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November 2017

Circus Circus parking garage entrance

Nevada Youth Empowerment Project Seeks to Help Reno’s Vulnerable Female Population

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Monica DuPea founded Nevada Youth Empowerment Project (N-Yep) in September of 2007. N-Yep is a local nonprofit organization that works with transitional female youth populations in Northern Nevada with programs that seek to empower them through safe housing, education, and entering the workforce. She was contacted by Professor Elisabeth Miller at the University of Nevada, Reno this past summer to work with Professor Miller’s English class, writing for nonprofits. Students in the class are partnered with and write for local nonprofits. “I was looking for sophisticated writing,” DuPea said, “I was curious to see what students are observing about youth homelessness.” DuPea says she wants more of the community to be aware of youth homelessness and the organizations working to end it.

DuPea says that the first thing her organization does for these youths is to stabilize them. “We provide a safe, healthy, clean place to live. Then, we identify their goals,” says DePea. The organization seeks to help young women become more independent through its programming. This involves first, the Community Living Program (CLP). In CLP the young women are provided with housing, food and guidance toward their goals. These goals are often high school graduation and entering the workforce.

The core structure of the program is centered around routine, standards, accountability, and consistency. There are clearly written standards, to which the young women are held accountable. Daily routines decrease stress for the participants of the program and consistency ensures that over time the young women will meet their goals. DuPea says consistency is important for these young women because while creating goals is important. DuPea said, “It’s what you do everyday that makes a difference.” The young women are expected to complete certain chores, meet requirements for typing, such as increasing their words per minute, and to either work, volunteer or attend school full time.

Nina Shapey, a graduate of the program, believes that the program helped her to be more productive in society. At 24, she owns her own house, is getting married, has a son, and has graduated as a medical assistant. She is also going back to school to attain a bachelors in interior design. Shapey said that the program shaped her understanding of success. “I want to be something amazing, where I’m actually helping people. It’s about learning that life is scary, that it’s a challenge, but I can’t be successful unless I get out of my comfort zone,” said Shapey.

Graduates of CLP can move onto N-Yep’s Affordable Housing Program. Since 2012, Reno has gained an Apple data center, a Tesla Gigafactory, and in April of 2017, Google bought a large plot of land in Reno. According to The Economist, this influx of wealth has contributed to rising costs in Reno rents and homes. N-Yep realized the need for transitional, affordable housing for the graduates of CLP. The organization worked in coordination with the City of Reno to create the Affordable Housing Program, which provides just that. For $300 a month with all utilities included, the college-aged women are able to live within Reno and close to UNR. DuPea said this is important in that it allows the young women to continue to strive for independence without having to leave the Reno community to afford it. Graduates of CLP are eligible to live in the Affordable Housing for up to 3 years with monthly checks on residency criteria and strict rules forbidding drugs or alcohol on the premises.

N-Yep is in the process of creating even more affordable housing. The organization has plans to build a 20 unit, intergenerational site. The site will have 12 units for graduates of CLP and 6 set aside for Nevada seniors. The youth living in the units will help out the seniors. DuPea says, “There aren’t sufficient resources and supports in our community for seniors. And our 2 most vulnerable populations are our seniors and our youth.” The units will be prefabricated micro-units, so DuPea anticipates that construction will be quick. She hopes to have the site open by September of 2018.

DuPea works closely with Michele Gehr, the Director of Eddy House, another local nonprofit in Reno that works to help homeless youths in Nevada. According to their website, “Eddy House is the central intake and assessment facility in Northern Nevada.” According to DuPea, the staff of Eddy House conducts comprehensive assessments with every youth about items such as where they slept the night before, and if they are subject to any circumstances that they need help with.

Eddy House hopes to open a 24-hour drop-in center, according to their website. However, the facility is currently open from 10am-5pm, Monday-Friday. Thomas Hassen, who works at Eddy House, says there is often a line at the door before 10am. Homeless youths often go to work overnight, or simply stay up all night while on the streets, according to Hassen. He says this has to do with the fact that they do not feel safe sleeping on the street, or even at homeless shelters. “A lot of the time they’ll come in at 10am and grab a cot,” says Hassen. Eddy House provides other care and comfort services, according to their website, such as food and showers.

