Nevada Commission on Tourism shares art, culture in their state

The Nevada Commission on Tourism is a paid sponsor of Sonoran Living Live

Art and Basque Culture in Nevada
Nevada is perhaps best known for the bright lights of Las Vegas and the vast blue water of Lake Tahoe. But a vibrant arts scene is emerging throughout the state, broadening the limelight to include some truly unexpected venues of art and culture. And one of Nevada's oldest cultures - the Basque culture - is shining brighter than ever with the 50th anniversary of the National Basque Festival taking place in July.
An arts district has developed in Las Vegas, near the downtown area of Fremont Street, called 18b. This name comes from the original 18 blocks that comprised the arts district, and it is where artists in Las Vegas want to be and want to be seen.
A monthly http://www.firstfridaylasvegas.com/ festival draws more than 10,000 people to 18b to peruse the art galleries, sample food, sip wine, and enjoy live music. The festival is from 5 to 11 p.m. the first Friday of each month, and is a family friendly event with absolutely no admission price. Shuttles to and from the district take the headache out of finding a parking spot, and visitors can always park near Fremont Street and walk to 18b. For the truly serious art collector, visit the galleries the Thursday before First Friday when many galleries invite collectors and enthusiasts to view the art before the crowd arrives Friday.
In the north, Reno's http://www.renoriver.org/ district has been developing and growing since the river was redeveloped a decade ago. Now art galleries are interspersed with bistros and bars, and live music echoes from cafes and nightclubs. A monthly Wine Walk is the best way to visit the boutiques and eateries on the Riverwalk; thousands of people converge on downtown Reno to sample wine at more than 30 participating vendors.
Another burgeoning arts district is just a mile south from downtown Reno and is called http://midtowndistrictreno.com/. This eclectic stretch of city streets is dominated by some serious foodie-centric eateries. Culinary history is being made in Reno in Midtown. The district is also dotted with funky clothing and gift boutiques, designer cocktail cantinas and art stores and galleries.
Venturing beyond the city limits, a traveler can find unexpected enclaves of artists throughout the peaks and valleys of Nevada. It may be the solitude of the sagebrush and pine that draws artists to the rural communities, or perhaps it's the awe-inspiring sunsets that blaze orange and purple over the mountains. Whatever it is, it has made communities like http://www.tuscarorapottery.com/faculty.htm, http:// www.artistcommunities.org /residencies/artist-residency-goldwell, and http://www.planetxpottery.com/ artists' havens.
Tuscarora is a historic mining town in the northeastern corner of Nevada that has had a rebirth as an art community. People come from all over to be inspired by the landscape during writers' retreats and pottery workshops.
Bordering Death Valley, Beatty is an unexpected locale for creative minds, but they make their way to the dusty desert town to work in the Red Barn Art Center on all disciplines of art. Nearby in the ghost town of Rhyolite, visitors can take in the larger-than-life sculptures of the Goldwell Open Air Museum <            http://goldwellmuseum.org/>            .
Nevada's other famous desert - the Black Rock Desert, home to Burning Man - is the site of Planet X Pottery, arguably the best kept secret in northern Nevada. It is a working pottery studio and gallery open to any curious wanderer in the vicinity of Gerlach.
Nevada has long celebrated its arts and culture and those who create it. Artists are celebrated at recurring events like First Fridays, and the history of Nevada is on full display in a multitude of special events like Great Italian Festival             < http://www.eldoradoreno.com/reno-events/Eldorado-Great-Italian-Festival/>             in Reno, the 'Stewart Fathers Day Pow Wow <            http://stewartindianschool.com/stewart-fathers-day-powwow.html>             in Carson City, and the National Basque Festival                          in Elko.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the National Basque Festival, held every July in the northeastern town of Elko. There are many Basque communities in the western United States, and Elko is their hub during this four-day event.
Children perform the traditional Basque dances while others compete in games and competitions. The center of any great culture is its food, and there is an abundance of tasty Basque cuisine during the festival and throughout the year at local Basque restaurants.
A Basque meal is typically served family-style, so be prepared to make friends with your neighbors at the table, and don't be shy passing the litany of shared side dishes. The main course is usually a lamb or steak dish, but the truly adventurous will try one of the more traditional dishes such as oxtail or sweetbreads. For those of drinking age, picon punch is a must in order to fully experience a Basque meal. This traditional aperitif will knock your socks off and warm you up from inside.
The Basque people are an integral part of Nevada's rich cultural history, and the National Basque Festival, July 4-7, is the perfect place to soak it all in.
For more about Nevada's up-and-coming arts districts or about its varied culture, visit http://www.TravelNevada.com.

The Nevada Commission on Tourism is a paid sponsor of Sonoran Living Live

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