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, June 30, 2010

LVSK8 IV Annual Skate Deck Art Show @ PLACE Gallery...

Well I am excited about this upcoming show not just because it is going to be an amazing exhibition, located in an amazing space called PLACE and being hosted by two amazing people Gina Quaranto and Michael Arthurholtz, but the fact that I have entered a work of art (skate deck) too! I cannot believe that I have two works of art currently on exhibition in the arts district. Besides the skate deck I have a small pencil drawing that is part of Erin Stellmon's show Reign of Glass at the Contemporary Arts Center. In either case my creative block has recently dissolved and I hope that I will be creating more art and of course blogging away about all the other great artists, galleries and events that are happening in Fabulous Downtown Las Vegas. So with all this said get down to Preview Thursday and First Friday for lots of creative fun and guess what? Its Free!

Here is the press release about LVSK8 IV which I have printed in its entirety to give you a better idea behind this exciting exhibition. 

100+ Artists Thrash Las Vegas Art Scene
LVSK8 IV Annual Skate Deck Art Works on paper, canvas, found objects, and even the sides of entire buildings are in no shortage. The area has also been blessed with the recent openings of new galleries and studios, not to mention all the cosmetic and infrastructure upgrades being completed by the City of Las Vegas. Despite being hit by hard times, the city's art scene soldiers on and continues to bring fresh, innovative displays of talent and creativity.

Now the Arts District prepares for the next bombshell set to hit ground zero - LVSK8 IV: The Skate Deck Art Show, known simply as LVSK8 by artists and fans alike, has tasked artists to grace the venerable skate deck with their signature styles. This year marks the fourth exhibit of the annual event that is more than just an art show, but a way to unite local artists from seperate artistic disciplines from across the valley. The shows diversity stems from the mix of over 100 tattoo artists, fine artists, graffiti artists, photographers, and designers - many of whom are skaters themselves.

The LVSK8 artists not only infuse a passion for culture into the skating scene, but draw inspiration from it as well. Skate deck art in the skate world is not just a form of expression, but of communication that goes both ways. Artists are able to make a statement with decks they create, just as a skater makes his or her statement in the stick they choose to ride.

The artwork submitted for the show gets more and more creative every year. Past submissions have been painted, carved, stained, and burned. They've been heavy and sculptural, required a power source, and let's face it; most are just too cool looking to actually ride. There is no rule though, that says you can't slap on trucks and wheels and ride off into the sunset.

Originally the brainchild of artist Michael Todoran, the LVSK8 show began with it's first exhibit at UNLV's Grant Hall. “There was a crowd of people waiting for Grant Hall to open,” Todoran reminisces about LVSK8 One’s reception, “I don’t ever remember a show getting that kind of response.” Fortunatley, it continuedgetting that response and the next year Todoran went on to produce "LVSK8 Deuce" at MTZ Gallery, and "LVSK8 III" at Henri & Odette.

Shortly after last years show, Todoran moved to Ohio and the fate of the show was questionable. Enter Mike Arthurholtz, a prior LVSK8 artist and the online promoter of the previous years LVSK8 III who also happens to be the founder of local collective Art Renegades. With a shared passion for the show between the two, things finally fell into place with the willingness and enthusiasm of gallery manager Gina Quaranto. LVSK8 IV now continues the creative precendent set by the previous exhibits.

LVSK8 IV will thrash the Vegas art scene at PLACE Gallery on First Friday, July 2, 2010 from 6pm to 10pm.

There will also be a preview night during the same hours on Thursday, July 1st. They are located at 1054 S. Main St., just west of the S2 Arts Building and the recently completed Sculpture Park. The gallery continues it's reputation of hosting landmark shows since opening in the Arts District last October. The gallery boasts dedicated exhibit space, working artists studios, and space for music and performances.

The exhibit will hang July 1-30, with hours Friday thru Sunday, and by appointment throughout the week. Visit www.artrenegades.com for more information and hours or contact: Michael Arthurholtz 702.862.9653 or Gina Quaranto 702.782.0319...

Art Renegades serves as a promotional vehicle primarily for local Las Vegas artists, studios, galleries, arts organizations, and the Las Vegas art scene in general. While we generally subscribe to the "fringes" of the art world, i.e. outsider, lowbrow, tattoo, graffiti, etc., it is our goal to smudge the lines and rip off the labels that separate us.