Eddy House is also a referral point for homeless youths. According to DuPea, the assessments the organization gives out help with referring these youths. The organization identifies the logical next level of care for the youths and refers them to another organization that can help. DuPea says that making Eddy House a 24 hour facility would help the organization to meet this goal. “We’re missing that main component which would be that sleeping piece. Without that, it’s hard for these kids to even stabilize a bit, to be ready for that next level of engagement,” says DuPea.

While DuPea is doing everything she can to address housing and programs for young people, she says that one major issue that the homeless Nevada youth face today is that there is no 24 hour location where they can go and feel safe. DuPea said, “There are 24 hour facilities for adults, but none for youth.” DuPea encourages anyone with resources to empower the Eddy House to become a 24 hour facility. DuPea said, “Youth homelessness is not a youth problem to solve. I wish there would be a sense of urgency around the fact that we have young people sleeping outside at night.” She believes that the first major obstacle for young homeless people is feeling safe and setting down roots.


Nevada Youth Empowerment Project:


Phone: 775-747-2073

Eddy House Contact info:


Phone: 775-384-1129

Ukulele on an armchair surrounded by jackets

A Simple Melody Can Lead Dreamers to Hope

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The past few months have been unsettling and horrific for Dreamers. Since President Trump announced his plan to repeal the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, international and local musicians have been using their platforms to show their support to undocumented immigrants.

Cuban-born singer-songwriter Camila Cabello is one of the many artists who have made a statement to show Dreamers that they are not fighting back alone. During Cabello’s performance of her chart-dominating song, “Havana,” on the Today show Sept. 29, the pop artist strutted to the stage followed by her background dancers, who wore shirts stating, “I Stand with Dreamers.”

At the latter part of her performance, Cabello used the instrumental break of the song to remind Dreamers to continue to pursue their passions and stay hopeful. “This is America, the America we love, where no matter your race, your color, your beliefs or where you came from, if you have a dream, you can make it possible,” she said.

In the Northern Nevada community, many musicians have shown their support towards the DACA program through their music and performance. Vocalist and guitarist Dan Morse of Reno’s indie-rock band, Fine Motor, has worn a piece of paper taped onto his guitar strap that says “Pass the Dream Act,” since 2011. He plans to keep it on until the act is passed and allows immigrants affiliated with DACA to stay in America.

“I put [the note] on the strap when things were different,” Morse explains. “At the time that I had put it on, I thought that I would have taken it off because I expected the Dream Act to pass by now and it didn’t. The fact that it has not been passed is proof that it is pure racism. DACA was developed as a compromise, but times became more grim for undocumented students and people. By DACA being taken away, [the United States] is betraying the trust of immigrants.”

Not only has music impacted the lives of Dreamers, but Dreamers have influenced musicians also. In 2011, Morse’s former band, Wigwams, released “For Isabel Castillo,” a song inspired by Isabel Castillo, who was a Dreamer herself, came out of hiding, and testified to congress to push for the passage of the Dream Act.

“Part of the activism that I was inspired by were these accounts of people who came out and said that we have to do something about [passing the act],” the musician says. “I was struck by [Isabel Castillo’s] story and wanted to channel it into a song.”

When faith and hope seems lost, musicians and the melody they play appear to find them. For Dreamers, hope and persistence has been the core of their journey. Music is an outlet that can help retain these uplifting feelings during the darkest of times.

University of Nevada, Reno student and president of the University’s Musical Therapy Club, Christian Bak, created the club as a way to help himself and others stay inspired and ambitious through music. He explains how for Dreamers especially, music creates hope.

