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Changes coming to the Brewery Arts Center

Published: Aug. 24, 2021 at 1:30 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - From top to bottom and so much in between, the Brewery Arts Center’s campus is getting a much needed face lift.

”We have so much going on besides our usual programing of theater, dance, visual arts,” said Mikey Wiencek, Director of Operations at the Brewery Arts Center. “We’re doing a lot of repairs.”

Repairs that have been needed for so long. The Brewery Arts Center is housed in buildings that have history in Carson City. The main brick building holds special significance.

”It was Carson Brewing Company back in 1860,” said Wiencek. “Not Nevada’s oldest profession, but Nevada’s oldest business. So it’s been here for a long time. And this mural, that we’re standing next to is from a photograph - these are the actual brewers that worked here and their families still live here.”

The neon light above the door that says Tahoe Beer is a nod to the beer that was made there. The Nevada Appeal eventually took over the building, but it was eventually purchased by the Artists Coalition in 1975 and turned into the active arts center it is today which contains pottery studios, ballrooms, theaters, and more.

”We teach art on just about every topic there is,” said Wiencek.

But those art spaces have been falling short of inspiration. Inefficient lighting and a leaky roof were among some of the issues the Brewery Arts Center was having to deal with.

”During plays, we’ve had water leaks happening,” said Wiencek. “Two years ago, we had a young lady wipe out back stage doing a children’s theater.”

But now, the nonprofit is able to infuse nearly $300,000 into upgrades and repairs, thanks in part to anonymous donations, a city grant, and a substantial grant provided by the state for the preservation of historic buildings. The repairs are fixing what’s needed while keeping the architectural character and improving comfort and energy efficiency.

”We are doing a little bit of everything from roofing all the way down to flooring,” said Wiencek. “So we’re going to be replacing all of our old fluorescent lights. 185 fluorescent light fixtures are going away and going LED.”

”It’s going to be awesome to have new lighting, both for the people in the pottery studio, but also for other classes like the jewelry making classes or anything that is fine detail,” said Kym Maehl, who teaches pottery at the Brewery Arts Center. “The lights make such a difference.”

And the Brewery Arts Center can continue to make a difference in the community as a hub for collaboration and provide access to arts and culture without barriers.

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