Artown's Lear Theater Stewardship Timeline | Artown

Artown's Lear Theater Stewardship Timeline


12.30 - Artown acquired the Lear, the adjacent property and the parking lot accessed on Bell Street for $10 and began exploring feasibilities for restoration and management in early 2012.


6.12 - Basin Street Properties worked with Artown and proposed restoring the Lear. Matt Sherrill, Scott Stanzel and Par Tolles were involved.

7.12 - Tuesdays with Moya – During these weekly visits when the Lear was open to the public, a survey that was conducted during the month-long Artown Festival in July of 2012, resulted in overwhelmingly positive feedback. Survey responders expressed how they would like the Lear Theater to serve the community. The opinions were fairly equally split between children’s performances, theater, music, TED talks, book readings, cabaret, and film screenings.


6.13 – Seasonal staff/Board commences Lear cleanup effort.

2.28 – 11.15 - AMS Planning and Research Corp was engaged by Artown to conduct a feasibility study of the Lear.


6.14 - Seasonal staff/Board Lear cleanup continues

6.5 - Experience the Lear – Public event to visualize the potential and the need of a community performing arts center in downtown Reno; The Lear Theatre. The evening’s presentations included: Reno Mayor Bob Cashell; an avid supporter of the arts, spoke on our community and downtown redevelopment. Myron Martin, CEO and President of the Smith Center in Las Vegas. Myron shared his success in bringing the arts front and center to downtown Las Vegas.  

6.6 - Ted-X event in the Lear. Hosts: Doug Erwin, Beth Macmillan, Dana Hatjakes
Featured speakers and performers included: Matt Shultz, Zach Karmoil, Erik Hatch, Francis Battista, K-Von, Alexa Meade, York Smith, Jesse Hurley, Suz Hinton, Marko Gargenta, Maria Patridge, Khalilah Cage, Ron Finley, CC Linstroth, Ryan McMaster, Howard Chen, Myron Martin, Kirk Parsley, Alex Dang, Roger Stein, Amanda Palmer, David Burns, J-Youngin, Stephen Hacker, Danny Heinsohn 
The theme of the this event was the cultural rebirth of Reno

7.14 -Transforming Youth Recovery and the Stacie Mathewson Foundation sponsored a Public Art Project, in collaboration with Artown, Tour de Nez, NRAP at UNR and the City of Reno. Art was displayed in selected public spaces throughout July and auctioned to raise funds for local non-profits in August.

TMCC High School’s Leadership Showcase “Rust to Renewal,” that representatives of the class presented at a national conference in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Their chosen project in the category of Arts and Culture, “Building Awareness of the Lear Theater;” stacked up against other presentations it was concluded that theirs was the best. The presentation included a brochure, a power point, a web link and a 30-second video PSA.


6.15 - Seasonal staff/Board Lear cleanup continues

9.15 - Discussions began with Reno based design build firm Don J Clark Group to survey the Lear property.

10.15 - Artown Board established the Lear Committee to create an RFP process in order to transfer the property to a worthy non-profit organization that would carry on the Lear as a community theatre venue.

10.15 - “Pentamonium” by artist was installed on October 16, 2015 near the northeast section of the Lear.

11.2 - Ted-X event at the Lear. Speakers included: Alchemist Theatre, Dandapani, Brianna Bullentini, Diaz Dixon, Dr. James Wilson, Earl Kaing, Eric Jennings, Heather Foltz, Isabela Reyes-Klein, Jeff Schox, Larry Maurice, Mathew Platshorn, Nellie Davis, Nikki Warren, Skip Pardee, William Dodd.


1.16 - 6.16 - Monthly Lear Committee Meetings

6.16 - Lear Committee met with Don J Clark Group about the Lear

11.9 - Obtained quote from Quick Space for perimeter fencing around the Lear.

11.15 - After a small campfire is found behind the shrubbery and close to the exterior wall of the east elevation of the Lear a temporary fence is placed around the Lear.

11.16 - Artown hired Quick Space to erect a perimeter fence around the Lear after it was found that people had made a campfire in the east shrubbery dangerously close to the exterior walls of the structure. Sandbags, post connectors and fence clamps were used to secure the fencing. Cyclical fence maintenance twice to three times yearly to secure and service the above referenced items.


4.17 - Meeting with TMCC President, Karin Hilgersom.  Meeting with Artown Executive Director and Reno Mayor Schieve, the interim City Manager, Artown Board Chairman, and the Artown Vice Chairman to discuss potential of TMCC redeveloping the Lear for campus theater programs. President Hilgersom was in the process of a capital campaign to build a performing arts center on the Dandini campus. Hilgersom expressed interest in the Lear for an alternative Community College art space.

5.23 - "Lear Theater Forum" proposed by Councilwoman Duerr, to be held in the middle of August (after Artown) to start engaging the fuller community on what we have found out and where we would like to go with the Lear.

8.18 - Lear Theater Request for Proposal (RFP) draft process begins.

9.17 - Councilwoman Duerr - Introduced the idea of fixing up the outside of the Lear as a priority.

10.24 - Lear Possibilities Workshop held at UNR’s Joe Crowley Building.


2.18 - Lear Theater Tours - The Lear tours happen Tuesdays and Fridays.

2.2 - 2.8 - Final drafts of Lear RFP reviewed then released.

3.25 - Lear RFP Scoring Rubric created

Spring 2018 - Signature Landscape begins bi-annual property cleanup at the Lear.

3.30 - Four Lear Theater RFP Finalists Selected

4.27 - Board selects Sierra School of Performing Arts (SSPA) as RFP finalist

12.20 - Artown submits non-binding letter of intent to Sierra School of Performing Arts

12.20 - Mtg scheduled with Sierra School of Performing Arts


2.21 - Lear Purchase and Sale Agreement Drafted for review

4.4 - Meeting

4.16 - Lear Committee Meeting at 12 noon in City Hall on the 7th Floor, Caucus Room

4.19 - Artown Board votes to reject SSPA’s proposal

5.13 - Press Statement is released regarding the Lear negotiations with SSPA - "After careful consideration, the Artown Board unanimously agreed that the parties will be unable to reach an agreement with terms and conditions that are satisfactory for both parties. Artown and the Lear Committee are now exploring next steps for The Lear Theatre property and will communicate any new developments to the public at the appropriate time."

5.21 - Oliver X and Dr. Albert Lee met talk about Paul Revere Williams, Langston Hughes and their connection to The Lear Theater


1.7 - Lear tour with interested parties

3.6 - Artown engages in a temporary, non-binding agreement with a local developer to conduct a feasibility study with the goal of preserving the Lear.

5.29 - Original drawings of Lear by architect Paul Revere Williams, along with preliminary plans for the property are located.

6.5 - Lear walk-thru mtg requested by developer engaging in feasibility study

6.8 - Ken Krater speaks at Artown Media Day about the Lear.

7.20 - 9.20 - Hello Project places 500 wooden painted hearts around the Lear


Spring - Artown board votes in favor of offering the Lear theater to the City of Reno to facilitate its preservation and use as a theater

7.21 - City Council approves of transfer of Lear to the City with the goal of rehabilitating the property for use as a community theater


Pink Martini


Paul Taylor Dance Company


The 5 Browns