“I think it comes down to what is a Dreamer. The number one emotion that circumvents it all is hope,” Bak says. “What musicians provide and what they can provide is that hope. That’s why [music] is very therapeutic and helps us. It gives us a purpose. The way we inspire dreamers or help dreamers is by creating those dreams, those hopes, that things will get better, be better, and have the possibility to go up from here.”

UNR professor and music therapist, Sara DePaoli, specializes in music therapy and expresses how vital and therapeutic music is during stressful or traumatic situations.

“Music therapy is taking music out of the passive performance and [using it] as an interactive, participatory, and therapeutic tool,” DePaoli states. “Music is such an individualized and personal experience. We have found that music can reach people when nothing else can.”

Musicians model a different kind of community. Their art is meant to be enjoyed by all, regardless of one’s background, race, or identity. It is meant to make people feel valued and welcomed. Through listening to music and continuing to admire music artists, Dreamers can escape the discrimination, hatred, and judgement that our country has unfortunately become accustomed to.

Pale Hound

Holland Project Photo Essay

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I walked into the Holland Project’s music space, immediately greeted by a glistening disco ball spinning overhead and reflecting sharp beams of light in every direction. A psychedelic tapestry served as a backdrop for the main stage already set up with guitars, mic stands, amps, a drum kit, and endless wires slithering along the floor.

With my camera cradled in my hands, peeked into the green room tucked in the back corner of the space where I found members of the night’s headlining band, Palehound, lounging until it was their time to shine. I guess the hum of conversation around me wasn’t loud enough to hide the click of my camera’s shutter, and Jessie Weiss, Palehound’s drummer, looked up and grinned. Larz, the band’s bassist, sat beside him, the glow of their phone illuminating their face.

“Oh, you caught me texting!” Jessie said.

Unprepared to be noticed, I laughed awkwardly and politely waved before ducking back into the growing crowd near the stage.

The Palehound trio, fronted by Ellen Kempner on vocals and guitar, were on tour for their sophomore album, A Place I’ll Always Go, released June of 2017. This follows their critically acclaimed debut album, Dry Food, released in 2015. Kempner comments about “A Place I’ll Always Go,” on the band’s official website saying, “A lot of it is about loss and learning how to let yourself evolve past the pain and the weird guilt that comes along with grief.”

Despite the heavy recurring themes throughout the album, the indie-rock band definitely knows how to move the crowd. Kempner’s electrifying guitar riffs, Larz’ spunky bass licks, and Jessie’s heart-pounding drum beats combined to create the signature Palehound sound that took them from the basements of Boston to venues across the country. While there were calmer moments of soft reflection, their contagious rip-roaring spirit filled the air of the intimate space with undeniable energy from the moment they took the stage to the final bow.

While most people were there to see the Boston natives, a few others were just as excited for Stirr Lightly and Fine Motor, two local Reno bands opening that night. The alternative rock band Stirr Lightly consisted of Las Vegas natives Courtney Mayer, Bijou Bell, and Victoria Almanzan who are currently working on recording their debut EP. Fine Motor is a four-piece indie-rock band with Casey Bell, Dan Morse, Chris Mays, and Ben Birkinbine.






colorful carpet with red and tan pillows and a small table with a flower henna design

The Studio Review

By health, reno, wellness, yogaNo Comments

In the heart of Midtown there lies a local hole-in-the-wall: The Studio. The Studio is an up-and-coming yoga workshop that holds a very carefree and relaxing environment. The overall easygoing vibe of The Studio allows its clients to relax, forget about everyday troubles, and connect with like-minded people. Besides just yoga, The Studio offers a variety of other neat activities that attribute to it being so far out. This local business is also very famous for its massages, wellness treatments, and exotic tea elixir lounge. After-hours on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays only, The Studio serves tranquilizing teas that contain either kratom or kava. These plants are widely popular for their sedating and calming effects on the body. Normally, they both have a bitter and dry taste that makes them hard to enjoy. However, The Studio has the perfect technique that usually involves mixing in chai, coconut, and honey to make the tea not only bearable but surprisingly tasty.

