Welcome to Arts for All Nevada

In 2015, we changed our name from Very Special Arts Nevada or VSA Arts of Nevada, to Arts for All Nevada!

The fine art classes and events we offer are designed for ALL ages and ALL abilities. We provide just under 3,000 art classes and camps across 50 local schools and other facilities. This includes the Lake Mansion in Reno’s Arts, Historic and Riverwalk Districts. 

Our organization, Arts for All Nevada, is a member of the VSA Affiliate Network. This is a Program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and a “Partner in Excellence”. Funding is provided, in part by the Nevada Arts Council, a State Agency. We also receive funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Federal Agency.

With our new name and logo, we would like to express a special thanks to Noble Studios! Their “Noble Deeds” in-kind award for our re-branding including our new logo and website.  We’d like to express additional thanks to Nevada Arts Council for their “Circuit Rider Grant”, which allowed us to hire Rachel Kingham to assist us in transitioning our business using her marketing expertise. Thank you, also, to The E.L. Cord Foundation and the Robert Z. Hawkins Foundation for grant awards to help fund this transition.

We have a diverse selection of art Classes and Camps, for both children and adults, year-round. Listed below is a set of extensive programs for specific groups of children and adults, throughout Nevada. Most of these programs are free of charge for the participant. For questions regarding programs, call 826-6100 ext. 2#, info@artsforallnevada.org.

Arts for All Nevada is a non-profit (501c3) organization established in 1986.  Our EIN is 94-3030518.

Arts for All Nevada’s mission focuses on providing quality arts opportunities for children and adults of all ages and all abilities while operating and maintaining the Lake Mansion as a cultural and historic site.

Arts for All Nevada is governed by a dedicated staff and volunteer board of directors.  Teaching artists are hired to conduct almost 3,000 classes/camps each year throughout Nevada in a variety of settings and are the soul of the organization.

Since 1986, Arts for All Nevada has been the state affiliate of VSA, the international organization on arts and disability. VSA was founded more than 40 years ago by Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith to provide arts and education opportunities for people with disabilities and increase access to the arts for all.  With 52 international affiliates and a network of nationwide affiliates (including Nevada), VSA is providing arts and education programming for youth and adults with disabilities around the world.  Please visit The Kennedy Center for additional information.

Annually, Arts for All Nevada conducts close to 3,000 art workshops and camps for children and adults throughout the state in schools, hospitals, nursing homes, after-school programs, and additional locations. Arts for All Nevada  owns and operates the historic Lake Mansion located near downtown Reno.  Arts for All is responsible for its thoughtful preservation and year-round use as a cultural and historic site.  The mansion houses Arts for All Nevada administrative offices, the “Art Happens Here” studio and the “Art Access Gallery”.  The adjacent Garden Pavilion is an enclosed temperature controlled space. Both the Lake Mansion and Garden Pavilion may be rented for your meeting or special event at very affordable rates.

Arts for All Nevada/Lake Mansion is a member of the Reno-Sparks Chamber of Commerce, the Riverwalk Merchant’s Association,  Nevada’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology (NCET), Reno Arts Consortium,  Nevada Arts Educators, Alliance for Nevada Non-profits (ANN), Art Spot Reno, Truckee Meadows Tomorrow and the Regional Alliance for Downtown (RAD).

Arts for All Nevada depends on the support of the community at several levels including individuals, corporations, foundations, service organizations, and YOU!

Arts in Special and General Education Classrooms in Washoe, Carson City and Douglas County School Districts

Arts for All Nevada’s teaching artists conduct close to 1,000 art workshops each year in close to 100, Pre-Kindergarten- 12th grade special and general education classrooms in Washoe, Carson City, Douglas and Storey County classrooms.  This is our largest program.  Each year, depending on funds raised,  each classroom sees an artist up to 20 times. Workshops include art, creative movement, and theater in over 35 different schools.

For the 2016-17 school year, program sponsors include:  the Leonette Foundation, the Marshall R. Matley Foundation,  NV Energy, City of Reno’s Arts & Culture Commission, Safeway Foundation, John Ben Snow Memorial Trust Fund, the Charles H. Stout Foundation,  Umpqua Bank and the Terry Lee Wells Foundation.

Accessibility in the Arts With a grant from the City of Reno Cultural Grant Program and others, Arts for All Nevada hires sign language interpreters for cultural performances in the Reno area. For more information about interpreted performances or if you are interested in an interpreter for a performance, please contact Arts for All Nevada’s at (775) 826-6100 x3#, programming@artsforallnevada.org.

