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THE Launch ISSUE SUPPORTING Small BusinessES Congresswoman Dina Titus on what’s boosting the economy and strengthening our community

A Modern Mission New art museum could be Vegas’ game changer

Clutter Out, Happiness In Clear out the clutter and make room for growth, balance, and order

Sense and Sensitivity A sensible approach to a healthier lifestyle in the new year

It’s true – there’s no place like home. It’s where our families live, play, laugh and thrive together. And there’s no place that relies more on water than our communities here in Southern Nevada. That’s why we’re working hard to make sure our supply remains reliable, even during the Colorado River drought. Let’s stay water smart, Southern Nevada. Learn more at The Southern Nevada Water Authority is a not-for-profi t agency.

EDITORS’ LETTER That’s exactly what Johnny Church did when he became the executive chef at downtown’s new eatery MTO Café (page 48). Some folks, like music producer Ann Parenti, have been connected to their calling for years as you will read in Unveiling a Masterpiece on page 14. While others are just beginning, like some of the musicians in Sound Check on page 26. Find out how a new contemporary art museum plans to LAUNCH the creative culture in Las Vegas to new heights (page 18). And on page 8 a beloved community leader shows support for some independent entrepreneurs that recently started businesses of their own.

It’s that time again. Time to revel in possibility. Time to review our goals, set benchmarks, and embark on the new, the wonderful, the exciting. In this edition of BLVDS Las Vegas Magazine, we focus on following through with some of these reflections. Welcome to The LAUNCH Issue. This issue is full of inspiration, whether folks are LAUNCHing a new fitness plan, music career, home organization project, or restaurant, it’s all here. So happy 2014! After the celebration, the New Year is often a great time for reflection. Identifying 2013 accomplishments to be proud of, is a great way to start. Then pinpointing roadblocks that seemed to get in the way of last year’s resolutions is an important next step. Have these same barriers stopped you year after year from reaching your goals, stifling your progress before you ever really got started? This year, we have decided to ditch the ‘resolutions’ and replace this wonderful tradition with a feeling, a theme, a word, to represent what we plan to accomplish this year. We came up with CLARITY (Sabrina) and ACTION (Zakeisha). It’s funny how two words, with vastly different connotations, lead to the same goal — understanding what it is we are supposed to be doing, having the gumption to get it done, and feeling fabulous about it.

At the end of the day, it’s about growth and forward movement, and for those of you making plans to LAUNCH (or reLAUNCH) a goal or project this year, make sure you check out our new column Shine, on page 36 and get some tips on what to do when Resolution Meets Resistance. We hope this LAUNCH issue will inspire, ignite, and impact you in a way that will propel you to the next level, allow you to come up with your own personal word or theme, and help your accomplish your goals in 2014. Happy New Year!



Editorial Board Brian Paco Alvarez Mauricia Baca Durette Candito Lisa Chasteen Chris Cutler Kendall Hardin Nancy Higgins LuAnn Kutch Dawn Labonte Rob McCoy Julie Murray Contributing Writers Tanya Allason Ian Caramanzana Hektor Esparza Tony Illia Valerie Miller Stephanie Pierotti Jillian Plaster

Stephanie Pierotti Jillian Plaster Willie Robinson Jason Roth Karen Rubel Dana Satterwhite Rick Sellers Eric Strain Kimberly Trueba Mark Vranesh Rachael Wadley Stephanie Youngblood

Alyse Sweeney Gabriella Walters

Contributing Photographers Nathan Douglas Talbot Snow Lucky Wenzel Analyst and Archivist Nancy Lee Craddock Interns Kennedy Jones Elias “Cube” Ruiz Daniel Seely Denise Serrano

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Copyright 2014 by BLVDS, Inc., all rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form without written permission from BLVDS, Inc. Every effort was made to ensure the accuracy of


Jan Craddock President & Publisher Katisha Sabrina Cofield Editor-in-Chief Zakeisha Steele Jones Editor-in-Chief Victoria Hart Creative Director Stephanie Pierotti Director, Marketing & Events

the information in this publication, however, BLVDS, Inc. assumes no responsibility for errors, changes, or omissions. BLVDS, Inc. accepts editorial and photography submissions. Send all submissions to:

email call 702.386.6065 go to mail 509 S. 7th Street Las Vegas, NV 89101


The Launch Issue | January - February 2014 | 3

C O N T E N T S | BLVDS LAS VEGAS | NO. 42 | January - February 2014



The Big Picture of Small Business Locals launching small businesses are the key to revitalizing our economy. Congresswoman Dina Titus gets behind this inspiring indie movement resonating throughout the valley.


A Promising Union The Boys & Girls Clubs merge to unite the valley.


Unveiling a Masterpiece Local singer and music producer Ann Parenti cultivates a masterpiece immortalizing the valley’s greatest musicians.

C u lt u r e



Shine Our newest column about bright and bold living helps you combat the many faces of resistance as you set out to live with deeper insight, authenticity, joy, and presence.

Relax. Restore. Refresh. A day of pampering courtesy of BLVDS Magazine. See the before and after.


F l av o r




Sound Check Go underground with some of the city’s up and coming musicians.



Functional Fitness Find out why so many people are trading traditional gyms for smaller studios that offer more focus, function, and community.

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A Sense of Order As you set new goals for 2014, be sure to start things off on the right foot, organized and clutterfree. We’ll show you how.

Balancing Act Local chef Johnny Church is one busy man. Take a look inside his newest restaurant, find out what he likes to cook at home, and how he’s balancing two high profile gigs.




A Modern Mission Explore the endless possibilities of a new contemporary art museum that promises to inspire and educate, while forging a new architectural heritage for the city.

Sesquicentennial Celebration Find out how you can take part in the state’s historical anniversary as we celebrate Nevada’s rich culture and 150 year history.


A Sensible Approach Whether your goal is to lose a few pounds or just adopt healthier eating habits, we’ll offer a few tips on how to eat in a way that makes sense for your body.


BLVDS Flavor Menu Pizza Lounge is an ideal spot for a date night or an intimate dinner with friends.


IMHO Talented husband and wife duo Dana Satterwhite and Kristen Hertzenberg share their thoughts on the local art and music scenes.





Tanya Allason has been a professional organizer since 1999. She assists people with the organization of their homes, garages, closets, and offices. With her extensive experience in business administration, organization, project, and household management, she is able to deliver solutions for long-term results for both the home and office.

Stephanie Pierotti is the proprietor of Avondale Shirt Co. and an instructor at The Art Institute of Las Vegas. As a foodie and wine lover, she holds certifications from the Court of Master Sommeliers and the International Wine Guild. A seven year resident of Las Vegas, Stephanie currently lives in Summerlin with her husband Michael.

Ian Caramanzana is passionate about good writing and good music. He is a student writer and a journalism major at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Ian likes to spend his free time reading, writing, and playing music in numerous bands. Ian would like to be the editor of his own magazine one day.

Jillian Plaster is a foodie. She loves to cook, but she loves to eat even more. While attending Le Cordon Bleu in her hometown of Las Vegas, her passion for food lead to writing reviews of local restaurants. Plaster also developed her own line of fresh dog food which she sells at her unique pooch boutique, The Dog House, located at Town Square.

Hektor Esparza is a community activist and nonprofit leader. The father of four is often in some state of quixotic frustration. Each morning, he groans about his life before getting out of bed. Yet, he is loved, respected, and usually gets what he wants though he’s too grumpy to enjoy it when he does. Also, he hates deadlines and loves a good micro-brew.

Alyse Sweeney is creator of Write to Glow – a communal writing workshop aimed at unleashing clarity and creativity through freeflow writing practice. She is the author of over 30 books for kids and teachers and was a publishing executive with Scholastic. She holds a Master’s in education.

Tony Illia is a journalist, writer and critic specializing in design and development related topics. His work has appeared in Architectural Record, and Engineering News-Record, among other publications. Illia holds a master’s degree in English from the University of Nevada, Reno. He currently lives in Las Vegas with his wife and their unruly black cat.

Gabriella Walters is the founder of Inferno Hot Pilates, the first dedicated Hot Pilates studio in Las Vegas. Originally from Budapest, Hungary, Gabi grew up as an accomplished athlete. She moved to the US in 2002 and several years later developed Hot Pilates - a 60 minute, high intensity, low impact workout performed in a room heated to 95 degrees and 40% humidity.

Valerie Miller writes for media outlets including BLVDS LV and Bloomberg News. A UNLV graduate, Valerie is the Small Business Administration Nevada’s Michael Graham Entrepreneurial Spirit Award winner. In 2013, Valerie won four journalism awards from the Nevada Press Association, which previously named her Outstanding Journalist.

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.” —Neil Gaiman

The Launch Issue | January - February 2014 | 5

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Supportive Congresswoman

Representative Dina Titus shows support to the growing number of locals launching new businesses.

