Welcome to the Reno News & Review’s 2019 Artown Guide
Welcome to the Reno News & Review’s 2019 Artown Guide. If you’re about to spend your first summer in Reno or otherwise picked up this guide wondering what Artown is, I’ll explain. Every year since the mid-’90s, Reno dedicates the month of July to a city-wide celebration of the arts. Concerts, gallery displays, pop-up performances, theater productions and crafts of every type are typical fare at Artown—much of it free to the public.
The event has become so popular, and the schedule so dense, that it can be tough to know where to begin. That’s why we put together this guide, to better direct our art-loving readers to their desired niche.
Former RN&R Arts Editor Kris Vagner is a pro at navigating the bevvy of Artown programming—and the occasionally vague language used to promote smaller shows. On page 21, she breaks down a few discrete gallery shows and live events that could easily get lost in the mix but are well worth the time of visual arts fans.
The city’s music fans are also well served during Artown. Since 1995, we at the RN&R have made our own musical contribution to the summer festivities with the Rollin’ on the River concert series, where a different band takes the Wingfield Park Amphitheater stage every Friday night in July. If you’d like to learn the lineup and hear from this year’s bands (all eight of them), they’ve introduced themselves on page 13.
Then, on page 10, regular contributor Andrea Heerdt sat down for a chat with hometown soul singer Whitney Myer about life in L.A. and her plans to retake the Reno stage this July.
To me, Artown is synonymous with its main venue at Wingfield Park. This small island in the middle of the river has a long history as a cultural center in town, and I spent some time learning all about it. You can find that story on page 5
Finally, if you plan on attending any of the live performances on this year’s schedule, know that you probably won’t be alone. As such, the RN&R’s theater critic, Jessica Santina, lays down the hard dos and dont’s for being a good audience member. Big tip: leave the hard candy at home.
Artown is one of those rare events that holds something for everyone. Not everyone is a rabid arts fan, for sure, but even casual observers can appreciate the chance to get outdoors and enjoy the sun, sounds and simple pleasures of being in a community that cares.
Artown is a celebration of culture, and that can mean many things to many people. I know that come July 1, I’ll be partaking in my celebration of choice: free music and a beer by the river. Sounds like summer to me.
- Matt Bieker Special Projects Editor