enculturating las vegas into the next millennium... art, dance, film, music, poetry, theater, history, nature and everything else that enriches the lives of those who live and visit southern nevada... Since 2003...

Saturday, August 23, 2014

A lifetime of Burns: Part 1 Discovery

By Onnoleigh Sweetman,
contributing writer and editor

Some may adhere to a belief system that Burning Man is just a wild party. A drunken drug fest, of neo-hippies and anarchists. But there is no doubt for those that have attended, there is a simple truth. There’s a spiritual driving force about burning man….Something that speaks to every soul. You find it walking by yourself on the dusty paths, dancing in between thousands, or trekking alone through deep playa. The meaning of existence…

- Onnoleigh Sweetman Journey of Fire


After a year and a half in Phoenix, Arizona, I found myself back in the thresholds of southern Nevada. It was late August of 2001 and I stood at the base of Bootleg Canyon in Boulder City, Nevada. Dusty yet serene, the desert wind had a combination of fierce power and a peaceful stillness as it whipped through my long blonde hair. I gazed up into the canyon with an almost childlike wonderment. I had no rhyme or reason why I was back in southern Nevada but something deep within told me I needed to be there. Like knowing the sky was blue, I knew with every ounce of my being, that something big was coming my way. Destiny had its hooks in me and my perception of the world was changing with every passing second. I could feel it, (the change) coursing through my veins like an infectious disease, only this disease was welcomed. I shut my eyes and took a deep breath. As I slowly reopened them, I noticed my sight and perception of the things around me had shifted, changed. The aura of what once was, took on a completely new life form. I could feel that my destined path was calling me, and now that I had “changed” my perception, there was no other choice but to allow the universe to lead me to whatever it was that was so deeply clawing at the core of my soul.

Present day: “Birmingham”? “No, Burn-ning Mannn”. “What’s that, like a concert”? No Bitch it’s much more than that I thought. “To explain it, really explain it, would take hours of your time”, I exclaimed to the doctor prodding and probing me. “Oh “she said innocently as if to adhere to be somewhat interested. “In a nutshell”, I said poignantly, “think of a non corporate setting where thousands of artists go to a desolate desert to build a city with art installations and art cars beyond your wildest dreams. Then at the end of it all, burn mostly everything to the ground”.

After all these years it never ceases to amaze me the amount of people that have no idea what transpires each year in a man built utopia only a few hundred miles away. Then I think back to the times I heard about Burning Man. The most poignant being in August of 2001. I met up with an ex-boyfriend for drinks at The Hacienda Hotel and Casino on the outskirts of Boulder City, Nevada. Many times we discussed my artistic talents, my path and where the hell I was headed. At the time, I was an adamant club goer, reveling in the artistic dance styles of the rave scene. So much so, that I began chronicling my experiences and had dreams of taking rave style elements of dance and showcasing them on stage.

And that’s when he mentioned once again, this thing called Burning Man.

“Burning Man”. “It will change your life”. This is event is so, you, I recalled him saying. I still couldn't quite grasp what he was talking about or what the event was all about. Heck, at the time, I was in my early 20’s and I still couldn't grasp what I was all about… My very first recollection of Burning Man was in 1997. I was 19 and stumbled across a local newspaper that donned a picture of a young woman with flaming red hair wearing all leather crouched on top a vehicle with whips in hand looking as though she was ready to pounce the next unsuspecting victim. It was an article about a festival called Burning Man in a remote desert near Reno. I recall ignorantly thinking who would want to go to Reno, when everything one could need is in Las Vegas. I tossed the paper aside and never really thought about it again, until the night of this particular conversation. A conversation that would unknowingly be a prelude to the next 13 years of my life…

“There is no such thing as chance; and what seem to us merest accident springs 
from the deepest source of destiny”.

Looking back, I feel as though the sacred desert of Burning Man was already calling to my soul. The burn of 2001 would come and go, but with it, leave an imprint in my mind, of something to be discovered in the desert of the North. The events following that particular burn would shape the course of my entire life. Within two weeks of the 2001 burn, “destiny” would finally show its face. The playa would send a burner fresh from the dust, to the bright lights of Sin City. This particular “burner” a world renowned mountain bike racer and designer, Jan Karpiel, and I would meet, with myself in leopard pants and kitty ears dancing on top a stage of a night club in Las Vegas. We met like most romantic legends are told and fell in love with a classic story of love at first sight. Within three days of meeting and not spending a minute apart, I at the age of 23 would risk it all, leave everything behind, pack two back packs, and hop in his company van and move to the back yard of Burning Man to none other than Reno, Nevada.

Reno, Nevada, a hidden gem of fabulous art, community and camaraderie, would ultimately be the most magical of cities and experiences that I would ever encounter… I would spend 4 years leading a tribe of dancers into uncharted territories in the dance world. I would collaborate with numerous artists, produce multiple dance show, become a resident DJ, and organize large scale parties and more. But most importantly, I would land my dancing feet on the playa for the first time and finally understand what “welcome home” truly means…

Thirteen years of Burning Man culture and I am still never at a loss of words for the event, or what I should call lifestyle. My meeting with my first burner love, I truly believe to this day, was to bring me to that event. I didn’t got to Burning Man and become a burner. I was a burner who happened to find Burning Man.

“The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering”- Bruce Lee

Over the years my burns have been good, bad and downright ugly. I have broken up on the playa, found love in the desert, been stranded, split my face open, experienced the death of my best friend Sam in 2005, spread my mother’s ashes in 2011, cried, screamed, grieved, healed, laughed, and danced. Burning Man is not for the weak of heart, but rather for the warriors of heart. The playa tests your limits, stretching you beyond comfort zones both mentally and physically. Every year I approach Burning Man with excitement. But with as much excitement I also approach it with reverence. After experiencing the death of a best friend in the desert of dreams, Burning Man takes on a whole new level. There’s not a day that goes by when I’m walking the dusty paths that I don’t think of him, transitioning into his next existence at 3:00 and Esplanade. 