Written by Zakeisha Steele Jones | Photography by Talbot Snow he short answer is Congresswoman. But some of us long time Vegas folks filled with Rebel pride knew her first as a professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas teaching American and Nevada government classes for over 34 years. Representative Dina Titus has been celebrated for her leadership in fields like education, public service, and let’s not forget about her international recognition as an expert in nuclear power policy. So when Representative Titus strolled into the hip, vintage clothing boutique, Electric Lemonade, on the trendy side of Nevada’s 1st Congressional District on Small Business Saturday, it’s no wonder why shop owners Kinsey and Courtney Peters were taken by surprise (their Instagram shots of the moment prove it). Titus continued her show of support in Art Square. Marlene and Barb from Vexed By Design were very honored that the Congresswoman would “take time out of her hectic schedule and stop by Vexed to lend her support to small business.”


Titus understands the importance of the indie movement. We’re not talking oddly cool music and obscure movies, although those outlets are pivotal to creating culture and art, instead this indie focus is on supporting small business and the local economy of Las Vegas. We sat at a table for two outside of Pinches Tacos on Fremont Street and chatted about the small business landscape in Southern Nevada. Breakfast at MTO Café across from our new City Hall, perusing the shops in 18B Arts District, and exploring the wonders of Fremont East and Downtown Container Park, what do you think of Las Vegans launching their dreams? Las Vegas has a long history of reinventing itself. I think this is the new generation and it is so exciting to see the action in Downtown and the Arts District. So many young people are 8 |

involved. They say, ‘This is my first store or my first business. I’m a start-up company,’ and that is just very inspiring. What impact does all of this business bustle have on our economy and community? Small business is the key to bringing back the economy. We want to be sure that everything we do helps small business succeed — whether it’s the tax structure, insurance, or helping with regulations and licensing. A lot of that is at different levels of government, but at the federal level we can get involved in that too. And I think there is a real camaraderie with the businesses here. They support each other because they are all in this together and that gives a real sense of community that Las Vegas might have been missing before. As a longtime professor at the university and a public servant, you know the concerns of students, families, and all kinds of different folks, what do you think this local business movement and the focus Downtown means for them? This [movement] may attract [young people] because there is a sense of community and a different, edgy environment that young people find attractive. But it is also very accommodating [to families]. You can bring your children, you can find a place to park, you can have a glass of wine or a taco, you can shop and buy retro things or very modern things — it’s just kind of got it all. So I would encourage people to venture out — get beyond their comfort zone a little bit and you will see how much there is to offer down here. I had breakfast this morning at MTO Café. They were telling me that they get more of their business from out in Summerlin than they do from across the street at City Hall, so the word is getting out.

Support Small Businesses in our Valley

Electric Lemonade Shop Launchers/Owners: Kinsey & Courtney Peters Established: February 2012 Inspiration: Thrifting with Grandpa and a passion for all things vintage. Advice: Research your idea, start small, connect with other independent businesses in the community, and don’t give up on your dreams. Support Electric Lemonade: 220 E. Charleston Boulevard 702.776.7766 |

Vexed By Design Launchers/Owners: Marlene Reid & Barb Tricarichi Established: July 2012 Inspiration: Helping artists gain exposure in the local community. Advice: Just do it! Don’t be afraid to take a leap of faith. Believe in yourself and follow your dream—life is too short for regrets. Support Vexed: 1017 S. 1st Street #185 (inside Art Square) 702.815.0659 |

After the Congresswoman’s visit, Marlene from Vexed by Design notes that the big picture of small business can be summed up in one word — community. She adds, “There’s a sense of belonging — a sense of satisfaction that comes from knowing you’re part of something larger than just your single business.” Kinsey from Electric Lemonade Shop agrees by urging owners to “take an interest in other local businesses, it’s always good to have friends in the community [who] point some of their customers to other local stores [and businesses].”

The Launch Issue | January - February 2014 | 9

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14 BRILLIANT clubhouses


The new merger between the Las Vegas and Henderson Boys & Girls Clubs offers a promising future.

Written by Hektor Esparza Photography by Nathan Douglas

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ffluent youth. Homeless youth. Underprivileged youth. They all benefit from having a fun and safe place where they can experience personal discovery, community with other young people, and caring adults. Serving some 30,000 children and teens across the Vegas Valley — Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Nevada was formed by the recent merger of the Las Vegas and Henderson chapters of the national organization. Both chapters were founded over 50 years ago by Sam Boyd, but as the valley became more densely populated and their activities began to overlap, the merger was conceived to develop more efficient ways to provide services. Among other benefits, becoming one organization facilitates better use of shared resources, eliminates confusion in fundraising, and provides greater reach to its partners.


At the street level the merger broke through barriers between kids who are members of Boys & Girls Clubs in different neighborhoods, go to different schools, and come from different cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. Sports tournaments and other programming bring together kids who are members of 14 clubhouses spread throughout the valley. As Fiztslona Johnson, Director for the Lied Memorial Clubhouse explains, “They need to know there are other teens who might be outside of their socioeconomic status but are going through the same things they are. The friendships they build are sustainable and many will be lifelong. I think we are doing something unique here.”

Each clubhouse acts as a community center for young people and focuses on five areas: Character and Leadership Development, Education and Career Development, the Arts, Sports Fitness and Recreation, and Health and Life Skills. But each facility retains a degree of autonomy and develops programs in these areas in response to the needs of each neighborhood. “Every club is clean and vibrant and the same in that way, which is great,” says Johnson. “On the flip side Ken always tells us, ‘You are the CEO of your Clubhouse. You know the kids better than anyone. You know which programs are needed and effective.’” While Ken Rubeli — President and CEO of the newly formed organization — empowers his clubhouse directors to stay on top of responsive programming, when it comes to keeping the bills paid, he employs a keen sense for business development. Rubeli takes advantage of the organization’s assets to generate revenue rather than relying exclusively on traditional fundraising methods. “We have huge opportunities for a sports league component because we now control 11 basketball courts scattered all over town. We are looking to rapidly expand our leagues and provide the best quality youth basketball program at the most affordable prices,” Rubeli says.

and the day camp it operates in Summerlin are high-use locations. “While we generally can’t get grant funding in those markets, we can offer a price point that is far better than any competitor. So not only can we serve those kids in the more affluent neighborhoods, but we can also generate revenue that can help out in the more economically challenged areas we serve.” Adding to their revenue streams is always a high priority. In addition to operating profitable fireworks stands leading up to the Fourth of July, Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Nevada will likely get into the haunted house arena this October as a means to generate more funds for their youth. “I want us to be known as the most efficient nonprofit in Southern Nevada. And for people to know that when they donate a dollar, we work hard to leverage that and see that it goes a long way.”

Capitalizing on the need for places where young people can gather, even in more affluent neighborhoods, Rubeli takes advantage of the organization’s ability to produce high value at comparatively low costs. He says the clubhouse at Southern Highlands

The Launch Issue | January - February 2014 | 13


Written by Valerie Miller Photography by Talbot Snow


years of jazz

UNVEILING A MASTERPIECE Midnight Muse documents Las Vegas jazz history.

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person will often have a little gleam in their eye, showing passion about what they do. That’s definitely true with Ann Parenti and her dream to showcase some of Las Vegas’ greatest musicians. Parenti — who has run her Las Vegas-based manufacturer representative agency, Parenti & Associates, for 26 years — has always had the singing bug. And it was while she was putting together “a jazz and standards” CD of her own songs, a year ago, that Parenti got the idea for her latest project: Midnight Muse.


Midnight Muse honors about 80 musicians, artists, and poets who have been a part of the jazz, R&B, and big band scene in Las Vegas for the past 50 years. Midnight Muse includes a documentary film, a book, and music CDs, and is set for a spring 2014 release. Parenti is on the verge of unveiling her masterpiece. Midnight Muse all started when Parenti was using Las Vegas big bands, and jazz bands, to play on her recordings. Then, some of Parenti’s mentors suggested she document the history of the city’s greatest singers and musicians. Parenti & Associates was going through a slow period when she took their advice and decided to spearhead Midnight Muse. “It was still the recession, and I had a little more free time, and I decided to do this project,” she recalled. From that moment, Parenti has pursued her dream with everything she had. At first, that belief was mostly faith and positive thinking on Parenti’s part. “Every time I had a little bit of anxiety about the project, I’d get an affirmation,” she said. “I didn’t have the

money, or the relationships built up. But so many good things have come up for me, financially.” A big launch party is set for the night of February 22nd at the West Charleston Library (6301 West Charleston Boulevard). The red carpet event will be a collaboration of Ann Parenti’s Forgotten Song Music and the Jazz for Peace group. “There will be live art created and auctioned at an online auction, which lasts until the end of the month (of February),” Parenti said. “Jennifer Main will be one of the artists and Terry Ritter will be donating art pieces for the auction.”

“Live to Love” by artist Jennifer Main

Parenti will also be giving back to the next generation of jazz artists through the fundraiser. “That night, I will be giving a portion of the proceeds to use for scholarships to Vegas Jazz, which is the jazz society here,” she explained, to give to the students in the jazz departments at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and the College of Southern Nevada. The scholarships will tie the oldest of local musicians with some of the very youngest. Parenti also hopes the Midnight Muse book, documentary, and music CDs will be used by the music departments of the two colleges. “I’ve recorded over 20 songs on a twoCD set,” she said. “The book has the

complete history of the Las Vegas Jazz Society, and is subdivided into 12 chapters.” The movie premier will be sometime in March. Midnight Muse is reaching full-speed, she said. “Everything is spinning as fast as it can right now.” It will all be worth it if Parenti can reach her goals for Midnight Muse. “This is one of those things that is history, and I want to keep it alive,” Parenti continued. “These people played behind Elvis and Frank Sinatra. I want to recognize them while they are still on this Earth.”

