A new year has brought more major developments to the Neon Museum and we couldn’t be more excited or fortunate.
Thanks to a partnership with Marshall Retail Group (MRG,) a full-service museum store is now open with greatly expanded merchandise options for the thousands of visitors we welcome. In addition, Neon branded items also can be purchased at MRG’s 16 Las Vegas gift shops, greatly expanding our reach with a portion of the proceeds going directly to the museum.
Our store is located in a space previously housing administrative offices. Thanks to a generous sponsorship from Zappos, our offices are now located at 300 LV Blvd. North across from Zappos Headquarters. We’ve branded the building Ne10, which is the chemical element and atomic number for neon. Community partners like these are treasured. Thanks MRG and Zappos!
And that’s not all of the good news. A significant grant of $425,000 from the Las Vegas Centennial Commission allowed us to purchase the former LA Street Market building next to the museum’s visitor center. Bulldozers will demolish the structure and pave the way for an expanded Boneyard space to display 30-40 signs previously not seen by the public. We hope to have that portion of our new guided tours up and running by the end of this quarter.
All of this and we’re just getting started! Stay tuned.
North Gallery available for self-guided tours
The Neon Museum’s North Gallery, which debuted in June 2014 for weddings, special events and photo shoots, is now available for self-guided tours.
“Neon Museum patrons expressed an interest spending more time among the signs at their own pace, so we decided to provide that by offering the North Gallery, at a reduced rate, for their viewing pleasure,” says Rob McCoy, Neon Museum CEO and President.
Each guest receives a card with information about a selection of signs in the North Gallery and museum interpreters are also on hand to answer questions guests may have.
Guests may visit the North Gallery Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. through January 22. Beginning January 23, the North Gallery will be open from noon to 4 p.m. Tickets may be purchased in person in the La Concha lobby and currently are not available online. Cost is $5 to add to your current Neon Museum tour or $10 as a stand-alone ticket. Neon Museum members always enjoy complimentary admission to the North Gallery.
Looking back, ahead for education and engagement
Wow! What a year it was for education and engagement at The Neon Museum, and what a year we have planned for you in 2017. As you may know, we welcome artists, performers, scholars and community volunteers to contribute to the vibrant cultural scene in Las Vegas. Here are some highlights and a look ahead to 2017:
Programs introduced in 2016
National Artist-in-Residence: Whitney Lynn
Last June we welcomed San Francisco-based artist Whitney Lynn, who was selected from 20 applicants to reside in downtown Las Vegas for a monthlong residency.
Lynn created a series of drawings that reworked Old Master and Post-Impressionist paintings of temptresses into proposals for neon signs, including fully realized signs and other drawings that were meant to “interrogate an individual’s interpretation of an image,” Lynn said. The residency included an artist meet-and-greet at Mingo Kitchen and Lounge in Las Vegas’ Arts Square, an artist’s talk at our downtown Las Vegas studio, and finally a studio open house that showcased Lynn’s finished works.
My Las Vegas!
In September the museum partnered with bilingual master storytellers Liz Mangual and Bob Kanegis (of StoryConnection), who shared traditional tales of the Southwest and taught about sign designer Raul Rodriguez on visits to Bracken, Hollingsworth and Long elementary schools. Selected students and family members then were invited to the museum for a special storytelling event in the Neon Boneyard. In addition, the fourth graders and their teachers from these three schools will tour the Boneyard this spring. In total the program reached more than 2,000 students in the Clark County School District.
Upcoming in 2017
Times of the Signs Scholar in Residence Lecture: Martin Treu
from 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 1.
The Neon Museum welcomes its 2017 scholar in residence Martin Treu, architect, graphic designer, urbanist and author of Signs, Streets and Storefronts: A History of Architecture and Graphics Along America’s Commercial Corridors. Free lecture at Ne10, 300 Las Vegas Blvd., North.
Junior Interpreter Tours
Jan. 21, Feb. 18, March 18, April 15 and May 20, 9:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.
Learn about the art, design and the science behind the signs in this interactive experience for families with children. Neon Museum's middle and high school age volunteers lead the Junior Interpreter tours offered once a month from September through May with tickets available at the beginning of each month. This program is recommended for families and children ages 4 and up. $5 per person; children under 6 are free. Offered monthly September-May.
Save the date and have a ball
Tickets and table sponsorships are on sale now here. Get yours today!