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

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Artist Brian Porray inaugurates the new Trifecta Gallery

I have always called Marty Walsh's Trifecta Gallery the little gallery that could. Through hard work, perseverance and a knack for a unique style of art she has created one of the finest and most sought after galleries in Las Vegas. Every time I have walked into her gallery I have been mesmerized by the wonderful shows that demonstrate to me that Marty is keenly aware of the curatorial process. As a professional curator myself, when I muse with a well curated show I always have a ZEN moment and at Trifecta I have had many of them.

Walking into the new Trifecta gallery a few weeks ago with Marty, long before the walls were painted or the floors refinished, I witnessed her contagious enthusiasm. Though always humble and always aware of her surroundings Marty was giddy about the prospects of her larger space. For years she maintained her small gallery knowing all too well how many galleries have come and gone. She stuck it out even through the darkest times of the economic downturn and survived. Rather then buy into a large gallery at the time and try to impress with scale Marty took a more conservative approach and focused on smaller exhibitions building her clientèle and more importantly growing her stock of devoted fans (myself included).

I had the pleasure of working with Marty for many years when we served on the board of the Contemporary Arts Center (CAC), then known as the "collective." I can even recall how many times we worked together late into the night hanging shows at the CAC. I even learned a heck of a lot of useful skills from this great artist and gallerist. Marty is definitely someone you need to know and the art on Trifecta's walls are a testament to her absolute devotion to fine art. Today Marty has taken the leap and expanded her sphere acknowledging that the time has come to grow.

This week marks the grand opening of her newest adventure just across the hall from her former space in the World Famous Arts Factory. The inaugural exhibition will be featuring one of my favorite local artists Brian Porray. This young, dynamic and recently graduated artist has earned my respect for producing art that blows my mind. His vibrant colors and themes will leave you yearning for more and in Marty's new space the work just pops off the walls. Preview Thursday will be rockin so make sure to get Downtown and celebrate Las Vegas' art and culture scene.

For more information on Trifecta Gallery please visit their site at http://www.trifectagallery.com/

Trifecta Gallery
107 East Charleston Blvd Suite 135
Las Vegas, Nevada 89104
702.366.7001

Nevada Public Radio
For more information on the Cultural Arts in Las Vegas please visit Nevada Public Radio. NPR has detailed listings of many cultural and civic events hosted by area non-profits click on this link http://www.knpr.org/common/psa/listNEW.cfm and if you are planning an event in the next few months, be sure to get your free listing in Nevada Public Radio's Desert Companion magazine by submitting the information here at http://www.knpr.org/culture/eventaddnew.cfm 

Have You donated to KNPR? Pledge Now at http://www.knpr.org/index.cfm


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

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Burden of Ambition @ Brett Wesley Gallery...

Preview Thursday and First Friday are upon us as the summer is sizzling hot with new art. Not just is the sun brilliant from above but all the artists below are just as brilliant, so make sure to come down and check out the latest in Las Vegas' exploding art scene. Brett Wesley Gallery one of Las Vegas' newest and hottest art spaces presents the Art of John Bell opening this week in 18b.


For more information on Brett Wesley Gallery please visit there site at http://www.brettwesleygallery.com/ or better yet just come on down to the arts district and see what all the fuss is about!

Brett Wesley Gallery
1112 South Casino Boulevard
Las Vegas, Nevada, 89104
702.433.4433

Nevada Public Radio
For more information on the Cultural Arts in Las Vegas please visit Nevada Public Radio. NPR has detailed listings of many cultural and civic events hosted by area non-profits click on this link http://www.knpr.org/common/psa/listNEW.cfm and if you are planning an event in the next few months, be sure to get your free listing in Nevada Public Radio's Desert Companion magazine by submitting the information here at http://www.knpr.org/culture/eventaddnew.cfm 


Have You donated to KNPR? Pledge Now at http://www.knpr.org/index.cfm


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

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Nicky Watts @ SPACE in 18b...

