In partnership with the city of Las Vegas, the Downtown Vegas Alliance (DVA), a nonprofit organization that connects its members and downtown stakeholders to influence growth the heart of Las Vegas, announces a free community event featuring entrepreneurs, artists and city government leaders who came together during Phase I of the pandemic to create inspirational, provocative and beautiful works of art.
In mid-March of 2020, the State of Nevada mandated all non-essential businesses must close. Many downtown Las Vegas businesses took advantage of a city of Las Vegas program that provided funding for artists to create murals on the plywood boards covering their storefronts. Once erected, these “COVID Murals” became an instant drive through gallery that helped inspire and heal the Las Vegas community and spurred an art explosion throughout the entire downtown area that continues today.
When restrictions were lifted and shops began to reopen, The COVID Murals were collected and preserved through a collaborative effort between the 18b Las Vegas Arts District, DVA, First Friday Foundation, city of Las Vegas, Mojave Events and local business owners. Several of the collected murals will be on display at the March 22 event that includes a series of conversations/stories from local leaders, entrepreneurs and artists who were instrumental in the creation, execution and collection of the murals.
Featured storytellers include Ryan Smith, director of economic and urban development, city of Las Vegas; Ally Haynes-Hamblen, director, office of cultural affairs, city of Las Vegas; Derek Stonebarger, owner operator of ReBAR and Davy’s on Main Street in downtown Las Vegas; Abby Stroot, president of the 18b Las Vegas Arts District Association and owner of Pincushion; and Izaac Zevalking (Recycled Propaganda), a socio-political artist acclaimed for his graphic exploration of a broad variety of contemporary issues who created several COVID murals . Carolyn Wheeler, executive director of the Downtown Vegas Alliance, will serve as emcee and storyteller.
NV Energy is the sponsor of the March 22 event, which also serves as a preview for a larger, ticketed first-of-its-kind exhibit scheduled for May 12-22 that will include dozens of The COVID Murals along with the stories of the artists who created them and the businesses they covered.
This Successes & Insights forum is free and open to the public. Registration at https://bit.ly/DVAcovidmurals is required, as space is limited.