ArtsHeart-06-06-16-02Designed specifically for teams of local arts groups and “non-arts” civic agencies and organizations, the Nevada Arts Council’s Arts@theHeart 2016 focuses on creating vibrant, equitable and healthy communities throughout Nevada. Local arts leaders will convene to engage in conversation, networking and collective community action planning through the arts, June 9 and 10 at the Siena Hotel.

“Brave New Communities,” the conference theme, celebrates innovative projects in and through the arts across Nevada and explores ways to create intentional intersections between arts, culture and community.

Approximately 70 people will attend Arts @ the Heart, representing the state’s major metropolitan centers and small rural communities, including Las Vegas, Henderson, North Las Vegas, Reno, Carson City, Tonopah, Mesquite, Yerington, Hawthorne, Moapa Valley, Sparks, Virginia City, and Douglas County.

Attendees will tour the Nevada Museum of Art and the National Automobile Museum. For more information, contact the Nevada Arts Council’s Community Arts Development program at (775) 687-7109.

ArtsHeart-06-06-16-01Speakers include Maria Sykes and Jun-Li Wang. Sykes is co-founder of Epicenter in Green River, Utah. Epicenter is a non-profit organization in a rural community that addresses housing, community engagement, design services and business development, and manages a highly-regarded artist-in-residence program. Sykes will be joined by Sarah Lillegard, Nevada artist and recent Epicenter Frontier Fellow, in a conversation on building creative communities through place-specific and socially-engaged work.

Wang is artist community organizer at Springboard for the Arts, an economic and community development organization for artists and by artists, in St. Paul, Minnesota.  Wang has extensive experience in asset-based community development, neighborhood leadership, workshop curriculum design and implementation, and training. She created and led Irrigate, a nationally-recognized creative place-making program designed to train and support local artists to address community challenges.

Panelists include Brian Paco Alvarez, art curator,, Las Vegas; Natalie Handler and Chelsie Rose Kern, co-founders, Reno Instagrammys; Shaun Griffin, executive director, Community Chest, Virginia City; Mary Kaye Washburn, president, Moapa Valley Revitalization Project; Debra Bagley, founder and director, Roots to Rising, Moapa Valley; Barbara Land, education and outreach director, Sierra Nevada Ballet, Reno; and Bert Wells, director, Kids Kottage, Reno.

The Nevada Arts Council, a division of the Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, is the agency charged with ensuring that state and national funds support cultural activity and encourage participation in the arts throughout Nevada.  In addition to providing hundreds of grants to arts and community-based organizations, schools, artists and local municipalities throughout the state, the Arts Council coordinates a variety of statewide programs and activities such as the annual Poetry Out Loud recitation competition for high-school aged students, traveling exhibits, artist residencies, workshops and cultural assessments. The Nevada Arts Council is supported by the State of Nevada, the National Endowment for the Arts, and other public and private sources.