I had the pleasure of hearing Nicky Watts present her Wear Recycle concept at the Vegas Artist Guild meeting several months ago. A few months after that I finally got to meet Nicky and spend some time with her. Her dynamic personality is electrifying and getting to know her over the last several months you really begin understanding what makes this young artist so special. She has a keen awareness of her surroundings and how materials can work within that environment. Manipulating recycled paper she creates works of art that are stunning while at the same time so delicate that any small movement could cause her work to disintegrate. By demonstrating the delicateness of her art she sets the stage for a better understanding of life-as-ephemera and the old adage that nothing lasts forever.

If you want to meet Nicky, which I highly recommend, please come down to SPACE on Charleston. For more information please see the information below.

SPACE Gallery
8 East Charleston Boulevard
Las Vegas, Nevada 89104
(across the street from the Arts Factory)
http://nickywatts.com/

Nicky Watts Studios to exhibit The Wear Recycle Poster Show; Seasons at SPACE

May 14, 2010, Las Vegas, NV – Nicky Watts Studios, producer of Wear Recycle, collaborates with Verge Marketing Group, Graphics West, Aspen Communications, Sam’s Club, and many other local, national, and international businesses to exhibit the Wear Recycle Poster Show; Seasons in Las Vegas. Wear Recycle is a creative mixture of fashion, art, and pop culture for the study of physiological reactions that effect adult relationships through the production and use of recycle paper as a sculptural material.

The Wear Recycle Poster Show series puts a graphic twist to the photographs shot for Wear Recycle to promote it as a movement of individual consciousness through observation of internal reactions. These shows are meant to create a multitude of interactions through out the display of the work to create an environment in which reactions are naturally occurring, but in a space open for discussion of them.

In order to create interactions, The Wear Recycle Poster Show; Seasons, has many events through out the month of July at SPACE in Las Vegas. These events include three artist talks, First Thursday reception, First Friday BBQ celebration (meat, veggie, and vegan friendly), a Champagne Reception, Dinner with the Artists at the Artisan, closing reception, and a performance by Nicky Watts in which she is not allowed to leave in SPACE for 5 days.
For more information on Nicky Watts visit www.wearrecycle.com.

Schedule of Events

July 1 - 7pm - Artist Talk
July 2 - 6-10pm - First Friday BBQ
July 2-6 - 24hours- Artist Performance
July 6 - 3pm - Artist Talk
July 7 - 6-9pm - Champagne Reception $20 tickets
July 21 - 3pm - Artist Talk
July 30 - 6-9pm - Closing Reception
August 13 - 7-10pm - Dinner with the Artist @ the Artisan $100 tickets
(standard and vegan dishes will be served)

Wear Recycle
www.wearrecycle.com


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

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Camp 107 @ the Arts Factory in 18b...

Just when you thought things were going to be normal in 18b here comes Derek Washington, you know the Las Vegas Style Guy, with a new and exciting thing to do on Friday nights. The Camp 107 film series began last week with the cult classic Barbarella and continues this coming Friday with Auntie Mame. Now I do have to say that Jane Fonda in Barbarella was just so campy. She definitely should have received an academy award for her role as the space damsel ready to save the earth in 40th century. Now Auntie Mame should just be as fun so if you have time to make it down to the World Famous Arts Factory please join me this Friday for some fun and camp!

Yes! Live! Life's a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death! 
Auntie Mame



Bar+Bistro @ the arts factory presents Camp 107 {cocktails, cuisine & classic cinema experience} hosted by Derek Washington, the Vegas Style Guy, Camp 107 weekly Friday summer event series continues this Friday with the PAMA "Daiquiri" to accompany the Rosalind Russell classic, "Auntie Mame."Come in costume themed to the movie if you dare! Snacks, cocktails to meals are available from Bar+Bistro @ the arts factory. Friday 9:00pm Cocktail Hour, Music by Electronic Music Cafe 10:00pm Experience Begins 10:45pm Trivia Contests, Drink Games Midnight "We're flexible‚ drinks anyone?" Tickets $10 {includes one free drink ticket for the evenings' specialty libation and popcorn.} Saturday Live jazz under the stars from INTERZONE, an improv-based collective, 8-10pm Sign up to receive up-to-date E-news about Camp 107,Bar+Bistro specials and the Arts Factory events at www.barbistroaf.com. ~ Arrivederci 702.202.6060 | Located in the Arts Factory at 107 E. Charleston Blvd. #155 (on the NW corner of Charleston and Art Way/Casino Center) 


Nevada Public Radio
For more information on the Cultural Arts in Las Vegas please visit Nevada Public Radio. NPR has detailed listings of many cultural and civic events hosted by area non-profits click on this link http://www.knpr.org/common/psa/listNEW.cfm and if you are planning an event in the next few months, be sure to get your free listing in Nevada Public Radio's Desert Companion magazine by submitting the information here at http://www.knpr.org/culture/eventaddnew.cfm 


Have You donated to KNPR? Pledge Now at http://www.knpr.org/index.cfm



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

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Art of Mikel Patrik @ Studio 810...

