Sheri Samson
Nevada Community Arts Director Shoshana Zeldner directed an open forum to benefit the Mineral County Arts Council recently.

A resurgence for the Mineral County Arts Council (MCAC) came when Shoshana Zeldner, Community Arts Director from the Nevada Arts Council, brought together a local group for an open forum regarding artistic and cultural awareness for the area. Several MCAC members were present, joined by a few community leaders and one high school student, Diego Pittman. The eight- member panel gave an interesting balance of interaction, ideas and desires for the Hawthorne area to expand the broad expansion of art within the community.

Using a brainstorming technique to create ideas and concerns, Zeldner had attendees list the assets, dreams and obstacles within the local region, including buildings and groups which could help further the arts through music, plays, dance and artistic displays. The meeting was designed to target grants and opportunities to be implemented into the town’s fabric of vast talents and expand within participation from the local children.

Zeldner stated, “Once a vision is narrowed down and formulated, the needs can be supported with appropriate avenues of funding and locations for all ages.”

This specific meeting was just one being held state-wide as a strategic planning within Nevada to heighten the use of the arts within all towns across the state. By supporting various events within the arts, tourism can grow, as well as providing an extension of local awareness.

In the aspect of identifying obstacles, teen Pittman shared his personal insight. To him the lack of teen involvement was due to a loss of dedicated mentors; no strong encouragement toward the arts and the need to provide a safe place to constantly share your talent within Hawthorne.

“If you have nowhere to share your artistic talents throughout the year, many kids just give up. There is that fear of failing and the intimidation involved in sharing your talent that keeps some from ever trying out new things. I would like to see more community support for everyone,” Pittman admitted.

As the panel reviewed the many positive aspects within Hawthorne, it was revealed that locating artistic people is not the limiting issue within Mineral County. The desire for a designated facility to constantly allow a variety of artistic expressions to be shared seemed to be one highlighted point on the “wish list” with Zeldner. The local library and Souled Out were praised for their opportunities of the arts, but the desire for a well-organized involvement from the community was also acknowledged.

This forum came just prior to the Armed Forces Art Show, which did see a tremendous amount of support from visitors, plus some of the displayed artwork was purchased during the weekend at the Souled Art facility. Member Bea Whitley was seated at a table to sponsor the NAPP – Nevada Art Postcard Project. Hand-decorated postcards were previously completed, allowing visitors to fill in personal messages to share with national and local representatives about the importance of retaining the arts within this state. This effort has a goal of sending over 1000 postcards to the Legislature for the Arts Director, as a grassroots endeavor to support Arts and Humanities.

Whitley personally shared her own journey of artistic importance stating, “When I was a child, I had comprehension problems while learning and then a teacher told me that music is math and poetry is rhythm and since I enjoyed the arts I could learn other subjects because it was all tied in to one another. It helped me growing up.”

With one Mineral County focus group completed, another will be formulated. To find out more about this public survey contact (775) 687-7109, Nevada Arts Council or access on line at