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Brewery Arts Center improvises concerts; Grace Hayes performs Saturday

By Kyler Klix kklix@nevadanewsgroup.com

Live music returns to Carson City – while acknowledging social distancing.

The Brewery Arts Center and The Change Companies found a solution to provide live entertainment to the city. A flatbed truck (donated by Miles Construction Company) will be used as a stage, and will travel through neighborhoods Saturday from 6 to 9 p.m.

“Live music is very important to what we’re trying to do by building community,” said Gina Lopez, director of the BAC. “And that shouldn’t be sacrificed during this time.”

The BAC booked Grace Hayes as the first entertainer. Hayes, a Reno local, has performed at many past BAC events. She is a comedic songwriter, producer, poet, musician, model, actress, American Idol alumni, TEDx speaker and internationally viral content creator.

She is familiar with Carson City.

“I’ve played there a couple times,” she said. “I love Carson City. It’s a fun community.”

Lopez is happy to have Hayes on board. Hayes’ last Carson City performance was opening for Guitar Shorty at the 2017 concert series.

“Grace is amazing,” Lopez said. “She has a certain light and levity that is so needed right now and will bring smiles to everyone’s faces; which is what we are hoping to do.”

Hayes will set up her keyboard on the flatbed. She is bringing along her father, who also sings, and he might have his banjo.

“It sounds kind of like a parade float,” she said. “It sounds like a great idea.”

She plans to do some covers mixed in with her originals and have a little bit of a medley, she said. Her song selection ranges from Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra, to the originals she writes.

She said she wants to play happy songs and liven the neighborhood. Last Sunday, she sang at the George Floyd vigil in Reno. With her friends, they sang “Let It Shine.”

“It was the happiest moment in months — everyone was singing and dancing,” she said. “We need some happy music right now.”

That was the first time she sang in front of an audience in months.

During the pandemic, Hayes said she’s having fun making TikTok videos, and accumulated 163,000 followers, many of which are young children. She has a series called #GraceCanYouWrite, she said. She can be found on TikTok and all social media platforms with her handle @Graceorsomething

“She is TikTok famous right now,” Lopez said. “A lot of people know who she is.”

Lopez said the BAC will continue the flatbed concert series every weekend through July 25 (except July 4, but that could change, she said) and will have a full lineup soon. She said at the end of the month, they will reassess the possibility of doing a portion of the Levitt AMP Concert Series.

The flatbed concert series will be going down different neighborhoods each week. Lopez said she is working toward finding routes that work. She said while they won’t be able to go down every street, they will try to make it to every neighborhood this summer.

“It’s the best we can do right now,” Lopez said. “I think it’s going to be fun and enjoyable.”