Well Mikel Patrik does it again with a nice little show at Studio 810 this coming Friday. If you have not been down to Studio 810 it is a great space that not just features art but also has an array of hand made products by the people that work at the space. Transition Services Studio 810 is a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting individuals with disabilities.

So if you have sometime this coming Friday please stop in and support a great local artist and organization...

For more information on Studio 810 please visit there site at http://studio8ten.com/ or just stop in. For more information about Mikel Patrik please visit his site at http://www.mikelpatrik.com/

Studio 810
801 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas, Nevada 89101
702.644.9418

Located in the heart of the Arts District...


Nevada Public Radio
For more information on the Cultural Arts in Las Vegas please visit Nevada Public Radio. NPR has detailed listings of many cultural and civic events hosted by area non-profits click on this link http://www.knpr.org/common/psa/listNEW.cfm and if you are planning an event in the next few months, be sure to get your free listing in Nevada Public Radio's Desert Companion magazine by submitting the information here at http://www.knpr.org/culture/eventaddnew.cfm 

Have You donated to KNPR? Pledge Now at http://www.knpr.org/index.cfm


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

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Friday, June 18, 2010

Third Friday has arrived...

I will admit that I have been completely preoccupied with the World Cup in South Africa. Once every four years I am glued to the radio, TV or any other communication device that will inform me of the games. This year is absolutely no different. As a matter of fact I believe that I am more preoccupied by the games because of the talent that is on my team. Of course I support my native land USA and their prospects but my heart is with my parents homeland of Argentina. With the world greatest player Lionel Messi at the helm and Maradona as the team manager its difficult for me not to me excited about the team taking the cup on July 11.

So with all this said I cannot forget that today is Third Friday in the arts district. Many of the galleries will be open so I would encourage all of you to come down and enjoy an evening of art and culture in fabulous Downtown. I would suggest starting your evening at PLACE gallery located at 1054 South Main Street.

See you tonight and go USA!

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

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

High Flying in Boulder City...

It is not often that I am offered an opportunity to slide down a mountain at a high rate of speed just for a thrill, but when given the chance I jumped enthusiastically.  With stunning views of Las Vegas, Boulder City, Lake Mead, the solar power plant and even a smidgen of the Hoover Dam Bypass bridge I do have to say that this adventure is definitely not for the faint of heart. The Bootleg Canyon Flightlines adventure is a series of four zip-line cables that take you from the top of Red Mountain in Boulder City all the way down.  Basically you are attached to a harness that is then attached to a cable, all the while dangling you a few of hundred feet above the desert floor. The speeds that you reach can be as high as 60mph!

The van ride up the mountain is a bit bumpy but the Flighlines crew entertains you with a bit of really interesting history about the area and a lot of humor. In my opinion these guys and gals have an awesome job and one that keeps you incredibly fit. If you like adventure and want to experience Southern Nevada and its stunning desert like a hawk Flightlines is for you. I plan on going back soon to experience there full moon night tour. Care to join me?

For more information about Bootleg Canyon Flightlines please visit this site http://www.bcflightlines.com/home.html

Thank you Brina, Flightlines Crew & Jim!

The Las Vegas Valley from the top of Red Mountain
Paco and Jim at the top of Red Mountain
A stunning view of Lake Mead or Pond which ever you prefer
Paco standing in front of the first of four lines that take you down
Getting strapped in for an adventure of lifetime
Like I said not for the faint of heart
Paco, Lisa and Jim arriving at our destination
Lisa and Paco with the Flightline Crew
Nevada Public Radio
For more information on the Cultural Arts in Las Vegas please visit Nevada Public Radio. NPR has detailed listings of many cultural and civic events hosted by area non-profits click on this link http://www.knpr.org/common/psa/listNEW.cfm and if you are planning an event in the next few months, be sure to get your free listing in Nevada Public Radio's Desert Companion magazine by submitting the information here at http://www.knpr.org/culture/eventaddnew.cfm 

Have You donated to KNPR? Pledge Now at http://www.knpr.org/index.cfm


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

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Monday, June 14, 2010

Laura Henkel Fine Art Presents "Stars & Sumos... The Art of Martin Kreloff...

