pm on weekends.

Community Space Uses

Uses for the Panamnik Building Community Space include ongoing and one-time events initiated by:

The Mid Klamath Watershed Council

MKWC uses the community space for meetings, conferences, fundraisers and provision of public services including an interpretive center, public bathrooms, tourist information, and exhibition space for local artisans.

The Panamnik Building Community Program

The community program is developing a youth program, a book exchange, music and dance events, the children’s corner, the Orleans Community Theater, and other activities.

Groups and Individuals

Organizations and individuals interested in using the Panamnik Building for public events may apply to use the space.

Support for the Community Program has been provided by the

Carranza Family Fund, a fund of the Humboldt Area Foundation.


How to Make a Reservation

Applications for use of the Panamnik Building Community Space are available at the office of the Mid Klamath Watershed Council located inside the building

Insurance Requirements

Applicants not affiliated with the community program must provide insurance to cover their event. We encourage you to apply even if you are concerned about the insurance requirements and will provide assistance of there is a problem.

Alcoholic Beverages

Alcohol permits are required.

Building Schedule Priorities

We strive to accommodate as many Community Space use requests as can be reasonably scheduled. Conflicts are resolved by following the Building’s priority policy, which is available upon request.

Rental Fees

All fees collected from renters of the Community Space are used for building maintenance.  Fee schedule is available upon request.