Your generosity keeps glowing
All of us at the Neon Museum are grateful for financial support from sign lovers around the world. With these generous donations we are able to continue our mission of collecting, preserving, studying and exhibiting iconic Las Vegas neon signs for educational, historic, arts and cultural enrichment. We offer several areas of support for you to choose from, and it’s easy to make your gift online. Please help us keep history glowing. Donate today! Here are ways you can focus your support:
Celebrating Spectacular Annual Fund
Your unrestricted gift to the Neon Museum’s “Celebrating Spectacular” annual fund celebrates the art form that put the “fabulous” in “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” and the dazzle in the lights of the Strip and Downtown.
Click here to make your gift to the “Celebrating Spectacular” Annual Fund. Thank you!
Sign Conservation Fund
Your gift to the Neon Museum’s Sign Conservation Fund will help maintain the Neon Boneyard collection for a world of future generations.
Click here to make to make your gift to the Sign Conservation Fund.
Electric Promenade Paver Stones
Leave your mark on fabulous Las Vegas with a personalized paver stone.
Click here to order your Electric Promenade Paver.
Membership has its benefits!
Click here to find the membership level that best suits your lifestyle.
Thank you to our supporters
We are grateful for all the support we have had and continue to receive from donors worldwide who see the vision and need to preserve our history in its various forms. Your gifts say loud and clear that #ThisPlaceMatters.
For a complete list of the latest financial and in-kind donors, please click here.
The Neon Museum is registered with the Nevada Secretary of State’s office as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization (Fed Tax ID #88-0383932). Your donation may qualify as a charitable donation for tax purposes.
Putting the ‘digital’ in our collections dating to 1980s
Some images on exhibit in LV Arts District
Some images on exhibit in LV Arts District
Digitization has begun! A grant from the Institute of Museums and Library Services allowed the Neon Museum to hire a collections assistant to digitize our museum’s collections. Our new assistant has been hard at work digitizing our Federal Heath Photograph Collection, which consists of images of signs in the 1980s and 1990s. Some of these images are on exhibit with Federal Heath technical drawings at the Iron Yard in the Las Vegas Arts District.
Watch for our new exhibit at Madame Tussaud’s Las Vegas, which will be opening soon. Several of our objects are out of storage and will be on display at Madame Tussaud’s, including pieces from Desert Inn, Sands Expo, Riviera and the Stardust. They will be featured in an exhibit celebrating the Strip around the year 1960.
Meet Beverly Saperstein and Jeff Belcher
Volunteer docents profiled in newspaper
Volunteers are the backbone of any nonprofit and, of course, we think ours are extraordinary.
Two of our volunteer docents with interesting stories of their own were profiled in a Las Vegas newspaper in mid-December.
Beverly Saperstein, described as a “consummate” volunteer, and Jeff Belcher, who may have left town if not for the museum, were the focus of a Dec. 12, 2016, issue of The East View, a neighborhood publication of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Beverly, a docent since 2014, stands out for her enthusiasm and knowledge, the article noted.
“I like to volunteer and tell people all about the signs,” she said. “There’s so much artistry and history involved in the signs. The museum really is a treasure and I love to show it off.”
Beverly also volunteers at The Smith Center, Spring Mountain Ranch and the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Research. She formerly was a longtime volunteer at the now closed Liberace Museum. She revels in sharing stories of Las Vegas and its signage with everyone and is accustomed to—and loves—receiving applause at the end of her tours.
Meanwhile Jeff, director of nursing and surgical services at Centennial Hills Hospital, was having a hard time connecting with his new hometown and was thinking of leaving until touring the Neon Museum in 2013. He wasn’t even done with his first tour…when he asked how he could become a tour guide, too, the feature article said.
“I was just taken with everything here,” he said. “There are so many amazing pieces here, and now that I’m a guide, I get to see other people moved by them, too.”
Jeff is involved in causes related to AIDS, the American Heart Association and American Lung Association.
To read the entire feature on Beverly and Jeff, click here.
Interested in volunteering as a docent? Complete an online form here.
Record year for private events
The glow continued to grow in 2016 with another record-breaking year for private events at the Neon Museum.
Dozens of couples said “I Do” in the shadows of our city’s art and history inside our fabulous North Gallery.
Hundreds of corporate and nonprofit guests mixed and mingled with their colleagues on our grounds, enjoying the delicious dishes and libations our exclusive caterers prepared for the occasion.
And, in a Neon Museum first, a husband surprised his beloved for their anniversary with an intimate dinner for two among our signs – exactly one year after celebrating with friends and family at their Boneyard wedding!
There is a home for all types of events at the Neon Museum, and help is just a phone call or email away to our dedicated Events team. Let us know how we can help “wow” your guests on their next trip to Las Vegas.