Episode 709

In this episode of ARTEFFECTS, learn about The First Lady Presents, a statewide program that celebrates arts, culture, and history in collaboration with the Nevada State Museum in Carson City; head to Colorado to see how costumes are made at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts; meet a vibrant community of roller skaters in Tampa Bay, Florida, who display a variety of skating styles.

AIRED: November 21, 2021 | 0:26:46

- On this edition of Arteffects, The First Lady Presents.

(soft music)

- Our goal in the First Lady Presents is

together, as Nevadans, let's study the past,

honor the present and envision the future.

(soft music)

- [Beth] Designing costumes for the stage.

- I think what's really special about this organization

is that it was built on a culture of yes.

If the artists can envision it, we can manifest it.

- [Beth] Dancing in the skating rink.

- [Wyatte] With rollerskating, you put your own twist

and flavor to it.

Once you're comfortable on your skates.

I just feel like it's endless what you can do.

(upbeat music)

- [Beth] And singing together while being miles apart.

- Even though we can't sing together right now,

we can still create music and create joy.

(all vocalizing)

- It's all ahead on this edition of "Arteffects."

(gentle music)

- [Announcer] Funding for Arteffects is made possible by,

Sandy Raffealli, the June S. Wisham Estate,

Carol Franc Buck,

Merrill and Lebo Newman,

Heidemarie Rochlin,

Meg and Dillard Myers,

the annual contributions of PBS Reno members and by...

- Hello, I'm Beth Macmillan and welcome to Arteffects.

In our featured segment,

we explore The First Lady Presents.

This statewide arts education program

shines a light on Nevada's arts and culture scene

and celebrates the wide variety of artists

and mediums found throughout the state.

(soft music)

- The First Lady Presents is an all access online

arts education initiative

hosted by Nevada First Lady, Kathy Sisolak.

This program offers a narrative comparison of an artifact

from the Nevada State Museum in Carson City

juxtapose to the portfolio of a contemporary Nevada artists.

Sometimes those comparisons are direct and straightforward,

and other times those comparisons are a bit abstract.

- During the pandemic, the museum was searching for ways

to continue to connect with audiences.

And so one of the programs that grew out of that

is called Curator's Corner.

A curator would go into their collection,

select something they thought

would be of interest to the public.

And then one day a month would present that artifact

in this special little gallery where we had the plexiglass.

So when The First Lady Presents ideas started,

we were thinking this would be a great way

to add even more value to this effort on the curator's part.

We came up with this idea for Nevada artists

to have their work hung in the governor's mansion,

what a thrill it would be for visitors to walk through

and see in Nevada artists,

some of their work presented in the mansion,

along with the historic artifacts.

So it's just a great picture of the culture of Nevada,

a snapshot by walking through the governor's mansion.

- I receive a theme or an artifact

straight away from the museum, I'm blind to it.

So it's a curatorial challenge to figure out,

how am I going to address age, gender,

geography, medium, race

in an interesting and equal presentation every month.

I do a lot of research on trying to find the right fit.

So I'll float a few themes,

a few suggestions to the First Lady, get her input on that.

- When we select a Nevada artists,

we really have no idea who they are.

And it's nice to know that you can see an artwork

and not know who the artist is or where they came from.

And everybody's equal when we make that selection.

- The First Lady Presents took me out of my box.

(soft music)

- Jackie Pias Carlin is a fantastic artist.

Her roots go back to the Philippines

where her father was a sakada.

which means a migrant employee worker

in Hawaii where she grew up on a sugarcane plantation.

And we were lucky enough to have her out here in the desert.

- I had a piece of kapa,

which is the cloth made out of mulberry bark

that the ancient Hawaiians used as clothing and bedding

and the finished product came out to be nine inches wide.

That's the only piece of kapa that I have ever made.

And when I decided to use that for the exhibition,

I realized, well, this is possibly the migration story

of my own migration from Hawaii to Carson City.

(soft music)

- The artifact connection to Jackie's work

in the Curator's Corner program

was a tapa that we have in the collection.

We were not able to take that up to the governor's mansion

because it's a sensitive artifact.

So Rachel Delovio, who is our anthropology curator

and was the one who researched that material

and presented it in Curator's Corner,

she brought the tools up that are used for tapa making.

It was exciting to see it.

And I thought Jackie's word was really magical.

- These pieces of art

are going to be displayed in the mansion

so that all visitors, from schoolchildren to tourists

to dignitaries and other guest

can have an opportunity to take in a small piece of Nevada,

and we hope this is just the beginning.

- This project being directly affiliated

with the First Lady and now the governor's mansion

has a social responsibility to it

in representing all people of Nevada.