That I don’t think of all the beauty we experienced together with our Reno family on the playa and off the playa. I bow in humble respect for fellow poi spinner Sam Rich whom would exclaim a year before his death at the festival, that he knew he was going to die young and he knew it was going to be at Burning Man. Beyond the party there is something very powerful, very ancient about the land we call the playa and the festival we call Burning Man. It beckoned me from Phoenix and changed the entire course of my life. It has burned away fears, ignited fires, and changed me from the inside out. This year I shall return to my Mecca, and when the wooden man burns, I shall once again rise from the ashes anew.

Photo published with prior approval of Burning Man. All rights reserved.


Brian Paco Alvarez enculturating Las Vegas into the millennium...

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XUZA Art Car: "The Grand Chariot of Zerzura Camp" - 2014 Burning Man

By Onnoleigh Sweetman,
contributing writer and editor


XUZA is a two level interactive art car, designed to carry close to 40 passengers on many journeys throughout Burning Man. XUZA is also a mobile sound installation and will be hosting many amazing DJ's and vocalists at various locations around the playa

Warriors of the dust. That's what I call the men and women that sacrifice their time, sometimes sanity, and pocket their pocket books to create the over the top, mind blowing art structures and art vehicles that grace the dusty lands of the Black Rock Desert each year. While some participant’s biggest concern might be which pink boot covers to choose from, Mike Ceragioli and his dedicated team, spent the duration of the summer skipping the local parties and working diligently to the wee hours of the morning and beyond to build and fund the luscious and incredible XUZA Art Car. A feat not to go unnoticed in my book. Mike, (whom I first met on his pink party bus on the way to EDC 2013), is the founder of Camp Zerzura and the XUZA Art Car.

At first meeting with Mike, you can sense a deep respect for Burning Man and what I call the sacred art of bringing community together. With each conversation, and each meeting, I have observed that Mike finds his happiness in what he can gift to the playa and community rather than what he can take from it. Also added to the mix is XUZA Musical Director and DJ Brett Rubin. Rubin, a well revered electronic mixing artist and producer from Chicago and now local to Las Vegas, has been gracing the dusty desert with his reverent beats for many years and has the XUZA packed with a full lineup of what will surely be an interactive art car experience that will not be forgotten.

XUZA DJ Lineup for the Week!

MUSIC LINEUP:

Monday:
Xuza Art car
Departing from 10 and B
the Maiden Voyage
11pm-sunrise Brett Rubin and Friends

Tuesday:
Xuza ArtCar
Open Playa
Loading from 5 o'clock and esplanade at midnight
12:30am King
1:30 am Metaphase
3:00am Nathaniel Knows
4:00am Corduroy Xavier
5:00am L Boogie

Wednesday:
Xuza Art Car
Xuza and Nuclear Dream Party
stationary at Nuclear Dream 4 O'clock 1000 ft from Man
9:00pm Time Protocol
10:00pm Well Groomed
11:00pm Genisis
12:30am Krista Richards & Boolean live
1:30am Revolvr
3:00am Donald Glaude
4:30am Fyasko aka Scotty Boy
5:30am Travisty (Sunrise)

Thursday:
Xuza Art Car
Near the temple for sunset
2:30pm Andy Elis
4:00pm Sunset with the Wulfpack

Nuclear Dream burn 1000 ft from Man at 4 O'clock
8:00pm Kelly Kellum
9:00pm Dustin Sheridan
10:30pm Inphinity

SPECIAL PLAYA PARTY for Cirque Gitane Camp!
12:00am Black Boots
1:30am Erik Lobe
3:00am Elike
4:00am Chaos
5:00am Evan Casey (Sunrise)

Friday:
Xuza Art Car
Open Playa/ near video mapped skull
10:00pm Michael Carman
11:00pm Littlefoot
12:00am Lisa Rose
1:00am Erik Lobe
2:30am Havok
3:30am Jonboy
4:30am David Sol
5:30 Eli Sopcich (Sunrise)

Saturday: 
Xuza Art Car
Burn Night around 8 o'clock
8:00pm Jamie Schwabl (Preburn)
9:00pm Brett Rubin ft. Violin Girl (BURN)
10:30pm Trent Cantrelle + Brett Rubin (Post Burn)
12:30am Fabian Campos
2:00am Kedd Cook
3:30am Hon Solo
5:00am JSun (sunrise)





Brian Paco Alvarez enculturating Las Vegas into the millennium...

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Monday, August 04, 2014

Community Spotlight: Dana Anderson

Dana Anderson
Image by Noel Calizo
By Onnoleigh Sweetman,
contributing writer and editor

The ISI Group: Industry Supporting Industry

“To create art with all the passion in one's soul is to live art with all the beauty in one's heart.”
Aberjhani, Journey through the Power of the Rainbow: Quotations from a Life Made Out of Poetry

I first had the pleasure of meeting the down to earth, ambitious art entrepreneur Dana Anderson some years ago in Downtown Las Vegas. Running into him at numerous events at The Beauty Bar, Dana in my mind, was a mover and shaker of the Downtown “scene”. An artist and promoter that had a gift of engaging everyone he met with a rare energy of trust worthiness that exuded a solid reputation of a man on a mission that gets things done. And getting things done he is… To this day, Dana is challenging the concept of Art with his visionary company The ISI Group: Industry Supporting Industry. Founded in 2011, ISI is a forward thinking art agency which supports the underground arts such as: tattoo, street and independent artists with monthly live paint silent auctions, commissioned paintings, business and personal murals and even tattoo consultation.

What inspired ISI? Being huge fans of tattoo art and street art, Dana Anderson teamed up with Phillip Limon when they discovered a lack of public awareness of the true talent of such artists. The dedicated duo decided to create something that was community based and would inspire artists, as well as motivate them to continue to grow, all while giving them a fresh outlet to meet new clients and fans.

If you’ve ever been to an ISI event, the inspiration spreads through the crowds like wild fire, devouring any preconceived notions of how art should be presented or experienced with an interactive flare of live painting, performance art, music and more. ISI is rooted in pure organic, homegrown art in my opinion. In the face of rapid change in this city, I root for the underdog, the authentic man that doesn't sell out but rather keeps true to his original vision, his approach, and delivery which is evident with the stellar productions of Dana Anderson and The ISI Group… And I’m not the only one that’s taken notice. Just last week ISI received a “Best of Las Vegas” award from Vegas Seven. “Three years of events and this was the first mention for the ISI team in a Las Vegas Magazine” says Dana with great appreciation. A well deserved award for a well deserved team of Artists I might add.

