‘Center’ of Attention

Here’s what community stakeholders are saying

Nate Bynum, Actor/UNLV Theater Professor

“I applaud the introduction of The Smith Center to Las Vegas. It centralizes what we all do in different size venues across the city. At UNLV, with our primary mission of training students, we take great pride in producing professional shows using [theatrical] professionals from across the country to work with our students. The Smith Center will be another opportunity for [students] to witness art and perhaps a place for them to learn and practice their craft. I’ve already spoken to Smith Center administration about internships and volunteering opportunities for our theater students.” 

Brian Paco Alvarez, Curator, Urban Historian and Blogger

“The Smith Center represents the single largest investment in the cultural arts in Nevada history. … It has the potential to create an artistic revolution. The center itself could inspire a novel artistic movement not seen since Beethoven sparked the Romantic era. … The beauty is that it is built by the community for the community. No longer will the local population be forced to enter a resort to see a spectacle. In addition, [it] democratizes entertainment for the public and makes the theatrical arts accessible to all segments of society. You no longer have a tertiary amenity connected to a larger attraction, but rather the center itself becomes the main attraction.”

Gina Quaranto, Artist and owner of Black Bird Studios

“The Smith Center will be a shining beacon of light in the Arts District. It will invite more people from the outer areas of [the Valley] to the center of our Arts District. Once the general population comes here, they’ll see that downtown is such an amazing, safe and vibrant place that they’ll want to come back and explore all the interesting places, shops and galleries here. That alone is a tremendous step for downtown. And I am so excited to see the productions coming to The Smith Center.”

John L. Smith, Excerpted from his Feb. 21 column in the Las Vegas Review-Journal

“The Smith Center will change the way locals and visitors perceive downtown. It should put a little spring in the step of every resident in the Valley. It’s really something to be proud of. … And I’m not just saying that because they put my name on the building.”

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Broadway Baby

By Una LaMarche

Television has a freakish Darwinian way of mutating and adapting to meet audience demands. We’ve had music-variety shows, music-video channels, reality-star searches hinging on pitch-perfect live performances, and a certain, um, “gleeful” scripted dramedy about high schoolers bursting into Top 40 song at the slightest provocation. And now we have come full circle with Smash, NBC’s pedigreed drama about the makings of a Broadway show, featuring original show tunes mixed in with pop covers, and starring Katharine McPhee, an American Idol alum-turned-actress.

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