Three takeaways from the Las Vegas Arts Town Meeting

The “Dream Machine” by Las Vegas artist Wayne Littlejohn at Siegfried & Roy Park, Tuesday Dec. 13, 2016.
Photo: Christopher DeVargas

Local arts advocacy has taken on additional urgency now that federal arts funding could be dissolved. Over the backdrop of political uncertainty, the arts community came together in January for a town meeting (the first of its kind since 2014). Sponsor Nevada Arts Council recently released the minutes from the gathering. Here are three “critical issues” that came out of this giant brainstorming session: :

Communications and marketing.. The goal is to unite the disparate community into a powerful force that can advocate for the arts, from simply making sure everybody knows about that next poetry reading to lobbying in Carson City. What’s already working: Check out Arts4Nevada.org for a robust online clearinghouse.

Robust arts infrastructure. This point will be easier to achieve once No. 1 is in full gear. The vision is to create a fertile ground for artists (and art fans) to flourish. Ideas include creating affordable live/work studio spaces, building new venues, developing more public art and fostering public-private partnerships. One example of recent success: The new sculpture "Dream Machine" by Las Vegas artist Wayne Littlejohn in Siegfried & Roy Park.

Arts education for all ages. The aspiration is for improvement and expansion for traditional students and adults alike. This will be done through advocacy, a free flow of art supplies for kids—donors, anyone?—and the creation of new artist residency programs. Who’s already doing it: The Neon Museum is taking applications for the next artist residency. The deadline is March 3 and it’s only open to Nevadans.

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