- Being able to show my work that I've been developing

and through my artistic practice

that I've been cultivating all these years,

it's a great honor.

And I'm just so thankful that there are arts minded people

in Nevada and especially with the Nevada government

that wants to make opportunities and things happen for us.

- This is a chance for the community

to see that this is not political.

This is about art.

And this is about each artist's representation

of how they feel connected to the history of Nevada.

- Nevada is a place of wonderful culture,

and it's not just today, it's also yesterday.

And these links are something

that everybody can find a bit of interest in.

And so the together, I think those two programs,

First Lady Presents and Curator's Corner

kind of opened up the world of history and the world of art

all at the same time.

(soft music)

- To learn more about The First Lady Presents

and the artists featured in the program,


Now it's time for this week's art quiz.

Which architect utilized Classical Revival features

and Georgian and Jeffersonian motifs

in designing the governor's mansion in Carson City?

Is the answer, A, Frederic Delongchamps,

B, George A. Ferris, C, Robert Langdon or D, Richard Neutra?

And the answer is B, George A. Ferris.

(soft music)

In Colorado, the Denver Center for the Performing Arts

tells a variety of stories on stage.

In this segment, we go behind the curtain

to see how costumes are made for their productions.

(soft music)

- I love telling stories, and I think it's so much fun

that I get to come to work every day

and play make-believe and dress up.

This is one of nine costume storage rooms that we have here.

On this side are women's costumes,

the other side are men's costumes.

Ladies' five, five and a halves,

are all in a section and labeled

and men's 10s and men's 11s are all right here.

Also, this is just our show rack.

When we're building a show,

actor has a nameplate with their name on it.

And the costumes that actor will wear

are directly behind the garment bag.

- I think what's really special about this organization

is that it was built on a culture of yes.

If the artist can envision it, we can manifest it.

When you first start thinking about a show,

you're thinking about the design,

the visual design of the whole thing

and that's all tied into the core of the story.

"A Doll's House" the original,

that's the one that I'm working on.

I wanted it to happen in 1879 when it was written.

I wanted it to be photographic.

- Sometimes we shop things, sometimes we thrift things.

Usually for contemporary shows,

we tend to kind of shop and thrift

so it looks more authentic.

For period pieces, there's not a store

that sells things for "A Doll's House"

so we're fortunate to have the skills of our costume shop

to build more of our period pieces.

- I will, once I fit this,

do a whole bunch of hand stitching

to make sure that this all stays in place.

- When we build a costume from scratch,

we work with a team of people.

It really does take a village.

(sewing machine rattling)

The process for designing an entire production

starts about six to nine months

before we even hit the stage.

- The costumer will bring you renderings,

sketches of the costumes.

- This is the sketch that Meghan has done

and this is the skirt, the overskirt for that sketch.

And then we talk to a team of drapers

who make women's clothes or tailors who make men's clothes

and they kind of figure out how to translate

that two dimensional drawing

into a three dimensional outfit.

- We do the pattern making, we do all the fitting.

We have to figure out how to make an actual garment

from the page to an actual person.

- So they'll do a mock-up

which is basically like a rough draft

in inexpensive cotton fabric called muslin

and we fit that to the actor

and make all the changes in the rough draft essentially.

- Easy to work with, inexpensive is the key.

- [Meghan] And then we make it out of the real fabric

so it takes a few steps

but that's how we get the great product that we do.

- It's actually quite comfortable.

- One of the most fun moments in the process

is when you actually see the costumes on stage, on the set

for the first time, because that's the first time

that the whole visual world comes together

and it feels like you're actually stepping into this story.

- I'm sorry, I've just become so bitter.

I have to think about myself all the time.

- I love seeing it happen from page to stage.

All my work up there on the stage, helping to tell a story.

- Believe me this will be the best thing for you.

- We do keep all of our costumes

because they're a huge investment

and it's kind of fun to repurpose garments from another show

and give them a new life in a different show

five, ten years down the line.

- [Chris] There are very few costume departments

in the country that can equal what the Denver Center can do.

- The Denver Center has always been

kind of this like beacon of arts and things like that

so this really is a dream come true to get to work here

and be part of this incredible place.

- Find out more about the Denver Center

for the Performing Arts at

Up next, we meet a vibrant community of roller skaters

in Tampa Bay, Florida.

Each time they go around the rink, they dance to the music,

display of a variety of different skating styles

and show artistry in their movements.

(upbeat music)

- Skating was my first love before my wife.

Like, before I got married and had kids,

skating was my first love.

I started skating actually downtown at Central Park.

After that I've been skating at United Skates

for over 30 years.

- So, skating is my happy place.