Dr. Laura Henkel has become a mainstay of the cultural arts scene over the last few years and she has made an impact not just in Las Vegas but in Nevada.  Many of you may know her as the fabulous curator of the Erotic Heritage Museum, which was named by the Review Journal Best Museum in Las Vegas for 2010. But did you know that she also has an amazing gallery? Yes she does and she wants everyone to know it. So if you have some time come down to the Arts Factory and check out Martin Kreloff's latest body-of-work at Laura Henkel Art...



Here is some information on the show...

East meets West iconic pop culture sizzles when Martin Kreloff presents his “Stars and Sumos” collection to the Laura Henkel Fine Art Gallery on July 1 and 2, 2010.  The exhibition will run until August 21, 2010.

Kreloff studied under the giants of Warhol and Lichtenstein.  He is best known for his portraits of classic iconic Hollywood celebrities whereby he equalizes the two extremes of fame and obscurity to present them with equal fanfare.  His artwork is profoundly influenced by Miami’s Art Deco tropical noir of Technicolor patterns.   “Stars and Sumos” reflects Kreloff’s witty and whimsical, contemporary style.

State Senator
David Parks
Gallery owner, Dr. Laura Henkel, states that “Kreloff’s portraits are the ‘must haves’ by elite clientele as he is able to capture the essence of his subjects with bold use of vibrant colors.”  He recently completed a portrait of Senator David Parks, which will be utilized in the Senator’s campaign for his reelection.

Kreloff’s talents were also recognized by the City of Las Vegas as he was commissioned to create public banners for the City’s Cultural Corridor to be unveiled later this year.

The Laura Henkel Fine Art gallery is located at 107 E. Charleston, Suite 100, Las Vegas, Nevada 89104, in the heart of the Las Vegas Arts District. For further information, call 001 (702) 952-9656 or contact www.laurahenkel.com

Nevada Public Radio
For more information on the Cultural Arts in Las Vegas please visit Nevada Public Radio. NPR has detailed listings of many cultural and civic events hosted by area non-profits click on this link http://www.knpr.org/common/psa/listNEW.cfm and if you are planning an event in the next few months, be sure to get your free listing in Nevada Public Radio's Desert Companion magazine by submitting the information here at http://www.knpr.org/culture/eventaddnew.cfm 

Have You donated to KNPR? Pledge Now at http://www.knpr.org/index.cfm

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

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Celebrate Fathers Day @ The Springs Preserve...

If you have not made it down to the Springs Preserve then you are missing out on Las Vegas History and of course nature. One of Las Vegas' great attractions and museums, located in the heart of the city is full of activities and educational programs for kids and adults of all ages. This coming Sunday in celebration of dads everywhere the Springs Cafe is having a special brunch. What a better place to take dad to enjoy a nice meal and great history then the Springs! Happy Fathers Day...

For more information please visit the Springs Preserve site at http://www.springspreserve.org/


Nevada Public Radio
For more information on the Cultural Arts in Las Vegas please visit Nevada Public Radio. NPR has detailed listings of many cultural and civic events hosted by area non-profits click on this link http://www.knpr.org/common/psa/listNEW.cfm and if you are planning an event in the next few months, be sure to get your free listing in Nevada Public Radio's Desert Companion magazine by submitting the information here at http://www.knpr.org/culture/eventaddnew.cfm 

Have You donated to KNPR? Pledge Now at http://www.knpr.org/index.cfm


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

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Infected Mushroom comes to Las Vegas...

I normally do not promote events at the hotels because they tend to have huge PR departments with lots of money to help get the word out. But this event was recently forwarded on to me by my good friend and Disc Jockey Steve Christmas. I cannot remember the last time I heard Israeli duo "I. Zen" and "Duvdev" of Infected Mushroom, but I can say that it definitely brings back memories of my days dancing the nights away, with glowsticks in hand, well into the wee hours of the morning. In either case this event is a must see and the fact that Steve Christmas will be spinning just makes it all the better.

