One of the biggest complaints I hear from locals in Las Vegas is that the city lacks culture. It is Sin City that focuses on drinking, gambling, and strippers. However, many locals may not be aware of the city’s efforts to change that. Las Vegas has been growing in museums and cultural events. On top of that, there are theaters and shows that have been around for quite some time. If you want to expand your cultural experience in Sin City, these places will provide with you more than enough.
Nevada Ballet Theatre
I had no idea Las Vegas had a ballet company until it popped up on my Facebook. In fact, the theatre has been around since 1972 when VassiliSulich, a dancer in FoliesBergere, presented a dance series to UNLV Performing Arts Center. The fall and spring performance series are performed at Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall. Every year during Christmas, a special performance of The Nutcracker is showcased. Currently for the month of April, it will be showcasing an intimate performance called Beyond Words & Text. For locals that inspire to become dancers, the Nevada Ballet Theatre has an academy that offers classes for any age. Auditions are held yearly for those who would like to be a part of the performances. For more information on series, classes, and information, check out their site at www.nevadaballet.com.
Winchester Cultural Center
Cultural experiences, events, concerts, festivals, and classes all in one big center is located right here in Las Vegas at 3130 McLeod Dr. The center was created by the Clark County Parks and Recreation department. It provides exhibitions for local artists and showcases local talent. It has an art education program for young children, allowing them to explore techniques and learn talent through various venues in Las Vegas. The center also puts on a yearly free festival called Life in Death. It celebrates the Mexican holiday, El Dia de Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead offering food, folklore dance, competitions, and art over a two-day span. On Saturday, April 23, the center is putting on the 25th Anniversary Season of the orchestra. Locals can enjoy the cultural performance for $10. To learn more about the center and where you can purchase tickets, visit the Winchester Cultural Center website.
Most of the casinos offer an art museum featuring national art tours of various artists and exhibitions. However, Las Vegas also has local museums that provide history to the city and different aspects of the environment that many don’t see past the strip. The Las Vegas Springs Preserve, “Big Springs,” is 180 acres of Las Vegas history through gardens, trails, and museums featuring events year round. It is considered the most unique cultural and biological resource in Southern Nevada. The Neon Museum located on N. Las Vegas Blvd, is a collection of refurbished signs on display, along with non-restored signs dating back to the 1940’s in the Neon Boneyard (by appointment only). If you have ever wondered who settled first in the state of Nevada, then you should check out the Nevada State Museum providing exhibits of fossils, geological formations, old Nevada newspapers and photographs.
Throughout the year, Las Vegas is the place for cultural festivals such as San Generro and the Greek Festival. This month, cultures will combine at UNLV’s Festival of Communities featuring food, art, crafts and live performances from different ethic countries. The festival is taking place Saturday, April 16, throughout the UNLV campus. Silverton Casino hosts most of the cultural festivals including the Pure Aloha Festival happening Thursday, April 14 to Sunday, April 17. The 10th Annual event gives Las Vegas a look into the Hawaiian culture with food, drink, music, performances and apparel. Locals can even learn to hula dance – grass skirt optional.
Las Vegas will always hold the title as Sin City, but with a little research and community support, locals can experience a more in-depth side. Festivals, shows, galleries and museums will continue to grow over the years. To find up-to-date information on culture in Las Vegas, just Google, “cultural events in Las Vegas” and you’ll have the cultural world at your fingertips.