After 24 years of filling Reno’s summer streets and venues with art and artists, players and performances, Artown had to unexpectedly morph to adjust to precautions made necessary by an invisible germ.
Both the event and its audiences rose to the occasion. The 25th anniversary edition of the Truckee Meadows most extensive arts and culture event exceeded expectations, organizers said. “We are so happy with this year’s pivot,” said Oliver X., marketing director for the festival. “It’s hard to believe we’re half-way through; it just flew by… People are hungry to commune, even masked and at a distance, to enjoy art!”
He said last weekend saw another “sellout” – if that term can be used to describe a free event — of the more than 400 car passes for the second week of Movies at the Drive-in at West Wind El Rancho Drive-in.
Richard Carr of Gordon Avenue Artists, which has been at the helm of Day of Visual Arts for the last four years, reported that the reconfigured Day of Visual Arts Weekend was “an unqualified success.” The weekend drew more than 400 attendees, which is about two-thirds of last year’s pre-pandemic crowd, but measured by “enthusiasm and sales, it was the best year yet.”
Other live and virtual events, performances, exhibitions and venues reported similar results. There’s much more to come before July melts into August.
Some highlights of the festival:
Loud As Folk: Music and Murals with Art Spot Reno, virtual — Friday, July 17, 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.,: An event that’s half-art, half-music, hosted by Loud As Folk founder Spike McGuire and Greg Gilmore who join Art Spot Reno’s Geralda Miller for a mural tour of downtown Reno. Featuring an interview with Joe C. Rock about his City Hall Murals and performance videos from Buffalo Moses, Cole Adams, Johnny Bailey, N8-Bit, Kelly Proud, Tyler Stafford, Matt Bushman Darabello, The White Hats, Lucas Paul, Pink Awful, People with Bodies and Mason Frey. LAF began in 2011 as a monthly songwriters showcase in Reno and has drawn artists from around the world. (775) 338-6783. Free, $5 donation suggested. Details and link for streaming: https://artown.org/event-details.asp?ID=4595
Friday Movies at the Drive-in: in-person, but in cars — West Wind El Rancho Drive-in, 555 El Rancho Drive-in Sparks. Tickets: adults, $7.75; children ages 5-11, $1.75. See the El Rancho Website for what’s playing this week.
Inaugural South Virginia Plaza in Midtown Celebration, in-person – Saturday, July 18 , 5p.m. – 2 p.m.: A mid-summer social-distancing celebration with sips, samples and swag from local Midtown businesses. Beer gardens, live entertainment, henna, face-painting, cosplay and more. Bring picnic chairs for squad squares. Limited parking available for partying in your car, trunk or truck bed. All spaces are first-come, first-served. Entertainment by Wild 102.9, DJ Bobby G, Reno Jazz Syndicate, Full Blast Band and DJ Chris Payne. There’s also a raffle for a chance to win jewelry from Rogers Jewelers, and other prizes, with the proceeds benefiting Nevada Coalition to END Domestic Violence and Sexual Violence, a non-profit, and a fundraiser for midtown businesses affected during the Covid-19 pandemic. Details: http://svpmidtown.com/
The Cordillera International Film Festival – Thursday, July 23 through Sunday, July 26 – The Cordillera International Film Festival returns to Reno with Hybrid Fest and Oscar-qualified Grand Jury Members. It’s an opportunity to see independent films, celebrity industry panels and screenwriting table reads with filmmakers from all over the world, including actors, directors, writers and producers. It brings together more than 140 film selections, representing 43 countries, with 39 percent of official selections that fall into the under-represented voices categories, which includes LGBTQ, indigenous and black filmmakers. In the interest of public health, CIFF has converted film screenings to an online platform so attendees can safely participate from home this year.
There are three ways to attend the film festival:
Red Carpet Club Membership, which includes an all-access pass to CIFF 2020 and VIP membership benefits throughout the year. The pass unlocks: all virtual screenings, all celebrity and filmmaker panels, 15 screenplay finalist readings (performed by local talent from Bruka, Good Luck Macbeth and Reno Little Theater), drive-in screenings (RSVP for one car pass per screening). The pass also covers a CIFF t-shirt, Pre-Sale Access to Events including the Oscar Party, Film to Feast and Fright Night as well as discounts on tickets and merchandise. Single, $50; family pass, $85. Destination Living Room – Virtual Access Only: Festival goers can attend on any computer, smart TV or streaming device anytime between 7 a.m. on July 24 through 7 p.m. on July 26, through the Eventive app available through CIFF. The virtual pass provides access to streaming films, celebrity panels, screenplay table readings and the filmmaker Q&A sessions. $35. Individual Tickets: for select films, celebrity panels and screenplay table readings. $10 More information about the Cordillera International Film Festival is at www.ciffnv.org.
Virtual PRIDE Festival, online – Saturday, July 25, – Northern Nevada Pride is teaming up with Loaded TV, a local production company, to create a free two-hour program that will be streamed on social media and Pride’s website. Speeches, performances and information is slated for the first hour, followed by a dance party live-streamed from across the nation. Northern Nevada Pride is a program to raise funds for Our Center, the region’s only LGBTQ community center, at 1745 South Wells. Ave. Last year’s Northern Nevada Pride Festival and CommUNITY Parade attracted 15,000 attendees and raised more than $50,000 for the center. Pride’s mission is “to empower all members of our fun-loving community. Sponsorships are offered at Our sponsorship page.
There’s a lot more Artown performances, exhibits, events and happenings before the end of July, both live and virtual. For details visit: https://artown.org/2020ArtownInfo/
Artown 2020 Merchandise is available, including a commemorative brew dubbed Artown Silver Lager (in partnership with The Brewer’s Cabinet), Artown 25th Anniversary t-shirts; reusable cups; posters; and art face masks sewn by Susan Hill. Check them out at Artown’s MERCH Facebook page. Videos: See Artown’s opening night video, featuring this year’s star performers. Here’s a video profile of Ivette Valenzuela, the gifted artist who created Artown’s 2020 poster.
Submit your own art: Artown is asking members of the public to submit their own artwork as part of this year’s celebration. Details are here.