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So what you’ve got to hope for is people who have a sense that we’re focusing on high-quality literature, that we may be bringing in many international figures, but that that is the way people broaden their sense of our world, and that that’s worthy of having a local base of support. Just think about 10 years ago. There was no Desert Companion, there was no BMI, there was no … There was no chance I’d see T.C. Boyle here … True! That’s another person! Oh, I adore him. One reason to bring him up is, that was a packed house. I had to sit in the back. Yes. So, speaking of BMI as a local entity, there’s a strong sense among people that Vegas isn’t a very literary place, but on the other hand, there’s a packed house for T.C. Boyle. You know, what we’ve noticed is the different audiences we have. There was a jazz program, where we had the poet Ishmael Reed, we had Ellis Marsalis, we had Marlena Shaw and we had our student jazz band. We put this thing together and it was great. We had a completely different audience for that than when we did Irish literature and music. And “Medical Ethics” was a different audience than “Was Jesus Married?” So you’re really serving lots of different audiences. We have a core of people who come to everything, maybe 50. After that, it depends totally on the program. And when you add up all that stuff, you’re really covering a whole lot more territory. I think if they’re stimulated by that, and recognize their personal need and sense of satisfaction from listening to that, I think that’s a cultural education of the highest level. That’s our contribution, I hope, to the community. Have you heard about our literary prize? No. We’re going to give out the Black Mountain Prize in fiction, once every other year:

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Desert Companion - May 2014  

Your guide to living in southern Nevada