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Registration opens for Arts at the Heart conference


CARSON CITY, Nevada (October 12, 2017) – Arts leaders from across Nevada will be converging on Las Vegas Nov. 2-3 for Arts at the Heart.

The event connects local, state and national experts in the field to exchange best practices, network and strengthen arts and culture statewide, said Tony Manfredi, executive director of the Nevada Arts Council.

“This year’s conference will investigate the role that arts and culture play in shaping vibrant and healthy communities,” Manfredi said. “It is ideal timing to hold Arts at the Heart in Las Vegas as we celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the Las Vegas Arts Commission, recognize the Nevada Arts Council’s 50th anniversary year and explore some of the innovative work that is cultivating as sense of place around our state.”

Through a variety of lenses, the conference will investigate how arts and culture play a fundamental role in shaping vibrant communities. This is a unique opportunity to learn from local and national experts and foster community among Nevada’s arts leadership.

The conference will feature a dynamic group of speakers including Jason Schupbach, visionary of creative placemaking; Sarah ElRaheb, an educator steeped in public narrative and storytelling; and Jay Dick, distinguished leader in arts policy and advocacy with Americans for the Arts.

Additional conference sessions will cover storytelling, public art and community engagement, board development, fundraising, marketing and tourism and more. Experts will discuss how arts and culture increase livability, fuel local economies, promote cross sector collaboration and cultivate a strengthened sense of place.

Thursday night’s kickoff reception and keynote address will be held at the Zappos Council Chambers (400 Stewart Ave., formerly the Las Vegas City Hall Council Chambers) in downtown Las Vegas starting at 7 p.m. The keynote will be delivered by Jason Schupbach.

Schupbach is the director of The Design School at the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University. He was previously the director of design and creative placemaking programs for the National Endowment for the Arts, where he oversaw all design and creative placemaking grantmaking and partnerships.

Arts at the Heart conference sessions begin on Friday at the Historic Fifth Street School and run from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The sessions include a presentation with public narrative specialist Sarah ElRaheb and Americans for the Arts’ Jay Dick.

A reception and celebration in honor of the Las Vegas Arts Commission’s 30th anniversary will be held on Friday from 6 to 8 p.m.

Registration for Arts at the Heart is $50. Register at the Nevada Arts Council’s website:

Several pre-conference excursions are also available for participants on Thursday, Nov. 2. They include:

1:30-3:30 p.m.: Interpreting the Urban Landscape – A Cultural Walking Tour of Downtown Las Vegas: Join us for a spirited walking tour that celebrates Downtown Las Vegas as an outdoor museum of American popular culture. This 10-block excursion along Fremont Street is an exercise in interpreting the urban landscape as a cultural construct. The tour is based in storytelling and informed by architecture, neon, entrepreneurship, arts, tourism, gambling, politics, nature, myth and more. Participants can build upon this experience in a follow up workshop on Nov. 3 to design original cultural tours.

1:30-4 p.m.: Seven Magic Mountains Tour: In 2016, the Nevada Museum of Art and Art Production Fund produced Seven Magic Mountains, a monumental artwork by renowned artist Ugo Rondinone. The journey from conception to completion, however, began many years before that. Learn about the work done behind the scenes to pave the way for this now iconic public artwork, and gain insight into related art history, in a private tour led by Nevada Museum of Art Director of Communications Amanda Horn.

3-4 p.m.: Neon Museum Boneyard Tour: The Neon Boneyard is an outdoor exhibition space containing iconic Las Vegas signs, and is only available by guided tour. The Neon Museum collection chronicles changes and trends in sign design and technology through pieces ranging from the 1930s to the present day. Visitors will receive a special hour-long tour with an emphasis on the Neon Museum’s history, growth, and recent conservation and restoration efforts.

4:45-6:45 p.m.: Taco Tour: Join FavyFav and Babelito of Latinos Who Lunch podcast for a special taco tour! From “Tijuana style” to “Fusion”, Las Vegas has some of the best tacos Nevada has to offer. The Latinos Who Lunch duo will take you to their favorite taco joints in the downtown/North Las Vegas area while giving you the history of the taco and of the city that they call home.

Major sponsors of the 2017 Arts at the Heart include: Carson City Culture & Tourism Authority, City of Las Vegas Office of Cultural Affairs, Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts and

Additional sponsors include: Americans for the Arts, City of North Las Vegas, Las Vegas Urban Adventures, Nevada School of Art and The Neon Museum.