The vision for ISI? “To continue with events, large and small scale, and slowly spread that love by moving to new cities”, says Anderson. “We recently launched our Salt Lake City ISI with a show in July and we are now doing quarterly events there and building an art community just like we did here in Vegas, so we hope to spread across the nation someday”.

And the wildfire that is ISI continues…

Current Projects: ISI recently launched the Linq Mural Project on the new Linq property on the strip, which included 23 large walls being constructed and curated by local street artists. The team also has a monthly residency with Brooklyn Bowl where they host 20 artist live paint silent auctions, with live music each month. And to spice things up a bit in true Sin City fashion, ISI has a weekly residency with Sapphire pool called Sight n Sound Sundays which includes 4 artists painting pool side with local DJS and free entry for locals.

In addition, ISI hosts weekly belly dance classes by Sara Lyn, live in the studio.

*ISI Studio is located in the Downtown Spaces at 1800 Industrial Rd. unit 207*

*Keep up with all things ISI on Facebook at The ISI Group and Instagram for photos of daily art @the_isi_group , the ISI website is currently under construction by please check it out very soon at www.ISIunite.com*

Brian Paco Alvarez enculturating Las Vegas into the millennium...

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Monday, July 28, 2014

August First Friday is going to be a Wonderland!!!

OMG! I haven't posted in close to a month! I truly and sincerely apologize to all of you! This is the longest I haven't posted in years and I do not want anyone to think that I have forgotten them. All of my readers have been loyal and I do not want to disappoint.

The good news is First Friday has arrived and we are gearing up for a great event. This months event will celebrate Wonderland and yours truly will be dressed and ready for the tea party (not the right-wing tea party but rather Lewis Carroll's one). I have been working on the outfit for several weeks now and I am ready to party! Even though it may be a little warm outside First Friday is ready and I hope you are too.

First Friday Art Walk
August 1,2014 - 5 to 11pm
Charleston and Casino Center
ALL AGES - FREE!!!
http://www.firstfridaylasvegas.com/









Brian Paco Alvarez enculturating Las Vegas into the millennium...

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Thursday, July 03, 2014

The Stratosphere teams up with Fireworks by Grucci for a Fabulous Las Vegas 4th of July!!!

Photo Courtesy of Fireworks by Grucci

Usually the Las Vegas Strip is ablaze with fireworks during New Years but the 4th of July has always played second fiddle. Well that is about to change with the Stratosphere Resort teaming up with Fireworks by Grucci to put on a spectacular display worthy of the nations Independence Day.

I am personally really excited about this because this display will be happening during First Friday which means there will be thousands of people just North of the resort to witness the event. Kudos to the hotel and Grucci for bringing this to our city. Honestly there is no better resort to host such a display. After all the Stratosphere is the tallest building West of the Mississippi!

Fun Facts about the Firework Display
  • Fireworks by Grucci Chief Pyrotechnician: Paul Ferry
  • Number of days to set-up- 4
  • Number of hours to choreograph – 11
  • Number of pyrotechnicians- 6
  • Number of man hours to set-up- 288
  • Largest firing Mortar – 4 inch
  • Number of firing cues – 1,603
Music
  • America the Beautiful - Jennifer Hudson & Sandy Hook Choir
  • Made In America - Toby Keith
  • Happy - Pharell Williams
  • Counting Stars – OneRepublic
  • Armed Service Medley - St. Louis Orchestra
  • Born in the USA - Bruce Springsteen
  • Treasure - Bruno Mars
  • America's Song - Faith Hill & Company
  • Stars and Stripes - Sousa (with vocals)
About Fireworks by Grucci: 

Holders of the Guinness World Record for the "Largest Fireworks Display" ever recorded, Fireworks by Grucci is a sixth-generation, family-owned and operated company. They are world-renowned for pyrotechnic artistry, scientific innovation and old-fashioned values. Known as "America's First Family of Fireworks", the Gruccis have transformed the night skies to the delight of millions across the globe since 1850. Among their signature performances are seven consecutive U.S. Presidential Inaugurations; the Olympic Games in Beijing, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles and Lake Placid; commemorations such as the Centennial of the Statue of Liberty and star-studded extravaganzas including the grand opening of the Atlantis Dubai and the Palm Jumeirah Island in the United Arab Emirates. On New Year’s Eve 2013, a stunning performance displaying 479, 651 fireworks made its debut above Dubai’s iconic skyline. The Gruccis achieved their “Largest Fireworks Display” title with this performance and smashed the Guinness Book of World Record’s preceding mark. Phil Grucci currently serves as President/CEO of Fireworks by Grucci, Inc. and Pyrotechnique by Grucci, Inc., the manufacturing entity of the Grucci group of companies. For more information, please visit: www.grucci.com

Brian Paco Alvarez enculturating Las Vegas into the millennium...

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Sunday, June 29, 2014

Attention all artists!


REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL- First Friday Las Vegas

Issuing group: First Friday Las Vegas, LLC (hereinafter “FFLV”).

Project: for August First Friday Las Vegas event entitled "Wonderland" (hereinafter “Event”).... exploring scope, fantasy, surrealism. All things which inspire awe and wonder.

Description: FFLV is calling artists (groups & individuals), performers & sound artists (hereinafter “Proposers”) to help bring “Wonderland” to life this August.

We are looking for whimsical, magical, & wondrous installations that nod to surrealism (reference Salvador Dali, Rene Magrite, Joan Miro, Grave, Man Ray, Henri Rousseu, Frida Kahlo, Mark Ryden, David Stoupakis, Lewis Carroll)

All submissions must be about wonder in its many forms. A nod to Alice in Wonderland is NOT a requirement (but is welcome).

The Event is attended by people of all ages and proposals should keep this in mind.

