Renoites have little excuse to stay inside during the month of July.
As part of Reno's annual Artown festival, the city-wide, month-long celebration of creativity, there will be Cuban music playing in churches, classic films playing in the the parks and art shows in backyard gardens.
"If you can't come to downtown Reno, Artown is coming to you," said Artown Executive Director Beth Macmillan on Tuesday during an official lineup announcement at the Reno Little Theater.
Artown will kick off on July 1 with the California Honeydrops, Moondog Matinee and the RJS Brass Revival. The festival will close on July 31 with A Tribe Called Red, a Canadian DJ collective that fuses traditional Native American music with electronica.
The Revolution (Prince’s original band); Randy Newman, The SteelDrivers; Che Malambo dance troupe from Argentina; Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals and many more bands will take the stage throughout the month.
About 70 percent of Artown's 500 events will be free this year, including the popular movies in the park series every Friday evening, the Wednesday night "Cultural Connections" concerts and regular city mural tours.
Many of the artists will be interacting with Artown attendees. Haitian artist Emiline Michel will talk about Haiti's survival of consecutive natural disasters, Iranian American singer-songwriter Azam Ali will be speaking about feminism and her inability to perform in her home country, and the Villalobos Brothers will be hosting a community jam session in the Luna Maya Plaza.
Artown also is working to expose local talent by creating an "Artown Under the Radar" program where artists -- not necessarily in the same genre -- are paired together to create commissioned collaboration. Artown will feature five such acts this summer.
The organization is working to include the region's bilingual population by printing 50,000 "little books" -- or schedules -- and 10,000 additional ones in Spanish. The festival also is debuting a bilingual "Discover the Arts" event every Saturday at the Larry D. Johnson Community Center.
The booklets are online and will be distributed at sponsor and presenter locations including all Raley’s grocery stores, Washoe County libraries and will be in a basket outside at the Artown office at 528 W. First St.
The organization also noted that it will be increasing the number of events it holds outside of the July festival. This fall, it is bringing "Piaf," a Paris show about the life of singer Edith Piaf to the Pioneer Center for Performing Arts; a musical celebrations of Dia de Los Muertos; world jazz orchestra Pink Martini; and Jad Abumrad from RadioLab accompanied by cellist Zoe Keating.
A full calendar of events is online at Renoisartown.com.