Nevada Arts Council (Carson City, NV)

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Sue Coleman holding a handmade basket

Washoe Native American Sue Coleman from Carson City is one of the participating folk artists in Nevada Arts Council’s Folklife Education Initiative. Photo courtesy of Nevada Arts Council

The Nevada Arts Council (NAC) is the agency charged with ensuring that state and national funds support cultural activity and encourage participation in the arts throughout Nevada. In addition to awarding grants, NAC supports various programs, such as the Nevada Touring Initiative, which brings exhibitions and writers to underserved communities in the state; a Folklife Archives documenting Nevada's rich cultural heritage; and the Artist-in-Residence program to bring artists to schools and communities.

In FY 2005, the Nevada Arts Council received an NEA Folk & Traditional Arts Infrastructure Initiative grant of $20,000 to support expansion of its Folklife Education Initiative. The program, initiated in 1998, was developed by NAC's Folklife Program to bring traditional artists into Reno and Carson City schools to broaden students' knowledge of Nevada's diverse cultures. The program was expanded to include workshops and presentations with local arts organizations and senior centers in northwestern Nevada, as well as at cultural institutions such as the State Museum in Carson City. Folklife Education Initiative workshops served nearly 1,500 students in northern Nevada during the past two years. 

With the NEA grant, the program will be expanded further. NAC is creating a roster of visual and performing artists to present demonstrations at educational and community institutions, increasing the number of artists participating in the Folklife Education Initiative. NAC folklorists will conduct fieldwork with each participating artist to generate content for educational materials that will be distributed to schools to enhance the artist's visit. The roster of artists reflects the cultural diversity of the state, including artists working in Japanese koto music and taiko drumming, Mexican paper flowers, Ukrainian egg decorating, and Thai and Filipino dance.

(From the NEA 2005 Annual Report)