The Carson City Cultural Commission, charged with overseeing public art and cultural issues in the city, is getting some fresh faces thanks to recent appointments by the Board of Supervisors.
Thursday, supervisors appointed Samuel Flakus, Valerie Moore and Michael Smith to the seven-person commission. Supervisors also appointed their newest board member, Supervisor Curtis Horton, to the commission as a board representative.
The vote was unanimous. The citizen appointees are all Carson City residents. When it became clear that Smith and Flakus had broad support among board members, the question became which candidate would be the last appointment.
Mayor Lori Bagwell framed it as a question of which candidate would connect with the community and further the commission’s goals.
“I think Valerie (Moore) is the missing link,” she said.
Moore works as community relations manager for the Sierra Arts Foundation and has experience with fundraising, community events and working with artists themselves. Moore told supervisors she’d like to see city art initiatives involve local business owners. She said there is “a big hunger” for art and culture events.
Flakus also talked about connecting with community members.
“You have to be willing to invite people to participate in the greater goal of the arts,” he said.
Flakus is a local artist with a background in machining and industrial design. He emphasized the city’s cultural and artistic assets as well as its natural assets. He talked of the “tunnel-like” shadows that trees in Carson City cast on the streets.
“Over the past few years, I have been involved in various arts projects that are most certainly considered public art,” he said in his application. “Most recently I finished my mural on the Bank Saloon’s transformer near the corner of 5th and South Carson streets. This was an effort to transform existing utilitarian infrastructure into an art piece, using leftover restoration paint from the Nevada State Railroad Museum to commemorate the 150th birthday of the V&T.”
Smith comes to the commission with a background in education and community and business development. He recently served on the Board of Trustees for the Carson City Symphony Association.
“As the founder and president emeritus of the North Mississippi Cultural Foundation (501-C-3), I offer my experiences and skill sets to strengthen and augment the goals of the Cultural Commission,” he wrote in his application.
Smith told supervisors culture and arts in the capital city should be “intertwined.” He said diversity is important.
“Culture is the backbone, in my opinion, of any city,” he said.
The Cultural Commission meets every other month in the community center. All board and commission schedules can be found online at https://www.carson.org/government/boards-committees-and-commissions.
Supervisors also appointed four people to the 911 Surcharge Advisory Committee, including the reappointment of Denise Stewart. New to the committee are James Powell, Jed McComber and Steven Figone.
Powell and Figone come from backgrounds in firefighting and emergency dispatch, while McComber brings executive experience in the private sector, including with telecommunications.
“We’re thrilled to have people applying for the 911 position,” said Mayor Lori Bagwell.
Bagwell said it’s “vitally important” people bring their skill sets to the committees. The vote for appointment was unanimous.
And, as part of their new year duties, supervisors reappointed themselves and designees to various positions, committees and organizations.
Supervisor Stacey Giomi was named mayor pro tempore. Horton was appointed to the Carson City Airport Authority, the Debt Management Commission and the Cultural Commission.
Supervisors also reappointed Shelly Aldean to the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, Doug Martin to the Nevada Tahoe Conservation District, and Kevin Hill to the TRPA Advisory Planning Commission.