Artown, Reno’s annual midsummer monthlong arts and music event, has canceled all live performances at Wingfield Park and Hawkins Amphitheater this summer.
On its website, Artown says it will become “Heartown” this year.
The statement says the the nonprofit is still planning to have a festival this summer, but artist displays will be streamed due to the coronavirus pandemic and statewide safety protocols.
“The easiest thing would be to cancel, and say we’re done, but we owe it to the community,” said executive director Beth Macmillan.
Artown, which started in 1996, is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. It runs from July 1-31.
On the Artown website, Macmillan wrote, “Our community’s resilience and creativity will be on full display this year, restoring hope and reviving the spirits of so many.”
Artown is adapting its exhibits to new safety procedures laid out by state officials.
“We’re not only the creators, we’re the inventors,” said Macmillan.
On the website, Christina Osloond, the project director for Extravaganza at the Plaza (July 25) expressed joy and appreciation for the opportunity to hold events. “As creative as artists are, Artown is finding ways to comply (with safety protocols) and move forward, giving hope to an otherwise hopeless situation for artists.”
Artown will support the events by providing links on its various social media platforms (You Tube and Facebook) to streaming events this year.
Artown’s Livestream Sessions will broadcast some community events via Facebook Live, to be archived on Artown’s You Tube channel.
Artown’s Opening Night on July 1 will be a virtual extravaganza, featuring postponed national and international artists who are creating short performance videos specifically for Artown, each with a message to the Artown audiences.
“Heartown” is a citywide campaign for the community to create art work with supplies they already have.
“Share your art with us, with your neighbors and with the world,” Macmillan said on the website. “Everything from drawings, paintings, yard art and sidewalk chalk, to ornamental displays on balconies, decorative signs, and garden designs. Any expression of art that comes from your heart is welcome. Because now, more than ever, the power of art can inspire and uplift us all.”
Artown is working to distribute art supplies to underserved communities, children’s programs, nonprofits, and family-focused organizations to ensure multicultural participation in the campaign. The organization additionally is raising funds for local and regional presenters who no longer can present their work in the previous form and now must repurpose their work.
Once underway, Artown is asking participants to send in short videos and photo stills of their art to firstname.lastname@example.org where it will display community creations on social media, and on its website.
Jim Krajewski covers high school and youth sports for the Reno Gazette Journal. Follow him on Twitter @RGJPreps. Support his work by subscribing to RGJ.com right here.
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