The Launch Issue | January - February 2014 | 15

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CULTUrAL aMBITIONS projects in one

New art museum could be a game changer for Las Vegas.

Written by tony illia Illustrations by assemblageStUdiO

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C U LT U R E A planned contemporary art museum for downtown Las Vegas could be a cultural game changer, establishing a complex dialectic with the city’s past, present, and future social history. The building itself could be hugely influential, potentially forging a new architectural heritage for Las Vegas. The identity and branding of cultural institutions are increasingly intertwined with their facilities. New York’s Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, for example, is housed inside an iconic Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece. The building’s distinctive inverted ziggurat, alternately known as the beehive, is arguably more famous than the institution itself. Yet, the two are consanguine in the popular consciousness.

Checko Salgado

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The Modern, as it’s being called, is the city’s first stand-alone art museum built from the ground up. The shortlived Guggenheim Hermitage occupied space inside The Venetian Resort, and the shuttered Las Vegas Art Museum rented space inside the West Sahara Library. As a result, the community’s collective hopes and cultural ambitions ride on the museum’s success. It’s a tall order placed in the capable hands of Las Vegas architect Eric Strain with AssemblageSTUDIO, which is responsible for the Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort Visitor’s Center and Mesquite Fine Arts Center.

“This is the project that every architect dreams of,” Strain said. “It’s an opportunity to build something unique to downtown Las Vegas as opposed to taking what others have done elsewhere and bringing it here. This will be something authentic to Southern Nevada.” Indeed, The Modern’s design scheme is wholly original, bold but nuanced, daring yet elegant. The plan calls for balancing two offset rectangular volumes, stacked one atop another, at the northwest corner of Charleston Boulevard and Third Street. The rectilinear building shape makes exhibition installation easy and convenient. A handful of angled struts

Steven Joseph Henderson Symphony Orchestra Symphony Wines

provide added structural support while visually enticing passersby. The building, which forms a right angle, makes the most of its irregular triangle-shaped plot by using geometry to maximize every inch of real estate available. I.M. Pei used a similar solution when faced with a trapezoidal site for the National Gallery of Art’s East Building in Washington D.C. However, The Modern’s skewed building volumes carry additional allegorical significance beyond aesthetic appeal by aligning with the original 1905 city planning grid and its 1960s contemporary counterpart along Charleston Boulevard. It’s a conceptual

nod marrying the city’s historical past with modern day Las Vegas for something new and daring, clever and resourceful. The museum exterior makes a similar reference by using a dimpled stainless steel skin embossed with oversized images from Red Rock National Park. The resilient building material embodies a futuristic machine age while paying homage to Southern Nevada’s rich native landscape with Banana Yucca, Anasazi petroglyphs, Aztec sandstone, and Creosote bushes. The material creates a playful dynamic surface of radiant hues and shadows, which change complexion

throughout the day, engaging visitors, pedestrians, and motorists. The building will use 70,000 square feet of Zahnerfabricated steel panels with peekaboo reveals and minimal glass to protect artwork from scorching sunlight. Juxtaposition of the natural and manmade worlds thematically permeates the building. The upper volume, for instance, uses space-age fabricated metal whereas the base relies upon conventional stone and concrete. Spread over five levels, the 60,000-square-foot museum is organized around a sky-lit central corridor that acts as a pivot point for the two offcenter volumes. The first two levels are

The Launch Issue | January - February 2014 | 21

C U LT U R E connected by a free-standing helical staircase similar to one found inside Oscar Niemeyer’s lobby inside Brazil’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs building. The monumental serpentine stairs act as a floating sculpture, artistic yet functional, encouraging visitor interaction and investigation, while drawing people into the space. Meanwhile, the top level uses a louvered roof inspired by Renzo Piano’s “flying carpet” concept, allowing carefully refracted natural light into sun sensitive galleries for diffused illumination without fear of artwork damage. The museum’s skillful interplay between indoors and out, or natural and manmade, continues

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with a 14,000-square-foot rooftop garden plus an outdoor balcony space along the north face created by the building’s cantilevered intersection. There is an additional sunken ground-level sculpture courtyard for receptions and informal gatherings that opens into a basement level accessible by rolling glass doors along the northern exposure. Across the street, Luminous Park is a landscaped interactive public space, designed by Gensler who served as master plan architect for CityCenter. The one-and-a half-acre parcel will feature interactive exhibits, walking paths, luncheon nooks, and community gathering spaces.

A nonprofit board of community leaders and philanthropists is providing the grit and determination needed to make The Modern Contemporary Art Museum of Las Vegas a reality. Programmatically, the museum will be as magnetic as the building itself. The Modern shuns a stereotypical art container model for something far more aspirational and compelling. “We want to nurture creativity, cultivating the next generation of homegrown artists,” said gallerist and board chairman Brett Sperry who is donating the museum’s three-acre parcel. “We will be engaged in the community, appealing to people of all ages and backgrounds, regardless of gender, ethnicity, and income.”

The Modern will have a 15,000-squarefoot “Center for Creativity” with computers and fabricating tools for aspiring fashion, art, furniture and industrial designers, acting as a workshop and artist incubator. It will provide courses, lectures, and lab instruction about multidisciplinary design fundamentals, developing concepts into self-sustaining business strategies. Meanwhile, there will be 35,000 square feet of museum galleries, spanning three floors with two to three rotating exhibits annually from established and emerging contemporary painters, sculptors, collagists, and photographers. Additional amenities include a retail gift

shop, a bistro, ticketing counter, and events spaces. “This is something Las Vegas is really ready for,” said museum board member Katie Binion O’Neill. “The city has come of age and evolved into a real community.”

informally spent three years and 2,000 design hours producing a dazzling design that seduces the public and donors alike. Construction could begin in late 2014 or early 2015, depending on fundraising, with completion to occur 18 months later.

The Modern could be transformative for downtown, with the building symbolically serving as the prow of a ship, leading the 18B Las Vegas Arts District into a bright, shiny future, full of promise. A fundraising campaign is underway to generate $29 million for building construction and an endowment. The project has already received $2.4 million pledged in land and cash donations. AssemblageSTUDIO has

The Launch Issue | January - February 2014 | 23

Enter the Mindbender Mansion Traveling Exhibit, a quirky place full of puzzles, brainteasers, and interactive challenges that test the brain power of the most experienced puzzlers.


January 30 – April 27, 2014 Mindbender Mansion was produced and is toured by the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, Portland, Oregon.

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150 Battle Born years

Nevada’s Sesquicentennial (pronounced ses-kwi-sen-ten-ee-uhl) celebrates the 150th anniversary of Nevada. On October 31st, 1864 Nevada became the 36th state to enter the union of the United States of America. This once-in-a-lifetime occasion is an opportunity to showcase the unique contribution of the state’s culture and history. Plans for the yearlong celebration include official community based and signature Nevada 150 events. The statewide festivities will run all year long, concluding with an expanded Nevada Day celebration in October. Here’s a list of just some of the events and projects taking place over the next three months. For a full list of events, programs, and projects visit

Masterworks Series III: Battle Born-Nevada Proud! The Smith Center for Performing Arts January 18, 7:30pm This is the first official concert of the Sesquicentennial celebration and it will spotlight the talents of University of

Nevada, Reno graduate and San Francisco Symphony Resident Conductor, Donato Cabrera — as well as Reno-born, Grammy Award-winning UNLV alumnus, composer Eric Whitacre. To purchase tickets visit

Nevada’s Sesquicentennial celebration highlights our shared heritage.

Frémont: Pathfinder of the West and decide for yourself whether legendary figure John C. Frémont was a villain or a hero and pioneer who opened the West to settlement. Enjoy refreshments, the Silver Strings quartet from the Carson City Symphony, songs by students of Frémont Elementary School, and presentations by officials of the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service, key sponsors of the exhibition. For more information visit

30th Annual National Cowboy Poetry Gathering Western Folklife Center and Elko Convention Center in Elko January 27, All Day Come celebrate the rural life of the West at the 30th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. The annual event is a grand celebration of western people, their lifestyles and traditions. Cowboys, ranchers, rural folks, as well as urban people travel from all over the country to Elko to listen to poetry and music, learn about cowboy culture in the U.S. and around the world, experience great art, watch western films, learn crafts, and gather together to eat, drink, and swap stories. Finding Frémont: Pathfinder of the West Exhibit Reception Nevada State Museum in Carson City January 29, 5:00pm-7:30pm Explore the Nevada State Museum’s sesquicentennial exhibit, Finding

Living Legends, “Seasons” Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts in Reno February 1, 7:30pm Living Legend’s Seasons, captures the essence of ancient and modern culture in a celebration of Native American, Latino, and Polynesian song and dance. Traditions come to life as the Brigham Young University ensemble blends authentic choreography, intricate costumes, and heart-pounding music into one captivating show. For more information visit

The Launch Issue | January - February 2014 | 25



SOUND CHECK committed musicians

Making music is their passion, hear some of the valleys top musicians’ plans for their careers in 2014.

