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...

Monday, July 19, 2010

A giant light at the end of the tunnel... A few thoughts...

Even though the week started out rough in the arts district with an explosion that did significant damage to the businesses and galleries on Main Street, two fires and a copper theft to boot, the week ended with the grand opening of Emergency Arts. Just when you thought Downtown was crumbling, positive signs were everywhere that indicate the resilience of the city's core is stronger then ever. Nothing can take down the spirit of dedicated individuals who through the darkest moments will stand up, dust off and rebuild. Sounds pretty damn American to me and that is what makes us great.

Friday evening at Emergency Arts was simply magical. Anyone and everyone in the arts was present to celebrate Downtowns newest attraction. The Beat Coffeehouse was serving up libations, everyone was hobnobbing, conversing, partying and having a grand ole time. Downtown power couple Jennifer and Michael Cornthwaite, our hosts, were running around making sure everyone was taken care of; James Reza and Staci Linklater, Las Vegas' fabulous couple were making their presence felt with amazing energy; Kristen Petersen was everywhere taking photos of everyone she knew, which was basically everyone; Mo and Mingo were mingling like monarchs holding court; Desire and her posse dressed to the nines in tuxedos looking like Taco about to put on the Ritz; and then there she was, the one, the only, Ari Eberlin dressed to kill like never before. I could go on for days listing every single person who was there but I think you get the point. Again it was a simply magical evening for our growing Downtown.

With new and exciting attractions happening every second one has to think how wonderful the future will be for our city. Even though the economy is slowly lifting itself up after a disastrous two years we cannot lose hope that things will and are getting better. This is not the first time that we have been here and of course it will not be the last. That is part of the ebb and flow of our society, its the natural course of things. Humans are not perfect by any stretch of the imagination and our mistakes sometimes cause great calamities. Luckily our ingenuity will get us out of the very messes we create. In either case we move forward stronger and with a better awareness of our surroundings and a better awareness of what we need to do to improve our community.

Symphony Park
This is the perfect time to think outside the box and look towards new and exciting adventures. Whether it is starting a new business, taking a long vacation, a new job perhaps, getting in shape, or finally beginning that project that you have been putting off for far too long, now is the time to get pumped up for the future. The cultural arts will be the driving force that will help spur Downtown's economy well into the future. The signs are all there and it is just a matter of time before we measure its tangible results. There are many naysayers that claim otherwise but I simply rebuke them for they are not willing to open their minds to the possibilities. With a vibrant Downtown scene that has been developing in 18b (arts district), Fremont East and Symphony Park we are a laying the very foundations that are needed to attract the innovative and creative companies that require a mix of cultural activities for their highly sought after employees.

On Saturday I was unexpectedly honored by the Hispanic Museum of Nevada for my years of curatorial work that I did for that fledgling organization. I used that opportunity to stand up and talk to the audience about the importance of investing in the arts. I even took the opportunity to call out by name businesses leaders that were in the audience who need to do more to help support organizations like this museum. I stated very clearly that there is no reason that after almost 20 years that the Hispanic Museum does not have a permanent home. Again it goes back to investing in things that help improve the community and our economy. Investing is not just about buying stock but its about taking stock in our community and visualizing where we want to be.

Las Vegas and Nevada is a great place to live and it is important that each of us play a role in improving its future. Many people moved here because of the abundant jobs, low taxes and easy living that the desert afforded but now its time to look beyond ourselves and see what we can do together to make our community better. The time has come folks and the future is here so get out of the house and be a part of an awesome experience that we can create together...

Thank you

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

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


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