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...

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

A potential setback for the Cultural Corridor...

As we are all very well aware the City of Las Vegas is facing huge cutbacks because of the economic downturn that has hit this community. As such city leaders have had to make a list of potential cutbacks to help balance the city's budget. One suggestion that has been proposed is the shutting down of the historic Reed Whipple Cultural Center located in the heart of the Cultural Corridor. The Cultural Corridor is located along Las Vegas Boulevard North between Bonanza and Washington and is home to the;
  • Neon Museum
  • Las Vegas Natural History Museum
  • Lied Children's Discovery Museum
  • Old Mormon Fort State Park
  • Las Vegas Library
  • Cashman Center
The potential shutting down of the Reed Whipple Cultural Center will deal a devastating blow to the fledgling corridor right at the moment when positive developments are happening in the neighborhood. The recent inauguration of the Natural History Museums world famous King Tut exhibition, the beautification of the corridor with newly restored signs from the Neon Museum and the Neon Museum itself beginning construction on their new facility are building a momentum that should not be distracted by the closing of the cultural center.

The "Whipple" as it is affectionately called is named after former City Councilman Reed Whipple, is an historic structure originally built in the early 1960's as an LDS Church Stake Center which later served as interim Las Vegas City Hall. It is home to the the nationally recognized Rainbow Company Youth Theater  Medallion Award winner from the Children's Theatre Foundation of America. It is also home to the Las Vegas Youth Orchestra and the Children's Summer Concert Series. It also houses a 275 seat theater and 80 seat studio theater used for multiple programs, a recognized art gallery that exhibits local, regional and national artists, a pottery studio, conference rooms and art studios. It addition the Neon Museum's temporary offices are located there.

Like I have mentioned in previous posts it is imperative that the community come together and contact our city leaders to help save the cultural arts infrastructure that we have worked so hard to build. It is important to express our concerns by attending the town hall meetings that are taking place around the city. The next and last town hall meeting will be at the Charleston Heights Arts Center on Thursday, March 4 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The Charleston Arts Center is located at 800 S. Brush Street.

Remember we cannot diversify the economy in our state if we cannot demonstrate that we have a strong and supported Educational and Cultural Arts infrastructure.

For more information on your city government please visit http://www.lasvegasnevada.gov/index.htm

For more information on the Cultural Corridor please visit http://www.culturalcorridorvegas.org/

posted by Brian Paco Alvarez, Curator and Chronicler of Culture at


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