News Releases

Nevada Arts Council News Releases


The 15th annual Nevada Poetry Out Loud State Finals were held Tuesday, May 26. The virtual competition featured the top 6 poets from Nevada high schools competing for the chance to be crowned state champion.


Eakjot Sekhorn representing Washoe County was crowned 2020 Nevada State Champion.


Second place went to Storey County’s Anastasia Chevalier.


Third place went to Douglas County’s Lara Cassity.


Since September, more than 4,300 Nevada high school students have been embracing the power of words by participating in the 2020 Nevada Poetry Out Loud Program. District competitions are complete and finalists are preparing for the state final competition.  The student winning the state final competition will represent Nevada at the national competition in April in Washington D.C. Read More

2020 Nevada Poetry Out Loud District Finalists

Clark County:
Aylin Mendoza

Douglas County:
Lara Cassity

Elko County:
Soledad Negrete

Lyon County: 
Whitney Hegstad

Storey County:
Anastasia Chevalie

Washoe County: 
Eakjot Sekhon

Focusing on our rich literary heritage and contemporary life through memorization and performance of classic and contemporary poetry, Nevada Poetry Out Loud is a program of the Nevada Arts Council, presented in partnership with National Endowment for the Arts, The Poetry Foundation, the NV Energy Foundation, Pioneer Center for […]

Nevada Arts Council CARES Act Grants

As part of the $2 trillion federal CARES Act passed by Congress to provide economic relief to the nation during the coronavirus pandemic, $75 million was allocated to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to assist the many organizations operating within the arts and cultural sector that preserve history, inspire creative thinking, nurture the arts, foster understanding between citizens and maintain the nation’s identity as a diverse, free society.

Of each $75 million allocated to these federal agencies, 40% is designated to be divided nationally among state arts agencies, like the Nevada Arts Council, for distribution in their respective states. The NEA was able to expedite their distribution of CARES act funding to state arts agencies and the Nevada Arts Council has received $442,000 of these funds. Approximately $49,750 will be utilized by the agency and the remaining $392,250 will be subgranted to many of the states non-profit arts organizations. The agency is well positioned to provide immediate financial relief to our non-profit arts organizations that are struggling to retain staff, remain in operation, and serve their respective communities […]

Take the COVID-19 Impact Survey

American’s for the Arts is gathering data and impact stories through this survey link. The survey will capture a broad spectrum of data and stories from Nevada and across the United States that will demonstrate how the arts and culture workers triumphed and survived this crisis as well as the effect of the outbreak on operations through cancelled events, lost wages, and additional expenses. The Nevada Arts Council will be using the Nevada specific data to highlight the effects that COVID-19 had on our arts and culture industries and the communities they serve. Please take this survey and please encourage other artists and arts and culture organizations within our Nevada communities to take it as well. Take the Impact Survey

Nevada Arts Council Board elects officers

CARSON CITY, Nevada (December 18) – The Nevada Arts Council Board of Directors elected members to new leadership roles at its most recent quarterly meeting.

Gail Rappa of Tuscarora was elected board chair; Edward Estipona of Reno as vice chair; and Karen Michaels of Henderson as treasurer. The term for executive officers on the 9-member NAC Board is 2 years.

Rappa has served on the Nevada Arts Council Board since 2016. She is a professional artist who creates one-of-a-kind wearable art and sculpture from precious metals, hand-carved elements and semiprecious stones. She teaches part time at Great Basin College and helped create and held the position of gallery curator for the Great Basin Art Gallery.

Estipona has served on the NAC Board since 2013. He is the founder of the Estipona Group, a full-service, Reno-based marketing agency. He has overseen dozens of branding and communications programs for healthcare, nonprofit, arts and education, tourism and service-industry clients and received a multitude of awards, including the Governor’s Arts Award in 2008 in recognition of his support of the arts.