Timetable:
Deadline for Submission: Thursday, July 10th, 2014
Selections made, submitters informed no later than: Monday, July 14th, 2014 via email and their designated preferred method of communication.
Deadline for final specifications, plans, requirements, etc. will be Friday, July 25th, 2014. Note, FFLV reserves the right to relocate, modify, or adjust the final installment should event circumstances require. Every effort will be made to maintain the artistic values and integrity of the installation.
Approved submissions must be executed, built, delivered, and installed by 3:30 PM Friday, August 1st and must have the ability to be broken down and removed by no later than 8AM the following morning, Saturday August 2nd.

Submissions should generally fit onto a 20’x20’ paved space on Casino Center Drive.

Submissions must include:
-Proposer’s full Name of main contact and a secondary contact
-Contacts’ Phone Numbers
-Contacts’ E-mails
-Preferred method of communication
-Full written description of your concept accompanied by sketches, illustrations, dimensions, description of materials, ALL operating requirements including power specifications, etc should be included. The more descriptive your submission, the better. (FFLV will provide a reasonable amount of power on site.)

Submissions to be submitted to FFLV:
In person at the First Friday offices above The Beat coffee shop at 520 Freemont St. Las Vegas, 89101;
By mail at 520 E. Fremont St., Las Vegas, 89101;
or electronically to FFLV at submissions@firstfridaylasvegas.com with a file size limit of approximately 7MB.

Proposer must certify that the work you are submitting is original or a work that may be derivative from work in the public domain or is allowed under US Copyright law (refer to the Unites States Patent & Trademark Office for more information); if performing, that you have or have obtained the legal right to perform your work.

If selected, your work will be displayed in a public art festival...and although attendees are generally respectful of works, participants assume all risks for their projects. FFLV will not provide protection, insurance or guarantee against damage or destruction, nor any indemnification for you, or your collaborators. By activating at the festival, proposer agrees to indemnify and hold FFLV and its agents harmless against any and all claims, demands, damages, liabilities and costs incurred at the festival, which directly or indirectly result from, or arise in connection with the project or proposer’s intentional or negligent acts related to activities at the festival, including the building and managing of Proposer’s project.

Ownership of work: Submitter will retain ownership of any work displayed or performed at First Friday under the terms of this RFP. By participating in the Event you acknowledge and agree to grant FFLV the right to record, film, photograph, or capture your likeness and images of your project in any media now available or hereinafter developed and to distribute, broadcast, use, or otherwise globally to disseminate, in perpetuity, such media without any further approval from you or any further payment to you. This grant to FFLV includes, but is not limited to, the right to edit such media, use the media alone or together with other information, and the right to allow others to use or disseminate the media.

Award: First Friday Las Vegas, LLC will judge all the works awarding one Grand Prize of a $10,000 commission for a subsequent work or performance to be completed which will become the property of FFLV and will be displayed at another FFLV event. Theme, parameters, and completion deadline for this subsequent commissioned work to be mutually agreed upon. Proposer understands that the selection process and decision of FFLV as to the winner is final and at their sole and absolute discretion. This award will be made and the winner informed no later than Friday, August 8th, 2014.

Brian Paco Alvarez enculturating Las Vegas into the millennium...

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Friday, June 27, 2014

The Historic Huntridge Neighborhood hosts the movie "Hairspray" - TONIGHT!



Brian Paco Alvarez enculturating Las Vegas into the millennium...

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Coffee with Kaizer... Musical happenings for the week of June 23...

Saturday June 28th 6:30
Traditional Mexican Dance presented by Ballet Folklorico Izel
program is called "Cronica La Revolucion Mexicana"
Winchester Community Center
3130 S. McLeod Dr.
$12 at the door, $10 in advance
more info: 702-455-7340

Saturday June 28th 7:15
Opera Scenes from Mozart's "Le Nozze di Figaro," Puccini's "La Fanciulla del West,"
Verdi's "Il Trovatore," and more performed by vocalists participating in La Voce Totale including
Ediana Nieves, Dan Dziedziak, Gloria Grev, Eliso Zari, Victor Romero, Valeria Ore, Albert Lee
Christ the Servant Lutheran Church
2 South Pecos
Henderson NV 89074
Free and Open to the public
more info: 702-263-0802

Sunday June 29th 7:00
Piano recital by Las Vegas native: Sherry Kim who has just completed four years at Northwestern
University, program includes Beethoven's Piano Sonata in F Major Op. 10 No. 2, Granados "Maiden and the Nightengale" from Goyescas Scriabin's Preludes and a Fantasie
in B minor and Dorman's Sonata No. 2, program is 45 minutes long, no intermission
free refreshments
UNLV Doc Rando Hall (Beam Music Center)
Maryland Pkwy
Las Vegas NV 89119
Free and Open to the public
more info: 702-895-3332


Brian Paco Alvarez enculturating Las Vegas into the millennium...

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Monday, June 23, 2014

Artist Jeff Fulmer takes on the Charleston Heights Arts Center

Jeff Fulmer set to amaze with his latest exhibition at the Charleston Heights Arts Center. Opening reception will be held Thursday, June 26 at 5:30. 

Charleston Heights Arts Center 
800 South Brush Street 
Just west of Decatur


Brian Paco Alvarez enculturating Las Vegas into the millennium...

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Friday, June 20, 2014

Under the Lights TONIGHT @ The Downtown Container Park!!!

Tonight Live at the Downtown Container Park Off Sixth presents Under the Lights with performances by The Cults, American Cream, Technicolor, Overjoy. This will be an amazing event no one should miss! Downtown Culture at its best!

For more information - 

See you TONIGHT!!!
\

Brian Paco Alvarez enculturating Las Vegas into the millennium...

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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Coffee with Kaizer... Musical happenings for the week of June 9...

