Public Contact: 775-826-6100, ext. 2#, info@artsforallnevada.org
More information: artsforallnevada.org
Press Contacts: Mary Ellen Horan, ext. 1#, meh@artsforallnevada.org

No longer a teenager, but not quite middle age –

the non-profit organization, Arts for All Nevada, celebrates 30 years

and National Arts and Humanities Month.

      On October 1 2016, Arts for All Nevada, formerly VSA arts of Nevada, began a year-long celebration of their 30th year as a non-profit organization.  “We didn’t know it at the time,” explains Executive Director Mary Ellen Horan, “but the non-profit organization started the same month and year as National Arts and Humanities Month, the largest annual celebration for the arts and humanities in the nation.”

Although the organization has grown and diversified their programming to include owning and operating the historic Lake Mansion near Reno’s Truckee River, their mission remains the same to provide quality arts opportunities for all ages and all abilities.  Governed by a committed board of directors and staff, enthusiastic volunteers, and talented teaching and exhibiting artists, the non-profit has accumulated numerous organizational and staff awards, name changes and moves, while conducting programs for thousands of children and adults from early childhood to individuals in their nineties.

Looking back over 30 years, that programming includes 150 art festivals in rural and urban areas of the state (Austin, Battle Mountain, Elko, Ely, Lovelock, Reno, Las Vegas, Winnemucca), 50,000 art workshops for kids, 10,000 arts workshops for adults, and 300 art camps.  Arts for All Nevada has also undergone five office moves, three name changes (Very Special Arts Nevada, VSA arts of Nevada, Arts for All Nevada) and the 2004 physical move of the Lake Mansion from the Reno-Sparks Convention Center to the corner of Court St. and Arlington Ave., closer to its original location on California Ave. and Virginia St.  Explains Horan, “At first we focused on children with special needs, but soon found that the need was a lot greater for children and adults of all ages and abilities throughout the state who were lacking free or affordable creative opportunities.  With our move into the Lake Mansion in 1996, we also became the care taker of “Reno’s First Address”.

Today, the non-profit is settled at the Lake Mansion with year-round programming in schools, at the Lake Mansion and numerous facilities throughout northern Nevada. They rent the mansion for meetings and special events to help maintain the 1877 structure listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places.  “Hard to believe it’s been 30 years.  We still do a lot with a little including a small staff and budget, but that’s the non-profit way, at least for us.  Every dollar donated to AFAN is effectively utilized to promote our mission. We look forward to our continuing success in ensuring that Nevada remains as our children’s license plate states, “rich in art.”


Arts for All Nevada is a non-profit organization. Its mission is to provide quality arts opportunities for ALL ages and ALL abilities. The non-profit organization celebrating 30 years since their founding also owns and operates the historic Lake Mansion.  Visit the non-profit’s website at artsforallnevada.org