Artown in Reno

Artown Presents Hundreds of Art and Cultural Events

Artown opening night at Wingfield Park in Reno, Nevada.
••• Artown opening night at Wingfield Park in Reno, Nevada. Photo © Stan White

Artown 2014

Reno is Artown for this 19th annual festival during July, 2014. The Artown Festival runs the entire month of July at numerous venues around Reno and Sparks. Artown includes an amazing variety of art and cultural events. Hundreds of the events are free to the public, including opening night at the Wingfield Park Amphitheater on July 1 featuring country artists Sherrié Austin and Mountain Heart.

Other free Artown shows and events include World Music at Wingfield Park, Monday Night Family Series, Monday Night Music Series at the Robert Z. Hawkins Amphitheater in Bartley Ranch Park, Discover the Arts at various locations, Movies in the Park, and numerous art gallery exhibits. In all, there are over 500 activities and events during Artown, including musical and theatrical performances, interactive presentations, workshops, clinics, art exhibits, children's events, and more.

Artown Opening Night

Artown 2014 opens on Tuesday, July 1 with lively performances by country artists Sherrié Austin and Mountain Heart. Austin will be the opener, followed by the acoustic music of Mountain Heart. Admission to the show at Wingfield Park is free and it will play from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Fair warning - Artown opening night shows are always packed out. If you want to get into the park and actually get a place to sit, get there way early.

Artown Events

I can't possibly list all of the hundreds of events that are part of Artown. To get the full list, go to the searchable Artown 2014 Events Calendar. You can find events by type (theatre, visual arts, workshop, etc.), date, time, and by searching for what's going on at any of Artown's numerous venues and galleries.

Headliner Performers at Artown

While over 66% of Artown events are free, you will need tickets for some big shows. Headliner series events for 2014 include Los Lonely Boys (July 10), Jesse Cook (July 17), Judy Collins (July 24), and Don McLean (July 31). All of these shows will be at the Robert Z. Hawkins Amphitheater in Bartley Ranch Regional Park. Tickets for these shows are available online from the Artown website. Get more information by calling (775) 322-1538.

Where to Get Artown Information

In addition to the Artown online events calendar, here places you can pick up a copy of "The Little Book of Artown", a pocket guide to all of Artown's events, dates, and times...

Artown on Social Media

Of course, you can follow Artown on all popular social media sites...

Controlled Burn and Fire at Artown

Controlled Burn is a Reno fire dancing group that performs at various events throughout the area. During Artown 2010, Controlled Burn performed in downtown Reno at the Dual Nature art installation by the Truckee River.

Dual Nature was at Burning Man 2006. At Artown 2011, Controlled Burn did shows at the Spire of Fire in downtown Reno. The Spire of Fire art installation was at Burning Man 2010.

In 2014, Controlled Burn will be back. The main event will be the Compression! Art and Fire Festival, an evening of fire art and flames like you might see at Black Rock City. The Festival will be in City Hall Plaza on Saturday, July 26, from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. The suggested donation is $3.

Controlled Burn Fire Jam Videos

Controlled Burn presented Fire Jam! at Artown in 2009. These Fire Jam! video clips will give you a look a what the performance is like...

Burning Man at Artown

Artown has made a good habit of having displays of artwork that first appeared at Burning Man.

In 2012, Portal of Evolution, a beautiful 32 foot tall kinetic butterfly, was set up in Reno City Plaza, between Reno City Hall and the Truckee River (it's still there). In 2011, Spire of Fire added that Burning Man flaming touch to Artown. Check out my Spire of Fire video to see what it was like.

Give $3 to Keep Artown Free

With over 66% of its events free, Artown is continuing the Give $3 to Keep Artown Free campaign 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 attendees have come to expect. Here's how you can help...

  • Donate at participating branches of US Bank throughout the Reno / Sparks area.
  • All month at Artown produced events.
  • Through Give $3 donation envelopes distributed in the Reno Gazette-Journal.
  • With donation envelopes included in the Little Book of Artown.
  • 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. Over 300,000 people attend Artown and Reno is busy during July with other events as well. Check out these for places to stay during your visit.

Artown Mission

"Artown's mission is to strengthen Reno's arts industry, enhance our civic identity and national image, thereby creating a climate for the cultural and economic rebirth of our region." Visit the Artown mission page for the complete statement and more details about Artown sponsorship.

Artown is a colorful visual delight everywhere you look. To get a glimpse of what's in store, view my Artown pictures gallery.

Artown: A Brief History

Artown started 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. In addition to local and regional talent, internationally known artists regularly perform at Artown. Past performers have included Marcel Marceau, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Diavolo Dance Theater, Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Pilobolus, Vusi Mahlasela, Mikhail Baryshnikov, American Ballet Theater, and Pink Martini.

Artown today consists of over 500 art and cultural events attended by an estimated 300,000 people. Most events are free to the public, including some performances by world famous artists. Ticketed feature events are held at various venues around town 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.

Source: Artown.