Initiative moves forward to bridge gap between rural, urban Nevada

Updated May 15, 2019 - 5:45 pm

Nevada Travel Exchange, an initiative that wants to bridge the gap between Nevada’s rural and urban communities has successfully moved forward since it launched in Tonopah in April, officials said.

The program is designed to engage intercommunity arts initiatives, identify and encourage new funding streams, and cross-sector partnerships and collaborative approaches for arts and culture programming among other things. One of the requirements of the program is to create a partnership and produce an arts-based initiative within one year.

Michelle Patrick, a community arts development specialist at the Nevada Arts Council, a state arm of the Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs that put together the program, said that organizers created a space with various opportunities for participants to network and present collaborative partnership ideas in “an informal, but inviting setting.”

“The pilot launched in Tonopah, which not only offered its rich mining history but also limited the amount of distractions generally found in larger urban areas. The Nevada Arts Council will be pairing the partnerships up to determine the best use of each intercommunity exchange,” Patrick said.

The program currently has 52 individuals from across the state who will identify their measure of impact within their respective communities, Patrick said. The initiatives will be created and implemented by each partnership.

“The NAC intends to pair larger organizations from the urban areas with smaller organizations and/or artists from rural areas to help leverage specific resources and needs. The needs vary from each community, but most of the commonalities identified in both areas include access to arts, infrastructure, audience engagement and of course, limited funding. All of their initiatives will be centered around community development and creative impact,” she said.

The Nevada Arts Council expects to see the results of the collaboration efforts within the next 6 months, she said.

“It’s hard to say what we can expect to see being that we just launched the program, but we do expect to see the results of their collaborative efforts within the next six months. … We can’t wait to see what they come up with!” Patrick said.

The program has already received “incredible” feedback from some of the participants and media coverage, Patrick said. Based on the response, organizers are extending an additional day to allow participants to network and solidify their project ideas, she said.

“We also want to invite the first cohort and share stories of their experiences and initiative process. We’ll convene once again in Tonopah,” Patrick said.

The 2020 Nevada Basin Range Exchange will take place on April 20-22, 2020 in Tonopah. The application will open on Jan. 6, 2020 and close Feb. 9, 2020.

For more information, please contact Community Arts Development Specialist, Michelle Patrick: or 702-486-3732.

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