Sunday, Aug. 10, 2008 | 2:06 a.m.
As the entertainment capital of the world, Las Vegas is flush with artistic performers, designers and sound and lighting technicians who work in the resort industry. As a large metropolitan area, the valley also has a wide variety of other individuals who have no connection to resorts, including painters, musicians and writers.
What has been lacking in Southern Nevada is a well-run organization that can bring all of these artists together and connect them with the public.
That is why we would like to see the new Metro Arts Council succeed. As Las Vegas Sun reporter Kristen Peterson wrote in story published Thursday, the nonprofit council wants to unite the Las Vegas arts community through networking, support of smaller organizations, marketing and grant writing, research and assessing the needs of community arts groups.
The council, made up mostly of arts and business representatives, could serve as a resource for the Nevada Arts Council when the state agency seeks money from the Nevada Legislature. The council could also present a unified voice on cultural matters, such as public art, that are discussed on occasion by the Clark County Commission and Southern Nevada’s municipalities.
The council is getting off to a good start by establishing a Web site with the working title Experience Las Vegas that locals and tourists will be able to access to learn about the valley’s cultural activities, thanks to a $30,000 grant from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.
The importance of having a strong arts community in Southern Nevada cannot be overemphasized. Look at great American cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco and one thing they have in common is a thriving arts scene that is well-publicized and familiar to the public.
It would benefit artists throughout the valley to throw their support behind the council because there is strength in numbers. The payoff could be increased cultural opportunities for all to enjoy.