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ArtWalk to court support of businesses

Anne Knowles

Sierra Arts is gearing up for its second annual ArtWalk this week by sending out 5,000 invitations to local businesses.

Sierra Arts is a privately-funded arts agency that works to promote the arts in northern Nevada and California.

“We make sure the arts flourish,” said Loni Harris, public relations and marketing director at the 22-year-old organization.

To do that, the group works with governmental agencies and local schools and hosts special events.

Its school programs include Children & Violence, a broad arts project for at-risk middle and high school students, and ArtBoxes, a program to help elementary school teachers inject art throughout their curriculum.

Sierra Arts special events include the Mexican festival Dia de los Muertos, Elder Care Concerts, Business & the Arts Luncheon and Artown.

The group is one of the founders of Reno’s Artown summer event and part owner in the city’s Riverside Artists Loft, near the Pioneer Center on South Virginia St.

ArtWalk, scheduled during the evening of June 16, is a self-guided tour of downtown Reno art venues, starting at the McKinley Arts & Culture Center, moving down the street to the Lear Theatre, Wingfield Park, Bruka Theatre, Reno’s Riverfront Theatre, the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts and, finally, to the Riverside Artist Lofts.

Along the route, walkers will see a series of performers, including student and professional artist recipients of Sierra Arts grants as well as musicians from the Reno Chamber Orchestra and the Reno Philharmonic’s youth orchestra.

The goal is to raise money for Sierra Arts through corporate memberships, said Harris.

To entice businesses, the group is offering complimentary events packages when a business signs on as a corporate member at the event.

The five packages include complimentary tickets to local arts events such as those put on by the Nevada Opera, Pioneer Center, the Reno Philharmonic and the Reno Chamber Orchestra.

Corporate membership starts at $1,000 and includes complimentary and discounted tickets to area arts events, including those held at Pioneer, Bruka and other theaters as well as Sierra Arts events; access to Riverside Gallery for corporate events; early access to the Starving Artist Sale; and a subscription and free advertising in the group’s Encore publication.

Last year, ArtWalk attracted 300 participants, said Harris.

This year ArtWalk is sponsored by Sierra Pacific Power Co.

and Nevada State Bank, with support from the Reno-Sparks Chamber of Commerce, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Sparks Chamber of Commerce, City of Reno, EDAWN, Reno-Sparks Convention & Visitors Authority,Tech Alliance, Rose Glenn Group, Historic Reno Preservation Society, Downtown Merchants Association, JW Graphics and International Game Technology.