For more information about Infected Mushroom please check out the flier below... See you at the Rio!


Nevada Public Radio
For more information on the Cultural Arts in Las Vegas please visit Nevada Public Radio. NPR has detailed listings of many cultural and civic events hosted by area non-profits click on this link http://www.knpr.org/common/psa/listNEW.cfm and if you are planning an event in the next few months, be sure to get your free listing in Nevada Public Radio's Desert Companion magazine by submitting the information here at http://www.knpr.org/culture/eventaddnew.cfm 

Have You donated to KNPR? Pledge Now at http://www.knpr.org/index.cfm

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

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Friday, June 11, 2010

5 years and still going strong...

This is an earlier post that I would like to share again about The Beat Cafe and my 5 fabulous year living in Downtown. A new post and photo essay are forthcoming. Of course do not be surprised if over the next few weeks my posts will be a smattering of discussions regarding the World Cup tournament happening in South Africa. 


I am, like my father a soccer (futbol) fanatic and once every four years my blood pressure goes through the roof in anticipation of the games. So bare with me as I enculturate you in the ways of a truly international sporting event. I am not by any means a sports writer but I will be sharing my fathers intimate discussions about soccer and its history. My father Jose has been a fixture of the soccer scene in Southern Nevada since the late 1960's and he shares a passion for the sport that has seen his native land Argentina win two world cups. So stay tuned...


On the eve of my fifth anniversary living Downtown (June 8), after patiently waiting, finally the most important development to occur in the urban core has happened. Granted we have seen the high rises go up, the arts district grow by leaps and bounds, a new transportation hub and city hall on the horizon, the new ACE system bus, the construction of the Smith Center for the Performing Arts being built just outside my window, new lounges, bars, art galleries, public art, restaurants and people moving back Downtown and on and on.  But honestly with all this great activity happening there was something missing, something so important as a matter of fact that it has the potential to be a major game changer in the way we live Downtown.

Okay I know all of you are probably wondering what the hell I am talking about. Well I am talking about a cafe'. A brand new locally owned and operated independent café. A café that I just visited the evening before and again this morning and afternoon all while enjoying a wonderful latte, a muffin, a bottle of water, peanut butter and jelly sandwich and an orangina. 

The Beat Coffeehouse is located at 520 Fremont Street on the corner of 6th and Fremont in the brand new Emergency Arts building, home of the former Fremont Medical Center. Interestingly enough the very place I took my drug test when I got my job for the city in 2005. 

The Beat Coffeehouse and Emergency Arts respectively is the brain child of Jennifer and Michael Cornthwaite proprietors of the former Henri & Odette gallery on Carson and of course one of my favorite haunts the fabulous Downtown Cocktail Room.  Though I did not ask how long they have been working on this project I got a pretty good idea after talking briefly with Michael. But what I can say from personal observation Jen and Mike completed this project in break neck speed and ready for the world in a matter of months. A remarkable achievement considering how difficult it can be for anyone navigating the bureaucracy of city government. There are two words to describe this accomplishment – Passion and Determination.

The Lovely Simone
When I walked in here on Friday night the cafe had barely been open 5 days and I was pleasantly surprised at how perfect the place is. The cafe' is set up beautifully with a stained wood counter top, exposed concrete floors, vintage rattan chairs, little tables and a church pew to boot, all this makes the place seem like it has been here for years. I walked through the little galleries and studios before I plopped down to have a latte and croissant. I was so comfortable here that I spent over 3 hours hanging out and conversing with friends and new acquaintances. My barista and good friend Simone created a wonderful coffee and the convo was fabulous. Thomas was at the counter as was Kristen and her partner Lori who had just walked in, tattoo artist Justin McCroy joined in as did Michael, chef Andy, assistant chef Chepe and Zach. There is no doubt that The Beat is an important development that harkens back to the heady days of Café Enigma, Café Roma (the Newsroom) and Café Copioh respectively. 