I think it's so corny to say, but skating saved me.

There is a lot of things that I've gone through in my life,

just personally, that I had no outlet for.

And I really didn't know how to express myself

any other way.

But when I started skating, it was just freeing for me.

Like not only the music,

not only just being able to express myself,

but finding people that were just so positive, so caring

and just ready to help.

I never experienced that in my life before

outside of my family.

- Skating makes me feel alive.

Like when I hit the floor,

it's like just me on the floor and the music,

everything else inside your reality just melts away.

- Skating puts me on cloud nine.

It's my release on life, it's my break. It's my love.

- I think roller skating really isn't art

because everything we do, it's just seen in our movement.

Like, there's no talking involved.

I could see a skater rolling around the floor

and I can just feel their energy.

And I feel like when you watch someone who's skating,

no matter what style it is,

you can interpret everything that person

is bringing to the floor at that point.

- With roller skating you put your own twist

and flavor to it.

Once you're comfortable on your skates,

I just feel like it's endless what you can do.

(upbeat music)

The skating community in Tampa is changing as far as like,

there's a lot of different people

from a lot of different places.

So we get people from Virginia,

people from Chicago, New York, DC.

So it was just starting to be a melting pot

of different skaters in Tampa.

Usually you go out of state to see different skaters.

So it's just getting to be

where you can see a little bit of everything in the house.

The styles of skating: I'll give you a rundown of them.

Fast backwards is from Philly.

They skate fast, backwards, all the time for some reason,

no matter what the song is, fast, backwards.

(upbeat music)

- You have JB, which is out of Chicago, James Brown music.

- A lot of the music that they have,

they take samples from James Brown's music

and put that in there.

They do remixes and they take the original and mix it also.

My main style would be the fast backwards and JB.

I loved it ever since I got introduced to it.

(upbeat music)

- [Rashad] The style of that skate is

New York/New Jersey style, which is to me, my favorite.

- [Wyatte] They do a lot of pivots and turns and spins

and stuff like that. - Trains and trios

is a part of New York/New Jersey style.

That's when normally trio is three,

holding hands would have a movement altogether.

Unison one-on-one trains is,

could be from four to 15 people, even 20 to 30 people.

(upbeat music)

- Then you have sliders,

which you have two different kinds of sliders.

You have Chicago slides, where they're doing more of a split

like they'll come from halfway off the floor.

And then they'll go into it, get down low on one leg,

and then they'll go into a split.

And then you have a slider that comes from Detroit,

where they have four wheels on the ground,

and they'll be turning sideways and sliding across the floor

either with the train of people.

So they do more of the old-school artistic style skating,

but I mean, they're very smooth with it.

I don't have a specific style that I do.

I like a little bit of everything.

I just feel like I wanna be diverse

and be able to go to Chicago and do a little bit of JB,

go to New York and still be able to get on a train.

I just try to stay diverse. I don't wanna just do one style.

Skating inspired me to, I guess just become the man

and the husband and the father that I am today,

I mean, I met my wife at the skating rink.

My kids are into skating and I wanna have a legacy

where people from the Tampa Bay area, remember me say,

"Oh, I remember a Big Al, yeah.

He used to skate at United Skates,"

or, "He used to host a skate party,"

or "He's someone that loves skating,"

and want it to continue in the next generation

and the next generation.

I just think it's a real experience in the energy

that you get at the skating rink.

You wouldn't see it nowhere else, but at the skating ring.

You wouldn't see it at a hockey event,

you don't see it at a ice skating rink.

It's just roller skating just has a different energy.

It just feels like you can light up the whole neighborhood

just with the energy that's in the rink.

I don't know. It makes me smile just thinking about it.

- The Tampa Bay skate community is very much a family.

I've never experienced anything like it.

- [Alexandria] I feel like we all have the same passion.

We share the same values

and it all just shines through skating.

So it's something that we just can do together

to forget about everything else.

- I mean, people are always friendly when you come to skate

because you're here doing the same thing

that this other person enjoys, whether they're old, young,

intermediate skater, beginner skater,

it's just for the love of skating, we're always welcoming

anybody that wants to come and try it out

and just enjoy yourself.

And I don't think I would never stop.

Even if I get an older age,

I think I'm gonna continue to keep skating.

It's a way of life.

- For more information, go to

Barbershop music is certainly unique.

The singers involved create beautiful harmonies

without any musical instruments.

The Reno based High Desert Harmony Chorus

and it's all female cast of members

have been performing for decades.

When the pandemic changed their plans,

the ladies found new ways to bring music to their audiences.

(soft music)

- High Desert Harmony is a local women's chorus.

We sing acapella music, primarily in the barbershop style

but other contemporary acapella.

