Mayors From Across The Nation Visit Black Rock City

Aug 31, 2018

A group of mayors from across the country are looking to Reno as an example of how arts and culture can power local economies. KUNR's Stephanie Serrano has more.

Mayor Hillary Schieve greeted her counterparts with open arms, this week, as part of the U.S Conference of Mayors a two-day meeting in Reno. The event was an opportunity to exchange ideas on how to maximize the potential of arts and cultural assets in their cities. 

Steve Benjamin is the mayor of Columbia, South Carolina, and is the organization's president. He says the arts help create cities where people want to live.

"Now over the last several years, the last decade or so recognizing that the arts are also a great economic engine, as you create livable communities and as you want to attract the best and brightest, you have to have a good strong cultural and arts infrastructure."

As part of the meeting, the mayors took a trip to Burning Man's Black Rock City. Schieve who chairs the committee for Tourism, Arts, Parks, Entertainment and Sports, says she was excited to showcase Northern Nevada's biggest draw.

"I think there's a lot that mayors can learn about that type of infrastructure and a pop up city. I think it’s pretty fascinating and a lot of cities have also started to purchase Burning Man art for their cities, I think it’s something we're really proud of."

During the conference Mayor Steve Benjamin shared an upcoming study by Americans for the Arts, finding that more than 70 percent of Americans believe the arts help them better understand other cultures and help unify communities.