Arts and Culture

Man looks away from camera. He has a cowboy hat on.
Jessi LeMay

The Reno Rodeo 100 is a multimedia storytelling series commemorating the event’s 100th anniversary. In this excerpt, Brett Scheerer from Businessman’s Steer Decorating, remembers a time when a poor soul lost his pants...at the Reno Rodeo. He shared the comical tale at an open mic night.

Reno Rodeo 100: 'Woman In Labor!'

Jun 24, 2019
Lucia Starbuck

The Reno Rodeo 100 is a multimedia storytelling series commemorating the event’s 100th anniversary. In this excerpt, Julianna Waller recounts the story of her sister’s birth - and how it almost happened at the event one year. She shared her story from the rodeo grounds. 

A woman holds a camera.
Lucia Starbuck

To celebrate and capture the history of the Reno Rodeo's 100th anniversary, multimedia storyteller Jessi LeMay has interviewed more than 75 individuals about their memories of this Western event. She’s talked to cowboys, competitors, queens and everyone in between for the project she's created, Reno Rodeo 100. She spoke with KUNR’s Lucia Starbuck about the project.

Reno Rodeo 100: Guy Clifton On The First Rodeo

Jun 21, 2019
A man in a white cowboy hat speaks into a mic.
Jessi LeMay

The Reno Rodeo kicked off this week for its 100th year. KUNR is covering the anniversary with several stories, including excerpts from a multimedia project called Reno Rodeo 100. For the project, locals have been sharing their memories of the rodeo during open mic nights. They include Guy Clifton, who has written a book about the event’s history. Today, he explains how the rodeo first began a century ago.

History Buff, Author & Rodeo Fan: Guy Clifton

Jun 18, 2019
A man in a black shirt, with black glasses and a grey goatee, stands in front of a large photo of a jumping horse.
Lucia Starbuck

Former journalist and current history buff Guy Clifton covered the Reno Rodeo for two decades and wrote a book on the event’s first 80 years. He’s teamed up with the Nevada Historical Society to showcase parts of the event’s history in a new exhibit. He spoke with KUNR’s Holly Hutchings about some of the unknown nuggets he’s discovered from years of research and reporting on this cultural staple.

A woman next to a microphone.
Paulapoundstone.com

Public radio listeners may already know Paula Poundstone from her long-running gig as a panelist on the NPR quiz show, "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me," but she currently is on tour, has a new puppy, loves vaccuum cleaners, and spoke about all of these things (and more!) with KUNR's Michele Ravera. Their conversation comes just before Poundstone is scheduled to perform in Reno on Saturday, June 1, at the Pioneer Center.

National Park Service

You may have heard of a mysterious 137-year-old Winchester rifle that was discovered in Nevada's Great Basin National Park a few years ago. It sparked worldwide interest at the time. Now, it's found a permanent home.

Beyond Signage: Exploring Neon As Art

May 3, 2019
Holly Hutchings

While neon once brought to mind retro advertising for seedy adult businesses and dive bars, it is now often seen as art. Holly Hutchings talks to one artist who has been making the colorful craft for decades.

How Neon Glows On

May 2, 2019
Holly Hutchings

Vibrant glowing tubes of neon have illustrated the Nevada story for a century, as they line quaint main streets and urban centers. The stories behind the bright and bended glass have also dominated our arts and culture coverage through the month of April in a series we called Sparked. Holly Hutchings took a deeper look into this part of our history with multiple stories. She talked to Bree Zender about the series and how neon lives on.

A man sits next to a neon bull.
Holly Hutchings

Persistence of vision. That’s what Will Durham, executive director of the Nevada Neon Project, calls it when he talks about seeing the Nevada Neon Project through years of setbacks and successes to achieve his ultimate goal to have a world-class museum in Reno. His goal is firm, as is his resolve and dedication to reach it.

Truckee Meadows Community College is canceling its lease at its Keystone Avenue Performing Arts Center. As first reported in ThisisReno last year, TMCC is not renewing its lease at the Keystone location for financial and safety reasons. Although considered by the college as far back as 2015, TMCC President Karin Hilgerson surprised faculty last year by quietly deciding not to renew the lease. 

