From art classes to virtual runs to historic celebrations, there are many August things to do in Reno and Sparks. Explore the connection between the V&T Railroad and the women’s suffrage movement, or learn how to paint like a master artist at these events. From online to IRL, these August events and activities in Reno and Sparks provide entertainment and education.

25 August Things To Do in Reno and Sparks

Highway of Hope: Commemorating the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Highway

  • When: Saturday, August 1, 2020
  • Where: Washoe County Employee Parking lot, 75 Court Street Reno
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The Northern Nevada Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Committee invites the community to a caravan to celebrate the naming of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Highway and call to action for solidarity in social justice and non-violence just like the late great Martin Luther King Jr. would have taught. The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Highway in Reno, Nevada, was named in 1998 after a long struggle with Reno’s Regional Street Naming Committee. It stretches along Interstate 580 from Mount Rose Highway in the south to Bordertown in the north.

Impressionist Inspired Oil Painting: Looking at Childe Hassam (Virtual)

  • When: Saturday, August 1, 2020–Sunday, August 2, 2020
  • Where: Virtual
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One of the best ways to learn posthumously from a master painter is to study one of their paintings intently and then paint a copy of it. In doing so, you’ll potentially learn what it took for the artist to produce a particular work. In the end, you’ll have a broader understanding, a technique or two you’ll be able to employ in your own future painting, and your own painting of a masterwork. In this two-day workshop, instructor Mike Callahan will guide students to create a master copy of Childe Hassam’s painting “The South Ledges, Appledore,” currently on view at the Museum. Callahan will give a brief overview of the Hassam’s life and discuss the period in which he created this particular painting. Then, virtually, Callahan will demonstrate how he thinks the artist painted it as students follow along. This class will be held online through Zoom.

Virtual Summer Art Camp: People and Places

  • When: Tuesday, August 4, 2020–Thursday, August 6, 2020
  • Where: Virtual
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This weekly summer art series introduces students to a diverse group of contemporary American artists represented in the World Stage exhibition. Each week we will focus on three artists and will explore themes found in the exhibition and techniques inspired by the artists. This week’s theme is “People and Places” and will focus on the work of artists Romare Beardon, Jacob Almstead Lawrence, and Caitlin Cherry.

Virtual Educator Evening

  • When: Wednesday, August 5, 2020
  • Where: Nevada Museum of Art, 160 W. Liberty St. Reno
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Join JoAnne Northrup, Curator of Contemporary Art, and Bay Area artist, Kal Spelletich, for this virtual Educator Evening. Spelletich has been a pivotal figure in the machine art and robotics community and frequently collaborates with scientists, engineers, musicians, and audiences. Join us as he discusses his performative and interactive practice and how it may support classroom practices.

Baby and Me – Virtual Only

Geared towards babies from birth to one year, Baby & Me is a free educational and developmental circle time. This fun class includes music time with baby and other developmentally enriching activities for mom/parent and baby. Also included are discussions on a wide variety of baby and parent-related topics. Please note that this class is designed as a mom/parent and baby bonding time. Siblings are welcome to attend.

Mastering the Elements of the Landscape – Sky and Clouds in Oils (Virtual Course)

  • When: Wednesday, August 5, 2020–Wednesday, August 26, 2020
  • Where: Virtual
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To paint the landscape well, the artist must understand the light that fills it and how it affects the appearance of it. This class will focus on the painting various types of skies and clouds, the source of that light. Students who have taken the Landscape Basics class will benefit, but it is not a prerequisite. Students will learn why the sky is blue and why that matters when painting the landscape, how to paint different types of clouds in a variety of lighting situations, and how clouds affect light and add drama and interest to an otherwise ordinary scene.

Introduction to Landscape Photography (Virtual/Hybrid Class)

  • When: Wednesday, August 5, 2020–Wednesday, September 2, 2020
  • Where: Virtual/Hybrid Class
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This course introduces students to how to create amazing landscape photos by getting the most out of their camera, as well as the skillset and workflow that is required for the genre of landscape photography. Class topics include proper camera settings for landscape shots, required gear for landscape work, including must-have items and optional accessories, composition do and don’t for landscape photography, tips and tricks for natural and city landscapes, HDR, and post-production workflows for image enhancement.

Virtual Art Discussion

  • When: Thursday, August 6, 2020
  • Where: Nevada Museum of Art, 160 W. Liberty St. Reno
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Enjoy looking at a selection of art from the comfort of your home. Join us for a Virtual Art Discussion on The E. L. Wiegand Collection: Representing the Work Ethic in American Art. Virtual Art Discussions are led by experienced docents that will share interesting perspectives and invite inquiry and discussion. This program will be hosted on Zoom.