Written by Ian Caramanzana & Sabrina Cofield

Michelle Johnson

Las Vegas goes by several nicknames: “Sin City,” “The City of Second Chances,” and most importantly — “The Entertainment Capital of the World.” The city is filled to the brim with events, shows, attractions, and live music. You name it, and it’s here. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that Vegas has given birth to many big name musicians. From alternative rock bands like The Killers, Imagine Dragons, and Panic! At The Disco to hip hop and R&B acts like Big B and Ne-Yo — the city has had its fair share of successes. We chatted with several Las Vegas-based musicians to get their take on the local music scene, learn more about their passion, and find out how they plan to LAUNCH their careers into 2014.

Michelle Johnson Michelle Johnson is know by her fans as ‘Las Vegas’ First Lady of Jazz,’ but she would describe herself as an eclectic ball of wax — encompassing many different genres of music. She has shared the stage with Gladys Knight, Elton John, Donnie and Marie Osmond, David Foster, Josh

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Groban, Cher, Paul McCartney, and many more artists. With an English Language and Literature degree from Yale University, Michelle was on her way to Harvard Law School when she admitted to herself that the entertainment industry had her heart. She packed up her things and moved to Las Vegas. For nearly 20 years she has navigated the valley’s music industry with great success and is now ready to take it to the next level. BLVDS: How would you describe your sound? MJ: My sound is a blend of many types of music. Jazz, blues, opera, and rock and roll. A little bit of Ella and Dinah Washington, a little bit of Carole King and James Taylor, some Etta James, and a touch of Tina Turner. It all depends on the emotion I am evoking. BLVDS: How would you describe the Las Vegas music scene? MJ: In a word, “underrated.” Both the talent and the opportunities are

underrated, by both entertainers from other cities and by locals. This is a fascinating town. Vegas is a big city with big venues and big stages and hundreds of performers, and yet we are as close knit as a small town family of artists. I moved here from New York in 1995 to escape the winters and to try something new for ‘a few months.’ I never left. You will hear that same tale from many people. Why? Because the scene is underrated. Because once you are enmeshed in it, it woos your heart and holds you fast. It is hard to leave. BLVDS: How do you plan to LAUNCH your career in 2014? MJ: I have neglected my own writing, my own voice, and my own message for far too long. In 2014, I will be working on four things that are dear to my heart. 1) I will be doing a multimedia show that features my love of the “great ladies of jazz” and the wonderful big band era I love. 2) I will also be recording, which is my true love. I love the studio, so 2014 will result in a CD of jazz standards as well as a CD featuring

Last Call - Photography by Hunter Wallace

my originals. I sing at the only real jazz club in Vegas, the Dispensary. Best kept secret in Vegas for over 30 years! 3) I will be singing with some symphonies. 4) My cabaret show Back to Front will be produced. BLVDS: What is your ultimate goal with your music? MJ: My goal is very simple. I just want to touch people. I want to help people to reconnect with their higher angels, their pain, their anger, their dreams. Music is a healer.

Last Call Austin Jeffers sings for Last Call — the well-known Las Vegas pop-punk act. Last Call is a well-oiled touring machine that has embarked on several country-wide tours. The band has released three EPs and a full-length, Dog Years, which was released last year. BLVDS: Las Vegas has an atmosphere of its own, what do you think of the music scene at the moment?

AJ: It’s always hard to gauge things like this — and if I jump into this question, I tend to anger people. So when it comes to Las Vegas, I keep it close to the vest. We all have work to do to make it better. We, as a city, are hit and miss. When we hit, it’s so awesome. When we miss, we are rough. I’ve cried before from joy playing here and I’ve cursed the city for its lackluster caring.

have beautiful music in our world to make. So make it.

BLVDS: With three EPs and a full-length under your belts, how is the band going to LAUNCH itself into 2014? AJ: Well, we’re slowly starting to piece some music together, so maybe another EP. Who knows? Maybe something more. I love making new music so I’m just happy to be at it. No plans to tour, but new music is on the docket. BLVDS: Ultimately, what do you hope to accomplish as a musician? AJ: That’s a big question. I want to write music that speaks to me, and hope it speaks to other people. I’m cheesy, I get that. Still, I have high hopes that we all

Bobby Meader - Photography by Hunter Wallace

Bobby Meader Bobby Meader is the singer and guitar player of his acoustic folk, punk band, Bobby Meader Music. Since September 2012 he has released two full-length albums, We Are the Blues We Write and, more recently, My Coffee’s All Cold.

The Launch Issue | January - February 2014 | 27

C U LT U R E BLVDS: How would you describe your sound? BM: I have a modern folky and punk sound. I play majority acoustic and have a strength in regards to soft vocals. BLVDS: How do you plan to LAUNCH your band into 2014? BM: By the end of the year I will probably have another record. I’m working on booking a February/March Midwest tour. I’ve already done pretty decently with the West Coast. I recently have been having car troubles, severe car troubles. So if my car dies, I will have to return to a serving job on the strip in order to buy another car and pay to create another record. Nothing really bums me out more than stagnant time, but I guess I really don’t have a choice. It’s not like stopping making music is really an option, so, you move on! BLVDS: Ultimately, what do you hope to accomplish as a musician? BM: As a musician I plan to get on a punk/ post punk/pop punk-based label that I really believe in. Then after that, my ultimate goal is to have Bobby Meader Music keep shifting sounds, like it already sort of has based on my two previous records, and have a full band where I might only be singing. If I can recruit the right members, it would be really rad to have a band like Citizen or Balance and Composure, where the soft vocals, tough heavy layered guitars, and moderately paced drums really shine.

Shayna Rain Mercer Shayna Rain Mercer is the vocalist for her band, Shayna Rain and the Gents. Taking cues from soul and R&B greats, the band has played shows throughout the Las Vegas valley.

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Steven Ray Viveros and Shayna Rain Mercer - Photo:

BLVDS: How would you describe your sound?

BLVDS: What do you plan to do with your music?

SR: Right away I think about what others have described my voice as, but I really don’t think I sound like Adele. Don’t get me wrong she’s fantastic, and it’s a huge compliment. I don’t think I’m as powerful as her, though, I’m very mellow. I have such a love for that mellow, soft, reverb, layered filled sound.

SR: I’d really like to just be able to get everything that’s inside my head out, and whatever happens with that is what will happen I guess. I mean, I’d really like to be able to teach music and give music to kids who don’t have such easy access to it. That’s probably at the top of my list.

BLVDS: What are you working on at the moment? SR: Branching out and working with other musicians. Trying to get out of my comfort zone. I have a song I’m about to record called, “How Autumn Goes” (the demo version is on my SoundCloud). I planned on just recording it at home, but my friend who runs Das Studio wants to work with me on it. I think it’s important to work alone sometimes, but it will be good to hear others opinions, judgements, and ideas. I think that’s very important to have in order to grow as an artist. I’m also starting a side project with a friend of mine. It will be way different from anything I’ve done with The Gents, so I’m pretty excited about that.

BLVDS: How do you plan to LAUNCH your career this year? SR: I hope to finish a full length album in 2014, that’s probably my biggest goal for the coming year. A tour would be a wonderful way to end the year. BLVDS: Ultimately, what do you hope to accomplish as a musician? SR: To keep my sanity. Michelle Johnson: Last Call: Bobby Meader Music Shayna Rain Mercer

AMAZING is fiercely


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WE CAN HELP! Classes are now forming to help you enroll from Dec. 1 - April 1 at our office. Please call (702) 379-7858 and ask for Jaime to join, or email her at Private appointments are available at your home, place of business, or our office. Licensed and Certified on the Nevada Exchange.

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702.254.0332 |




top trends


WORKOUTS Powering up your form, fitness, and fun.

Written by Gabriella Walters Photography by Talbot Snow, Eddie Roberts

ost of us spend the majority of our day tied to a chair or in some form of ‘unnatural’ position. That’s just one of the reasons why the latest exercise trends are moving toward functional fitness, focusing on core stability and opening up the chest and shoulders to create better posture and give support to the lower back. More and more people are trading traditional gyms for smaller studios that focus on specific forms of fitness. These group class based facilities are creating a sense of community, and by incorporating functional movements, creating long lean muscle mass and strong healthy bodies. All of this translates into you becoming better at your job, your hobbies, and life in general.


Hot Pilates Move over Bikram, there’s a new hot room exercise craze in town. Hot Pilates is a trend that started in the local studio, Vegas HOT! Yoga and Pilates. The folks at Vegas HOT! took a studio that was losing membership and quadrupled attendance with their version of Hot Pilates. Today Vegas HOT! is the first dedicated studio in the valley teaching the Inferno Hot Pilates Method. The Inferno Method has taken off in the last couple of years with its high-intensity, low impact, hard core workout. Incorporating high-intensity interval training, Tabata, circuit training, and Pilates principles — studios like Inferno Hot Pilates have taken ‘hot’ classes to a whole new level. An hour of Inferno Hot Pilates can burn upwards of 500 calories, giving you a full body workout, including cardio, (yes, cardio) in a hot room. Deep core work and stability training coupled with some familiar favorites will leave you dripping in sweat.

