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 Reno Arts & Culture Commission supports arts and artists through grants, purchase of public art for display around Reno, and commissioned projects. The RACC makes recommendations, advocates, and advises the City Council.
Arts & Culture makes Reno the place:
- You want to do business
- You want to live
- You want to visit
- You want to create art
The Arts Mean Business in RENO!
2016/17 Play Art Park
- 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 and will host the second annual Playa Park in 2017/18 with multiple sculptures from this year's Burning Man Festival.
Must See Artwork Beyond the Playa, --RenoTahoe
Funding for Arts & Culture Projects
Arts and culture are pillars of Reno’s economic development, and reflect how the City of Reno is seen on a national and international scale.
Sculptures like Space Whale are integral to that strategy.
The Reno City Council’s strategic priorities for the City of Reno include creating vibrant neighborhoods and public places by prioritizing public arts and culture. As such, the City of Reno set aside money from the Room Tax Fund for the Arts & Culture Commission and public art budgets.
The City of Reno is paying for the Space Whale and other projects using funds from Room Tax allocations, not General Funds. Room Tax allocations, which come from visitors staying in hotels, are restricted to uses that specifically provide a tourism amenity, or promote tourism in the Reno area.
Reno’s Arts & Culture Highlights
- Each year the City of Reno Arts & Culture Commission grants funds to various art organizations. $204,367 was awarded for fiscal year 2017-2018.
- 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 38 signal box murals in the downtown corridor with more than half completed by local artists. Each year, new boxes are added and older ones repainted.
- The Reno Arts and Culture Commission partners with Sierra Arts Foundation to host Reno Art Fest, an annual juried visual art fair that takes place on City Plaza.
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.
- Nevada Humanities fosters cultural enrichment and connection for all Nevadans with programming that includes over 25 years of the Nevada Humanities Chautauqua and an annual Literary Crawl.
- 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.
- Arts for All Nevada, housed in the historic Lake Mansion, provides just under 3,000 art classes and camps across 50 local schools and other facilities.
- 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.
Bryan Tedrick’s "Portal of Evolution". Photo by Mark Hammon, provided by the University of Nevada, Reno.
- 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 (Livability.com)
- Ranked among America’s Cheapest Livable Cities, September 2013 (MSN.com)
- 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
- Huffington Post, The Blog, "The Biggest Little (Underrated) City"
- CNBC, "The booming business behind Burning Man" by Ari Levy
- The New York Times, "Reno Rolls the Dice on High-Tech," by Dionne Searcey
- The New York Times, "A Reno Neighborhood Drinks in Style," by Freda Moon
- New York Magazine, "Skip the Casinos in Reno," by Jenny Miller
- 7X7, "Is Reno Poised to Become a Culture Capital?" by Christina Nellemann
Arts & Culture Calendars
Reno-based arts organizations not on the fact sheet may fill out this survey to help us highlight your success in our region.