An Artown by any other name

’Tis Midsummer—

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.