Expansion of the museum on all levels is continuing at a breakneck pace as we focus on the end of our fiscal year June 30.
Following our highly successful January opening of the museum store expansion, we began planning the development of our newest property next to the visitors’ center. The approximately ¼-acre, which sits right on Las Vegas Boulevard, will house an additional 30-40 sign artifacts that heretofore have not been on public display.
It also will contain a special events area with shade cover for gatherings of up to 200 people. This will allow us to hold events without having to close tours in the main Boneyard.
Due to public demand for additional Boneyard tours, we also have launched a new spring schedule of 24 tours a day, compared to the previous 18 per day. And, thinking ahead, we are diligently working on creative ways to increase the schedule for summer tours, especially after dark, beginning in late May. Stay tuned for that announcement.
Finally, our first-ever Boneyard Ball gala included a “dough for glow” component that allowed us to raise enough funds for the restoration of two additional signs in our collection. The Yucca Motel and Steiner Cleaners signs will be restored, relit and placed back inside the Boneyard just in time for our expanded summer schedule.
Thanks to patrons like you, the Crown Jewel of Las Vegas continues to shine brightly.
Boneyard Ball guests party on…Neon style
Inaugural event features Glow Award
The inaugural Boneyard Ball is one for the history books now, but March 4, 2017, will long be remembered as the Neon Museum’s night of nights. We were pleased to honor Jan Jones Blackhurst with the first-ever Glow Award. We extend special thanks to Mark Oatis, creative designer at YESCO, for his design of the beautiful Glow Award. Learn more about Jan and her contribution to the Neon Museum in this video that was presented at the Ball.
John Burke, two-time Emmy Award winning actor and host of the Vegas PBS hit show, “Outdoor Nevada,” charmed the crowd as our Master of Ceremonies. Christian Kolberg, Kolberg Auctions, was our outstanding auctioneer and helped us raise funding for projects Frankie Moreno, Las Vegas headliner, singer, songwriter and showman, topped off the evening. Frankie and his band wowed the audience with his exciting mix of original and classic hits with everyone dancing the night away.
The gala evening was a glowing success and funds raised will further our mission in wonderful ways. Proceeds from the sale of raffle tickets, sponsored by MJ Christensen Diamonds, will benefit our Fieldtrip Subsidy Program, which allows students from Clark County Title 1 schools to visit the Neon Museum on fieldtrips. The Dough for Glow appeal raised enough dough to fully restore the Steiner Cleaners Happy Shirt and the Yucca Motel signs. Watch for more exciting information about the restoration of these two iconic signs.
All other proceeds from the gala fundraiser will benefit the important ongoing operations of the museum.
We extend sincere thanks to our Boneyard Ball event partners: By Dzign, Cashman Photo, Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits and JGS Group. Special thanks to table sponsors: Caesars Entertainment, 1-2-1 Philanthropic Services, Behr Consulting LLC, Shelley Berkley, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, Cragin & Pike, Curt Carlson & SH Architecture, Fletcher Jones Automotive Group, Friedmutter Group, High Tower Las Vegas, The Howard Hughes Corporation, Marshall Retail Group, Dedee Nave, Prism Global Management, Purdue Marion & Associates, The Las Vegas Raiders, Simmons Group, Tito and Sandra Tiberti, Vegas PBS, Stevi Wara & Drew Saldana, and YESCO.
To see all the fun at the Boneyard Ball, click here for a photo expose courtesy of Cashman Photo.
‘Margarita Baby’ to glow again
Thanks to Nevada’s ‘Big Give’ donors
The Margarita Baby sign will be fully restored thanks to the generosity of those who supported the Neon Museum March 23 during the Nevada’s Big Give day of online fundraising. Thank you to all the sign lovers who made the restoration of this special sign possible. To support the Neon Museum’s sign restoration and conservation efforts, please visit our website.
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. Click here to make your gift to the “Celebrating Spectacular” Annual Fund.
Become a Neon Museum Member Today
Membership has its benefits! To find the membership level that best suits your lifestyle, visit our site.
Thank You Donors
The Neon Museum is grateful to receive financial and in-kind donations from individuals, businesses and organizations from around the world. Without their support, we would not be able to carry out our mission of collecting, preserving, studying and exhibiting iconic Las Vegas neon signs for educational, historic, arts and cultural enrichment. For a complete list of our generous donors, please visit http://neonmuseum.org/support/donors.
Meet Tina Balint
Seeing history implode brings her full-circle
My first trip to Las Vegas was a family visit in 1993 to watch the Dunes implosion on the Las Vegas Strip. Thankfully my parents decided to move here the following year and I got to experience all there was to offer kids in Las Vegas in the '90s.