Michaels joined the NAC Board in […]

Las Vegans Lott, Yeandel appointed to Nevada Arts Council board

CARSON CITY, Nevada – A pair of Las Vegans – performing artist-teacher Andy Lott and set designer Yale Yeandel – have been appointed by Gov. Steve Sisolak to serve on the Nevada Arts Council Board.

Members of the nine-member board are selected for their knowledge and experience in the arts. The NAC Board advocates on behalf of the arts and arts education in Nevada promotes policies and viewpoints to benefit members of the creative industry and residents throughout Nevada, and approves grant allocations.

Lott grew up in Las Vegas and began performing at an early age with the nationally awarded Rainbow Company Youth Theater. He graduated from the Las Vegas Academy of the Arts and went on to earn a BFA in Dance from Marymount Manhattan College in New York City.

He toured nationally with “The Wizard of Oz,” “Bye Bye Birdie,” and was the equity guest artist for The Nevada Conservatory Theatre’s 2017 production of “Peter Pan,” playing the title role.

Lott has previously taught and directed inside the Rainbow Company Youth Theater. A public high schools’ arts educator for four years, […]

Nevada Arts Council hosts November grants workshops

CARSON CITY, Nevada – (October 30, 2019) Artists, educators, nonprofit organizations and public institutions interested in funding from the the Nevada Arts Council are encouraged to participate in one of its free grants workshops scheduled throughout the state in November.

The workshops will focus on the Nevada Arts Council grant program for Fiscal year 2021 (July 1, 2020-June 30, 2021), applying for a grant using the Nevada Arts Council online grant management system, and preparing competitive and compelling grant applications.

The seven workshops start Nov. 5 in Carson City and conclude Nov. 21 in Pahrump. Other sites are Elko, Reno, Winnemucca, Fallon and Las Vegas.

Participants can register online at least one week prior to the workshop. Walk-ins are welcome if space is available. Register for all workshops here:


Here are the available workshops:


When: 1-2:30 p.m., Nov. 5 (Tuesday).

Where: Carson City Community Center, 851 E. William St., Carson City 89701.



When: 1-2:30 p.m., 5:30-7 p.m., Nov. 6 (Wednesday)

Where: McKinley Arts & Culture Center, 925 Riverside Dr., Reno 89503



When: 5:30-7 p.m.; Nov. 7 (Thursday)

Where: Oats Park Arts Center, 151 E. Park St., Fallon […]

Nevada Arts Council, Nevada Humanities team for ‘Shaken and Stirred’

CARSON CITY, Nevada (October 8, 2019) – In celebration of National Arts & Humanities Month, the Nevada Arts Council and Nevada Humanities are teaming up for Shaken & Stirred – An Arts & Humanities Mixer.

“Shaken and Stirred” consists of two lectures – one in Reno and one in Las Vegas – where speakers work to find common ground while discussing two entirely unrelated topics. Each speaker gets 10 minutes to teach the audience something about their particular topic and the audience seeks to find the commonalities between the two and ask questions that join everything together.

“National Arts & Humanities Month offers time for reflection around the significant impact creativity and culture have on our state,” said Tony Manfredi, executive director of the Nevada Arts Council. “We are pleased to “mix” with Nevada Humanities around Shaken & Stirred and look forward to more partnerships together that highlight Nevada creativity.”

The Reno event, titled “Optical Illusions and Illegal Dancing,” is Wednesday, Oct. 16 at Plaza Maya, 1644 S. Wells Ave. It is scheduled to run from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Gideon Caplovitz, a […]

Governor proclaims October Arts & Humanities Month

CARSON CITY, Nevada – Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak has issued has proclaimed October as Arts and Humanities Month in Nevada.

“The arts and humanities enhance and enrich the lives of every citizen of the Silver State,” the proclamation reads.

The proclamation goes hand-in-hand with National Arts and Humanities Month in which arts and cultural organizations throughout the country recognize the importance of the arts and humanities to the cultural and economic health of its citizens and communities.