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TRX at Tru Fusion

TRX Leave it to a Navy SEAL to design one of the most intense pieces of exercise equipment on the market today. TRX is compact, versatile, and transportable; it’s like having a Pilates machine on the go. By utilizing your own bodyweight, the TRX Suspension Trainer leverages gravity and provides greater performance and functionality than many large exercise machines. A big thank you to Tony Cress for bringing this hot trend to the Vegas Valley. You can find TRX classes on several studios lineups. When combining TRX with other popular techniques like Kettlebell and circuit training, you get an unmatched, well-rounded workout.

Kettlebell Training Getting its start with the Russian Military — you may have heard terms like RKC and IKFF thrown around when people refer to Kettlebell training. Those are the two versions; RKC being the

Kettlebells from Tru Fusion

Russian Military version and IKFF being the competition version. It seems like these days everyone is adding Kettlebell training to their routines. CrossFitters use it, Boot Campers use it, even TRXers use it. Both versions offer low impact, functional training that makes cardio on the treadmill seem like a walk in the park. Add in the fact that there are endless ways to incorporate Kettlebell training into your daily routine and you might find you’ve stumbled upon a priceless piece of equipment. So why not just buy a kettlebell and swing it around at home? Kettlebell training is a science, with a distinctive proper form to be followed to avoid injury. Do yourself a favor and visit the experts by taking a class in a local studio before thinking you can snatch, clean, swing, press, and rack your way to good health.

CrossFit Fitness fanatics all remember when there were only one or two CrossFit gyms in the entire city, and the die-hard ‘CrossFitters’ had to drive 30-45 minutes for a WOD (workout of the day). Now CrossFit gyms are popping up like Starbucks; they are everywhere. There are even apps for the WOD in case you can’t make it to the gym. So what is CrossFit? Constantly varied functional movements performed at relatively high intensity. CrossFit is also about community. In fact, the communal aspect of this fitness regimen is a key component of why it’s so effective. So what makes these crazy workouts so addictive? Pushing your body to its limits and accomplishing things that at first glance seem well, crazy!

Obstacle Races and Boot Camps Whether you’re looking to win a medal or just want to trudge through the mud with friends — obstacle course races are encouraging people to get in shape and have fun doing it. From

Kristen Tucker at The Dirty Dash

races like the Dirty Dash, to the Tough Mudder, and the Spartan Race — courses vary in distance with obstacles that involve fire, water, ice, barbed wire, and of course, mud. With the popularity of obstacle races increasing, Boot Camps have become the go to place to train for such events. Back in the day Boot Camps appeared to outsiders as groups of people running around the park using whatever was available as training gear; park benches, tires, monkey bars, etc. Now studios like Inferno Hot Pilates, Vegas HOT! and TruFusion are taking the exercise regimen to a whole new level by bringing it indoors with classes like Ballerina Boot Camp and Barefoot Boot Camp, while re-vamping dying trends like Barre and adding in new trends like Kettlebell training. By taking it indoors you keep the high intensity but trade out high impact movements like jumping for low impact moves that are easy on the joints.

The Launch Issue | January - February 2014 | 33


Local Facilities Inferno Hot Pilates, (Inferno Method Hot Pilates, TRX, Ballerina Boot Camp, Kettlebell) Vegas Hot, (Hot Pilates, Barefoot Boot Camp, Kettlebell) TruFusion, (Hot Pilates, TRX, Kettlebell, Barefoot Boot Camp) Tony Cress, (TRX, Personal Training) Bodyheat, (Boot Camp, Hot Pilates, Yoga, Kettlebell) Rhino Bootcamp, (Boot Camp) PFC CrossFit, CrossFit Combine, CrossFit Las Vegas, 702 CrossFit,

Safety Tips Get off of automatic


You are most prone to injury when you ‘check out’ during class. Pay attention to the instructions and be present at all times. In other words, don’t make a to do list while you are working out, take an hour to focus on your workout.

Brace the spine by pulling your belly button in. Squeeze your gluts. Keep ankles over your knees when squatting.

Form Proper form above all else! Protect your body. If it feels wrong it probably is; your body knows best. Move at your own tempo, be careful not to sacrifice protecting your body for going faster or harder than the person next to you. This is your workout, not anyone else’s. There can be a lot of pressure with certain workouts to go fast and beat your time; be safe, first and foremost and your body will thank you later.

Hydrate and eat Make sure you drink plenty of water before, during and after class. Plan your pre-workout meals. It’s recommended to eat a light snack one and a half to two hours prior to class.

‘Sweating it out’ is not an option! Whether you are sick, have the sniffles, or are hung over, stay home!

Eddie Roberts, Tom Schiemer, Jonathan Bond at Spartan Race

Bubble Run Las Vegas

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Tire toss with Jason Meckler and Kristen Tucker at Spartan Race



Crave List 2

1. Angels from above­— well actually Las Vegas These Sirena Angels are hand sculpted in terra-cotta then hand painted and kiln fired. The set of four can be custom made to also hold a bird or heart in there hands. San Miguel Trading Company

2. Dreams do come true


The company is GoodWorks “Make A Difference”, the bracelet is called “Dream Come Together”. Thirteen inspiring words and messages on a silky straight gloss leather wrap. An added bonus - 25% of net profits goes to provide backpacks and school supplies to underprivileged students. MarkieChar Jewelry

3. Pritty little pouch These accessory pouches are great for traveling or every day use. Each pouch has it’s own inspirational message and mystical artwork. Perfect for journaling pens, motivational keepsakes, or everyday items. MarkieChar Jewelry

4. Feeling better already


This Hemimorphite Healing Bracelet is made from a stone that helps one attain a positive self-image including self-esteem and self-respect. It assists in personal growth on all levels, and helps one evolve and transform in healthy ways. Hemimorphite is a stone that brings joy and creativity to one’s life. LifeForceEnergy Etsy Shop

The Launch Issue | January - February 2014 | 35


Shine by alyse Sweeney

elcome to Shine – a column about living with deeper insight, authenticity, joy, and presence. It’s about knowing what lights us up and sharing our unique gifts — the arts, business, philanthropy, or relationships. It’s about finding our most authentic voice. It’s about unleashing creative energy and taming our inner critic (that voice that attempts to flood us with self-doubt and keep us small). It’s about getting quiet and listening to our life. It’s about bright and bold living!


Truth be told, I’m an introvert with a loud inner critic that says things like: “Who are you to write a blog/column/ workshop on living boldly? Ridiculous!” But in writing this column and launching Write to Glow — workshops aimed at quieting our inner critic to unlock clarity, creativity, and authenticity — I’ve discovered that: 1). It feels great to respond to my inner critic with a simple “Says who?” or a spirited “Piss off!” and 2). staying safely in my comfort zone is neither comfortable — nor safe. Before Write to Glow, I had a robust, decade-long career as a writer and publishing executive with Scholastic in NYC. We moved to Vegas shortly after my boy/girl twins were born, and I wrote dozens of books for kids and teachers. I am deeply grateful for this career. But when I stopped stretching as a writer, I knew it was time to get out of my comfort zone and pursue writing from a deeper place. This didn’t happen overnight. It took several years and the perfect storm of turning 40, developing a chronic illness, and a line from a poem to catapult me in a new direction: 36 |

Thoughts on bold living. Illustration by daria Riley

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” from “The Summer Day” by Mary Oliver

As you’ll read on the next page, resistance (fear, selfdoubt, procrastination) is a powerful toxin, which I believe contributed to my body falling out of balance. But the illness got my attention and without it, I may never have studied and practiced mind/body connection. Or meditation, Reiki, and yoga. Or dream work. Or free-flow writing, where I found the greatest clarity — and a new passion. In this column, illustrator Daria Riley and I invite you to dream with us as you create your precious life.

Meet Resistance Combating the many faces of resistance; self-sabotage, procrastination, and self-doubt


o your resolutions and dreams for 2014 include launching a business or charity? Are you exploring writing or the arts? Are you beginning a spiritual practice or health regiment?

Terrific! Now read The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. He explains that resistance (self-sabotage, procrastination, selfdoubt) always appears after we commit to activities that better ourselves or others. Why? To keep us in our comfort zone (where we live our un-lived lives). Says Pressfield, “Resistance is the most toxic force on the planet. It is the root of more unhappiness than poverty, disease, and erectile dysfunction… It stunts us and makes us less than we are and were born to be.”

Yikes! How to handle this force? Action and passion are antidotes Pressfield cites. Exercise like you mean it. Write your novel like there’s no tomorrow. I believe embracing uncertainty is another powerful antidote. Sure, the result may differ from what you hope, but the only way to truly fail is to sit it out. For another perspective on resistance, consider the expression, “Even the eagle could not soar if the wind did not offer resistance”. Whether you pummel this fierce opponent or use it to launch you to heights never imagined, here’s to soaring and shining in 2014!

