Sponsors Say Reno's 8th Artown Festival Is Best

City of Reno, Nevada
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Artown sponsors say performances by the world's best dancer and one of its top jazz musicians combined with the opening of a new art museum will make Reno's Eighth Artown festival its best yet.

Artown officials unveiled the lineup today for the month-long festival in July, including ballet star Mikhail Baryshnikov, Grammy Award winning saxophonist Branford Marsalis and illustrator Brad Holland.

Backers bill it as the "largest visual and performing arts festival in the country," featuring 1,000 artists and 200 events at 40 locations.

Artown interim director John Shelton calls it "31 days of creative magic."

Top acts charge admission but the majority of exhibits and performances are free, held in downtown parks, outdoor amphitheaters, playhouses and auditoriums.

Reno City Councilman David Aiazzi says it's no secret that Artown has been one of the driving forces in making Reno a real arts community.

This year's stage offerings include Shakespeare and an outdoor Broadway series as well as the Nevada Humanities Committee's "Great Basin Chautauqua," featuring portrayals of Captains Meriwether Lewis, William Clark and Sacagawea, among others.

Outdoor music includes a Beethoven series as Caribbean-Cuban jazz, Native American cedar flute players, Japanese Taiko drummers, a cajun band, blues and rock and roll.

On the Net:

* Artown: www.RenoisArtown.com
* Nevada Museum of Art: www.nevadaart.org
* Reno Sparks Convention & Visitors Authority: www.renolaketahoe.com

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)