Artown Becomes “Heartown” with Virtual Summer Activities

There are so many fantastic events unique to Reno-Sparks and one of the most beloved is Artown.

For the entire month of July, Reno becomes Artown! There are musical performances, live paintings, dancing shows, interactive, and more. July transforms the city into a celebration of local community with a deep appreciation for the arts and fun for all ages.

Many beloved and longtime events in Northern Nevada have been canceled this year to help limit the spread of COVID-19, but not Artown! The 501(c)(3) non-profit is reorganizing its events to meet the safety guidelines set out by the State of Nevada’s reopening plan. The annual city-wide event has taken place every July since the mid-90’s and for its 25th year they will be moving to a virtual platform.

This summer’s Artown will host 300 events planned by 127 artists, including webinars, livestreams, virtual tours, and scaled-back gatherings. Some of the regular events will have to be postponed because they gather such large crowds and won’t comply with state regulations, but all participating artists have until June 30 to modify their plans.

“I think the arts have been hit hard,” Artown’s marketing director, Oliver X said. “Their display venues, exhibits, and galleries have closed. So, those sources of revenue are limited… and that has definitely affected their ability to earn their pay, and their craft in public. That’s been severe for some, for sure. Artists oftentimes live check-to-check like everybody else.”

Adapting to the changes for this year, Artown is rolling out a new campaign called “Heartown” where they ask community members to make their own art at home. Whether it’s a craft with a family member or something you do on your own, it could be signage, decorative garden signs, expressions of inspiration, sidewalk chalk, or some other ornamental display in support. Artists will also have the ability to perform in real time during livestream events. International and national performers can even submit videos to be shown during the virtual Opening Night on July 1.

Some of the regular events that are still scheduled include the Reno Chalk Art & Music Festival at the Atlantis, Day of Visual Arts Weekend, and the Midtown Burning Man Parade. Artown is also distributing art supplies to children’s programs, nonprofits and family-oriented organizations like Eddy House, Our Center, and the Boys & Girls Club of Truckee Meadows. Their goal is to hit different organizations to include every corner of the community.

Don’t miss out on some of these great events this year!

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