The Launch Issue | January - February 2014 | 37




Our makeover contest winners get some pampering, and a boost for the new year.

great time

Photography by Lucky Wenzel (top) Talbot Snow (bottom)

The dazzling Tiffany Amico

Hair by Tayla

Tiffany Amico has been through a lot over the last two and a half years. In short — she lost 60 pounds, got married, got pregnant with twins, then lost the twins due to complications. “After 8 weeks of hospitalized bed rest I gained pretty much all my weight Dinner at Echo & Rig back and haven’t been able to lose it. I feel like I not only lost my children with that pregnancy, but I lost myself.” So when Tiffany entered the BLVDS Makeover Contest, we all knew she definitely needed a day of pampering. Tiffany began her day in Tivoli Village at Era by Clara where she got the celebrity treatment with a full face of make up, complete with eyelashes. “I was very pleased and shocked when I saw myself in the mirror. Especially

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the eyelashes, they gave me a very dramatic look. I felt like a celebrity.” Next Tiffany headed over to Vasari Clothing where she received a $100 shopping spree. She finished her day of pampering with a hair cut, color, and blow-out at Hair by Tayla. “Words cannot express how amazing I felt. Because I was in and out of the hospital so long I hadn’t had my hair cut in nearly a year. It was such a great day. This was probably one of the best experiences of my life and I will be forever grateful.” A few days later Tiffany and her husband enjoyed dinner at Echo & Rig. And a bit of good news, Tiffany is ten weeks pregnant. “We’re hoping this one will be our rainbow baby.” In the spirit of giving, we couldn’t choose just one winner, so we treated another local woman to Facial Rejuvenation Treatments by Dr. Fong at CosMedic Therapy at Derma Therapy. “Our Facial Rejuvenation Treatment consists of three R’s — relax, restore, and refresh.” Dr. Fong used Dysport injections to help ‘relax’ and improve the look of moderate to severe frown lines between the eyebrows. The Dysport takes 3 to 7 days to set in, and will last 3 to 4 months before it slowly wears off. Next, Dr. Fong ‘restores’ the skin by revolumizing it with a product called Sculptra, which yields subtle

Dr. Fong at CosMedic Therapy

results over time. The Sculptra helps the body replace lost collagen, and takes about 4 to 6 weeks to see results, but with several sessions over a few months, the results can last more than two years. “Sculptra helps utilize what the body does naturally, making the skin more lifted, toned and vibrant. With the use of Dysport and Sculptra, you can get the look of a mini facelift without going under the knife” says Dr. Fong. Another lucky winner got ‘refreshed’ with a complimentary SilkPeel Microdermabrasion treatment, which left her skin smooth, soft, and hydrated. Dr. Fong says patient satisfaction is their top priority at CosMedic Therapy, “At our practice, I do the cosmetic dermatology and my husband does the medical dermatology. We want our patients to walk away happy. We know that if you are happy you will refer your friends and family.” All of us here at BLVDS would like to say a big thank you to all of you who entered the Makeover Contest. We are so grateful for you and sincerely appreciate your support over the years. Thank you to all those who took part in this makeover! Tivoli Village | 570.7400 Ritual Salon & Spa in Tivoli Village | 254.2900

BlvdsTABLE TOP THAT! de s i g n compet i t i o n

And the Winner is... Over the last month YOU, our readers, have voted for your favorite holiday table designer. In BLVDS’ first design competition (there will be more) we enlisted four local designers to take part in our Holiday Table Top That! competition, and the results are in! It was an extremely tight race until the very end, with just a handful of votes separating the top two designers. In the end, Jen Stiling squeaked by as the winner. Jill Abelman of Inside Style came in a nail-biting close second. We would like to extend a huge thank you to all of our fabulous designers who were gracious enough to take part in this year’s competition — Durette Candito of Urban Ranch General Store, Joel Spencer, Jill Abelman of Inside Style, and Jen Stiling of Jen Styling. We would also like to thank our sponsors, Artiques, Artifact, and Plantworks. And last, but certainly not least, we would like to thank YOU, our readers, for taking part in this year’s holiday table design competition. We hope you were inspired when setting your own table for the holidays. And remember if you need a little help redecorating or redesigning your home, a room, office, or personal space — make sure you call one of these amazing local designers.

Lashes by Saundra | 845.0396 Era by Ciera in Tivoli Village | 715.2013 Vasari Las Vegas in Tivoli Village | 597.9500 Echo & Rig in Tivoli Village | 489.3525 Dr. Fong at CosMedic Therapy | 796.7546 Hair by Tayla at Euphoria Aliante | 580.6971

The Launch Issue | January - February 2014 | 39

EVENTS The Hunger


January 24 – February 2 Las Vegas Little Theatre 362.7996 |

DIFFERENT Explore the sights and sounds of our great city!

JANUARY 2014 Hollywood Musicals Film Series: “Singin’ in the Rain” January 16 Charleston Heights Arts Center 229.6383 |

Ann Hampton Callaway Presents The Streisand Songbook January 17 The Smith Center 749.2012 |

1st Annual Love for Literacy Beauty Expo USA Trade Show January 20 Rio Hotel and Casino 866.746.7671 |

Thin Mint Sprint 5k & 1 Mile Shortbread Shuffle January 25 Town Square

30th Anniversary of the Black and White Ball

January 18 Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall 895.2787 |

Funset Kids Club at Galleria at Sunset January 21 Galleria at Sunset 434.0202 |

Music Performed by Musicians from Cirque du Soleil January 23 Trifecta Gallery 366.7001 |

January 20 Tasty Space Gallery 617.513.7336 |

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January 28 – February 2 The Smith Center 749.2012 |


Honor Band

Super Tasty Sunday - Tea Party & Closing Reception

Flashdance – The Musical

January 20 Paris Las Vegas Hotel and Casino 946.7000 |

January 17 – 19 Riviera Hotel & Casino 468.6748 |

January 18 The Smith Center 749.2012 |

Leonardo Da Vinci: Machines in Motion January 26 - May 4 Springs Preserve Springs

West Coast Art and Frame Expo

The Antique Arms Show

Las Vegas Philharmonic: Masterwork Series III “Battle Born – Nevada Proud!”

January 24 Tasty Space Gallery 617.513.7336 |

Catalyst Week DowntownProject January 23 - 25 The Learning Village januarycatalystweek.

January 25 Aria Resort and Casino 359.7757 |

Moscow Festival Ballet Cinderella

February 1 Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall 895.2787 |

The Sunday Reset Project February 2 Downtown

Patrick Clark Violin Studio Recital January 25 Historic Fifth Street School 229.6553 |

Gallery at Galleria

January 25 Galleria Mall at Sunset 267.2171

Pet Adoptions January 26 Tivoli Village 570.7400 |

Queen of Hearts Fashion Show

February 6 Discovery Children’s Museum 382.3445 |

“The Taming of the Shrew” February 7 – 8 CSN, Nicholas J. Horn Theatre 651.5483 |

Heart’s on Fire

The Frozen Cathedral

February 7 - 8 Henderson Convention Center 267.2171 |

February 27 UNLV, Artemus W. Ham Hall Concert Hall 895.2787 |

Jimmy Mulidore And His New York City Jazz Band – Jazz For The Ages March 7 – 8 The Smith Center 749.2012 |

Painting Women: Works from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston February 14 The Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art 693.7817

Free Paint Night First Friday February 7 Downtown Las Vegas

Sweethearts Valentine Shoppers Boutique February 8 Sun City Macdonald Ranch Resort 270.7000

February 14 The Artful Potter 638.1775 |

Daughtry February 14 Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas 698.7000

Georgia on My Mind: Celebrating Ray Charles February 28 The Smith Center 749.2012 |

MARCH 2014

Peter Pan March 12 Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall 497.5007 |

48th Annual Sons & Daughters of Erin St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival March 13 – 16 Henderson Events Plaza 267.2171 |

“The World Famous Ink Spots” Concert Ray Kurzwell – Author, Inventor, Futurist February 10 Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall 895.2787 |

Wranglers Concert Series February 14 The Orleans Arena 284.7777 |

February 15 West Las Vegas Library Theatre 229.4800 |

Las Vegas Spring MRket Show February 17 The Venetian Hotel 414.1000 |

Rick Della Ratta & Jazz For Peace

Artisan Afterhours March 1 Artisan Lounge

First Friday March 7 Downtown Las Vegas

Lady Antebellum, Kip Moore & Kacey Musgraves March 21 Mandalay Bay

February 22 West Charleston Library Performing Arts Center

The Launch Issue | January - February 2014 | 41




minutes a day

Clutter out, happiness in.

Written by Tanya Allason

n inspired life is filled with harmony, passion, love, laughter, balance, and a sense of order or routine. Building a happy professional and personal life is what our journey is all about. It’s inspiration that gives us the motivation to create true and lasting change in all areas of our lives.


