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“Cultural Resource Inventory” seeks input from all Comstock region artists and performers

By Miriam Hodgman

will and mylo for artThe four communities of the Comstock region received good news last week. The Nevada Arts Council awarded a “Circuit Rider” consultancy of $3,500 through Healthy Communities Coalition of Lyon and Storey to help fund a Cultural Resources Inventory. A workgroup of volunteers from each of the towns is gathering surveys for the Inventory. The Nevada Arts Council requests input from from all Dayton, Silver City, Gold Hill and Virginia City musicians, artists, writers, dancers, and photographers for the project.

Evangeline Elston, a professional in entertainment marketing and development, is part of a workgroup gathering surveys for the project. She urged the public to suggest venues, businesses, nonprofit groups and artists that should be included, saying, “Please help us make an inventory of the artistic resources and facilities on the Comstock. We want to bolster and nourish the arts and need to understand more about what we have on the Comstock. We need your help!”

The Inventory will identify relevant venues and “social capital” in each town including: professional musicians, artists, photographers, film makers, puppeteers, storytellers, chefs, digital artists, writers, architects, dancers, jewelers, weavers, metalworkers, glass artists and art teachers. From the base inventory a summary report will be created by late summer 2014. The report will reflect the number of artists and venues engaged, estimated economic impact, and more.

With PhDs in communications and marketing, workgroup member and Gold Hill resident Robin Cobbey found the project to identify resources such as artists, exhibition and performance spaces to be an interesting one and provided many Gold Hill resources to the list of survey possibilities.

Another member of the workgroup, Virginia City resident Deborah Loesch Griffin, PhD, has extensive expertise in program evaluation and community development and grant writing. She explained,”We hope to estimate and cultivate the economic impact that our artists, venues and art supporters have on the quality of life on the Comstock.”

Quest Lakes, a Silver City resident and part of the workgroup, noted that the inventory will be useful in further developing the Comstock’s rich arts and cultural industry and for marketing and promoting tourism, and will also serve as an effective tool to discuss and share the economic impact the arts and culture industry has in generating revenue in both Storey and Lyon counties.

The Cultural Resources Inventory will include identification of the following: local “social capital” in each town (those with talent and skills related to the arts); and, potential venues, including both “traditional” and “fresh” ideas for performance and gallery spaces, such as arts centers and studios, opera houses, galleries, dance studios, libraries, community centers, museums, restaurants, farms, coffee houses, parks, court houses and city halls, schools, senior centers, food co-op store fronts, farmers markets, food pantries, community and school gardens, Boys and Girls Clubs and others.

The Inventory will also result in identification and analysis of gaps in resources and possible strategies to close the gaps. For instance, groups in the entire Northern Nevada region could connect to expanded networks to maximize funds and increase Arts events by working together more frequently during the scheduling/funding process to coordinate event days and times, thus increasing the number of towns and venues a visiting performer could visit.

Some of the workgroup’s long term goals, after the baseline Cultural Resource Inventory is completed this summer, include creation of a regional Cultural Plan that can enhance existing Arts groups, increase funding for diverse projects and events, strengthen partnerships among multiple sectors in order to increase access to the Arts among all age groups, and thus create a positive impact on the region’s economy and quality of life.

Dayton resident Christy McGill, director of Healthy Communities, is also part of the workgroup collecting surveys with an educational background demonstrating an interest in cultural resources – she has a master’s in English and a bachelor’s degree in drama. She noted, “We’re grateful for this opportunity with the Nevada Arts Council to document the vibrant arts and culture community of this region.”

For more information, contact Quest Lakes at 775-287-7598 or [email protected]

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.

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