“National Arts and Humanities Month gives us a chance to celebrate the often overlooked economic, educational, and civic engagement values that the arts impart in our daily lives,” said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts and national coordinator of Arts and Humanities Month. “The arts allow us to explore ideas, express emotions, and better appreciate cultures from around the world, and I hope that everyone will take part to celebrate and recognize the creative and cultural value of the arts and humanities in our communities.”

National Arts and Humanities Month is coordinated by Americans for the Arts, the national organization working […]

Registration is open Nevada Poetry Out Loud competition

CARSON CITY, Nevada (September 16, 2019) – Registration is under way for the Nevada’s 2020 Poetry Out Loud competition and high school teachers and students throughout the state are invited to get involved.

Registration is open to all high-school-aged Nevada public, private, charter, parochial and alternative schools and home school associations. Structured similarly to the National Spelling Bee, Poetry Out Loud is focused on literary heritage through memorization and performance of classic and contemporary works.

“The talent and confidence we see in students, who get on stage and make these works their own, is just really remarkable,” said Maryjane Dorofachuk, arts learning specialist for the Nevada Arts Council, a sponsor of the program. “These students find their own voice and they learn that words matter.”

The Poetry Out Loud state champion earns $200, wins $500 for his or her school to support literary programs, and travels to Washington, D.C., to compete for $100,000 in scholarships and school prizes at the national finals.

Preparing for the competition, students get the chance to sharpen their analytical skills, discover new things and explore their creative side.

The […]

Arts Council announces 2019 Basin to Range Exchange projects

CARSON CITY, Nevada – The Nevada Arts Council’s Basin to Range Exchange (BRX) is unveiling its first list of projects designed to bring collaboration between urban and rural arts organizations.

Each of the 13 projects received Nevada Arts Council grants for $1,200 — $15,600 total – to help move the projects forward.

“The inaugural BRX program is off to a fantastic start said Tony Manfredi, executive director of the Nevada Arts Council.  “The Nevada Arts Council is impressed with these 14 partnerships and projects and excited to see their impact on their respective communities.”

Following are the inaugural 14 projects from the BRX Program:


BRX 2019 Projects Announcement

Carson City, Tonopah

Mark Salinas (Carson City Department of Arts & Culture) & Kat Galli (Town of Tonopah)

Project abstract: Providing artists new audiences and exhibition spaces

Visual art works will travel between Tonopah and Carson City, with a long-term goal to establish an ongoing collaboration between the two entities. Additionally, the project includes cross-promoting artists and local art including mash-ups of murals, developed by graphic designer, Shelly Brown, and released on both entity’s social media channels monthly. […]

Amanda Horn appointed to Nevada Arts Council board

CARSON CITY, Nevada – Gov. Steve Sisolak has appointed Amanda Horn of Reno to a four-year term on the Nevada Arts Council Board.

Horn is senior vice president of communications for the Nevada Museum of Art, a position she has held since 2013. In her role, she has significantly increased the visibility of Nevada Museum of Art regionally, nationally and internationally through public relations and marketing campaigns. She has also been instrumental in managing major projects such as Seven Magic Mountains, Tilting the Basin, and Orbital Reflector.

She has played a key role in Nevada Museum of Art’s statewide expansion, fostering deep relationships in the Las Vegas arts community, while also elevating the broader visual arts dialogue across the Silver State.

“We are thrilled to welcome Amanda to the Nevada Arts Council Board,” said chairman Joe O’Neill. “Her passion and enthusiasm for arts and culture will be a great addition as we strive toward our mission to make excellence in the arts accessible to all Nevadans.”

Horn is a member of the Public Relations Society of America Sierra Nevada Chapter, and has previously […]

Nevada Arts Council announces FY20 grant recipients

CARSON CITY, Nevada – (July 5, 2019) The Nevada Arts Council announced Friday the awarding of more than $1million in statewide grants to 172 recipients ranging from individual artists to nonprofit organizations and public institutions for the 2020 fiscal year.

