Creative gathering: A new arts conference aims to connect arts and businesses, Northern and Southern Nevadans

The Nevada Arts Council is hosting a new statewide arts conference, “Intersections: The Nevada Creative Conference,” from Thursday, May 30, through Saturday, June 1, at the Renaissance Reno Downtown Hotel and Spa. 

In addition to typical conference fare—for art professionals, that means sessions regarding topics like grant writing, advocacy and marketing—the event is also geared toward arts administrators, arts educators, arts advocates and fans. 

Organizer Erica Hill, the NAC’s community arts development specialist, said that business owners are encouraged to attend, as the organization is looking for creative ways to connect them with Nevada’s artists and groups. 

“It’s getting more and more common that you see businesses wanting to do murals or wanting a local graphic artist, wanting a local photographer,” Hill said. 

Some sessions will teach artists how to enter such arrangements, including how to “speak the language of doing business pitches.” Presenters will include business leaders who have experimented with various arts/business hybrids and collaborations. Among them is Nettie Oliverio, a longtime Reno arts advocate and the arts and culture director at Foothill Partners, the development company that filled the Reno Public Market with food vendors, a performance stage, galleries, a makerspace and other arts-based businesses. 

Hill said the conference will highlight the national trend of allocating resources to provide arts workshops for seniors in places like senior centers and libraries.  

“Outside of Clark and Washoe counties, most of the counties in Nevada are predominantly retirees,” Hill said. Reps from the national group Lifetime Arts will be there to discuss this trend. 

Other presenters will include Torrey Russell, CEO of Broadway in the Hood, a group based in Las Vegas that works nationally to bring performing arts to kids in all socio-economic backgrounds; Beth Macmillan, executive director of Reno’s Artown, who will discuss effective post-COVID strategies for a performing arts industry that still feels the residual effects of pandemic shutdowns; and Frederick Hubbs, director of development at the Las Vegas Philharmonic. 

Hill said that the Nevada Arts Council plans to host the “Intersections” conference every two years, alternating between Las Vegas and Reno. 

Registration is $75. To learn more about “Intersections: The Nevada Creative Conference,” visit www.nvartscouncil.org/intersections.