New Leaders Assess The State Of The State's Arts Community


Nevada School of the Arts

Suzuki violinists perform at a Nevada School of the Arts recital.

Nevada’s arts community has some new faces and some familiar faces in new places.

The Nevada Arts Council, Nevada Ballet Theatre, Nevada School of the Arts and UNLV’s College of Fine Arts have all received an injection of new leadership in the last 18 months.

With their fresh eyes, these educators, empresarios and administrators see the arts as integral in boosting the state’s quality of life. They also say they can set an example for the rest of the Nevada by bridging the north-south divide that sometimes leaves the Reno and Las Vegas ends of the state looking at the other with suspicion.

This new generation of arts leaders includes:

  • Nevada School of the Arts CEO Patrick Duffy, a longtime arts advocate in Las Vegas who took his new job this spring. He says arts organizations need to better embrace collaboration.


  • “If your mission, if your vision, if part of your overall organization links up or aligns with other organizations – link up – align – you will be surprised.”

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  • “There is all of this cross-pollination I think already in place. I think there is certainly a possibility for much, much more… I was one of those ignorant people that thought that Las Vegas was really just about the Strip and tourists.”


  • Tony Manfredi, executive director of the Nevada Arts Council. He was named to his post in late 2017 and part of his job description is to “coalesce” the state's arts community.


  • “Drawing people into the community is not just about the tax advantage that we have, it’s not just about the climate or things of that nature, it’s really about quality of life that is there'


  • Dean Nancy Uscher, the head of UNLV’s College of Fine Arts started in late 2016. She wants to weave the college and its Barrick Museum of Art more into the fabric of the community.


  • “I think what I learned when I came to two years ago and it has only been substantiated more and more as I’m here is the collegiality, is the openness, is the willingness to collaborate, is the amazing diversity in our college, in our university, in our region. It is a fantastic asset for our students”

They come on board as arts advocates seek to build an art museum at Symphony Park in Las Vegas, a major project that would need statewide support from the arts community.

Arts advocates assemble, left to right, Tony Manfredi, Nancy Uscher, Patrick Duffy and Roy Kaiser./Credit: Jennifer Vaughan


Roy Kaiser, artistic director, Nevada Ballet Theatre; Patrick Duffy, CEO, Nevada School of the Arts; Tony Manfredi, Executive Director, Nevada Arts Council; Nancy Uscher, dean, UNLV College of Fine Arts 

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