Double Down - A Blog

Jan 31, 2018 | Posted by By Aria Overli

As a cultural anthropologist, the role of ritual (repeated actions imbued with cultural meaning) regarding protest fascinates me. Evidence shows that rituals become more defined and more frequent when a group of people feel particularly without control. In the age of President Trump, we often see this lack of control coupled with anger resulting in protest as ritual. This is not a moral judgment, as ritual plays essential roles, such as strengthening community bonds and providing a sense of control and direction. Nonetheless, it should be taken into a critique of what we should be doing to strengthen our protests to ensure their roles in creating concrete action and change. 

Jan 25, 2018 | Posted by By Emily K. Hobson

“All politics are local.” As the adage tells us, people become politically involved when issues are close to home. Few people are motivated to take action for abstract principles, but large numbers rally, march, and build organizations when they feel directly affected, and when solutions seem close at hand. Social movements begin by speaking to people’s immediate circumstances – whether those of their natural environments, neighborhoods, or families. 


No wonder that the recent Salon offered by Nevada Humanities, The Politics of Protest in Nevada, won a packed house. The panel addressed struggles over land, broadly defined: from Western...

Jan 17, 2018

Next week, the Western Folklife Center in Elko will host the annual National Cowboy Poetry Gathering on January 29-February 3, 2018. Nevada Humanities has proudly funded the Gathering every year throughout its 34-year run!


This is not an ordinary festival. The Gathering is a weeklong festival of poetry, music, and cultural arts, with workshops beginning on Sunday, January 28, and a wide range of events happening day and night throughout the week at the Western Folklife Center, the Elko Convention Center, and other sites in Elko. This year’s theme is Basques & Buckaroos: Herding...

Jan 11, 2018


2017 marked a year of unrest, contentious politics, and peaceful protests held throughout the country, including some here in Nevada. The Women’s March, the largest mass protest in Northern Nevada’s history, took place last January in downtown Reno with over 10,000 people peacefully protesting. Numerous protests were held around that time with themes radiating around human rights, immigration issues, and climate change, similar protests like the Women’s March are planned for 2018.


Jan 4, 2018 | Posted by Christina Barr

As we kick off the New Year at Nevada Humanities, we are excited to launch some new initiatives and energize some seasoned humanities favorites. Having adopted the Nevada Center for the Book in 2017, we will now be producing the year-long, statewide Nevada Reads program. Throughout 2018, Nevadans everywhere will be reading two books; Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opioid Epidemic by Sam Quinones and Marlena: A Novel by Julie Buntin. Both books wrestle with our nation's opioid crisis in unique ways. We are looking forward to the community book club conversations that we will host throughout the state in 2018 to discuss these books and the issues they address. 


We are...

Oct 8, 2015 | Posted by Karen Wikander

“Over centuries of change -- through trial and triumph -- the arts and humanities have chronicled history in ways that have brought the past to life and provided a vivid vision for our journey forward.  Today, we continue to live in an ever-changing world, and the arts and humanities help us experience it in truer colors and tones.  When we harness our artistic creativity -- from canvases to concertos -- we can give shape to our emotions and channel our innermost hopes.  During National Arts and Humanities Month, we celebrate artistic expression in all its forms and honor the ways they help define the great American story.”

President Obama, Presidential Proclamation – National Arts & Humanities Month, 2015...

May 1, 2015 | Posted by Scott Dickensheets
(The following is based on a Q&A — which I have liberally tinkered with, including adding some of my own questions — with Kristen Peterson of the Las Vegas Weekly)

Why did you choose the subject of impermanence? 

Last year, in my capacity as deputy editor of Desert Companion magazine, I profiled an art photographer named Marshall Schuettle. A lot of his work grapples with transience and permanence — marginalized people in tenuous situations, a social infrastructure that feels like it could collapse at any moment, fleeting intersections of desire and cityscape, but sometimes juxtaposed against majestic landscapes evoking unchanging time. And that got me thinking: How much art have I seen that addressed transience in a...

Apr 15, 2015 | Posted by Christina Barr

I first became aware of StoryCorps - a nonprofit organization dedicated to recording and archiving the stories and conversations of everyday people - shortly after it launched in 2003 and placed its first listening booth in Grand Central Station in New York City. As a folklorist, I was amazed and impressed at the populism of that recording booth, and even recored my own interview there. Now, twelve years later, StoryCorps has recorded more than 50,000 interviews from more than 100,000 participants around the globe. The StoryCorps archive is housed at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. Nevada Humanities partnered with KUNR Reno Public...

Mar 18, 2015 | Posted by Alicia Barber, Ph.D

[Harolds Club patriarch Raymond I. “Pappy” Smith purchased Cremer’s Motel in the early 1950s, thoroughly renovated the property, and reopened it as Harolds Pony Express Lodge.  Photo courtesy of Special Collections, University of Nevada, Reno Libraries.]

When I began to interview small business owners, neighborhood residents, and city representatives about Reno’s 4th Street back in 2011, I had no idea that  more than three  years later, I would be announcing the launch of a multimedia digital feature dedicated to the history of 4th Street and its companion street in Sparks, Prater Way.

And yet here we are! The new site, housed on the ONE at...

Feb 13, 2015 | Posted by Karen Wikander

Exciting news for the 2015 Nevada Reads! The surveys have been compiled, the votes tallied, and a book selection has been made.

Nevada Reads is the state's first "one read" program, with people from throughout Nevada reading a selected text and then coming together to discuss the work at lectures, book clubs, and various panel events.

The 2015 Nevada Reads novel is We Are Called to Rise, by Laura McBride, a writer and community college teacher in Las Vegas, Nevada.

"Three lives are bound together by a split-second mistake, and a child’s fate hangs in the balance. What happens next will test—and restore—your faith in humanity.

Far from the neon lights of the Vegas strip, three lives are about to collide. A middle...