Grants were awarded in the following competitive categories:  Operating Support; Community Impact; Project for Organizations; Arts Learning Project; Artist Fellowship (Contemporary Arts and Folk and Traditional Arts); Fellowship Project Grant and FY20 Project Grant for Artists – Cycle A. Grant panelists reviewed, deliberated and scored applications in public hearings and final recommendations were approved by the Nevada Arts Council Board at its June 27 meeting.

Following are each of the grant categories and grant recipients:


Operating Support Grant ($543,868.07)

Operating Support Grants strengthen Nevada’s arts infrastructure by supporting general operations of non-profit arts organizations throughout the state. The most competitive applicants offer ongoing, sustained, high-quality outreach programs and arts services or artistic programming in their communities. This two-year grant supports funding for general operating expenses including administrative salaries and benefits, payroll expenses, insurance, facility space rental, utilities and contracted and professional services.

Grants panelists […]

Reno artist’s work drops the curtain on 2019 Legislative Gallery

CARSON CITY, Nevada (May 16) – Reno artist Patricia Wallis has a background in plein air and aerial painting, having spent much of her 30-year career in Marin County, California.

Moving to Reno, she found a completely new palette of color in the landscape. Another change she made in in the past decade was a decision to work exclusively on copper, which gives the image a unique luminescence not found when working on canvas or board. Oil painting on copper goes back to the 15thcentury although it is rarely used by contemporary artists.

Wallis’ exhibition, “Bits and Pieces of the Silver State,” are the latest works from Nevada artists to go on display at the Nevada Arts Council’s Legislative Exhibition Series (LXS) inside the Nevada Legislature building and will be featured through the end of the session. She is the last of six Nevadans whose artwork is being displayed during this legislative session.

Wallis described her approach to painting like this: “I express my reaction to what is before me,” she said. “I usually focus on some detail that has captured my […]

Reno author Annie Reed leads authors and artists event

CARSON CITY, Nevada (May 7) – Author Annie Reed, an honorable mention artist fellowship recipient of the Nevada Arts Council, will be co-hosting an event with fellow authors and artists on May 18.

The event, “Authors Among Us! Artists Too!” will be held from 2 to 3 p.m. at the North Valleys Library, 1075 North Hills Blvd., Suite 340, in Reno.

Reed, a freelance fiction writer and the managing editor of Lucky Bat Books, will be joined by local authors Jennifer Rachel Baumer and Louisa Swann, and local artist Brandon Swann for a fun-filled hour of fiction and art shared among friends.

The event is open to the public for free. It includes door prizes and refreshments.

Reed received an Artist Fellowship honorable mention grant from the Nevada Arts Council in 2019. She was an Artist Fellow in 2005.

Las Vegas author Amanda Skenandore hosts writing workshop

CARSON CITY, Nevada (May 7, 2019) – Las Vegas author Amanda Skenandore, an honorable mention artist fellowship recipient of the Nevada Arts Council, is holding writing workshop on Sunday, May 11 at the Clark County Library on East Flamingo Road.

Participants can learn fundamental elements of great fiction that will help turn that in-progress work into a page-turning, fully developed novel. Participants can bring a chapter of their work or a favorite book to the workshop for discussion.

The event is from 12:30 to 2 p.m. in the large conference room of the Clark County Library, 1401 E. Flamingo Rd., Las Vegas 89119.

Skenandore is an author and registered nurse living in Las Vegas. Her debut novel, “Between Earth and Sky,” won the American Library Association’s Readers List Award for Best Historical Fiction. Her second novel, “The Undertaker’s Assistant,” comes out in July 2019.

This free workshop is funded, in part, by an Artist Fellowship award from the Nevada Arts Council.

Gailmarie Pahmeier’s poetry inspires dance performance

CARSON CITY, Nevada – A multi-media dance performance inspired by the poetry of Reno’s Gailmarie Pahmeier will be held Saturday, April 27 at the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno.

The performance, titled “Dust Horizon: Dance, Film and Landscape” is presented by Collateral & Company Contemporary Dance Company and it explores the landscape of Nevada through choreography, photography and film.

