Artown takes the stage for its 18th season beginning Monday, July 1, presenting hundreds of imagination-stretching, mind-bending music, arts and theater performances. Kicking off with a celebration of the 40th anniversary of Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” in Wingfield Park, Artown 2013 also brings a variety of arts and cultural influences to other venues in the community including the Grand Sierra Resort, John Ascuaga’s Nugget, Lake Mansion, the Nevada Museum of Art, Robert Z. Hawkins Amphitheater at Bartley Ranch, Sierra Arts, and more. The annual event closes Wednesday, July 31, when Shuggie Otis brings down the house at the Festival’s home base, Wingfield Park.
Artown gets things started with a trip back in time to 1973, paying homage to the 40th anniversary of Pink Floyd’s classic “Dark Side of the Moon” with a funk-fusion twist. The free event begins at 7:30 p.m. and opens with acclaimed Lake Tahoe band, Jelly Bread. Immediately following, vocalist Corey Glover, saxophonist Karl Denson and bassist and composer Melvin Gibbs entertain audiences with an awesome presentation of the world-famous Pink Floyd album.
Artown’s array of events for families, kids, musicians and more begin bright and early July 2 with the free children’s educational series, Discover the Arts, which takes place each weekday throughout the month. The festival’s World Music Series gets its start Wednesday, July 3 with reggae band Midnite followed each Wednesday evening throughout the month. Grammy-winning mariachi band Mariachi Los Camperos di Nato Cano take the stage in Wingfield Park July 10, followed by lauded multi-instrumental band Yemen Blues July 17 and the series wraps up with acclaimed eight-piece brass and drum global fusion band Red Baraat July 24.
Thursday, July 4th is truly a day to celebrate with an evening of patriotic music in the park and fireworks. On the weekends, cultural festivals entertain audiences in Wingfield Park, after which families abound for the Monday night Family Series presenting the “Cat in the Hat” July 8; festival favorite the Unique Derique July 15; action-packed Story Pirates July 22; and to close, the Giant Puppets present classic fairy tale Hansel & Gretel July 29. Mondays also bring the free Monday Night Music Series to The Robert Z. Hawkins Amphitheater at Bartley Ranch featuring the Reno Youth Jazz Orchestra alongside the Reno Youth Philharmonic July 8. The renowned Glenn Miller
Orchestra wows audiences July 15, with local musicians Contraband July 22, and “Those Were the Days™” featuring former lead vocalist of the New Christy Minstrels, William Florian July 29.
In addition to its array of free events each season, Artown strives to produce select ticketed performances by renowned national and international talent. Featured artists for 2013 include Grammy Award-winning musician Rickie Lee Jones July 7 at the Robert Z. Hawkins Amphitheater at Bartley Ranch, famed jazz musician Dave Koz July 20 at John Ascuaga’s Nugget, and Pete Escovedo Latin Jazz Orchestra with special guest Sheila E. July 25 at Bartley Ranch. Tickets are $30-$40, $69, and $25-$35, respectively and can be purchased online or at each venue’s box office.
Local artists and organizations also present a variety of free and ticketed events during the month, ranging from visual arts to performing arts to culinary arts, and everything in between. Such festival highlights as the internationally-renowned Coeur D’Alene art auction, the festive Pops on the River, the timeless Ageless Repertory Theatre, and even an art exhibit by Alzheimer’s patients further enrich Artown.
Legendary guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Shuggie Otis closes out the 18th annual Artown festival Wednesday, July 31 at 7:30 p.m. in Wingfield Park. Having performed with everyone from Frank Zappa to Mos Def during his 40- plus-year career, the Southern California native recently embarked with his seven-member band on the “NeverEnding World Wide Tour,” visiting venues throughout Europe and North America.
For more information on Artown, visit www.RenoIsArtown.com or call 775-322-1538.