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Thousands of people enjoyed the high energy of Artown’s opening.

~Article and Video by Dana Nollsch, Photos by David Rocco~


There were 15 events on the opening day of Artown. The ones I was able to get to where the Circus Circus Mural Marathon, Reno Art Fest, Los Lobos, and BANDALOOP.

Here is a video of my experiences on opening day.

Artown started in 1996 with an attendance of 30,000 and last year the attendance was ten times that of 1996, quite an achievement by anyone’s standards.

Let’s look at the Mural Marathon first.

The Circus Circus Mural Marathon offered seven artists each, a blank wall to create a mural in 24 hours, at stake were prizes of $3,000 for 1st place, $2,000 for 2nd place, and $1,000 for 3rd place.

This is one of my personal favorite events and it is a great way to kick off the month of Artown.

First place went to Sebastion Coolidge with a prize of $3,000.

Second place went to Emily Ding with a prize of $2,000

Third place went to Nathaniel Benjamin with a prize of $1,000.

Along with the Murals, there was Reno Art Fest, with many artists selling their work. You will see a few of them in the video. This was a great way to find original artwork for your home or office. Over the next 4 weeks, there will be many more opportunities to see and purchase original works from local and regional artists.

As the evening grew closer the opening celebration got underway with the Artown board and donors enjoying each others company before they took the stage to officially open the month-long celebration. The work that goes into producing Artown every year is truly daunting and the handful of dedicated people who give of themselves to create this event for Reno every year truly deserve recognition.

The Artown staff is Beth MacMillan, Jennifer Mannix, Raquel Monserrat, Mike Esposito. The board of directors is Thomas White, Joe Nannini, Mark Hatjakes, Alli Nagel, Abigail Stephenson, Oliver X, Stacey Spain, Cony Linzarez, Noomi Duerr. The interns are Schaller Desart, Cedrick Alcala, Ashlynne Valdez, Dana Nollsch. This small group creates an amazing month for all of us.

After the official opening, Los Lobos took the stage and entertained the “at capacity” audience with there brand of diverse and high energy music. What can I say about Los Lobos? The audience was ecstatically enthusiastic and I had a wonderful time enjoying the music and the energy of the evening. Here are some photos by David Rocco.

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The evening was topped off with an awe-inspiring performance by BANDALOOP.

BANDALOOP honors nature, community, and the human spirit through perspective-bending dance. A pioneer in vertical performance, BANDALOOP seamlessly weaves dynamic physicality, intricate choreography, and the art of climbing to turn the dance floor on its side. Under the artistic direction of Amelia Rudolph, the work re-imagines dance, activates public spaces, and inspires wonder and imagination in audiences around the world. BANDALOOP performs in theaters and museums, on skyscrapers, bridges, billboards and historical sites, in atriums and convention halls, in nature on cliffs, and on screen.

BANDALOOP are all that and more, as you can see in the video. Here are some photos by David Rocco.

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For a few years now the opening of Artown is one event that I look forward to each year. This year is especially impactful as I am working with Artown, I have seen first hand how this group of people work hard to offer the community a month of entertainment and offering the local artist and entertainers a place to showcase what they do.

As I write this I realize this week will be crazy busy with plays opening and the 4th of July events.

Get out and enjoy Artown!



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