Ensuring Neon's Place In Nevada History

Apr 23, 2019
Governor Steve Sisolak sits at his desk with kids behind him as he signs a bill they wrote and lobbied for.
Holly Hutchings

Like sturdy maple trees in Vermont or the sugary fried beignets of Louisiana, states have their own icons that instantly connect the symbol to its place. Nevada has neon. Some local advocates for the noble gas have been working to get its spot in the history books by making neon the state’s official element this legislative session.

The work paid off, and Governor Steve Sisolak signed the bill into law Tuesday, but the bill’s proponents are not who you might think, and KUNR’s Holly Hutchings has been following them for months.

Touring Reno's Neon

Apr 22, 2019
Krysta Scripter

The best way to experience neon is to step into the night air, get up close and let the light sink in. Reno MoMo, or Modern Movement, is hosting neon walking tours that let everyday people do just that. The group takes curious guests through back alleys and down busy roads to share the tales of the neon. Holly Hutchings joined them on a recent stroll and has this story.

Lightning In A Bottle...Or Tube

Apr 19, 2019
A huge, brightly lit neon sign of a horse and its rider stands tall on Fremont Street in Las Vegas.
Jakob Owens on Unsplash

The science of neon hasn't changed in over a century. What charged the gas to life as a 1900's advertising medium still burns it brightly today. For KUNR's detailed series on neon, Holly Hutchings traveled to our counterpart in the South and spoke with a physicist about what he calls, lightning in a bottle. 

Hunting Neon In Rural And Urban Nevada

Apr 17, 2019
A pink neon sign in the shape of a woman resting in a large martini glass glows from the window of The Sandpiper in Elko.
Peter and Sheila Laufer

Nevada’s urban hubs and hidden rural pockets have long been dotted with neon signs. Authors Peter Laufer and Sheila Laufer used to live in Silver City and have crisscrossed Nevada three times over 40 years, hunting that neon. Their book, Neon Nevada, captures the changing story of neon across the region with colorful images and detailed narratives. Holly Hutchings caught up with them to learn about what they saw on their nocturnal quests.

Sheila and Peter Laufer

As part of the "Sparked: Northern Nevada's Neon" series we are taking you on a visual road trip across rural Nevada to explore some of the states iconic neon signs. Images for this storymap were provided by Sheila and Peter Laufer, authors of Neon Nevada

Jana Sayson

In 1872, a lead box was embedded in the foundation of the Reno Mercantile building. On Tuesday, the contents of this time capsule were revealed to the public. As KUNR’s Bree Zender reports, the box housed newspapers, coins, a bottle opener and a few surprises. 

Going Dark: Rescuing Nevada's Neon Signs

Apr 17, 2019
An old, faded sign stands tall with the letters for "motel" stacked high.
Holly Hutchings

Motels are coming down in Reno, and with that, their signs - works of art and advertising from the automobile revolution - have been lost. While Reno redevelops, bits of roadside history are being discarded. A few dedicated folks are working to recognize and also preserve these icons. KUNR’s Holly Hutchings learned more and has this report.

Neon Sign Preservation Goes Digital

Apr 8, 2019
A man and woman sit at a computer, working on a website to digitally preserve neon signs.
Holly Hutchings

You’ve heard of classic neon signs of bygone buildings being preserved in museums and boneyards, but one professor at the University of Nevada, Reno is taking preservation digital. Dr. Katherine Hepworth is working with a team to document neon signs from Reno’s past, as well as signs left standing, with the goal of eventually allowing all to access and enjoy the design and history of the signs. KUNR’s Holly Hutchings talked to her about the project and has this interview.

Video: 38 Years Of Making Neon In Northern Nevada

Apr 4, 2019
A man stands in front of a work table, holding a small neon sign.
Krysta Scripter

Ken Hines has been working with neon for 38 years and describes himself as the last full-time neon tube-bender in Northern Nevada, making him an asset to the local sign industry. He won't be around forever though, and when KUNR first met him, he was looking for an apprentice. 

Since then, he's found one, and he expects to stay in business for another 10 or so years while also teaching his craft to the next generation.  KUNR took a look inside his studio at Artech to learn more. 

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