The event is from 2 to 4:30 p.m. at the Nevada Museum of Art, 160 W. Liberty St., Reno. Doors open at 1 p.m.

Pahmeier, a teacher and former poet laureate for the City of Reno, is a recipient of the Nevada’s Arts Council’s prestigious FY18 Fellowship Project Grant and has spent the past year in residency at a variety of Nevada State Parks composing narratives about the people and environments she encountered in the often remote places.

Performers from Collateral and Co., traveled to three state parks – Washoe Lake, Wild Horse Reservoir and Valley of Fire – to record and document movement in the landscapes, using Pahmeier’s words as their inspiration.

In the Nevada Museum of Art event, Pahmeier’s poetry combined with […]

Nevada Arts Council awards 4th quarter Jackpot Grants

CARSON CITY, Nevada (April 1, 2019) – The Nevada Arts Council has awarded $8,429 in Jackpot Grants for the fourth quarter of Fiscal Year 2019.

Designed to support first-time or sudden opportunity arts and arts learning/education projects initiated by artists, teaching artists, schools, nonprofit organizations and public institutions, the grants were awarded for projects scheduled to occur between April 1 and June 30, 2019.

This quarter’s recipients, amount received, and projects are:

Ivan Ivanov, Las Vegas: $1,000 to support the publishing, manufacturing, production and distribution his CD, “The Clarinet Music of Leonardo Balada.”


Nye Communities Coalition, Pahrump: $893 to support “The Feelings Play,” a two-part project designed to make children more aware of their feelings and how those feelings can lead to both positive and negative actions. The project will take place at the 4 elementary schools in Pahrump.


Caitlin McCarty, Reno: $910 to support the performance of “Dust Horizon: Dance, Film and Landscape Inspired by the Poetry of Gailmarie Pahmeier,” a multi-media dance work exploring three Nevada State Parks. This ninety minute dance performance is scheduled to take place on […]

Las Vegas senior is Nevada Poetry Out Loud champion

CARSON CITY, Nevada – Vanessa Aponte, a senior at Legacy High School in Las Vegas, is the 2019 Nevada State champion of Poetry Out Loud.

The statewide competition for high school students started in the fall with more than 3,500 participants and narrowed to nine regional finalists for Saturday’s championships at the studios of KNPB Channel 5 Public Broadcasting in Reno.

Sparks High School senior Noemi Valdez finished in second place, and Elko High School senior Mikalya de Guzman finished third.

The state championships consisted of three rounds with each poet reciting two poems and then the top three reciting a third poem for the final round. Aponte’s three poems were “The Enigma” by Anne Stevenson, “The Lost Land” by Eavan Boland and “Often rebuked, yet always back returning,” by Emile Bronte.

Aponte, an honors student who plans to attend UNLV and major in psychology and criminal justice before going on to law school, said winning the statewide competition was a dream.

“It means that all the hard work paid off,” she said. “It means all the time I spent with my English teacher […]

Las Vegas artist’s exhibit ‘a devastating love letter’ to mother with Alzheimer’s

CARSON CITY, Nevada (March 18, 2019) – Las Vegas mixed media artist Antonio Gomez knows all too well the devastating effects Alzheimer’s disease can have on a family.

He lost his father to it a decade ago and recently learned his mother had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

It is with his mother’s blessing that Gomez is creating art to give a voice to those victimized by the disease. His exhibit, “Desambiguacion del Amor,” is on display at the Nevada Legislature building and the Nevada Arts Council’s LXS Gallery.

“My mother is still in the early stages of the disease and I have had numerous conversations with her about her terrible predicament and the uncertain, dark future that she has been forced to face,” Gomez said. “Through these conversations, my mother and I have undertaken the challenge of creating images that depict her current state: her inability to remember things, her persisting memories of her childhood, the way she feels she is being treated as an Alzheimer’s patient, and even the feelings of despair when forced confront her reality.”

Gomez hopes his art, a […]