Thursday June 12th 6:00-8:00
Las Vegas Philharmonic Guild welcomes potential new members
to their meeting featuring a performance by LVP young artists' concerto competition winner violinist: Liam Mansfield, you must RSVP ASAP-it is a catered event with free food and refreshments, (non-members may not vote on any issues)
Tuscany Room
Las Ventanas Retirement Community
10401 W. Charleston Blvd (near town center)
Las Vegas NV
Free and open to potential members
RSVP Juliana: 702-767-9204 
jbmcrae@aol.com

Saturday June 21st 2:00pm
Traditional Chinese and Western Classical intertwine in "a Leaf in the Wind:" Li Lin Hong, pipa Zhang Hai Yue, ruan and Chinese leaf flute along with the "Firenze Strings:" Rebecca Ramsey, violin Moonlight Tran, cello and Kim Glennie, harp
Winchester Community Center
3130 S. McLeod Dr.
Las Vegas NV 89121
$12 at the door, $10 in advance
more info: 702-455-7340

Saturday June 21st 5:00pm
Gypsy Jazz ("Django Vegas!") festival featuring several bands including "Icy Hot Club", Robin Nolan, our very own "Hot Club of Las Vegas" featuring Mundo Juillerat guitar, Chris Davis bass, Gabriel Falcoln percussion, Marlow Valentin guitar, Noybel Gorgoy vocals, and Adrianna Thurber jazz violin, food and drink available, cocktails start at 5:00pm
Historic Fifth Street School
401 S. Fourth St.
Las Vegas NV 89101
$15 at the door, $10 in advance
more info: 702-299-3515

Brian Paco Alvarez enculturating Las Vegas into the millennium...

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Friday, June 06, 2014

First Friday in June is gearing up to be a HOT with ART!

First Friday has finally arrived and after what I saw last night at Preview Thursday I can only encourage my readers to come Downtown and see the amazing collections that the galleries have curated. An amazing array of art awaits all!

First Friday begins at 5pm and continues through 11pm.
FREE! 
For more information - https://www.firstfridaylasvegas.com/


Brian Paco Alvarez enculturating Las Vegas into the millennium...

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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Las Vegas Natural History Museum - A Hot Latin Party!

Who doesn't like a cool party! Especially one Downtown and at the Las Vegas Natural History Museum! It has been several years since the LVNHM has been throwing this party and it has been a pretty fun fete. Here is all the information you need. Hope to see you at the party! 

Las Vegas Natural History Museum
900 Las Vegas Blvd N.
Las Vegas, NV 89101
(702) 384-3466
http://www.lvnhm.org/


Brian Paco Alvarez enculturating Las Vegas into the millennium...

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Monday, May 26, 2014

Ode to Revitalization

Dr. Laura Henkel proprietor of
Sin City Gallery & ArtCulturePR
http://www.artculturepr.com/
Las Vegas 
By Dr. Laura Henkel, contributing writer

Since I was born, I would go to Miami every summer to visit family. My family were early settlers of the city and I would always hear about 27th Avenue being the edge of town whereby the 'Everglades' began.  As a kid, I would fish with my Grandfather off The Rickenbacker Causeway wearing a big straw hat and one of his button down long-sleeve shirts so I wouldn't fry in the sun.  I heard about the glamour of Miami Beach in the 50's and 60's, The Fontainebleau's elegance, the celebrities, the mob, and so on.  In the late 80s, I moved to Miami.  Moving from Dallas, I quickly segued into snorkeling in the Florida Keys, power boating, and sun bathing on Miami Beach. (yes, completely negating what my elders tried to instill in me as a kid regarding the sun, yet persistently lathering up with baby oil and iodine so that I might be the living incarnate of the Coppertone kid in pigtails.)  

South Beach in the early 90's wasn't what it is today.  It was forgotten, old and decrepit. Being in my 20's, it was a little depressing to see so many elderly staring at the beach from their perches on Ocean Drive.  Unbeknownst to me when I arrived, I did not know that developers had already seen the future and entrepreneurs began to breathe new life into the area.  I found myself at the right place at the right time.

Romero Britto opened a gallery and The Van Dyke, a beer pub, literally set the stage for revitalization on Lincoln Road.  Lincoln Road, an outdoor shopping center, similar to Commercial Center, was all but abandoned.  There were quirky businesses in there; a dance studio and the best vintage clothing stores (thank you Miami glamour of the 50/60's).  Soon, fabulous nightclubs full of imagination on and off of Collins Avenue began to take hold between Lincoln Road and Ocean Drive.  After a night of dancing, I could go to Wolfie's, have a delightful breakfast, and imagine Meyer Lansky walking through the front door.

I remember the Cleveland Hotel as one of the first of the Art-Deco hotels to have a complete makeover.  It was fun to sunbath on the beach and see the renovations of those old grand deco hotels revamped one by one.  The elderly slowly disappeared to make way for Cafe News and other yummy eateries.   Versace came to town and designed an incredible private villa from one of the coolest apartment buildings on Ocean Drive. It was exciting to be part of that synergy of creativity and development by supporting those new businesses.  Twenty years later, Art Basel and those old grand homes by the Miami Herald have once again become posh and an art/design district was born.   (I gotta say that I got a little teary eyed when I heard that the old Sears Tower would serve as the new opera house/concert hall for the City of Miami.  http://learningfrommiami.org/?p=1555)

And now, here I am in Las Vegas.  I'm feeling the same creative and synergistic vibe in DTLV (Downtown Las Vegas) as I did in South Beach.   It's pretty amazing to be a part of change that supports a community at large.  It is a very special moment in time and I enjoy supporting the local businesses, artists and art establishments.   It's pretty damn cool to know someone by their first name and it is even cooler to recognize that everyone in this town knows everyone by one degree of separation.  

So while fondly remembering the growth and changes of South Beach, while recognizing the importance of what is happening around me today in DTLV, I am inspired by the forward-thinking entrepreneurs that make this place so special.  While I follow on the heels of Miami, I would really like to see Las Vegas become the West Coast epicenter for the arts.  Those white tents at the World Market would make an exceptional spot to host an international art fair.   There are plenty of hotel rooms to accommodate the mecca of artists and patrons that would come from all over the world.  And, talk about easy access!  Hell, you can catch transportation directly from the airport to the World Market.  Look at Miami's model, refine it, make it work for LV... more tourism... more dollars... from Strip to Streets of DTLV... from Venice to Vegas (hello Anthony Bondi)... so many bright and talented creatives in this town alone, such an untapped market, and a destination that everyone would enjoy.  Planting seeds, planting seeds.  A Vegas Biennale, collaborating with Venice, would be simply amazing!

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Coffee with Kaizer... Musical happenings for the week of May 26th...

