Art

Publish more, perform more, share more: Las Vegas’ cultural resolutions for 2019

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Left to right: Marcus Weiss, Tina Rice, Jasmine Kojouri and Erik Amblad in A Public Fit’s “Incognito.”
Photo: Richard Brusky / Courtesy

New year, new artistic endeavors. What does 2019 have in store for the Las Vegas arts and culture scene? What do our city’s creative folk wish to see in the new year? We polled some of the local movers and shakers, asking them to share their cultural New Year’s resolutions, hopes, plans and wishes. Here’s what they had to say:

"As I keep working on my craft, I want to visit new places, read new books and come to understand new techniques so that the stories that I tell are always reflections of the things that I’m learning." –Ann Marie Pereth, founder and artistic director, A Public Fit Theatre Company

“I believe that Las Vegas is poised to become a fascinating destination for art between Meow Wolf, Kind Heaven and the MGM Sphere. It is my wish that our talented artists are involved in the projects that disrupt our city.” –Monera Mason, writer, performer and prankster

“This year I look forward to even more ambitious projects that continue to challenge societal conventions of gender, race and the consumerist identity. I am setting intentions to not allow facets of my life to stay compartmentalized, but rather allow them to fuel and inspire my work and vice versa. I hope a more holistic focus to my goals and projects will prevent that feeling of being pulled in many directions and allow me to open up to more opportunities. But, if this year is just as a beautiful crazy mess as 2018, I will be lucky to grab it by the horns for another go around the sun, carefully made plans strewn aside." –Karla Lagunas, artist

“Documentation, documentation documentation—a lot of excellent work is being done by multiple parties, but we have very little to show for it in the long run. The city is in dire need of a way to broadcast what it is producing out into the larger world. ... More time/work in the desert, and understanding of the spaces that make this part of the world so incredible are currently a focus of my practice. ... The future of art in our city lies, in large part, in performative work. Marcus Civin (chair of UNLV’s Art Department) and I are producing a bi-monthly performance art night called R.A.D.A.R. that is open to the public but primarily for developing a culture of performance within a city that has always been theatrical in its nature. And Troy Heard has an incredible set of immersive theater work coming up. These two factors with the immersive arts space Meow Wolf opening soon give me great hope for the future of performance art in the next year." –Brent Holmes, artist and graphic designer

"As a writer and a teacher I spend way too much time in my head. So this year, I'm going to spend more time outside it, touching and feeling the world instead of thinking about it. I'd love to try out swing dancing and rock climbing, go on more road trips and play with the local improv groups. Oh, and join a band, if one would have me!" –Oksana Marafioti, author and writing instructor at UNLV and Las Vegas Writers Lounge

“My hope for Las Vegans in 2019 is that we come together as a community as much as possible through arts programs and service projects. We have the power to ease each other’s burdens if we reach out.” –Sarah O'Connell, founder and executive director, Eat More Art Vegas

“My plans for the new year include ramping up print publishing projects, and programming at Test Site Projects, the fine art publishing house I co-founded along with David Ryan and RC Wonderly. We want to create projects that will support artists while engaging a larger audience to art production and collecting. ... My wishes for the new year would be to see more support for the arts. I’d like to see more initiatives in place to help foster growth in the arts community here--we need more public programming and more educational outreach for starters. ... My resolutions for the new year are to take more initiative in helping to be the change that I hope to see. ... I want to see more people getting out and engaging with artists and their work on multiple levels--be it studio visits, collection tours, shop and production tours, artists talks or video screenings. I have high hopes for the potential of the arts in Las Vegas, and I hope that we can all engage together on a larger scale in the year ahead.” –Erik Beehn, artist and UNLV instructor

“For 2019, my plan is to expand upon and explore choreographic opportunities. My wish is to see the local Las Vegas community become even more engaged in the arts. And my resolution is to read more books.” –Jaime DeRocker, company artist, Nevada Ballet Theatre

“Take Vegas audiences further down the immersive rabbit hole. A personal wish is that audiences will continue to support the Downtown theatre community. There’s some great work coming out of Majestic, Cockroach and A Public Fit. Buy tickets early in the run and get that word of mouth out. We always have sold-out closing weekends. Let’s translate to sold out openings.” –Troy Heard, artistic director, Majestic Repertory Theatre

“I plan on completing our current season of plays and creating a new season, both of which have never been seen in Vegas (most never before seen in the US), which reflect and respond to our unique position in the world and operate as a catalyst for us to share ideas. ... I wish to continue working with a team of highly skilled professional artists and technicians to build an Arts District with a unique and potent voice which rivals the arts centers of other major US cities. To get Las Vegas out of their living rooms and into our theaters, galleries and creative spaces, coming together to share stories that matter to us. ... I dream of building a new theatrical complex in downtown Las Vegas that will be home to some of the best storytelling created locally, nationally and internationally, and will become the breeding ground for the next generation of theater artists. –Darren Weller, Artistic Director, Cockroach Theatre Company

“Community! Community! Community! We are working hard to develop a collaborative climate and consensus about what a great affordable art and design education can be. We’re doing this by connecting with new partners wherever possible and listening to bold voices that have not always been part of the art and design conversation.” –Marcus Civin, artist, critic and UNLV art department chair

“I’m excited for more opportunities and awesomeness, working with some of the most brilliant artists on the planet. I’m excited for more pop-up performances and The LAB LV’s debut at Super Summer Theatre in June with our immersive Midsummer Night’s Dream, Concert Fantastic!, a vibrant, electric event with live music and tons of day-glo fairies. It’s going to be an amazing year of stunning talent and strong culture in Las Vegas.”–Kate St-Pierre, artistic director, The LAB LV, an interdisciplinary exploratory theatre company

"This is the year we're all going to make it. You, me, everyone we know and everyone we don't know yet. We're going to keep making this place what we need it to be and start making new places into what we hope they'll become. We have to make it, we're the only ones who can—the old and new constructs, communities and conversations—all of us, each of us, we'll make it together." –Jennifer Henry, creative director at Brian Henry Design and artist

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