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June 2018

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Artech Puts on Reno Art Fest 2018

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Artech, a local non-profit art organization, is putting on the Reno Art Fest this year. The event will run from Saturday, June 30th through Sunday, July 1st near the Playa Art Park in the heart of downtown, which the organization also created. The event will feature art sales and competitions, entertainment, food, and a parade. Maria Partridge, Executive Director of Artech, said that Art Fest is the overarching event, but there will be other things taking place at the same time such as the Circus Circus Mural Marathon which is a 24-hour competition where seven contestants have to each paint a mural that’s nearly 20 feet wide by 14 feet high to compete for prize money. There will also be Controlled Burn’s Fire Fest in which aerialists, drummers, and other fire performers perform while twirling around flames.

Partridge said the art competitions are a major portion of the event. “There’s around 50 artists that are regional and local who’ll have tents, and they will be selling jewelry, paintings, photographs, whatever they got juried in for,” said Partridge, “There’s cash awards of $4,000, and then Circus Circus Mural Marathon is $6,000 in cash awards.”

Partridge said that Artech has been largely influenced by Burning Man — strengthening their focus on collaborations. “We’re Burning Man inspired: interactivity, collaboration, community, all of that,” she said. Partridge is excited that Reno Art Fest will feature this sort of collaboration. “I’m most excited about the fact that this is a collaborative art event. It makes each one of the elements actually stronger because we all bring a different audience,” said Partridge, “I really believe in collaborations and trying to create a larger event, instead of a bunch of small events because these all kind of speak to each other and complement each other.”

One of the events taking place in Reno Art Fest is the Cre8tiv Zone, which will host smaller events itself. The Cre8tiv Zone will feature printmaking and face painting. “There’s going to be ongoing events in the Cre8tiv Zone, and it’s going to be run by the Boys & Girls Club,” said Partridge, “I love that, too. There’s that collaboration as well.”

Partridge said that Artech wants to focus on art and civic engagement with things like the Playa Art Park which is a community gathering spot in an empty lot downtown that features sculptures from past Burning Man festivals and a giant mural to give visitors a Burning Man taste year-round. Instead of having the event at a space that’s more upscael, Partridge said she wanted it to be in the heart of Reno off of Virginia street to add the urban grittiness to the feel of the event which is why they chose the Playa Art Park as the location.

According to Partridge, Artech is hoping to create another Playa Art Park next year on the organization’s property off of Woodland Avenue. “We store a lot of Burning Man art, and we’re hoping that as of next year we can actually set up a bunch of that artwork on the property and create an Artech Playa Art Park back there,” said Partridge, “We could have tours and things like that — invite the public to come see what we’re doing. Right now we’re kind of a hidden secret.”

Be sure to swing by Art Fest happening this weekend to take in all that the festival has to offer.

overview of Lake Tahoe

How to be Environmentally Friendly This Summer

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We get it, we get it. Being a full time student and an environmentally friendly citizen can be time consuming and difficult. You don’t always think about recycling or how much waste you’re producing when you’re running late to class or work. Fear not. Here are some tips and tricks that you can implement into your lifestyle this summer that not only will help keep our planet green but will help you save some money, too.

  1. Participate in the Keep Tahoe Red, White & Blue beach cleanup after Independence Day on July 5th. Lake Tahoe gets heavy visitation during summer holidays. Despite the beach being the perfect place to enjoy the season with friends, many visitors don’t pick up after themselves. Last summer volunteers removed 1,676 pounds of trash from Tahoe beaches the day after the Fourth of July, according to The League to Save Lake Tahoe. Plastic and cigarette butts not only look disgusting when left everywhere, but it has damaging effects on local wildlife and lake clarity. The League to Save Lake Tahoe provides reusable cleanup bags, gloves and hand sanitizer, refreshments, giveaways, and free raffle prizes for those who volunteer to clean up. Cleanup sites include Commons Beach, Kings Beach, Kiva Beach, Nevada Beach, and Regan Beach. If you’re unable to attend, you can also make a donation on their website.
  2. Save Water during day-to-day use. According to the City of Reno’s Sustainability Department, if you shorten your shower by just a minute that can be the equivalent of saving 150 gallons of water per month. This not only saves water, but it’ll save you some extra money on your water bill, too. Try to break your habit of turning off the water while you brush your teeth. An average of four gallons is used every minute that your sink is running.
  3. Save Energy by using power strips instead of outlets, and turn off the power strips when you’re not using them to conserve energy. Instead of using your dishwasher’s drying cycle, let your dishes air-dry. This can cut energy by up to 50%. Another great tip is to use wool or rubber dryer balls to separate your clothes. This allows more air to get to your clothes while drying which also saves you energy and money.
  4. Recycle Properly by knowing what you should and shouldn’t throw away. I know I’ve made this mistake myself. I think just because something is paper or plastic it can be easily recycled. Boy was I wrong. Many items of trash I thought would be great for recycling like cardboard pizza boxes, juice boxes, and milk cartons are actually quite difficult to recycle due to grease contamination, being hard to separate, and being a certain type of plastic. I also realized that recycling shredded paper versus non shredded paper makes a difference as well. The more paper is shredded, the more it reduces the grade of the paper, and thus its quality and value. Not even all recyclers take mixed grade paper such as the paper you find in magazines or telephone books. In this case, composting paper after it’s been reduced to confetti size may be a better option if you don’t want to waste it. For a full list of what you can and can’t recycle check out Waste Management’s list of metals, paper, glass, plastics, and more that won’t be wasted if you try to recycle it.