After School on-site classes at Double Diamond, Roy Gomm, Huffaker, Hunter Lake, Peavine, St. Albert’s the Great Catholic School, and Van Gorder  Elementary Schools.   Students who attend these schools can participate in Arts for All Nevada’s “Art Adventures” with several sessions offered throughout the school year.  100% scholarships are offered based on financial need.

Art Access Gallery at the Lake Mansion In October 2006, Arts for All Nevada established the “Art Access Gallery” at the Lake Mansion. Over 20 emerging and professional Nevada artists show and sell their work at the gallery. All have some type of disability.  The “Art Access Gallery” is open Monday-Friday 10 AM – 4 PM.  If you are interested in exhibiting/selling your work, please contact info@artsforallnevada.org.  The artist receives 85% of any sales and Arts for All 15%.

Art Exhibits Arts for All Nevada presents a variety of art exhibits at the Lake Mansion showcasing the creative talents of local artists.  Past exhibits include individual artist showcases, Holiday Art Mart, Indie Reno, and exhibits featuring one or more artists.

Art Festivals (open-to-the-public) for Families Every March for “Youth Art Month”, in July for our “Summer Family Art Festival” and in November for “Lake Mansion Jingles with Art and History”, Arts for All Nevada produces free kid’s art festivals at the Lake Mansion with eight hands-on art workshops, a free book for each child, tours of the mansion and face painting.  Check out our festival video!

Art for children who are hospitalized Arts for All Nevada conducts weekly workshops at Reno’s Renown Health’s pediatric care unit for youth who are hospitalized.

Artown Summer Arts Festival’s Discover the Arts As part of the Artown Summer Arts Festival’s “Discover the Arts” in Reno each July, Arts for All Nevada invites children to participate in several arts workshops including art, creative movement/music and acting in addition to a tour of the Lake Mansion.  Arts for All Nevada has several programs, classes/camps and events that are an integral part of Artown.

Art Exhibits Off-Site Artwork created by Arts for All Nevada participants is on permanent display at the Northwest Reno Library, William J. Raggio Plaza in Reno and the Frost Yazmur Estates in Carson City. Both units are operated by Accessible Space, Inc., a nonprofit organization that provides accessible, affordable housing and support services for adults with physical impairments and/or brain injuries.

Early Childhood program supporting literacy goals – “Start with the Arts to Graduation” The journey to high school graduation , college and career begins in early childhood.  During the 2015-16 school year, AFAN is working with 15 early childhood “strategies” and kindergarten “developmentally delayed” classroom teachers throughout Washoe County to develop pre-literacy and literacy skills.  Thanks to a William G. McGowan Charitable Fund grant in 2015-16, AFAN conducts 20 workshops in each classroom. With additional funding, we hope to continue this program in 2017-18.

From Early Childhood News – children who draw pictures of stories they have read improve their reading comprehension, and are motivated to read new material.  Art tools introduce pre-writing experiences, as early learners grasp tools that later help them hold a pencil for writing.  Art develops expressive and reflective skills that enhance writing and also promotes print awareness, spatial relation skills, visual literacy and verbal creativity.

Historic Reno Preservation Society Tours In conjunction with Historic Reno Preservation Society (HRPS), Arts for All Nevada welcomes Washoe County 4th graders  to the Lake Mansion to learn about Reno’s unique history during an interactive guided tour of the 1877 structure.

Holiday Party for youth in transition  In conjunction with the City of Reno Fire Department, Arts for All Nevada provides art activities and face painters for the annual holiday party for youth who are homeless or in transitional housing.

Kononia Family Services Arts for All Nevada partners with Kononia Family Services providing summer art workshops for you who are experiencing emotional/behavioral issues.

Lake Mansion Preservation Arts for All Nevada moved to the historic Lake Mansion in Reno in January, 1996. The mansion was the home of the founder of Reno, Myron Lake. Built in 1877, the main floor of the mansion remains a museum that is open to the public. Arts for All assisted with the renovation process, including making the Lake Mansion more accessible.  Arts workshops and art camps are conducted in the mansion’s classroom and Garden Pavilion.   Arts for All’s administrative offices are located at 250 Court Street in the historic Lake Mansion.

