Thank you for your interest in Artown!

Artown representatives are available to answer your questions about the country’s largest and most inclusive arts and cultural festival, held the entire month of July, including details on this year’s performances and and free events. Additionally, we can provide you with information about the Reno-Tahoe region including outdoor activities and more.

2013 Press Releases

Annie Hall

Board Members

Fact Sheet

Family Series

Music Series

Season Overview

Ticketed Artists

World Music Series


High resolution Artown images are available for download via public Dropbox.

View Artown’s photostream on Flickr.

Press Visits

Customized press visits are available for journalists on assignment.

For questions or information, please contact:
Natasha Bourlin, Public Relations Director, Biggest Little Group | 775-240-8749 |


DATE:  Founded in 1996, Artown comes to life each July in locations throughout Reno, Nev. In addition to its 31 days of artistic performances each summer, Artown presents its “Encore” series, helping keep the artistic spirit alive with nationally acclaimed events throughout the year.

OVERVIEW: Now celebrating its 18th year, Artown presents nearly 500 events each July including music and theater performances, workshops, clinics, interactive presentations, children’s events and more. Artown is one of the most comprehensive arts and culture festivals in the United States. Each year it attracts more than 300,000 people to stages across northern Nevada where upward of 60 percent of events are offered at no charge to the public.  With more than 100 partners, the month-long festival takes place at venues citywide. Artown receives major funding from the City of Reno.

MISSION: To strengthen Reno’s arts industry, foster its civic identity and enhance its national image, thereby creating a climate for the cultural and economic rebirth of the region.

HISTORY:  In 1996, Reno was struggling economically with local casinos turning off the lights and the downtown core being left behind for more suburban areas. In response, a dedicated group of local community members and business leaders worked in cooperation to bring together local artists, as well as those from around the globe, to form an arts-focused festival in an effort to transform and reinvent downtown Reno. An impressive 30,000 people attended the inaugural event which today surpasses 300,000 attendees.

ECONOMIC IMPACT:  The estimated direct, local economic impact from the 2012 Festival is more than $12 million.

ATTENDEES: In 2012 Artown estimates overall attendance at an estimated 300,000. An estimated 14 percent of attendees were first time patrons of Artown (as represented by the annual survey).

NOTEWORTHY: Over the years, Artown has welcomed internationally and nationally renowned artists including: American Ballet Theater, Mikhail Baryshnikov, The Del McCoury Band, Diavolo Dance Theater, Harlem Gospel Choir, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Pilobolus and Pink Martini.

FREE EVENTS: Designed to inspire audiences and showcase all that the arts have to offer, Artown presents a series of free, culturally enriching performances each year. On average, there are eight unique, free events each day. In fact, many of Artown’s signature events are free to the public including the Family Series, World Music Series, Discover the Arts and the Monday Night Music Series.

TICKETED EVENTS: In addition to its array of free events each season, Artown strives to produce select ticketed performances by renowned national and international talent.  Featured artists for 2013 include: Grammy Award-winning musician Rickie Lee Jones July 7, famed jazz musician Dave Koz July 20 at John Ascuaga’s Nugget and Pete Escovedo and Sheila E. on July 25 at the Robert Z. Hawkins Amphitheater.

FAMILY EVENTS: Monday brings families together for a fun-filled evening in beautiful Wingfield Park. Entertainment ranges from giant puppets to face painting, comedy, music and more.

MULTICULTURAL EVENTS: Each summer, Artown presents an assortment of multicultural performances and events including Wednesday night’s World Music Series, featuring reggae band Midnite July 3, Mariachi Los Camperos di Nato Cano July 10, and West African musicians Yemen Blues July 17, and the North Indian bhangra rhythms of Red Baraat on July 24. Presenters within Artown produce additional multicultural festivals such as the Basque Festival on July 20, and the Gospel Festival July 21.

YOUTH OUTREACH: The Festival’s “Discover the Arts Series” introduces children to artistic discovery every weekday in July.  Annually, more than 2,700 children attend 20 or more days of workshops during the series. Additionally, Missoula Children’s Theatre (MCT) hosts workshops for youth from disadvantaged and at-risk neighborhoods. Known around the world for its work with children, MCT is internationally renowned for utilizing an entertainment format to foster enrichment and education.

PARTNERS: Artown events are presented thanks to more than 100 partner organizations and distinguished performers from around the community and the globe. More than 90 percent of the Festival is produced and performed by local organizations. Artown is built on collaboration and in 2012 the organization partnered with community wide on a variety of programs and initiatives to bring art to the masses. In addition to support from its partners, Artown receives funding from sponsors and grants.

GIVE $3: “Give $3 to Keep Artown Free” was developed in 2010 to encourage donations to the non-profit festival and fund enhanced programming. Throughout the festival’s 31-days, attendees are invited to donate $3 at event venues or through exclusive program sponsors, U.S. Bank, RGJ Media and KOLO 8 News Now. Annually, RGJ Media inserts donation envelopes into issues of the Reno Gazette-Journal while U.S. Bank accepts donations via direct deposit. Donation envelopes are also found in the Little Book of Artown. In addition, thanks to a grant from the Robert S. and Dorothy J. Keyser Foundation, each $3 donation is matched and doubled to $6. Donation envelopes are generously provided by Complemar (JLH, Inc., a subsidiary of Complemar Partners).

POSTER ARTIST: Annie Hall is a Reno, Nev.-based painter whose work is featured in the Nevada Museum of Art and as part of the permanent collection of the Donald W. Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada. Her talents as a painter have taken her around the world for work in Africa, France and Italy and she is as well known for her contemporary work as for her historically-based pieces and abstracts. Hall’s celebrated oil paintings are marked by a distinctive use of color – creating a signature all her own – which she applied to the creation of the 18th annual Artown poster.

MOBILE APP: In 2010, Artown launched a mobile app allowing festival fans to view the event schedule via iPhone, Android or BlackBerry device. App functionality is focused around the comprehensive calendar with the built-in ability to share with others via social networks and add to your personal calendar. Users may also find general festival information, share photos, book lodging and learn more about Artown.

ARTOWN SPONSORS: As a non-profit organization, Artown receives major funding from the City of Reno, and is sponsored by U.S. Bank, NV Energy, Waste Management, Grand Sierra Resort, Complemar (JLH, Inc., a subsidiary of Complemar Partners), Wild River Grille, RGJ Media, KOLO 8 News Now, KNPB-TV, KTHX-FM, KUNR-FM. This project is funded, in part, by a grant from the Nevada Arts Council, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

ENCORE: Established in 2010, Artown’s Encore series expands the reach of the annual festival past the 31 days of July to bring in national-level talent for a line-up of dynamic performances from September through May each year. Presenting a diverse array of artists who may otherwise not visit Reno, Encore provides the community with an opportunity to experience new genres of music, dance, theater and other art forms.

VOLUNTEERS:  Hundreds of volunteers help make Artown flow smoothly each year filling a variety of roles including distribution of Artown collateral, data collection, event production assistance and information dissemination.

INFORMATION:  775-322-1538 /

MEDIA CONTACTS:  Natasha Bourlin, Biggest Little Group | 775-240-8749 |


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