Kathie Brinkerhoff sounds ready to pick up where she left off.
“I’m excited to let you know that the Pioneer Center is once again offering performances,” says the Pershing County library director. “We have had many of the performers in the past but since the pandemic they were not available.”
Several years ago Brinkerhoff applied for a grant to pay for the traveling shows to come to Lovelock. The Pioneer Center’s outreach program sends performers to areas within a 150-mile radius of Reno.
The artists are paid for their efforts.
“I’m not making a killing but I’m making a living,” said one traveling musician and story teller.
The Pershing County Community Center hosts most of the events, although some performers have visited the library. The shows last an hour and are free to the public.
Seniors and children comprise the bulk of the audience. Sometimes attendance is low especially if there’s a ball game at the high school. However, over 100 people attended In-Tune Tales Christmas show in 2017. No matter the crowd size the performers give their all.
Last year the Pioneer Center canceled what would have been Lovelock’s sixth season. Brinkerhoff is still working out the schedule but it looks like a full roster of puppeteers, musicians, dancers and story tellers will appear this year.
The performances are interactive and educational. The rosters change slightly each season. In Feb. 2020 Mark Vollmer and Jim Eaglesmith of Storysongs bonded with the audience during their multimedia show. They invited Paiute elder Vernon Rogers to perform a basket dance song.
Dozens of Lovelock kids have learned the nuts and bolts of marionette puppetry from Bernie Beauchamp, a frequent visitor. Anouaze Beats led the audience in a West African dance the spring of 2015, season one.
The Colin Ross Duo performs at the bedsides of pediatric and cancer patents at Renown Hospital in Reno. You’ll also find them at skilled nursing facilities and memory care centers.
Rieko Shimbo directs a 100-member taiko drumming group in Reno. She brings a few of the drummers to Lovelock most seasons.
Her ensemble, Reno Taiko Tsurunokai is on this spring’s roster. The others are Aria 51, Boxtales Theater Company, magician Larry Wilson, Molodi, the Nazanin Arastoo puppet theater and Petroglyph.
Aria 51, Larry Wilson, Petroglyph and Molodi have performed at the community center in the past. Aria 51 features the cello, classical guitar, bass, violin and ukulele with singing. Petroglyph plays instruments from around the world and celebrates nature. Molodi is a dance and storytelling ensemble from Las Vegas.
According to the Pioneer Center’s website, “this season we are offering in-person, virtual and hybrid performance options to allow for more flexibility with scheduling and social distancing measures.”
Boxtales and Molidi are offering only virtual performances but the rest will also perform in-person. For now, Brinkerhoff is sorting out the scheduling. I’ll send out more information when I have more to send,” she says.