Artown through the years:
(Statistics courtesy of Artown)
30 arts groups participated in the first Artown that took place over a three-week period of time.
Highlights: Pops on the River by the Reno Philharmonic, Nevada Repertory Theater’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Sierra Arts Folklife Festival and Folklife Exhibit
In 1997, attendance more than doubled. Capacity was reached for both free and paid events.
Highlights: “Stomp” at the Pioneer Center, the “Miro/Dubuffet Exhibit” at Stremmel Gallery and Nevada Museum of Art, “Lula Washington Dance Theater” at Wingfield Park
26,850 people attended events at Wingfield Park. Some interesting breakouts: 4,000 people attended the Great Basin Chautauqua at Rancho San Rafael; 3,000 attended Tuesday Night Movies in Wingfield Park.
Highlights: The “Thomas Hart Benton” and “Andy Warhol” exhibit at the Nevada Museum of Art, “Tap Dogs” at the Pioneer Center, “Rolling on the River” at Wingfield Park
Economic Impact: $ 34,910
Building on its success, the fourth annual Reno summer arts festival kicked up the caliber of its entertainment by pairing big name attractions with Reno’s respected local artists and institutions.
Highlights: Phantom of the Opera star Davis Gaines performing with the Reno Philharmonic, Diablo Ballet presented by Nevada Festival Ballet, Beso, Soviet child painter for peace, in cooperation with the Boys & Girls Club and the Hermitage Gallery
Economic Impact: $ 55,570
Building on last year’s headline in New York Newsday, the nation’s eighth largest newspaper, “Reno is Artown” became the theme of the fifth annual festival. New venues were added to satisfy audience demand and serve new neighborhoods. Big name attractions appeared along with Reno’s respected local artists and institutions at a non-stop pace throughout the month.
Highlights: Paul Taylor 2, co-presented with Nevada Festival Ballet, Coeur d’Alene Art Auction drew 600 buyers for $10 million in Western and Wildlife art sales, the Nevada debut of world-renowned Kronos Quartet
Economic Impact: $ 55,400
Venues throughout the city were utilized to their full capacity, reflecting audience demands for cultural and arts events (both free and ticketed). Big name attractions appeared along with Reno’s respected local artists and institutions.
Highlights: Pilobolus Too, presented by Nevada Festival Ballet, Beethoven at Bartley series, Artown and Nevada Hispanic Services presented Ballet Hispanico, Michael C. McMillen created “The House of Water (Theater of Salt)” commissioned by the Nevada Museum of Art
Economic Impact: $ 57,110
The impact of the visiting artists at Artown was phenomenal. Artown achieved major booking coups in just its seventh year.
Highlights: San Francisco Ballet made its first appearance in Reno, Marcel Marceau appeared for two performances and a special conversation with the world famous mime at the Lear Theater, The Counting Sheep project, involving 25 local artists who created sheep that were displayed all over during July
Economic Impact: $ 61,080
The eighth annual summer festival yielded some extraordinary exhibits and performances, bringing to realization Artown’s original mission: To present the best national and international arts possible, with the best arts that northern Nevada has to offer.
Highlights: Mikhail Baryshnikov, the opening of the new Nevada Museum of Art featuring exhibits by Diego Rivera and Edward Hopper, jazz great Branford Marsalis, Nevada Opera’s “Trial By Jury, set in Reno’s historic Court House
Economic Impact: $ 119,000
Anchor events this year continued to be a mix of local and national excellence. Through support from John Ascuaga’s Nugget, Sparks was a part of the festival with the presentation of “Second City” comedy improvisation.
Highlights: The stunning Lily ai Chinese Dance company at Wingfiled Park with the fusion of ancient Chinese traditions and cutting edge contemporary dance, Arlo Guthrie at the Robert Z. Hawkins Amphitheater, “The Guys” - a play set in the aftermath of 9/11 - was performed by the Actors’ Gang from Los Angeles
With an extraordinary lineup of more than 200 events, this year’s Artown Festival promises to be a winner. Artown’s Grand Opening on July 1st features a Hawai’ian themed evening of entertainment at Wingfield Park showcasing San Francisco’s Na Lei Hulu I ka We kiu dancers, who combine traditional hula with modern dance set to the music of artists ranging from Eminem to Tony Bennett. Be sure to arrive early and enjoy a special free Rollin’ on the River Aloha! concert in the park with Kane Koa, Bill “The Duke of Uke” Tapia and I. Mihana. Pilobolus Dance Company, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Ahn Trio are other “must see” Artown headliner events this year. Ten years. Thirty-one days. Over two hundred events. One spectacular Artown!