Amazing museum

Have you seen the plans for the new Nevada Museum of Art yet?

This doesn’t look like it belongs in Reno. It looks like it belongs in a big city. The new museum, which will span 55,000 square feet over four levels, is so unique, so beautiful and so amazing that it will blow away everything else that has been done in downtown Reno to date. That includes the Century Riverside 12, the National Bowling Stadium and all other publicly funded projects.

The plans for the new museum, which is slated for a March 2003 opening, were unveiled to the public May 24 during a press conference and luncheon. Those present were amazed at the new museum, designed by renowned architect Will Bruder, with its 8,000 square feet of space for major exhibitions, its 5,000 square feet for smaller installations and—for the first time ever—the display of the museum’s permanent collection, its rooftop sculpture garden, its cafe and its research library. Not bad for the $14.5 million that the project is supposed to cost. Compare this to the $50 million bill for the National Bowling Stadium.

The NMA has raised $17.4 million of a $22 million goal, including $1 million for relocation costs—the NMA will operate out of the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts while the old building is razzed and a new building is constructed—and $6.5 million to increase the endowment.

It should be noted that all of this money is coming from foundations and donations rather than public money. (The Reno City Council, represented by Jeff Griffin holding an oversized check at the May 24 press conference, did donate $50,000—money that probably could have gone to a needy city program of some sort, but whatever.)

The NMA deserves a great deal of credit for what they are doing with the new museum. It truly will be world-class museum, and it will do wonders for the city’s burgeoning arts scene.

I can’t wait until March 2003.

While we’re handing out credit, some should go to Gov. Kenny Guinn for having the nerve to veto a popular bill that made it to his desk last week.

Assembly Bill 481 would have given police the power to ticket drivers whose car stereo music could be heard 25 feet away. Vonne Chowning, D-North Las Vegas, made this bill one of her pet projects, saying that it was a quality of life issue.

Yeah, loud music can be annoying and even harmful to businesses near roadways (it is quite annoying to have a nice dinner or movie interrupted by the WHUMP WHUMP WHUMP WHUMP from a bass-intensive car stereo going by). But is this a REALLY important issue? And is this a matter that has any business whatsoever being dealt with by the state?

No and no. I know very few folks whose quality of life is severely lowered by loud car stereos. Plus, this is an issue that should be left up to local cities and counties (by the way, too-loud music is already illegal in some places). Word from Carson City is that Chowning was enraged when word of Guinn’s veto came down, partially because Guinn reportedly never discussed the bill with her before he stamped it with a rare veto. While Guinn should have taken the time to discuss things with Chowning, he—unlike the majority of senators and assemblymen who passed the bill—used his brain and did the right thing.

Good job, Gov. Guinn.