Lake Mansion Tours The Lake Mansion is normally open Monday – Friday from 10 AM – 4 PM for self-guided tours of the historic main floor with period furnishings.  Please call first in case there is a meeting or special event taking place.   There is no admission, donations are accepted.

Little Libraries   In 2015, working with City of Reno Councilperson Oscar Delgado, Arts for All Nevada installed an exterior “little library” at the Lake Mansion where the public can take a book/leave a book. Arts for All Nevada stocks the library with kids and adult books as needed.  Two Arts for All Nevada artists painted two of the four little libraries installed through this program.

Lovelock Arts Festival In the spring, Arts for All Nevada hires three visual or performing artists to conduct a “hands-on” three day festival for students at Lovelock Elementary.  In 2017, this program has changed to a one-day festival on June 13, that is free and open-to-the-public.  The Terry Lee Wells Foundation has funded this one-day event.

Mainstreamed Classrooms At the request of the school, Arts for All Nevada conducts art workshops for several mainstreamed (typical) classrooms throughout the district.  For the 2015-16 school year, these schools have included:  Double Diamond, Honors Academy of Literature, Rollan Melton, Peavine, Van Gorder and Verdi.

Monday Art Makers  Adults who have a disability, join us Monday evenings at Arts for All Nevada at the Lake Mansion for a visual art activity and socializing.  If interested and to register, please contact programming@artsforallnevada.org or call 775.826.6100, ext. 3#.  This program is sponsored in part by the City of Reno Access Advisory Committee.

Open-to-the-public Camps During spring, summer, fall and winter school breaks, Arts for All Nevada offers affordable art camps for students ages 6-10 years with an hour each of visual arts, creative movement/music and theater.  Camps are held in Reno at the Lake Mansion and at Larry D. Johnson Community Center in Sparks.  100% scholarships are available based on financial need.  The Nell J. Redfield Foundation assists in funding this program.

Open-to-public Classes for Youth Throughout the year, Arts for All Nevada offers a variety of affordable classes for youth of all ages and all abilities.  Classes include 2-D and 3-D mediums (Art Adventures, Art Start, Painting and more) and Acting at the Lake Mansion in Reno and Larry D. Johnson Community Center in Sparks.   100% scholarships are available based on financial need.  The Nell J. Redfield Foundation assists in funding this program.

Open-to-public Classes for Adults at the Lake Mansion and Larry D. Johnson Community Center in Sparks  Throughout the year, Arts for All Nevada offers a variety of affordable classes for adults of all ages and all abilities.  Classes can include Art Exploration, Paint and Sips, and Thank Goodness it’s ART Friday (TGIAF).  The Nell J. Redfield Foundation assists in funding this program.

Open-to-public Classes for YOUTH and ADULTS  Throughout the year, Arts for All Nevada offers classes for youth and adults.  These classes can include Paint You Pet and Paint & Sips.  The Nell J. Redfield Foundation assists in funding this program.

Renown Behavioral Services Arts for All Nevada provides visual arts workshops for Renown Behavioral Services outpatient program thrice weekly. This program began in April 1997 and is funded by the facility and Arts for All.  Renown Behavioral Services is a recovery program for adults who suffer from depression, anxiety, drug/alcohol abuse and compulsive behavior issues.

Scholarships Arts for All Nevada provides scholarships based on need for children and adults to participate in Arts for All workshops/camps at the Lake Mansion, Larry D. Johnson Community Center in Sparks, or at several after-school programs.

Senior/Residential Care Facilities/Nursing Homes Arts for All Nevada conducts art, acting and creative movement workshops for residents at senior residencies, nursing homes/residential care facilities in Carson City, Reno, Sparks and Las Vegas.  For many residents this is the only opportunity for creative enjoyment.  Residents look forward to the artist visiting their facility 1-2 times a month.

Sierra Nevada Journeys Arts for All Nevada is partnering with the non-profit Sierra Nevada Journeys to supplement their science based field trip program  at Grizzly Creek Ranch near Portola, CA with quality arts instruction.

Team Up In partnership with Team Up and 21St Century Community Learning Center, Arts for All Nevada has conducted workshops at several after-school programs for children who are at-risk.

VSA Playwright Discovery Program gives students ages 10 to 22, the skills to create original scripts, to tell stories that address the disability experience via the theater or other media arts.  There is a secondary focus on writing, literacy and communication skills.  Programs provide students with a rich curriculum exploring the disability experience by focusing on play writing, writing for film/video, or writing for audio storytelling.  The program results in the creation of written plays or scripts by one student or groups of students working together.  Scripts created are submitted to the VSA Playwright Discovery competition, which culminates in a workshop and staged reading of select scripts that takes place in Washington DC every fall.

