Welcome to Arts for All Nevada

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 facility.

Arts for All Nevada offers a diverse selection of art Classes and Camps, for both children and adults, year-round, but the organization offers so much more. Below is a list of the extensive programming offered. Most of these programs are free of charge for the participant. For questions regarding programs, call 826-6100 ext. 2#, info@artsforallnevada.org.

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 and the “Art Happens Here” classroom.  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 .

Arts for All Nevada Programs:

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

Arts for All Nevada’s teaching artists conduct over 1,000 art workshops each year in approximately 175 Pre-Kindergarten–12th grade special and general education classrooms in Washoe, Carson City, and Storey County. This is our largest program.  Each year, depending on funds raised, each classroom sees an artist up to 10 times. Workshops include art, creative movement, and theater in over 42 different schools.

For the 2018-19 school year, in addition to a contract provided by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts generous supporters of this program include:  the Marshall R. Matley Foundation, NV Energy, City of Reno’s Arts & Culture Commission, Safeway Foundation, John Ben Snow Memorial Trust Fund,  Umpqua Bank Charitable Foundation’s Community Giving Program  and the “Rich in Art” license plate funds.


ASL 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 Caughlin Ranch, Double Diamond, Roy Gomm, Huffaker, Hunter Lake, Bernice Matthews, Rollan Melton, 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 bedside workshops at Renown Children’s Hospital for youth who are hospitalized.  In 2019, this weekly program is sponsored by the Community Foundation of Western Nevada’s 2018 Youth in Philanthropy Thursday High School Giving Circle.

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 worked with 15 different kindergarten classrooms throughout Washoe County to develop pre-literacy and literacy initiatives for children with developmental delays. Thanks to a William G. McGowan Charitable Fund grant in 2015-16, AFAN conducted 20 workshops in each classroom. With additional funding, we hope to continue this program in the future.

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 youth 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 Wednesday – Friday from 1 PM – 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 2018, this program has changed to a one-day festival on June 11, 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 2017-18 school year, these schools have included:  Double Diamond,  Hunsberger, Alice Maxwell, Mt. Rose, and Verdi Elementary Schools in Washoe County and Hillside Elementary in Storey County.

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 Your 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.

Arts for All Nevada’s teaching artists Carol Johnson and Elaine Slikkerveer developed art lessons that took the curriculum from STEM to STEAM. The students participated in several different art activities that were relevant to the STEAM curriculum and allowed them to integrate materials from the outdoor environment into their final pieces. Each student created a beautiful watercolor painting and then “collaged” using moss, twigs, and other material they found during their hikes around the camp. Another project used the outdoor setting as inspiration to make designs using yarn. Finally, each student left the camp with a personalized t-shirt that was painted with the Sierra Nevada Journeys mountain logo and each students’ special interpretation of a branch with pinecones on it. Over the three days the students learned to appreciate the connection between the arts and the environment.

For many of the students this was their first time away from home overnight without a parent or guardian. That experience alone made the trip a life-long memory and for some a life-changing event.

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 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 mediums and genres.  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 2017-18 theme is  “Yo Soy …Je Suis …I Am… Motivated to Create.”  Humans create art for many reasons—to capture images we find appealing, to process experiences, to share our views with others—but above all the creation of art is a way to actively participate in the cultural fabric of our world. President John F. Kennedy understood that the contributions of art are central to any society, and that artists push everyone to better engage in the community around them. How do you create understanding, harmony, and change in your community? Show us! Artwork created by eligible students will be submitted to the online art exhibition, “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.

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 for 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!

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 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.

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.

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

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