Las Vegas-Clark County Library District (Las Vegas, NV)

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An orchestra on the the stage, the director, arms strecehed gives his back to the audience.  The musicians play traditional chinese instruments

Ailey II dancers Courtney Brené Corbin and Yusha-Marie Sorzano lead a master class at the West Las Vegas Art Center as part of the dance company’s residency. Photo by Isaac Sawyer, Las Vegas Sentinel Voice

The Las Vegas-Clark County Library District serves 1.5 million residents in a 7,000-square-mile area in Clark County, Nevada, with 12 urban branches and 12 rural branches. In addition, the library district produces artistic and cultural programming in 13 art galleries and six performing arts centers featuring national, regional, and local authors, musicians, dancers, and visual artists.

 

Ailey II dancer Ricardo Zayas leads a master class at the West Las Vegas Art Center as part of the dance company’s residency. Photo by Isaac Sawyer, Las Vegas Sentinel Voice

In FY 2004, the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District received an NEA Challenge America grant of $10,000 to support a residency with the Ailey II Company of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater at the West Las Vegas Library and Theatre. The residency included a lecture/demonstration for elementary and middle school students, a master dance class for youth, and a free evening concert. West Las Vegas is historically an African American community located near downtown Las Vegas.

The residency was a featured part of the library’s African American Heritage Month celebration in February 2005. Many of the activities related to the celebration revolved around the subject of dance, focusing on its broad role within African and African American cultures. The residency fit well with the theme, as Ailey II showcased jazz and modern dance with a decidedly African American focus, often using jazz and blues as musical accompaniment.

The master dance class for young dancers ages 10 to 17 included 68 participants and was led by Ailey II dancers Courtney Brené Corbin, Yusha-Marie Sorzano, and Ricardo Zayas. More than 150 students attended the lecture/demonstration. The evening performance drew more than 350 people.

(From the 2004 NEA Annual Report)