To raise money for the newly formed Sparks Museum Endowment Fund, the Sparks Museum and Cultural Center hosted its first fundraiser on June 25. The theme “Building Steam” plays off of the two exhibits on display now, “From Steam to Steampunk” and “Geographical Divides: Finding Common Ground”.
Over 80 guests in attendance had the opportunity to participate in screen printing a T-shirt with one of three steampunk designs, created by artists and students from Truckee Meadows Community College. The cost was $10 a screen print or $5 if you brought your own shirt.
“We had a great turnout, I’m so glad the community came to support us,” Sparks Museum and Cultural Center’s Executive Director Kelly Reis said. “The screen printing itself was definitely a highlight. It’s a fun process to watch, and Candace Garlock turned out more than 100 T-shirts during the event.”
The event was primarily inspired by the “Steam to Steampunk” art exhibit on display now through Aug. 13. Working in conjunction with the Great Basin Costume Society, the demonstration pays homage to the fashion, machinery, and art of the popular science fiction genre. Combining America’s Wild West and Victorian England, the Great Basin Costume Society celebrates steampunk’s vintage costumes, accessories, and steam-enthused media.
“Building Steam” raised over $1,800 throughout the afternoon with other highlights like the “Tea Dueling”- a noble and fun activity involving the consumption of tea and biscuits in a competitive atmosphere. Folks of all ages throughout the day were challenging each other to a duel.
The Sparks Museum Endowment Fund is attempting to raise $10,000 by the end of 2016 which is also invested with the Community Foundation of Western Nevada to help preserve Sparks’ heritage. This year, any donation made to the fund up to $10,000 will also be matched by Sparks’ resident and supporter Charles Steiner.
“The first 300 donors to give $35 or more to the Sparks Museum Endowment will receive a swag bag,” Reis says. Some of the special gifts in the $35 donation box include a limited edition Veronica Chapman print of Engine 8 (the outdoor exhibit across from the museum that involves a steam locomotive, a cupola caboose, and a Pullman car on display), a special button to promote support of the museum, and more. Once the $10,000 is met, the museum will start receiving interest off of the fund to help ensure its financial stability for years to come.
Coinciding with the “Steam to Steampunk” exhibit, the “Geographical Divides: Finding Common Ground” exhibit features 16 printmakers (eight from the north and eight from the south) who were tasked with capturing Nevada’s exceptional visual culture.
As a state that has been well known for the Burning Man festival, “Sin City”, “The Biggest Little City in the World”, and “Area 51”, the artists cover the architecture and community of major metropolitan areas like Reno and Las Vegas and the hundreds of miles of desert vastness between them. “Geographical Divides: Finding Common Ground” is a division of the Nevada Touring Initiative supported by the National Endowment of the Arts and the state legislature. The exhibit is on display now through Aug. 13 with a reception to be held on July 15.
The Sparks Museum & Cultural Center is located at 814 Victorian Avenue and is open Tuesday through Friday 11am-4pm and Saturdays from 1pm-4pm. An endowment fundraising gala is in the planning stages involving a dinner and an art auction for the end of the year, but to donate directly to the Sparks Museum Endowment Fund, visit nevadafund.org/sparks-museum-endowment.