VSA Arts Connect All-Professional Development Program for educators of students with disabilities provides 5 (five) or more instructional hours per educator to improve teaching skills for educators and learning outcomes for students with disabilities in the arts.  This program prepares educators to improve arts education, arts integration, student engagement and academic achievement through the arts.

Arts for All Nevada’s program trains:

Washoe County School District special and general education teachers focusing on integrating the arts into their year-round curriculum. For general education teachers they are also trained on integrating the arts into their curriculum and disability training as needed.

Middle, high school and other art teachers who work in mainstreamed and other settings focusing on disability issues including adapting equipment/materials and use of assistive devices/technology.

   VSA Children’s Visual Art Discovery Program gives students with disabilities the skills to create original works of visual art and to express and explore the disability experience via a variety of visual arts medium and genre.  There is a secondary focus on aesthetics, flexible thinking and experimentation, the development of visual-spacial abilities, reflection and communication skills, and an understanding and appreciation of art.  The 2016-17 theme is  “Yo Soy …Je Suis …I Am… Because you are”.  By making and sharing art, engaging with arts experiences, and participating in cultural events, we create and sustain connections across race, culture, religion, and experience.   These connections bind us to each other; through shared art experiences our humanity becomes bound in the humanity of those around us.  Artwork created by eligible students will be submitted to the online art exhibition, www.kennedy-center.org/education/vsa/programs of “Yo Soy …Je Suis…I Am…” which is part of the VSA’s International Art Program for children with Disabilities annual exhibition of select artwork in Washington, D.C.

This program is provided under a contract with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

VSA Young Soloists Award Each year, a select number of outstanding young musicians with disabilities, ages 14-25, from around the world receive the VSA International Young Soloists Award. These emerging musicians win a $2,500 prize, professional development experiences, and the opportunity to perform at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Started by Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith in 1984, the program, open to musicians of any instrument or genre, has provided opportunities for hundreds of emerging young musicians with disabilities.

Weekly Wonders art classes with adults who have a disability on Thursday nights.   For many years, Arts for All Nevada has conducted weekly workshops at the Larry D. Johnson Community Center in Sparks.

Youth Art Month Celebration Arts for All Nevada celebrates the importance of the arts in our schools during March and April with an annual “Youth Art Month” exhibit at the Lake Mansion featuring 250 pieces of student artwork on exhibit, created in Arts for All’s (Kindergarten – 12th grade) artist in residency program throughout Washoe, Carson City and Douglas County School Districts.

Past Programs:

Arts for All Nevada has conducted programs in several rural areas of the state including hands-on art festivals in Ely, Winnemucca, Battle Mountain, Elko, and Austin.  Festivals have also been held at the three special education schools in Las Vegas, (Miller, Helen J. Stewart and Variety) and  at the Community College of Southern Nevada.

Arts for All Nevada conducted an extensive program in Elko at the Juvenile Detention Center.

For several years, Arts for All Nevada conducted weekly workshops with clients from Holdsworth Homes located in Carson City.

Arts for All Nevada has a “Start with the Arts” training manual for pre-school/early childhood educators.  Trainings have been held at the throughout the state and at several early childhood conferences.

Arts for All Nevada partnered with Camp Lotsafun, a residential camp for children and adults who have disabilities to provide arts opportunities and training activities for their staff.

With the VA Sierra Nevada Health Care System/ David J. Drakulich Art Foundation, Arts fro All Nevada provided veterans who receive care at the VA Sierra Nevada Health Care System in Reno quality arts experiences through artist-in-residence programs.  Workshops at the hospital are currently funded by the David J. Drakulich Art Foundation. This rehabilitative program for veterans builds communication skills, independence, and self-esteem.   Due to Arts for All Nevada’s successful program at the hospital, VA administrators saw the value of the arts for their patients and decided to bring an arts program in-house!

For Several years Arts for All Nevada provided a weekly program for veterans in the Las Vegas area at Arville House, the VA Hospital and a VA nursing home.  Due to the lack of funding, this program was eliminated.

For questions regarding programs, contact Arts for All Nevada at 826-6100 ext. 2#, info@artsforallnevada.org.