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Artown Opening Night is A Cuban Dance Party



Tiempo Libre, photo by Crackerfarm

Festival Collaborates with Pro Dancers to Offer Lessons

Dance has always been an integral part of Artown and this year Wingfield Park pulsates with a vibrant energy as July 1 Opening Night becomes a Cuban dance party. Revelers are encouraged to get up and dance to the Cuban music of Tiempo Libre in designated dancing areas, no skills required. In preparation for the evening’s festivities Artown collaborates with Salsa Reno instructor BB, named best salsa instructor in numerous polls, and Irene Robles “the Salsa specialist” to offer Latin dance lessons throughout the month of June and on Opening Night for those looking to learn a few moves. 

“Artown is about more than just hearing music or seeing art, it’s about experiencing it, and what better way to accomplish that than for everyone to get up and dance at our opening celebration,” Beth Macmillan, Artown executive director, said. “We wanted Tiempo Libre to perform this year because their energy and rhythm are so conducive to dancing. And, you don’t have to be a great dancer to enjoy the music and have a great time.” 

Artown offers a FREE Merengue lesson with BB and Irene at 5:30 p.m. July 1 at 250 Lounge in the Freight House District. After the lesson dancers can join the parade with MarchFourth Marching Band from the Freight House District to Wingfield Park for the opening ceremonies and dance party. Those looking for a little more instruction can take Latin dance lessons for beginner, intermediate and advanced levels on weekday evenings throughout the month of June. Class times and prices vary and are for couples or singles. BB’s numerous classes are at Gemini Ballroom, 2920 Mill Street near the intersection of Terminal Way, with complete details at www.SalsaReno.com. Classes by Irene are at Never Enough Ballroom located at 780 Smithridge Dr., Suite 300 and details are available by e-mailing [email protected]

Sticking with the Cuban theme of Artown Opening Night vendors will be serving up specialties including Mojitos and Cuban-style entrees for picnicking. For more information on Artown and Opening Night, visit www.RenoIsArtown.com or call 775-322-1538. 

Honored by the National Endowment for the Arts with the Access to Artistic Excellence grant for two consecutive years, Artown is one of the nation’s most comprehensive arts and culture festivals attracting more than 300,000 people in 2009 for a plethora of events with more than 60 percent offered free 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, is sponsored by U.S. Bank, Grand Sierra Resort, NV Energy, International Game Technology, Waste Management, Reno-Tahoe USA, JLH Inc., Basin Street Properties, Reno Gazette-Journal, KOLO 8 News Now, KTHX-FM and KNPB with additional support from the Nevada Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. Artown is supported by Stimulus Funding through the Nevada Arts Council’s SNAP Grant Program.

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