To enhance the laze experience, there is a room where the guests sit on pillows in dim light while they listen to trancing music from a local DJ. There is even a mini light show included. A plethora of people from all over Reno come to sip delicious tea while they partake in plenty of conversation. The lounge also includes yoga mats and hula hoops for people to practice while they listen to the upbeat and mind-opening soundscape. The Studio has a very luminous atmosphere that adds to the Reno culture deeply. Its walls are filled with beautiful tapestries, and each table has antique candles and lamps that hang down from the ceiling. This business allows all people to feel welcome and be a part of a happy and peaceful energy.  


Father John Misty Review

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Josh Tillman, famously known as Father John Misty, gave a night of thought-provoking lyrical magic capsuled in his indie-folk musical style. Post-tragedy Las Vegas welcomed the sarcastic, blue-eyed singer at the Brooklyn Bowl on his tour.

I found myself in general admission, between the bowling alley and the clinking of glass from the bar. The area filled up after a time, with all walks of life battling for a spot closest to the much anticipated singer. Misty’s opening act, Weyes Blood, warmed up the crowd. After her lovely performance, Father John Misty followed. As he approached the stage, the crowd went mad. Screams from the overly excited women, whistles, and the “YEAH!!!” from the drunk guy behind me rang in my ear as I politely clapped and admired Misty through my camera’s lenses. Without a hello and hands in his pockets, Misty fell into song and opened his performance with “Pure Comedy”, the self-titled song from his Pure Comedy album.

I had seen him two years before. I Love You Honeybear, his second studio album as his Father John Misty persona, had just been released months prior. I Love You Honeybear is an album about his wife and so naturally, it spoke of marriage and love. This time around, Misty’s new album Pure Comedy touches on more complex ideas and themes such as life and its ironies. This newfound maturity in Misty was conveyed in his performance through the marriage of the instrumentals, his voice, and his lyrics.

“Nancy From Now On” and “Hollywood Forever Cemetery,” both old fan favorites off of Fear Fun, the romantic “Chateau Lobby #4” and “The Night Josh Tillman Came To Our Apartment” off of I Love You Honeybear, and new favorites “Real Love Baby” and “So I’m Growing Old on Magic Mountain,” were wonderfully performed. After an eager fan’s “DO IDEAL HUSBAND, JOSH!” Misty added the song to his setlist. Sure, the live rendition of “Nancy From Now On” is sweet and “Chateau Lobby #4” is every girl’s dream, but they didn’t even measure close to the enraged and hypnotic imbroglio that was Misty’s live rendition of “Ideal Husband”.

“Every woman that I’ve slept with/ Every friendship I’ve neglected/ Didn’t call when grandma died/ I spend my money getting drunk and high/ I’ve done things unprotected/ Proceeded to drive home wasted/ Bought things to win over siblings/ I’ve said awful things, such awful things”

One can always tell when an artist is truly involved with their art. His fury, the red lighting intertwined with violent drums, his desperate cries, and his evident submission to his song by throwing himself on the floor make “Ideal Husband” my favorite number of his. It graduates him from your average love-singing-indie-singer to a rocker.

What’s next for Father John Misty? Well, he’s had a pretty busy year. Misty dropped Pure Comedy earlier this year, on April 7th, 2017, and began touring soon after, on May 11th, 2017, in Brooklyn, New York. His Summer/Fall 2017 tour will come to its end on November 20th, 2017 in Lisbon, Portugal. If you didn’t get to see him on tour this year, no worries! According to Consequence of Sound, Misty is struggling with one song’s bass synth part, but is close to finishing up a new album. Is a tour in the realm of possibilities? Maybe! If you haven’t heard of this Misty fella yet, give him a listen and, if you can, see him on his next tour! Maybe it’s his virtuosity of the guitar, his carefully penned lyrics, his musically-gifted band, or his nectared voice that makes each show a memorable experience for each attendee. Whatever the case may be, continue doing what you’re doing, Misty!