Ever notice how television, magazines, radio and the media in this town sing the praises of anything or anyone who comes into this town as a musician, artist, actor, producer or patron rather than looking at the real artists who lay the groundwork and do the sweat labor over the years and decades?
What about the actor in low budget or no budget films or community theater, the background extra, the overworked production assistant, the writer who slaves at blogs or on unpublished research and fiction, the muralist or street artist or musician or performer? The locals born and raised who live paycheck to paycheck or worse in order to do their art and craft?
What about those who are not wealthy or famous or high profile who serve on board, committees, at the labor level or who earn sweat equity with no return other than their part in the art and culture that underlies this town? Why is this a city and state where too many outsiders and newcomers say there is no art or culture here...or who equate those who donate to Nevada Public Radio or Public Television or the Smith Center in big ways as proof that there is "culture here" and never look beyond what is in the media or what someone from LA or Chicago or NYC or anywhere else defines as "art" or "culture".
How about paying a living wage to those who are the true artists and foundation of our state, who have garage apartments that double as studios, who drive across town despite not being able to afford gas or who take long bus rides to volunteer their talents and services?
How about posting about them? Share your story or the story of others. Share your photos, your friends work, the long time Las Vegans who are the true underseen and underestimated, underappreciated and underrepresented heart of art, culture and the reality of Las Vegas as a cultural town.
I know piano and voice teachers who played with great artists, compose work appreciated elsewhere, help young and growing talent to discover their passion and potential.
I know mural artists who work for nothing or near nothing to express themselves, beautify, communicate and emote on a part of Nevada and Las Vegas culture others prefer to look away from.
I know the hard work done by those active in arts, entertainment and craft unions and by those who prefer not to join but fight just as hard for the quality and truth of the work and its value in our world, our society.
I know of sites on Facebook and on the web that take you beyond what the traditional and money driven media takes you.
I do my blogging, much of my teaching and my service nationally and locally for SAG-AFTRA and other organizations without pay (as do others in our community of artists) and while I am at a point in life where money is an issue and no future seems to include enough to live on, I will continue to put in four to ten hours a day doing what I believe in. But I do it and so to hundreds, perhaps thousands of others in this state.
One thing the nature of the money people in this town have created, is the need by those who want to seek money, or their version of monatary success, to self promote, the ego driven, "what can you do for me fast" attitude that underlies some of the art and artistic businesses in this town.
Submit your work, your thoughts, your ideas, share the work of others, sites others put together for the art and craft and not self gain, your trailers, demo reels, projects, cast list and performance or screening schedules to firstname.lastname@example.org.
And thank you to everyone who fits in the underfunded, lower profile, struggling for their art and craft group that is the foundation, history and real arts community of Las Vegas and Nevada!
Photo is mural artist, painter, sculptor John Pacheco, one of many artist born and raised in Las Vegas