The Artown Festival runs the entire month of July at numerous venues around Reno and Sparks. Artown includes a wide variety of art and cultural events. Hundreds of the events are free to the public, including opening night at the Wingfield Park Amphitheater. Other free Artown shows and events include Movies in the Park and numerous art gallery exhibits. There are hundreds of activities and events during Artown, including musical and theatrical performances, interactive presentations, workshops, clinics, art exhibits, and children's events.
Headliner Performers at Artown
Big names in the entertainment world show up at the Artown Festival, names like Judy Collins, Don McLean, Randy Newman, Roseanne Cash, Clint Black, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Marcel Marceau, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Diavolo Dance Theater, Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Pilobolus, Vusi Mahlasela, Mikhail Baryshnikov, American Ballet Theater, and Pink Martini. A-list performers are joined every year by local and regional talent.
Where to Get Artown Information
In addition to the Artown online events calendar, here are some places where you can pick up a copy of "The Little Book of Artown," a pocket guide to all of Artown's events, dates, and times:
Give $3 to Keep Artown Free
With a majority of its events free, Artown's Give $3 to Keep Artown Free campaign aims to solicit a few extra bucks to support this non-profit organization. The goal is to increase individual contributions so Artown can continue to present the high-caliber free programming that attendees have come to expect. Here's how you can help:
- Donate at participating branches of U.S. Bank throughout the Reno/Sparks area
- Donate all month at Artown produced events
- Through "Give $3" donation envelopes distributed in the Reno Gazette-Journal
- Online at Artown's donation site
Artown Accommodations in Reno
If you are traveling to Reno for Artown, it's probably a good idea to arrange your flight to Reno/Tahoe International Airport, book hotel accommodations, and reserve a rental car well ahead of time. An average of 300,000 people attend Artown every year, and Reno is busy during July with other events as well. Here are some ideas on where to stay in the Reno/Lake Tahoe area.
A Brief History
Artown was founded in 1996 as a way to counteract suburban flight and revitalize downtown Reno by getting more people to visit the city center. An arts-themed festival was created through the efforts of civic leaders, business people, and the arts community. With a combination of free and ticketed events, the first Artown attracted an estimated 30,000 participants. Growing rapidly from its initial success, Artown today is a major annual production lasting throughout the month of July.
Artown today consists of more than 500 arts and cultural events attended by hundreds of thousands of people annually. Most events are free to the public, including some performances by world-famous artists. Ticketed feature events are held at various venues around Reno, such as the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts, Robert Z. Hawkins Amphitheater, and hotel/casino theaters. The City of Reno is Artown's major sponsor, aided by other government entities and businesses in the Reno/Tahoe region.
The Nevada Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts provide support as well.