Tuesday May 27th 6:30pm
Traditional music and dance of Kerala (southwest region of
India) directed by G. S. Vijayan
Clark County Library
1401 E. Flamingo Rd.
Las Vegas NV 89119
$40-$150
more info: 702-853-0701

Saturday May 31st 3:00pm
Young violinists' recital by "FAYM" (Foundation to Assist
Young Musicians) includes a performance by talented young
violinist: Liam Mansfield
East Las Vegas Community Center
250 N. Eastern Ave.
Las Vegas NV 89101
Free and Open to the Public, donations accepted to provide free violin
lessons to 'inner city youngsters'
more info: 702-972-6858

upcoming

Friday June 6th 7:30pm and
Sunday June 8th 2:00pm

Opera Las Vegas presents: Rossini's "Barber of Seville" -fully staged
costumed and supported by a full orchestra, performers include Stephanie Weiss as Berta,
Renee Tatum as Rosina, Philip Cokorinos Basilio, Peter Strummer and Dr. Bartolo, Robert
McPherson as Almaviva and Daniel Sutin as Figaro
Judy Bayley Theater
4505 S. Maryland Pkwy
Las Vegas NV 89154
55$-95$
more info: 702-895-2787



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Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Soul of Downtown: Soulful House DJ Lenny “Love” Alfonzo

"It's not about what the equipment does, it's about what 
you can do through that equipment. 
That's where the soul is." 
- Ritchie Hawtin

By Onnoleigh Sweetman, contributing writer and editor

Downtown Las Vegas has finally made its mark with the explosion of arts, lounges and restaurants that have popped up in such a short time, making splashes and waves across the 18 blocks of our arts district. People from all over the country are flocking to DTLV to get in, cash in, and engage in the hottest trend of Urban living that Las Vegas has probably ever seen. But with all the newbies flocking to what is now considered the hippest place to work and live, who are the people behind the scenes that have been supporting, living, and giving to this arts scene years before the sudden burst? One such notable mention would be 30 year electronic music veteran, house music fundamentalist and downtown denizen DJ Lenny “Love” Alfonzo.

Lenny’s first stint was at The Lip Stick Lounge in Las Vegas at the ripe age of 18. First spinning classic soul-disco and R&B-style dance music, Lenny soon found house music which led him onto DJ ventures in LA and Phoenix and then a five year house music residency in Manhattan, New York. From there, Lenny “Love” hit the house music circuit of the birth of house, none other than the infamous city of Chicago. With numerous years and numerous cities under his belt, Lenny “Love” found himself back at his roots of Las Vegas and settled in the very core of Downtown.

Anyone that knows Downtown knows that Thursday nights at DCR (Downtown Cocktail Room) is the place to be for not just underground lounge vibes, but for pure, authentic house beats which is becoming a lost art in Las Vegas. Guest DJ’s can be seen all over facebook giving their props to a night savored and respected by the community. Emanuel Skinner writes on May 8th: Tonight catch me playing with Lenny Alfonzo at one of the only venues staying true to #deep #underground #house in this over saturated commercial EDM city! #downtownsoulLV #undergroundLV

DJ Lenny Alfonzo spinning @
Atomic Liquors on Fremont
A well deserved and true example of what Lenny is bringing to the table in our community. But it even goes further than that. Not only does Lenny host, spin and collaborate to bring the DTLV community “Downtown Soul” he immerses himself with true “soul” an passion to create and even better downtown to live in. The heart of “Downtown Soul” is “Bringing music to the community and community to the music”. This is evident with an array of projects that Lenny immerses himself into. Whether it is vinyl DJ and beat matching lessons, to setting up his DJ gear for Burners without Borders projects at L’Octaine Urban Apartments, to feeding the homeless, Lenny can be found gifting his time and talents all over DTLV.

As a part of the community integration of music and culture of Downtown Soul, Lenny offers three unique projects in conjunction with its unique mission of inclusion. Lenny offers dancing lessons for The Spanish Hustle every Thursday at DCR, private and group DJ lessons in the art of mixing and beat matching on vinyl, and most honorably a weekly gathering to feed the homeless.

With all the splashes and glamour that is making up downtown Las Vegas, Lenny keeps the scene grounded, true to style, and authentic with the sounds of soulful house and with the heart of a community driven activist. Catch Lenny live, every Thursday with guests at DCR 10pm to 2am, 111 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89101.

Currently a resident DJ at the Downtown Cocktail Room, he is also active in the East Fremont Entertainment and Arts Districts’ house music scenes, and collaborates with other members of the DCR DJ Collective and Edgar Reyes of SoulKitchen. Thankful, inspired, and with a strong desire to promote and teach the history of house and its culture to the next generation of househeads, DJ Lenny launched DownTownSoul in 2013.

For more information on Lenny or to get involved with any of his projects, please visit www.downtownsoullv.com or www.djlennyalfonzo.com


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Coffee with Kaizer... Musical happenings for the week of May 12th...


Monday May 12th 5:30pm
Guitar Ensemble Recital directed by Ricardo Cobo, with guest violinist Dmytro
Nehrych perform works including Paganini's Sonata Concertante, Piazzolla's "L'Histoire
du Tango," and Mozart's "Eine Kleine Nachtmusic" (arranged by Hirsh)
Doc Rando Hall (UNLV Beam Music Center)
4505 Maryland Pkwy
Las Vegas NV 89119Free and Open to the Public
more info: 702-895-3332

Tuesday May 13th 7:30pm
Chamber Music Recital featuring UNLV students; Sammi Ciarlo and Tammy Hung violins, John Pollack and David Chavez violas, Eddie Yue, Jeremy Russo and Maren Quanbeck celli and Daniel Nunez, flute program includes Tchaikovsky's Sextet, Mozart's Flute Quartet No. 3, Boccherini's Quintet in G Major, and Joan Tower's "Rising"
Doc Rando Hall (UNLV Beam Music Center)
4505 Maryland Pkwy
Las Vegas NV 89119Free and Open to the Public
more info: 702-895-3332

