We’re excited to share our next #WhyIGiveTNMLV profile featuring Ku’uipo Savelio, The Neon Museum member since 2019.
Q & A with Ku’uipo Savelio, The Neon Museum Member
Q: When/how did you get involved with The Neon Museum?
A: I first visited The Neon Museum in August 2017, and I'm surprised it took me that long to visit! At the time, I was working in the events industry and would always suggest TNM to clients as a potential venue – but only if they promised to share photos afterwards so I could relive the moment vicariously through them!
Q: What attracted you to the museum?
A: I have some unique memories growing up in Las Vegas with parents who both worked on The Strip. As the daughter of “Cleopatra,” I got to sip on Shirley Temples in the far back corner booth before the curtains went up, take naps under the backstage makeup stations before “Show In The Sky,” watch pirates swing from ship to ship while cannons fired at Treasure Island, and wait under a giant guitar for my dad to get off work. These signs serve as bookmarks for my childhood, so knowing that they were being preserved really locked me in.
Q: Why do you give to The Neon Museum? What motivates you to stay involved?
A: I signed up as a member in 2019, and I'm mad I didn't do it sooner! I love that The Neon Museum doesn't feel like a museum. It’s part of the fabric of our community and tells the stories of this city in a way that is distinctly Las Vegas. Anytime I have friends or family visiting, I make it a requirement to visit TNM.
Some of the membership perks I've been able to use include: member discounts at local small businesses, family fun activities such as S.T.E.A.M. Saturdays, Hot Yoga, Artist Residencies, Member Mingle events, and more. Being a Frontier Member of The Neon Museum (or higher) also means you can take advantage of the North American Reciprocal Museum (NARM) Association network, which has really been a plus when traveling!
Q: Do you have an anecdote about the museum you would like to share?
A: I already mentioned some of my fondest memories growing up behind the scenes on The Strip, but Las Vegas really has a “small town” feel. For instance, my grandparents happened to be neighbors with neon artist Betty Willis. So by joining TNM I was able to learn more about the woman whose grandchildren I grew up playing with.
Q: In your opinion, what is the most important work that The Neon Museum does?
A: Preservation and restoration, and what a huge undertaking that is, literally. I admire the labor and artistry that goes into reviving these decades-old signs. Because of TNM tourists from all over the world, as well as future generations of Vegas locals, can learn about places like the Moulin Rouge, one of the first integrated casinos on The Strip.
Q: What do you hope the organization will achieve over the next ten years?
A: In a city that is known for its implosions, renovations and reinventions, I hope that The Neon Museum can continue to add to its collection and expand.
Q: Who do you think would enjoy a visit to The Neon Museum?
A: Literally everyone! You would have to be a Scrooge not to enjoy yourself at The Neon Museum! Oh, and you must see Brilliant!
Q: What’s your favorite sign and why?
A: Not including Tim Burton’s Lost Vegas installation, I would have to say the Ugly Duckling. I have an aunt that used to call me an ugly duckling as a child, and she would say that one day I would grow up to be a beautiful swan. I admit I wasn't the cutest baby, and I'm certainly not graceful like a swan. Believe it or not, she actually used to work for Ugly Duckling Car Sales, so we still get a laugh out of that today.
Learn more about Education and Engagement programs at The Neon Museum.