For many of us a new year means a fresh start on that journey toward change and growth. As you set new goals for 2014 be sure to start things off on the right foot, organized and clutter-free. Clutter equals stress, frustration, powerlessness, feeling overwhelmed, and unhappiness. At some point the accumulated clutter begins to affect our daily lives, work, relationships, and health. Let’s face it, clutter makes us crabby! There is no inspiration in clutter, only stress, heaviness, and stagnation. We can create the change we desire in our lives by clearing out the clutter. No matter how hard you think organizing might be (it can be challenging), the rewards of living clutter-free are priceless.

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Your clutter didn’t accumulate overnight so be patient with yourself and the process. Choose to get rid of a few things in one area today, taking it one step and one day at a time. With just 15-20 minutes a day, you’ll discover a home that’s less cluttered for the new year ahead. If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, a professional organizer can help you break down a big project into smaller pieces. Once you set out to purge, you’ll quickly notice the effects of the changes you’ve made. So here are a few things you can do as you wrap up the holidays and prepare to kick off 2014 clutter-free.

Holiday Un-Decorating As you’re taking down and packing up decorations, look for ones that are worn out or broken and discard them. Only keep those that are special to you and will be used next year and donate unwanted decorations that are in good condition. Clearly mark containers with labels on the outside so everything will be easy to find next year. Store like items together so you can pull out boxes and bins as you need them.

What’s Your Vision When beginning an organizing project, pause for a moment and ask yourself, ‘What do I want from this space? How do I want this area to function? What effect would I like this room to have on me (calming or energizing)?’ Once you’ve answered those questions, follow the steps below.

Holiday Card Conundrum If sending out cards this holiday season made your crazy, start the new year with a plan. Send Out Cards keeps track of contact information and makes sending cards (whether it be Christmas, birthday, or other special occasions) as simple as the click of a button. So by the time the holiday season rolls back around, you’ll know exactly where to go to access names, addresses, and get those cards in the mail stress free. (

Clothing Cleanse Sort through and donate clothes that no longer fit or that your family hasn’t worn in over a year, or ever. Stop torturing yourself by holding onto ‘fat’ or ‘skinny’ clothes. If you can’t fit it or if you haven’t worn it within the last year, get rid of it. Consider donating never worn or gently used items to a thrift shop or charity.

• Create a plan and vision for the space • Remove anything that doesn’t contribute to your vision • Focus on organizing the things that will benefit you while you are in your space • Have a good size desk or table with storage, shelves for books and supplies, and some favorite pieces of art or affirmations ( • Create a place for you to see your goals everyday. Make a vision board ( The presence of clutter may prevent new opportunities and experiences from coming in, essentially blocking efforts toward change. Removing what’s old, broken, unused, and unwanted will free up much needed home and life space. If our environment is chaotic and stressful,

it can attract more of the same, now who wants that? We can’t be truly happy until the clutter has been removed. Happiness is a decision. We can decide to be happy at any time, regardless of our circumstances. If you’re stressed about your mess, contact Tanya Allason at 702.683.5671 or

Tips for the FIVE most common New Year’s resolutions


Lose weight: Losing clutter can also equate to shedding physical body weight.


Spiritual growth: Letting go of old, broken, useless items will make space for new people and opportunities to come into you life.


Get organized: Put systems in place that give you more time to do what you enjoy.


Get out of debt: Have a garage sale and use the proceeds to pay a bill.


Help others: Donate your gently used, unused, and unwanted items to help those in need.

The Launch Issue | January - February 2014 | 43

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MAY 4, 2014

Join us on UNLV’s campus for the 24th Annual AIDS Walk Las Vegas! Wear your walking shoes and bring a blanket to enjoy a picnic after the walk. For more information visit PRESENTING SPONSORS





MADE TO ORDER demanding jobs

Chef Johnny Church’s balancing act.

Written by Jillian Plaster Photography by Talbot Snow

amed one of Las Vegas’ ‘Rising Chefs’ by Wine Spectator Magazine and a former behind-the-scenes chef for Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares — local chef Johnny Church has a long résumé of fine dining experience backing up his sophisticated, yet youthful menu at his new café downtown. MTO Café, or ‘Made To Order’, launched in late October and is already creating quite a buzz. Located kitty corner to City Hall, MTO Café is an understated version of a modern diner.


Church joined forces with industry veterans Ben Sabouri and Matt Moore to create MTO Café. He developed the entire menu himself, and says it caters to health fanatics and foodie junkies alike, with ingredients ranging from Velveeta, to truffles, and even tree sap. Vegan Carrot and Coconut Pancakes and a Tree Hugger quinoa burger share the spotlight with Baked Potato soup and an aptly named Hangover Burger with bacon and a fried egg. The crunchy Celery Sucker wrap, consisting of tzatziki, baba ganoush and veggies enveloped in collard greens, is perfect for the postworkout crowd, but the Fat Elvis sandwich made with french toast, bananas, bacon, peanut butter, strawberries, and Nutella will satisfy those just rolling out of bed.

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Ashley displaying MTO’s signature Lemon Poppyseed Pancakes with Blueberry-Ginger Compote.

Church is currently also Chef de Cuisine at RM Seafood at Mandalay Bay. He credits his work with Rick Moonen for giving him a greater appreciation for using seasonal, local, and sustainable ingredients, and he’s infused this approach into MTO’s menu. The deliciously fresh Skuna Bay salmon comes from the pristine, isolated, glacier-filled waters of the west coast of Vancouver Island, and is flown in daily. Many of the vegetables he uses are foraged at the local Farmer’s Market and menu selections change with the seasons. The limited breakfast and lunch hours at MTO Café keep Church busy in the morning, but give him the freedom to work nights at RM Seafood. When asked what he’ll do when MTO Café moves forward with plans to expand for dinner business, Church’s comical solution is to add on a graveyard shift. Alas, the life of a chef is a demanding one. While juggling his two jobs, Church still makes time to cook for his six year old son and his fiancée, whom he plans to wed in June. Favorite family meals include wilted brussels

sprouts with chopped almonds, apples, brown butter, and fine herbs for his fiancée — and a pizza building session with his son, starting with dough made from scratch. Church certainly has his plate full, but continues to have high ambitions for the future. Stay tuned for what MTO Café has in store for 2014, including a pop-up Sunday dinner beginning in January where Church will invite his chef buddies to help him cook for a limited crowd. Church and his MTO Café partners also created parent company Shift Solutions, with a vision of developing cool places where the Vegas community would enjoy spending their time. So we will definitely be seeing a lot more of Chef Johnny Church and his Shift Solutions partners in coming years.

With bits of Generation X nostalgia adorning the walls, much of the furniture at MTO Café was built by the partners themselves, including a large high top industrial wood table made from reclaimed materials. Children’s menus are printed on the back of retro Etch A Sketches, which sadly have been declared ‘broken’ by kids trying to turn them on by tapping at the screen. MTO Café also delivers to the downtown area free of charge on one of their Energie electric bikes. 500 S Main St. Las Vegas, NV 89101 Neighborhood: Downtown 380.8229 |

Chef Johnny Church

The Launch Issue | January - February 2014 | 47



healthy options

to an in-house nutritionist, who can send you directly to LabCorp for a food sensitivity blood test, then create a meal plan to eliminate the offending foods from your diet.

Written by Stephanie Pierotti Photography by Nathan Douglas

Gluten-Free Living


AND SENSITIVITY Eating in a way that makes sense for YOUR body.

early half of Americans made a New Year’s Resolution this year. With weight loss topping the “to-do” list, hundreds of fad diets and thousands of unused gym memberships are left in the wake. If you’re interested in making a change that will work with your lifestyle throughout the year, some Las Vegas businesses will accept your challenge and make it easier for you to stick to your healthy-eating guns.


Food Sensitivity Testing A great place to start your healthy eating journey is at your general practitioner’s office. To determine which healthy eating plan will work best for you, let your doctor know that you’re interested in a food sensitivity test. Unlike true food allergies, which can involve potentially

48 |

life-threatening immune response to an offending food, a food intolerance triggers symptoms which are unpleasant, but not dangerous, like low energy or bloating. If you already suspect a food intolerance, some good old-fashioned detective work may be in order. Try keeping a detailed food and symptom journal for two weeks that includes times, foods, portion sizes, and any symptoms experienced. Your journal will help an allergist or registered dietitian evaluate the relationship between the timing of your symptoms and the foods eaten. If a trip to the doc’s office isn’t an option, online services like Accesa Labs (accesalabs. com), offer home food sensitivity tests starting at $200. Members of Lifetime Fitness have “one-stop-shopping” access

Gluten, which is found in barley, rye, wheat, and triticale (a cross between wheat and rye), causes inflammation in the small intestines of people with celiac disease. In addition to natural occurrence in grains, gluten is also often added to many processed foods, used in cooking as an additive, and even in some cosmetics. Not sure what to think about the antiwheat movement? Pick up a copy of Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar - Your Brain’s Silent Killers by David Perlmutter and Kristin Loberg, and you may never look at that seemingly innocent slice of bread the same way again. Whether you’re gluten-free by choice or necessity, forbidden foods will probably get replaced with more veggies, meat, eggs, and other gluten-free grains like rice, corn, soy, buckwheat, and quinoa. This increases fiber and energy levels, plus regulates blood sugar and insulin levels, eventually helping with weight loss. If you’re going gluten-free, cutting out comfort foods like pasta, bread, biscuits, cakes, cookies, and beer may leave you feeling deprived, but a few Vegas businesses have come to the rescue.

