Support local artists

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

It’s NadaDada week.

This event reminds me of my early experience with Burning Man. Many of you longtime readers will remember back in the day when Burning Man was gaining media attention. I was around. I think I did our first first-person report on it in 1995.

To me, that Burning Man coverage has always represented the difference between us and the mainstream press. They went as gawkers. We went as participants. In ’96, I helped build roads, and helped Flynn Mauthe build the apocalyptic Helco tower. In ’97, when the festival was in trouble, this newspaper editorialized in favor of its right to exist. We were, in short, advocates for this artistic endeavor, though not all our coverage has been positive.

I see our NadaDada Motel role as similar. This is not your corporate art show. This is local artists, investing their time and money and talent to make something great for Reno. We don’t promote the event to make money off the artists. We’re in it—arts editor Brad Bynum performed the first year of the event—and we write about it because we believe that local artists and art make Reno a better place for everyone. I’ve got a bit part this year—I’m supposed to be in Saturday’s wedding and a detail in Dianna Sion and Becca Johnston’s room. I’m doing it because people who support local arts should get involved in local art.

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If you’d asked me 15 years ago if having a single phone line down could actually jeopardize our ability to put out this newspaper on time, I might have paused for a second before I scoffed. Through a bureaucratic SNAFU, AT&T turned off our connection to our offices in Sacramento. With the loss of the T1, we also lost voicemail, email, network and internet. We came up with a series of workarounds, but there was a moment last Thursday when I got a little worried.