- Just the style of barbershop music takes people

back to a time when things were maybe simpler or slower

or just really fun.

♪ He promised me affection and protection, protection ♪

♪ I knew my life would never be the same ♪

- Barbershop is an American pastime, it started in America,

so when people get together, they sing

and you find your part where you can fit in

and you harmonize.

♪ Can't recall his name shame shame ♪

- So barbershop is made up of four parts.

There's tenor on the top, there's lead, which is the melody,

there's baritone and then there's bass the lowest part.

- And when you put them all together,

we create a wonderful sound.

♪ What's his name ♪

♪ Oh what's his name ♪

(audience cheering)

- High Desert Harmony has about 20 members

and they range in age right now from 25 to 83.

(gentle music)

- It's just a really broad array of wonderful singers,

all different walks of life

from all over the Reno Sparks community.

- We are the local chapter of Sweet Adelines International

which is an organization of women singers.

- There are 20,000 members around the world.

They cover more than 10 countries.

- It's kind of special to not only be part of a chorus

and a group in Reno and Sparks,

but also to be connected internationally

with all these other singers that are doing the same thing.

(soft music)

- My mother was a Sweet Adeline back in the early '70s,

and I had gone to a couple of rehearsals with her.

And few years after she passed,

I was trying to find something to do

and I went to a function.

And I met some men from the Silver Dollar Chorus,

which is the local men's barbershop chorus,

and got talking to them and they told me

that I should go check out High Desert Harmony and I did.

I walked into the meeting and I was greeted very warmly

with open arms, and I decided this is what I wanted to do.

Tried it out, made it,

and it's the best thing I've done for myself.

♪ When you wish upon a star ♪

It lifts me up.

It reminds me of times when have sung with my mom

or when I sing with our quartets

and the other women on the risers.

It's a special feeling you get, and you wanna share it.

- Its thrilling to get to put all of your hard work

out there onstage.

It maybe only last for a few hours,

but it's everything that's led up to that moment.

(women vocalizing)

(soft music)

- When the pandemic hit,

actually, right before everything started closing down,

we made a decision to go virtual.

- We've not been able to meet together and sing together

because of the risk of spreading the virus.

And our competition was canceled,

that we'd been working so hard for.

And of course we haven't been able to sing

in like the art town events.

So we've had to make lots of changes and lots of pivots,

but fortunately we have a really great director

who's been able to lead us through this

and we're still singing and still creating music.

- We've been meeting every week on Zoom

since the pandemic started.

We rehearse for about two and a half hours.

- We all know Zoom

and you can't actually sing at the same time,

it doesn't work, so we're all sort of muted

when we're singing in our own houses.

(women vocalizing)

So, we're doing these virtual choruses

where we record ourselves.

- So everybody just uses whatever device they have.

It's usually an iPhone or a tablet or their computer.

And they record themselves and then they send that in to me

and I edit the audio,

make sure everything's lined up correctly

and then edit the videos together.

So it's been a huge learning curve for me

since that's not something I'd done before,

but just incredibly fulfilling.

♪ This is my fight song ♪

♪ Take back my life song ♪

♪ Prove I'm all right song ♪

- The first time that Amy did

one of our first virtual concerts, I was amazed,

how well we sounded, how fun it looked, how enjoyable it was

and that we were sharing something with other people.

This is what we're all about,

and this is High Desert Harmony.

- I think music is such a great unifying force,

both creating music and listening to it.

It doesn't matter who you are, where you're from,

what your political background is, where you came from.

Whether you're you have a PhD in music theory

or never read music before.

Music is enjoyed by everyone.

- Even though we can't sing together on the risers right now

I know we will in the near future.

And when we do, that first rehearsal

is probably gonna be pretty emotional,

it's gonna be exciting

just to be on the risers with our sisters in song,

be able to hear their real voices, the connection,

it's gonna be pretty spectacular.

(women vocalizing)

- The High Desert Harmony Chorus

resumed in-person rehearsals in March, 2021

in a hybrid fashion, with many members joining via Zoom.

Members say this first in-person rehearsal back was exciting

and they were thrilled to sing together

after singing apart for a year.

To learn more about the chorus,

including the upcoming performances,


And that wraps it up for this edition of Arteffects.

For more arts and culture, and to watch past episodes,


Until next week. I'm Beth Macmillan. Thanks for watching.

- [Announcer] Funding for artifacts is made possible by,

Sandy Raffealli, the June S. Wisham Estate,

Carol Franc Buck,

Merrill and Lebo Newman,

Heidemarie Rochlin,

Meg and Dillard Myers,

the annual contributions of PBS Reno members and by...

(gentle music)


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