WILD Gluten-free pizza, pasta, and sandwiches Downtown (Ogden Building) 150 N. Las Vegas Blvd., Ste 120 Las Vegas, NV 89101 527.7717 |

Beau Monde Bakery

Greens and Proteins

100% gluten free bakery Summerlin: 2380 N. Buffalo Dr., Ste 110 Las Vegas, NV 89128 331.1515 |

Southeast Location: 8975 S. Eastern Ave. Las Vegas, NV 89123 | 541.7800 West Location (Spring Valley): 9809 W. Flamingo Road, Las Vegas, NV 89147

A La Mode Organic, vegan, gluten-free baked goods Order online or call 706.2563

Daily Kitchen and Wellness Bar S. Summerlin: 3645 S. Town Center Dr. Las Vegas, NV 89135 685.7100 |

Jadon Foods Gluten-free and allergen-sensitive baked goods. Order online or call 949.6168

Paleo-A-Go-Go Low-glycemic diets come in many shapes and sizes. You may have given Atkins, South Beach, or the Dukan Diet a whirl over the years, but you may not know that the Paleo Diet could have started the movement in the mid-1970s. The Paleo Diet focuses on eating wholesome, contemporary foods from the food groups that our hunter-gatherer ancestors would have thrived on during the Paleolithic Era, or Stone Age. Recommended foods include grass-fed meats, seafood, fresh fruits, veggies, eggs, nuts, seeds, and healthful oils (olive, walnut, flaxseed, macadamia, avocado, coconut). If you prefer to dine in, try KalynsKitchen. com. This home-cooking blog focuses on low-glycemic recipes that offer a wide array of low/no carb options for healthy eaters. Pressed for time? Home delivery services like Body Food Kitchen (www. offer high-protein healthy meal delivery made with no starch, soy, gluten, dairy products, or preservatives. When you’re on the run, healthy eating can be challenging, but a few local restaurants are making lowglycemic eating easier for those on the go.

Raw Enthusiasm “Rawism” enthusiasts insist that a diet consisting mainly of uncooked, unprocessed plant foods leads to a leaner body, clearer skin, and higher energy. The raw foods movement traces back to the late 1800s, when Dr. Maximilian Bircher-Benner, discovered he could cure his own jaundice by eating raw apples. He conducted a series of experiments testing the effects of raw food on human health, and the diet has continued to evolve. Around 75% of a Rawist’s daily diet is plant-based foods that have never been heated above 115 degrees, processed, microwaved, irradiated, genetically engineered, or exposed to pesticides or herbicides. Interested in learning more? Sign up for one of Raw Food Express Health & Wellness Centre’s “FUNdamentals of Raw Food” classes.

Westside Location: 2910 Lake East Drive Las Vegas, NV 89117 254.5382 |

Simply Pure by Chef Stacey Dougan Raw food and vegan to-go counter Downtown (inside Container Park) 707 Fremont St., Las Vegas, NV 89101 810.5641 |

Raw Food Express Health & Wellness Centre Healthy transitional food to go Spring Valley: 5105 S Fort Apache, Ste 110 Las Vegas, NV 89148 992.0499 |

Go Raw Cafe Southeast Location: 2381 E. Windmill Ln., Las Vegas, NV 89123 | 450.9007

The Launch Issue | January - February 2014 | 49

What outdoor adventures will you have this year?

Visit to fine open space and trail experiences in your community and learn more about how you can be involved with the outdoors.

MAKE THE LAND YOUR OWN Get Outdoors Nevada is the hub for outdoor volunteerism and events in Southern Nevada. Our new website will connect you with all available volunteer opportunities to help you engage with public lands and care for your favorite special places both urban and rural.


Want even more Community & Culture? Subscribe at


2 - 1 4 - 1 4

Have a story idea? Email it to • 702.386.6065






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Appetizer Crispy Calamari Crispy fried calamari tossed in Pizza Lounges signature blend of spices, served with a tangy chipotle sauce and hot marinara.

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Crispy Calamari

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52 |

#lasvegasflavor We want to add a little flavor to your life. Each issue we will introduce you to a new local restaurant to try and must-haves from their menu. If the flavor suggestions spark a bit of culinary intrigue, head over to the tasty hotspot, ask your server for the BLVDS Flavor Menu, and dive into a new and appetizing experience.

More about Pizza Lounge Gourmet pizzas and salads from Pizza Lounge have been a favorite in Laguna Beach and Huntington Beach. At the Las Vegas location, an extensive wine list features highly-rated selections, including more than 20 wines by the glass, and there are more than 10 craft bottled beers and 13 craft beers on tap. The dim lighting, contemporary dĂŠcor, and eclectic music make Pizza Lounge an ideal spot for date night or an intimate dinner with friends.

Wet n Wild!

The Chocolate Pizza

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The Launch Issue | January - February 2014 | 53

I n M y H u mbl e O p i n i o n Written by

Dana & Kristen

Husband and wife Dana Satterwhite and Kristen Hertzenberg share their thoughts on the local art and music scenes.


McDonald. Lyle Lovett. I got to see Barbara Cook! Each month I have the opportunity to see the ever-inspiring Clint Holmes. Then people like Rob Marnell, Benjamin Hale, Martin Kaye, Travis Cloer, Sarah Lowe, Keith Thompson, and Philip Fortenberry step out of their roles in big productions and humble us at the fabulous Composers Showcase and in shows of their own. Enriching cultural experiences were once the exception. Now they’re the norm. Patty LuPone is playing Vegas. Ann Hampton Calloway. Renee Fleming, too. Teller is premiering his adaptation of The Tempest at the Smith Center with music by Tom Waits. How cool is that?

For us, eight years is a long time to stay in one place. But when that place continues to grow, it’s much easier to justify. So, funny enough, here we are. What started out as an adventure guided by a role in Phantom continues to evolve to this day. I’ll be on the Smith Center Cabaret Jazz stage in less than three weeks for my own show. That wasn’t part of the script and, back then, I never could’ve imagined it because the building didn’t even exist. But when you open yourself up to opportunity, this city responds with open arms. When Phantom closed, the presence of the Smith Center was a huge contributing factor to our family’s decision to stay. I do occasionally experience NYC withdrawals, but we now boast many of the same cultural offerings here and I don’t have to live in a shoebox. I don’t suffer so much NY envy anymore. Though I’m a singer, I can’t claim to know what’s happening in our entire music scene. So much talent. So many venues. So little time. There’s classical music on all levels, jazz, drum circles, casino lounge acts, chamber music, student recitals, musical theatre, local rock, hip-hop, and rap. The list goes on. I wish I could explore it all, but I do make time to see shows that bring me joy and inspiration. That’s what I love the most. I leave every musical experience feeling inspired in some way. For me, it’s Christine Ebersole. Jane Monheit. Audra

54 |

Culturally speaking, the past eight years have been amazing and I can’t wait to see what happens next. A proper opera company, maybe? Shreveport, Cedar Rapids, Charlotte, and Tucson each have one. Why not us?

Dana: After nearly eight years of living here, I can honestly say I love this city. I’ve long been reluctant to use the L-word to describe my feelings for Las Vegas, but I fight it no longer. When we arrived in 2006, I was skeptical. The sum total of my experience before that mid-March day was based on a handful of stories-turned-urban legends and four movies. Five, actually. Almost forgot Casino. I knew one facet and not a single sole. Now I call it home and many of you reading this, friends.

Photography by Lucky Wenzel

I don’t agree with everything that happens around town. But, as a resident, parent, and occasional participant, I do appreciate everyone’s commitment to improving our quality of life. Even as we head steadily toward one degree of separation, what I find lacking most isn’t community, rather a single common definition of it and two words that could be used to literally form or, in practice, replace it. They are “communication” and “connectivity.” Go on. Put them together. Can you see it? You can’t open a newspaper (remember when) or scroll on your tablet without tripping over thirty headlines dedicated to downtown and the singular forces driving its imminent gentrification, and that’s great for all of us because we less visible contributors get to bask in the glow of the national press that’s coming our way. But despite its small-town leanings, this is a big city, with much to offer everywhere if we seek it out. As we turn the corner on another year and avow turning over new leaves, I encourage us all not to just speak the words but live them. Understand that the Arts District is the core but its reach goes as far as we let it. Preview Thursday is a neatlypackaged way to draw a crowd but it’s on us to continue the conversation beyond that one day. I still hear artists and patrons somewhat shamefully admit they’ve never been to the Barrick, Art Square Theatre, the Springs Preserve, The Smith Center, City

Center, the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art, Left of Center, VAST, or even Emergency Arts. It’s a brand new year. We’re barely three weeks in. Don’t make resolutions. Make time. Make haste. And make every second count.

The Launch Issue | January - February 2014 | 55

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BLVDS LV “Launch” Jan/Feb 2014  

This issue is full of inspiration, whether folks are LAUNCHing a new fitness plan, modern contemporary art museum, music career, home organi...

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