Little did I know that years later I would get married in front of the Bellagio fountains on the former site of the Dunes that I watched tumble down. I later moved away for a few years.
Meanwhile, I started hearing about a 'Neon Boneyard.' On a trip back home to visit in 2007, a friend coordinated a private group tour of the Boneyard. I was in love and knew I had to be a part of it when I moved back home.
In 2010, a year after I moved, I found out the Neon Museum was looking for volunteers and I've been volunteering ever since! I love volunteering here for so many reasons. First, it's an excuse to talk to people about gorgeous signs and Las Vegas history for an hour. On top of it, everyone who works at the museum is great and passionate about their work.
Another thing I love is getting to hear Vegas stories from people from all over the world. I've met former showgirls, amateur neon sign designers, and even people who dined at the famous and now closed Flame Steakhouse at the El Cortez, all because they were on a tour with me.
Boneyard events attract inquiring minds
Exhibits lure, inspire worldwide audiences
The Neon Museum appeals to people from around the world, and when they come together for a catered event or a private tour its impact intensifies even more. Artists, engineers, graphic designers, and architects study each line as their profession sits in grand scale in our Boneyard as only Las Vegas can produce.
Hospitality industry veterans marvel as our interpreters describe the evolution of their industry from one-story motels to mult-thousand-room resorts.
Museum professionals and educators listen transfixed as twisted glass and metal are elevated into “ancient” artifacts. No matter your industry, the creativity and ingenuity of Neon Museum exhibits will inspire more than just a fun and sociable daytime or evening affair.
Education and Engagement
Aladdin’s March Magic flies into Boneyard
Storytelling, art, magic captivate
Neon Museum hosted Aladdin’s March Magic, our annual popular family program to a sellout crowd on March 11. Families enjoyed this special storytelling, art and magic program in both the North Gallery and the Neon Boneyard.
The two-hour program provided a magical backdrop for pre-school through 3rd graders and their parents-guardians.
Highlights included the Boneyard Genie performing a dramatic reading of the traditional version of the Aladdin folktale in the Boneyard Park. After story time, participants fashioned a magic “flying carpet” with paper and markers before learning to “fly” their carpet around the park in search of Aladdin’s lamp. Once found, Genie performed and taught magic tricks.
Nevada Artists in Residence improvise
Our Nevada Performing Artists in Residence this spring featured the improv sketch troupe Cardio Spider. Funded by the Nevada Arts Council and inspired by our fabulous sign collection, the troupe staged a free interactive performance in our North Gallery on April 1. They also performed at the Henderson Boys & Girls Club and mounted a video display from April 3-15 at the Barrick Museum of Art at UNLV.
Neon, NPF partner for ‘Neon Bus Tour’
We’re proud to partner with Nevada Preservation Foundation (NPF) to offer our own inaugural “Neon Bus Tour” April 28-29 in conjunction with the Foundation’s 3rd Annual Home + History weekend of events. The Neon Museum has developed content for this unique nighttime tour that will be led by the Neon staff. For info and tickets for your seat on the bus, visit the NPF website.
Wanted: National Artist in Residence
Our annual National Artist in Residence month is fast approaching. The Neon Museum is seeking an artist or artist collective to be in Las Vegas for the month of June to create work inspired by our sign collection and archival materials. Multiple free audience engagement opportunities will be available at the Museum as part of this residency. Interested artists have an April 14 deadline to submit applications. Last year, the Museum welcomed renowned visual artist Whitney Lynn. The national residency opportunity is for U.S. based artists only. Instructions for submitting an application can be found on our website.
Boneyard Ball, Nevada’s Big Give = big sign changes
The Collections Department is really busy these days thanks to incredibly generous donors at the Boneyard Ball and Nevada's Big Give earlier this year. We raised funds to restore the Happy Shirt, Yucca Motel and Margarita Baby signs. Soon the back end of the Neon Boneyard will be transformed by beautifully-restored neon lights.
This restoration project features an important difference compared to past projects: the neon and bulbs will be restored on both the Yucca and Margarita Baby, but the signs will not be repainted. Instead, we will apply a treatment to the cabinets to help prevent further sun and wind damage.
We're also excited to be moving signs out of storage to install in the newly acquired space next to the La Concha along Las Vegas Boulevard. Keep an eye out for signs that have been out of sight for a while, including pieces from the Del Mar, Riviera, Las Vegas Club, Sahara Saloon and Spearmint Rhino.