An Artown by any other name
Let us now say a paean of praise for Artown*
O Artown, Artown, how fair thou art, Artown—
To our humble little hamlet twixt mountain and desert, you bring forth
Fire-breathing dragon-dancers, buxom ladies, silky-voiced gypsy Joan and
(Not-so-silky-voiced) gypsy bands
Some home-grown, some from distant lands
On a hot afternoon, we find a cool gallery, or studio
See the world through another’s eyes
But the best is night—
Is it moonlight or starlight? It is Wingfield, it is Bartley Ranch
O mighty Artown! You bring us all together in the field before the stage
Bouncing children and careful aged; condo-dweller, suburbanite, trailer park,
Tourist, all—throw down our blankets, and stretch out under cooling skies
No silken ropes divide rich from poor—all stand up to dance together
Dazzled by music (even the mediocre stuff) rhythm, wind, water and fireworks
O clever Artown!
You remind us of the best
Our best selves, our best weather, our glorious river, mountains, our glorious summer nights
Downtown business-owners remember days of prosperity that were and shall be once again
We who live here remember why we came, and stayed
Visitors decide they just might
It’s the best that Reno has to offer, some say
O yes, and that is pretty darn good, say I
O precious Artown!
By what miracle, what magic brings you forth each year?
The hard work of planners and organizers, the gathering of gifts from foundations, companies, individuals, legacies to our community
And what is this?
Taxpayer funds? O yes, Artown—even as our state coffers drain, our nation struggles, some find you worthy—
a large federal grant makes it possible this year to celebrate
Celebrate our life in Artown!
*The author apologizes to authentic poets everywhere.