Thursday May 15th 7:30pm
Vocal recital by baritone Tod Fitzpatrick and guest artists; soprano Elizabeth Fitzpatrick, guitarist Martha Masters, and pianist Kosta Popvic, program includes three Americana themed works by Celius Dougherty
Doc Rando Hall (UNLV Beam Music Center)
4505 Maryland Pkwy
Las Vegas NV 89119
Free and Open to the Public
more info: 702-895-3332

Friday May 16th 7:00pm
Traditional music and dance of Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan and Central Asia presented by
"Eastern Arts"
West Charleston Library
6301 W. Charleston Rd.
Las Vegas NV 89146
Free and Open to the Public
more info: 702-507-3964

Saturday May 17th 7:00pm
Traditional dance and music of Peru and Mexico as performed by dance troupes: "Xochipilli Macuilxochitl" and "La Acociacion Cultural Peruvana"
Winchester Community Center
3130 South McLeod Dr.
Las Vegas NV 89119
$12, $10 in advance
more info: 702-455-7340

Saturday May 17th 7:30pm
Desert Winds Ensemble performs Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" with pianist Tania M. L. Cancado, directed by Steven Trinkle
Community Lutheran Church
3720 E. Tropicana Ave.
Las Vegas NV 89121$15
http://www.thedesertwinds.org/index.html

Saturday May 17th 7:30pm
Las Vegas Philharmonic performs tangos with violin soloist and concertmaster: De Ann Letrouneau, accordion soloist Patrick Harison and guest conductor Sarah Hicks, program also includes hits from "Les Miserables"
and "Phantom of the Opera" and Ravel's "American in Paris"
The Smith Center
361 Symphony Park
Las Vegas NV 89106
702-749-2000

Sunday May 18th 1:30pm
Latin Jazz Sextet performs compositions of the pianist and leader: Alex Clements, other performers include Eric Tewalt; flute/saxophone, Laraine Kaizer-V; violin, Jeff Davis; bass, Kurt Rasmussen; percussion, Pepe Jimenez; drums
Starbright Theatre
2215 Thomas W. Ryan Blvd.
Las Vegas NV 89134$15 (cash check only), $12 for sun city residents
more info: 702-255-0695




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Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Coffee with Kaizer... Musical happenings for the week of May 7th...


Monday May 5th 5:30pm
UNLV Tuba and Euphonium studio recital, program includes original and arranged works by Alec Wilder, Richard Wagner, Percy Grainger and Andrea Catozzi, performers include Keoni Sailer, Tony Hart, and Shawn Schwerdtfeger: tuba/euphonium and Jae Ahn-Benton: Piano
Doc Rando Hall (UNLV Beam Music Center)
4505 Maryland Pkwy
Las Vegas NV 89119Free and Open to the Public
more info: 702-895-3332

Tuesday May 6th 5:30pm
Chamber Music Recital featuring UNLV string students, program includes Beethoven's String Quartet in C minor op. 18 No. 4 (the complete work)
Doc Rando Hall (UNLV Beam Music Center)
4505 Maryland Pkwy
Las Vegas NV 89119Free and Open to the Public
more info: 702-895-3332

Tuesday May 6th 7:30pm
CSN Concert Band directed by Dr. Richard McGee and Mariachi Band directed by Albert Garcia
Horn Theater
3200 E. Cheyenne Ave.
North Las Vegas NV $8 adults-$5 seniors/students
more info: 702-651-5483

Friday May 9th 7:00pm
Bluegrass music by the Red Rock Ramblers: Jim Damele: guitar lead vocals, Joel Ferguson: banjo, Jimmy Schruppel: bass, Dave Carroll: mandolin/guitar, Laraine Kaizer-V: fiddle
Bruce Trent Park
8851 S. Vegas Dr.
Las Vegas NV
Free and Open to the Public
more info: 702-229-3514

Friday May 9th 8:00pm
Henderson Symphony directed by Taras Krysa performs Brahms' "German Requiem," soloists include soprano Cecilia Lopez and baritone Tod Fitzpatrick
Henderson Pavilion
200 S. Green Valley Pkwy
Henderson NV 89012
Free and Open to the Public $10 donation suggested
more info: 702-267-2171

Saturday May 10th 3:30pm
Guitar recital by doctoral student Hugo Nogueira, program includes Bach, Piazzolla, Paganini, and Nogueria, guest performers include: guitarist Emanuel Schmidt and violinist Dmytro Nehrych
Doc Rando Hall (UNLV Beam Music Center)
4505 Maryland Pkwy
Las Vegas NV 89119Free and Open to the Public
more info: 702-895-3332

Saturday May 10th 7:30pm
Voice recital by doctoral student; soprano Carrie Wachsberger, program includes "Duex Melodies Hebraiques" by Ravel, "Three Yiddish Songs" by Ulmann, and "Piccola Serenata" by Berstein
Doc Rando Hall (UNLV Beam Music Center)
4505 Maryland Pkwy
Las Vegas NV 89119Free and Open to the Public
more info: 702-895-3332

Friday May 9th 8:00pm
Saturday May 10th 8:00pm
One Act Operas "The Telephone" by Menoti and "The Human Voice" by Poulenc performed by
Sin City Opera
Onyx Theater
953 E. Sahara Ave.
Las Vegas NV 89104$15 (portion of proceeds goes to Childrens' Charity of Southern Nevada)
more info: 702-732-7225

Sunday May 11th 1:30pm
Cello recital by Anthony Rodriguez, program includes Brahms and Messiaen, performers include
pianist Jae-Ahn Benton, violinist Dmytro Nehrych and violist Valerie Reives, free reception following the concert
Doc Rando Hall (UNLV Beam Music Center)
4505 Maryland Pkwy
Las Vegas NV 89119Free and Open to the Public
more info: 702-895-3332

Sunday May 11th 5:30pm
Chamber music recital featuring the Sin City Winds: Jamie Leigh O' Neil: flute, Christopher Fujiwara: oboe, Erin Vander Wyst: clarinet, Kevin Eberle: bassoon, Jon Holloway: horn, Jonathan Cannon: clarinet, program includes "Three Sea Shanties" by Sir Malcom Arnold, "Woodwind Quintet Op. 56" by Franz Danzi and "Mladi" by Leos Janacek
Doc Rando Hall (UNLV Beam Music Center)
4505 Maryland Pkwy
Las Vegas NV 89119Free and Open to the Public
more info: 702-895-3332






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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Coffee with Kaizer... Musical happenings for the week of April 21st...