Nic’s Picks: Summer Reading Recommendations

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Young Jane Young – Book by Gabrielle Zevin

A Monica Lewinsky-style scandal rocks the Jewish community in Boca Raton, Florida when an intern named Aviva Grossman strikes up a relationship with the district’s congressman. Due to all of the gossip and slut shaming she faces when the scandal is exposed, Aviva cuts all contact with her family, legally changes her name to Jane Young and moves to Maine. Fast forward a decade, and Jane is now a wedding planner with a daughter, Ruby. Jane’s secret is hidden from Ruby as she tries to raise her daughter to be strong and stand up for herself from bullies.

The perspective of the novel shifts through 4 characters: Jane’s mother, Jane, Ruby and the congresswoman’s wife. The engaging story focuses on feminism and also deals with sex scandals and serious consequences in a realistic way, and it sheds light on how slut shaming and body image can affect college-aged women’s choices.

Everything You Want Me to Be – Book by Mindy Mejia

Fans of Shakespeare will enjoy this novel’s parallels to Macbeth. A high school senior and brilliant actress is found murdered and during the investigation, a dangerous and steamy affair is exposed between the victim and her married English teacher. The perspective switches between one of the detectives on the case, Hattie, the student and Peter, the teacher. As the police and Hattie’s family uncover her double life after she is gone, it is important that we also hear from her side of things. Her character is manipulative and she often refers to her many “roles”: the good student, the good daughter and the good girlfriend. Hattie’s dream of becoming an actress on Broadway reveals how she is determined to get what she wants, how obsessive she is over her teacher and failing to see how she ruins his life makes her a fitting Lady Macbeth for the school play.

While there are two suspects for the murder, the novel gives clues that everything isn’t always reliant on evidence and testing. Readers may also find Hattie’s strong willed personality and ruthless actions unrealistic and downright disturbing as she ruins Peter’s marriage and mental health. Overall, the novel is a juicy read and shows how love and lust play their roles in serious relationships.

Home Sweet Home – Novel by April Smith

A novel set during the time of America’s witch hunt for Communists, a young family aspiring to become politicians gets swept up in decade-old accusations in a small South Dakota town. New York city-slickers Calvin and Betsy Kusek move to the Midwest after they first meet. Calvin is a lawyer and Betsy is a former member of the Young Communist League and a traveling nurse.

Calvin has aspirations to run for the Senate as a Democrat in a sea of Republicans, and his opponent is a greedy, ruthless man. The story’s smear campaign is pretty tame compared to the 2016 Presidential election, but readers will appreciate the story’s fair handling of a trial. The novel also has a lot of characters in the town that the couple interact with and it can be hard to keep track of everyone, and a brand new, totally unrelated character comes in about 20 pages before the novel’s end makes this a long and often tricky read.


Difficult Women – Novel by Roxane Gay

This Audie Award nominated collection of short stories is centered around female characters, ranging from realistic fiction to sci-fi genres. The topics covered in the stories are serious and range from LGBT relationships to divorce, fat shaming, and racism. Gay is great at crafting complex characters in such a small amount of time, and each comes with a diverse point of view. The stories often deal with dark and sexual themes, and many of the protagonists come with awful life situations, such as a couple whose toddler was crushed to death by a car in a parking lot. The collection has a good variety of story lengths, and the opener is one of the longest as it deals with close sisters moving to Reno after being tortured and kidnapped in their teenage years.