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Reno Arts and Culture Factsheet

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Reno Arts & Culture Facts

The Reno Arts and Culture Commission, founded in 1991, serves as the official adviser to the City of Reno on matters related to the cultural life of the community. The City of Reno is a leader in arts and culture. The community has a rich variety of special events, historic buildings, performing arts and galleries. A strong public art program helps sustain and encourage downtown economic development. Cultural diversity and history are embraced and interwoven within the fabric of our city.

"The City of Reno embraces the arts as essential to a healthy, progressive community, bringing life, hope, energy, insight, and wealth that endures. Its citizens support the entire range of cultural and artistic expression and celebrate the relevance of the individual artist. This culture of art salutes the past, honors the present, and illuminates the future."

- 2012 Cultural Master Plan

Reno’s Arts & Culture Highlights

  • Each year the City of Reno Arts & Culture Commission grants funds to various art organizations. $195,026 was awarded for fiscal year 2015-2016
  • The City displays 185 pieces of outdoor public art and 65 pieces in the City Hall permanent collection
  • In 2014, City of Reno Galleries hosted 21 exhibits in our three gallery spaces, located in City Hall and McKinley Arts and Culture Center. Of these exhibits, we featured 19 solo and 2 group exhibitions, with work from over 70 artists, including 20 nationally-exhibiting artists, totaling over 250 individual art works.
  • The City of Reno maintains 23 signal box murals in the downtown corridor with 11 completed by 11 local artists in 2014.  Also in 2014, five storm drain sidewalk murals were painted for storm water education; and four Parking for a Purpose meters were installed and painted by local artists to encourage donations to city parks. 
  • The Reno Arts and Culture Commission hosts Art BLAST (Biggest Little Art Show Today), an annual juried visual art show, on the lawn of the historic McKinley Arts and Culture Center. 
    Amerique-Powell_Vivisectional-1920 Rasmussen-ShakesJD-Crop-300x300
    "Vivisectional," an oil on canvas art piece created by 2012 University of Nevada, Reno alumna Amerique Powell. Provided by the University of Nevada, Reno.
    Internationally recognized Shakespeare scholar Eric Rasmussen, English professor and department chair at the University of Nevada, Reno College of Liberal Arts. Provided by the University of Nevada, Reno.

Arts Organizations

Reno is home to many diverse arts and culture organizations and activities. 

  • The Nevada Museum of Art is the only accredited art museum in the state of Nevada, joining the ranks of such institutions as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Only 5% of museums in the U.S. earn this accreditation.
  • Founded in 1904, the Nevada Historical Society is Nevada's oldest museum and maintains a unique research library.
  • Reno Philharmonic Orchestra, a highly-respected professional orchestra, founded in 1969, has a season of 6 classical concerts (two performances each), several pops concerts and three youth orchestras.
  • Reno Chamber Orchestra, the "intimate" professional orchestra, has five concerts (two performances each) and its outstanding Winter Chamber Festival between Christmas and New Year's Eve. RCO celebrated its 40th year in 2015.
  • Sierra Arts Foundation supports the arts in Reno through grants, workshops, and a gallery.
  • The Holland Project is an all-ages arts and music initiative by young people, for young people, in the Truckee Meadows.
  • Two ballet companies, AVA Ballet (founded in 1994) and Sierra Nevada Ballet (founded in 2001).
  • "Best of Broadway" series of hit musicals at the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts.
  • Excellent "black box" theaters, each with its own facility, also used for outside companies. Reno Little Theater, founded in 1935, Bruka Theater, founded in 1992, and Good Luck Macbeth provide a wide array of original, established and children's productions.
  • The Redfield Proscenium Theater, Sheppard Contemporary Gallery, and Nightingale Concert Hall at the University of Nevada, Reno, showcase professional and student work. 
  • The Stremmel Gallery (founded in 1969) showcases contemporary artwork by mid-career and established artists.
  • Liberty Fine Art Gallery showcases local artwork.
  • Reno Art Works has studio spaces for local artists, hosts shows and organizes Reno Sculpture Fest. 
  • Art Spot Reno provides a comprehensive arts calendar as well as hosting a First Thursday of the month Arts Walk through downtown Reno.


Performance from University of Nevada's Night of All Nations. Provided by the University of Nevada, Reno.

Portal of evolution 

Bryan Tedrick’s "Portal of Evolution". Photo by Mark Hammon, provided by the University of Nevada, Reno.

 Economic Impact

Arts Mean Business In Nevada Infograph - links to more information below this image

-Infograph numbers are from the Americans for the Arts AEP 2015/2016 Study. View the Nevada 1-page summary and the City of Reno 1-page summary for more information.

  • Reno is considered the gateway to Burning Man, the internationally renowned annual festival in the Black Rock Desert. More than 68,000 people came through Reno on their way to the Playa in 2014.
  • $35 million per year are added to the Northern Nevada economy by Burning Man participants each year, according to a 2013 survey.
  • The City of Reno has purchased four works of art that have been shown on the Playa during Burning Man.


  • Ranked #1 entrepreneurial metropolitan area per capita by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, January 2014 (see Ashley Jennings' "Reno: Not Just Another Silicon Valley"
  • Ranked #9 on Top 100 Best Places to Live, October 2013 (
  • Ranked among America’s Cheapest Livable Cities, September 2013 (
  • Ranked Among Top 5 Best Cities for Mid-Career Professionals in Small Regions, August 2013 (Richard Florida, author of The Creative Class)
  • The National Auto Museum was ranked one of the 10 “Must-See” automobile museums in the nation by Car Collector magazine (2001), and one of the 5 Best by Autoweek (2012).
  • In 2014, the University of Nevada, Reno was ranked in the top tier of “Best National Universities” by the U.S. News & World Report. Additionally, 24 of its graduate programs earned “Best Graduate Program” rankings, including English, political science, psychology, and art.  

What Others are Saying

Arts Corridor 

Outdoor Public Art Collection and Permanent Collection in City Hall

Arts & Culture Calendars

Art Spot Reno, Arts4Nevada

Reno-based arts organizations not on the fact sheet may fill out this survey to help us highlight your success in our region.

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