Monday April 21st 5:30pm
Piano recital by Jae Ahn-Benton, program includes Sonata no. 1 by Brahms, "Eine Kline Mitternachtmusick" by George Crumb and Jae's own original composition "Remember my
Pain" a short opera for soprano, piano and off stage baritone, other performers include Cassandra O' Toole and Xavier Brown
Doc Rando Hall (UNLV Beam Music Center)
4505 Maryland Pkwy
Las Vegas NV 89119
Free and Open to the Public
more info: 702-895-3332

Monday April 21st 6:00pm
Horn recital by "High Desert Horns" directed by Bill Bernatis, program includes the music of
Borodin, Oldberg, Texidor and Gabrieli
room 160 (UNLV Beam Music Center)
4505 Maryland Pkwy
Las Vegas NV 89119
Free and Open to the Public
more info: 702-895-3332

Tuesday April 22nd 7:30pm
UNLV Concerto competition winners: Micah Holt, trumpet; Erin Vander Wyst, clarinet; and Jeremy Russo, cello, perform with the UNLV Symphonic Orchestra
directed by Taras Krysa, program includes Bohme, Mozart and Elgar
Ham Hall 4505 Maryland Pkwy
Las Vegas NV 89119$10 adults, $8 military/disabled/seniors and 1 free ticket for faculty/students with ID
more info: 702-895-2787

Wednesday April 23rd 7:00pm
Chamber music recital featuring the music of women composers: Amanda Maier,
Mel Bonis, Amy Beach and Elfrida Andree, performers include mezzo soprano Lilian Roberts and violinist Maria Bessmeltseva, cellist Elizabeth Marshall and pianists Ekaterina Bessmeltseva, and Maria KolesnykChrist the King Catholic Community Church
4925 S. Torrey Pines Dr.
Las Vegas NV 89118
Free and Open to the Public
more info: 702-871-1904

Friday April 25th 7:30pm
Vocal recital featuring 'male roles' traditionally sung by women in Opera including excerpts from "The Marriage of Figaro, Les Huguenots, Tales of Hoffman, Orpheus and Eurydice" and more
Doc Rando Hall (UNLV Beam Music Center)
4505 Maryland Pkwy
Las Vegas NV 89119$10 adults, $8 military/disabled/seniors and 1 free ticket for faculty/students with ID
more info: 702-895-2787

Friday April 25th 7:30pm and
Saturday April 26th 7:30pm

Percussion and lighting recital by UNLV percussion ensemble and 'Moving Light Lab,'
they will perform cutting edge works including "Sextet" by Steve Reich, "Dream of Leaves"
by Caleb Pickering, "Lift Off!" by Russel Peck and much more: full program: http://www.unlv.edu/sites/default/files/Percussion%2004.25.14.pdf
UNLV Black Box Theater (HFA)
4505 Maryland Pkwy
Las Vegas NV 89119
$10 adults, $8 military/disabled/seniors and 1 free ticket for faculty/students with ID
more info: 702-895-2787

Saturday April 26th 5:30pm
Doctoral chamber music recital by pianist: Ekaterina Bessmeltseva
featuring the music of women composers: Amanda Maier
Mel Bonis, Amy Beach and Elfrida Andree, performers include mezzo soprano Lilian Roberts and violinist Maria Bessmeltseva, cellist Elizabeth Marshall and pianist Maria Kolesnyk
Doc Rando Hall (UNLV Beam Music Center)
4505 Maryland Pkwy
Las Vegas NV 89119Free and Open to the Public
more info: 702-895-3332

Saturday April 26th 7:30pm
Las Vegas Philharmonic with guest conductor Alondra de la
Parra performs works including "Sheherazade" by Rimsky Korsakov
and the famous "Concierto de Aranjuez" by Joaquin Rodrigo with
guitar soloist Pablo Sainz
Smith Center
361 Symphony Park Ave.
Las Vegas NV 89106
$25-$94
more info: 702-749-2000

Sunday April 27th 1:30pm
Doctoral tuba recital by doctoral student: Stephen Turner, program includes:
Koetsier, Penderecki and Schumann, other performers include:
Jae Ahn-Benton, piano; Leanne Stamp and K. C. Singer, euphonium; Dean Snavely, tuba
Doc Rando Hall (UNLV Beam Music Center)
4505 Maryland Pkwy
Las Vegas NV 89119Free and Open to the Public
more info: 702-895-3332

Sunday April 27th 4:00pm
Traditional music of India featuring vocalists Sunil and Vibhavari accompanied by
melody synthesizer, tabla, dholak, drums and octopad
Clark County Library
1401 Maryland Pkwy
Las Vegas NV $25 adults, $15 children regular tickets/ $50 adults, $25 children for VIP tickets
more info: 702-274-0583

upcoming!

Monday April 28th 10:30pm
Musical/comedic improv by "the Janes" (Zoe Kohen-Ley, cello/cajon/vocals/loop pedal and
vocalist Savannah Smith) and "Celloprov" (Zoe and comedian Matt Donnelly) along with guest performers: (comics/clowns/dancers): Paul Mattingly, Kasey Wilson, Spencer Novich, and Brett Alters from "Iprov Kingdom, Rose.Rabbit.Lie and La Reve" event is titled "Zoe's Little Playthings"
"The Scullery" (bar/black box theater) in the Ogden Tower downtown
150 Las Vegas Blvd
North Suite #190
Las Vegas NV 89101$5
more info: 702-910-2396 (the Scullery)
or facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1377132142569335/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming









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Thursday, April 03, 2014

First Friday is nothing to Fool Around About... Or is it...

The crazy and zany monthly fete has arrived! First Friday in April should be fun and exciting as the weather is finally beginning to feel like Vegas. The event begins at 5pm. All are welcome even tourists!

First Friday takes place in Las Vegas' 18b Arts District off of Charleston and Main.


Brian Paco Alvarez enculturating Las Vegas into the millennium...

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