Why is a café important to Downtown? Well the answer is simple; community. In just the few hours that I had been in the café last night and this morning I have seen over a dozen people that I recognize that have been part of the local cultural arts intelligencia for years. The movers, the shakers the ones who are making Las Vegas and especially Downtown livable. For Las Vegas to continue to grow, especially for Downtown to develop into a vibrant place where everyone from all walks of life can enjoy, we need to have these types of establishments to prosper. The only way these unique hole-in-the-walls can prosper is through support. They need support from the community, the locals, the tourists and all the other characters that make a city.

Eyes to the world...
Recalling what Jane Jacobs said in her important landmark treatise the Rise and Fall of Great American Cities, she details all the important aspects of what makes some cities successful while others fail. The importance of having eyes and ears on the street to keep crime down, to watch our children play without fear, to support the bodega on the corner, the laundromat, the restaurant, the café or the park. It takes people to make cites livable and those people need places to congregate. The Beat is just that place. As I sit in the café I see the importance of the patrons that are in here looking out the window and seeing the pedestrians walk by as they go to their destination. 


Several years ago prior to the city embarking on the development of the Entertainment District the very corner of 6th and Fremont was the hot spot for crime. Guys and gals standing on the corner soliciting services and or selling drugs. Eventually the city had to install cameras to discourage these types of illicit activities. But cameras alone cannot take care of the problem, it takes the physical presence of people congregating and simply looking out the window. It takes the eyes and ears of the citizenry to take a proactive approach to make a real impact on a city. With new establishments like Emergency Arts and The Beat Coffeehouse the eyes are now back on Fremont Street and the heydays of its past are just around the corner. 

I hope that this is the beginning of many new and exciting developments that will create a vibrant Downtown community. I congratulate everyone who made this wonderful project happen, for its importance cannot be calculated. 


Finally after 5 years my patience has paid off and now I have a new place to call home and a damn good cup of coffee to go with it.


The Beat Coffeehouse and Emergency Arts
520 East Fremont Street at 6th
702.686.3164


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

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

TONIGHT - The Music and Arts Society Presents SPIN - The Evolution of the DJ

The VIP red carpet Launch party for the Music & Arts Society's "SPIN - The Evolution of the DJ" preview exhibition will be happening this evening from 4 to 7pm at the World Famous Arts Factory. Mayor Goodman will issue a proclamation promptly at 5:15pm! Don't miss the most important DJ event in Las Vegas.


The Arts Factory is located at 101 East Charleston Boulevard in the heart of 18b (Las Vegas' Arts District)


For more information please visit http://www.electronicmusiccafe.com/




















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

posted by Brian Paco Alvarez, Curator and Chronicler of Culture at | 0 Comments

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

First Friday Fundraiser TONIGHT...

Please join me this evening as Las Vegas' premier art event First Friday is throwing a party inside the Firefly Tapas Restaurant. Firefly is located inside the glass dome at the Historic Plaza Hotel and Casino in Fabulous Downtown. The event begins at 5:30pm.

The event will feature a live and silent auction, entertainment, cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, art, culture and lots of fun!

Tickets are $20 at the door.

posted by Brian Paco Alvarez, Curator and Chronicler of Culture at | 0 Comments

Sunday, June 06, 2010

June First Friday I-Phone Photo Essay...

I was thinking what I should write about today and I realized that I took several dozen images of First Friday with my I-Phone. So I thought to myself why not share with all of my readers what First Friday looks like through my eyes. Enjoy...

Emergency Arts on Fremont Street
At the Beat Coffeehouse @
Emergency Arts










The Mayor @ the Grand Opening
of the Burlesque Hall of Fame



Justin McCroy & his new
Empire Gallery @ Emergency Arts








Mikel Patrik & his new gallery
@ Emergency Arts



Arts District Sign @ PLACE Gallery











First Friday Neon at Gaia Flowers
The World Famous Arts Factory











PLACE Gallery Artists - Mike Biggs,
Frijol Boy, Gina Quaranto &
Teresa Maharaj-Williams
Random Art













Sacred Spaces @ the newly remodeled
Box Office Gallery
BP Oil Spill by Leslie Roland
@ PLACE Gallery










The Art of Leslie Roland @
The Clark County Government Center
Rotunda



Slider Truck @ First Friday









Artist Mikel Patrik
explaining his artistry @
Studio 810
The Entertainment District on
Fremont Street















The 18b sidewalks...

posted by Brian Paco Alvarez, Curator and Chronicler of Culture at | 0 Comments