By CATHERINE ELLERTON
Moapa Valley Progress
A small group of local leaders and arts advocates met last week to discuss ways to better coordinate and promote the arts in the community. In attendance at the meeting were representatives from the Nevada Arts Council including State Director Tony Manfredi, Community Arts Development Director Shoshana Zelldner, and Community Arts Specialist in Las Vegas, Michelle Patrick.
The meeting was a follow up to a similar set of meetings held in 2016. In those earlier meetings visiting N.V. Arts Council members met with many of the same community members to discuss needs for arts program development in the Moapa Valley.
The discussion in last week’s meeting focused on what issues that need to be addressed in the community. Communicating to a broader audience to draw regional visitors to the community was a central topic. Having a medium for reaching out was identified as vital, especially in today’s technological world. Most of the groups reported that they have websites and/or Facebook Pages. But it is still a problem of getting the word out and the hopes that the availability of grants would aid in accomplishing that.
Manfredi pointed out that the Nevada State Arts Council is working in cooperation with other state agencies on a central page where community events and programs may be posted to promote them to a broader audience.
Also discussed was the challenges of creating a destination in the community. Promoting a desirable place where visitors would want to come, visit and take in all that was available in the area.
MVRP member MaryKaye Washburn reported that a public art project had recently been completed. A set of ironwork benches had been completed to adorn the downtown Overton area. The group had also secured permits to install the benches in the downtown area.
The idea of creating murals on the downtown buildings that would tell the colorful history of the area was discussed once again as a future project. Although these organizations’ members were making strides to accomplish their goals, it was felt that increased support from Clark County and other grants would be most beneficial.
Finally, it was emphasized that strong community involvement was needed to accomplish the goals. The organization members that were present are involved in multiple groups and they all stated that volunteers to accomplish the goals were needed. The most important accomplishment of these meetings was to coordinate the organizations to discuss their individual goals and how they could help one another reach the goal of bringing people together.
At the end of the meeting, Robin Maughan, Manager of the Old Logandale School Historical and Cultural Society (OLSHACS) led the group on a tour of the various museum exhibits within the building. These included the Native American Room, the Valley Life Exhibit, the Military Wall, and the Heidi Leavitt Mural.
The building is open to visitors on Thursdays from 10am to 1 P.M. and on Fridays from noon to 4 P.M. One can also call 702-398-7272 to arrange special visitations for self or a group. Once again, volunteers are needed to help keep it open for longer periods of time.