January, 2008

Damned Ink Studios celebrates one year of awesomeness

January 31st, 2008


Danny Roberts’ Damned Ink Studios on the second floor of the Arts Factory (101 E. Charleston Blvd.) is celebrating its first anniversary with what promises to be a very cool event tonight, Jan. 31, from 6 to 10 p.m. Not only will Roberts be unveiling some new inks and sketches, but he’s also offering 15% off any purchase, tonight only.

In addition to the usual food and beverages you’ve come to expect at these things, the one-and-only DJ Miss Joy will be providing the musical soundtrack for the evening. As if you needed one more reason.

For more information, visit the Damned Ink Studios website.

No more playing with this doll

January 28th, 2008

We’re sad to read in the Las Vegas Sun that Las Vegas Paper Doll, a unique and upscale stationery and gift store owned by downtown Vegas fixture Anne Kellogg, is closing Feb. 29. Kellogg, according to the Sun, will become marketing and public relations manager for the Las Vegas Art Museum.

We recommend getting over to Paper Doll not only to grab some goodies and say goodbye, but also to check out the new collection of work by local artist and Arts Factory curator Caesar Garcia, originally slated to be on display until March 12, but obviously time is running out.

Downtown Las Vegas: The Movie

January 24th, 2008

Well, not quite … but here’s a very interesting video about the Fremont East nightlife scene starring some of its most popular faces:

CineVegas wants you for its 2008 Film Festival

January 13th, 2008

Wanna be in the movies? Heck, who doesn’t?

Well, it might not get you a role starring opposite Brad Pitt in a Hollywood film, but it could get you a job driving Dennis Hopper from his hotel to a party. That’s right, the CineVegas Film Festival is looking for a few (dozen) good men, women and whatever to volunteer or work during its 10th annual festival, to be held June 12 through 21 at the Palms Casino Resort.

They need all kinds of part- and full-time help, both paid and unpaid, including box office manager, press coordinator, theatre manager, drivers, assistants, coordinators, what have you. There’s plenty to be done, and take it from us, there are few situations more fun than the CineVegas Film Festival that don’t include cocaine and hookers.

Interested? Of course you are. Get more full job listings and descriptions at www.cinevegas.com/takepart/jobs or sign up to volunteer at www.cinevegas.com/takepart/volunteer.

First Friday Las Vegas faces new funding challenge in 2008

January 8th, 2008

capital h
(capital h gallery, First Friday, October 2006)

What started as hushed rumors last month has developed into full-blown — and painful — truth: the City of Las Vegas has cut its funding for the monthly First Friday arts festival in downtown Las Vegas, forcing Whirlygig, Inc. — the nonprofit that runs the event — to turn to its patrons for support.

“We believe the thousands of people who participate in First Friday want to see it continue, and will willingly make this small gesture of support,” said Whirlygig executive director Nancy Higgins in a press release. “We also thank the City of Las Vegas Office of Cultural Affairs for all they have done over the past five years and for what they will continue to do for this popular community event in the future.”

Just what the city will continue to do is act as host sponsor for only six events during the year, reportedly in the milder months, to better capitalize on opportunities for increased participation in the festival. Outside of that $80,000 annual sponsorship, Whirlygig is left to its own devices to support the festival’s hard costs — security, stages, power, toilets, lighting, etc. — and that means (you all saw this coming, right?) asking all First Friday attendees for a $2 donation. Remember those fences that went up around the heart of the festival on Casino Center Boulevard starting last year? Those gates will now become donation-making access points.

Now, $2 a month per person is not a lot to ask. And certain sponsors are offering incentives, such as drink discounts at the Downtown Cocktail Room and Big Island Smoothies, with the sticker each paid admission receives. But here’s the question: How does this help the art scene grow? The answer is: Even though it obviously won’t, maybe it shouldn’t.

For years now, what started as a relatively small gathering of a few hundred people in 2002 has slowly turned into a bloated street party that lost its connection to the original purpose, which we think had something to do with connecting artists and art-lovers. The festival likely reached critical mass long before its fifth anniversary last October, and with the development of the Fremont East Entertainment District, “First Friday” now has two meanings: The art festival, in which both artists and patrons have lost interest; and the pub crawl, which has increased in popularity to the point that for many people, “First Friday” starts at 10 p.m. inside the Beauty Bar.

Whirlygig has taken certain measures to try and revive the festival, especially the increasingly sparse offerings on Casino Center. Brian and Jennifer Henry, who ran capital h gallery inside the Arts Factory for a number of years (and who currently produce the First Friday Newsletter), have been tapped to curate the tents along Casino Center. However, especially starting with the coldest months of the year, the resourceful couple has an uphill battle ahead.

Some voices in the scene have anonymously noted this signals not only the death of First Friday, but also the Vegas art scene in general. Others speculate — as we do — that this could be just the thing needed to cut the fat from the bloated event and return it to a beacon for the art scene, not the beached whale it seems to have become.

‘Redacted,’ ‘The Future is Unwritten’ just a few offerings in CineVegas Art House series

January 3rd, 2008

Scene from Redacted
A scene from Brian De Palma’s Redacted, showing Jan. 10 – 17 at Galaxy Neonopolis.

Who says Las Vegas has no culture? Um, OK, so a lot of people do. Thousands. But they’re all wrong. And as usual, CineVegas is out to prove that. The annual film festival is kicking off its Art House Screening Series on Jan. 10 with a screening of Brian De Palma’s controversial Iraq War film, Redacted, at the Galaxy Neonopolis (450 Fremont St.).

The Jan. 10 screening, a fundraiser for KNPR, will be followed by a panel discussion moderated by KNPR’s “State of Nevada” host Dave Berns, featuring discussion by Las Vegas Weekly writer Joshua Longobardy and UNLV history professor Joseph Fry. Redacted will continue to screen through Jan. 17.

Other films in the series showing at Neonopolis include Joe Strummer: The Future is Unwritten (Jan. 18 – 24), Pierrot le Fou (Jan. 25 – 31), Weirdsville (Feb. 1 – 7), Kurt Cobain: About a Son (Feb. 8 – 14) and The Walker (Feb. 29 – Mar. 6). From Feb. 15 – 28, a mini-David Lynch festival of sorts will offer the new documentary Lynch, Eraserhead, Inland Empire and a number of Lynch’s shorts.

CineVegas is also holding another benefit screening on Jan. 17, this time for Power 88.1-FM, at Galaxy Cannery (2121 E. Craig Road), featuring Mr. Untouchable, which will screen at that location through Jan. 24.

Tickets to all screenings are $8.75 for adults Sunday through Thursday, $9 for adults Friday and Saturday, $6 for bargain matinee and $6 for children, students, senior and military. Tickets may be purchased at Galaxy Neonopolis, and more information can be found at www.cinevegas.com/screenings.