It Starts with Hello – Virtual Gathering Series

The HELLO Project is hosting a virtual community gathering called “It Starts with Hello,” every Tuesday and Thursday at noon. Each virtual gathering will feature a different topic of interest with a local expert, factual information, and a chance to chat with others in our community. The discussions will focus on wellness-related topics such as mindfulness, exercise, nutrition, and mental health to help you live your best life. Stay connected while you are at home and join us from your computer or phone. This event is a part of Renown Health’s Sterling Silver Club, a free program offered for men and women ages 55 and over. Learn more and sign up to be a member at

Art Investigators: Kid Detectives Look at Art (Virtual)

Hands ON! at Home” brings our Art Investigators program to you! Designed for families to enjoy together virtually, “Art Investigators” encourages inquiry and discussion about a selection of artworks on view at the Museum. Following an interactive discussion, participants will be encouraged to create their own inspired masterpiece to share. This program will be hosted on Zoom.

Explorations in Ink and Water (Virtual Course)

  • When: Tuesday, August 11, 2020–Thursday, August 20, 2020
  • Where: Virtual
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Explore ink and water in this virtual studio class. The instructor will provide basic instruction to create ink-based paintings. Class recordings, along with live demonstrations and interactions, will develop fundamental skills, concepts while exploring the history of the medium. This virtual class will be held online through Zoom. A Zoom link will be sent to registrants the day before class begins. This class meets Tuesday and Thursday for two weeks.

Paint & Sip: Red Poppy by Georgia O’Keeffe

  • When: Thursday, August 13, 2020
  • Where: Lake Mansion, 250 Court St. & Arlington Ave. Reno
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Receive one-on-one creative guidance to paint your own 16″ x 20″ canvas masterpiece in a fun, social environment. This class is perfect for all levels of artistic talent. The course is limited to six participants to ensure the best learning experience and maintain social distancing. Face coverings are required to attend class.

Virtual Art Afternoon: Workshop and Social for Seniors

Join us as Art Afternoon for Seniors goes virtual! Instructor Carol Raphel will share perspectives on several works from the Museum’s collections or exhibitions and will facilitate a lively group discussion and virtual workshop. Participants will need to have Zoom and will need to be able to use their camera function on Zoom. A basic supply list to complete a simple project from home will be provided at least five days before the program.

Wine & Ribs Comes Home

Bring the Community Health Alliance’s 9th annual wine and ribs fundraiser to your home or business to safely have fun and support the CHA’s mission to provide quality health care to everyone. The population CHA serves has been severely impacted by the pandemic, both in health and economics, and the number of people who receive primary health care, pediatric dental care, behavioral health, and nutritional support through its clinics and programs is increasing. This year, CHA will bring the fun of its largest annual fundraiser to you! Participants and sponsors will drive through Famous Dave’s on the afternoon of the event, to get their wine, beer, food, and party decorations. Proceeds will benefit the patients and the expansion of our Sparks Health Center this fall. The event also includes a raffle.

Virtual Family Fun

Start your Saturday off with a fun family exploration of art in your pajamas. Discuss work found in “The World Stage” exhibition through this virtual docent-led experience. Following an interactive discussion, you will enjoy a simple art project. Please have colorful drawing materials and paper available. This program will be hosted on Zoom.

All Aboard the Suffrage Special: Riding the Rails on the V&T

  • When: Saturday, August 15, 2020
  • Where: Nevada State Railroad Museum, 2180 S. Carson Street Carson City
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In partnership with the Nevada State Railroad Museum, Nevada Women’s History Project presents a day for you to return to an era when women were still fighting for the right to vote. Wear your period dress and chapeaux, which is anything from 1869-2020, and ride in historic cars and behind the engine that transported the suffragists to celebrate the centennial of the 19th Amendment. The V&T played an essential role in Nevada’s suffrage history. We will celebrate history with women on the rails at the Nevada State Railroad Museum in Carson City.

Virtual River Run

  • When: Saturday, August 15, 2020–Sunday, August 16, 2020
  • Where: Virtual
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The Virtual River Run Series is all about doing something positive for yourself and local businesses while supporting non-profits that help our community. Participating is easy! Choose your challenge and then get moving. Go at your own pace in your own home or neighborhood. You can run, jog, walk, bike, skip, or crawl. You can do it on your home treadmill or stationary bike, around your neighborhood or local trails, or just by doing laps inside your house. You get the point. It’s your choice! You can complete a challenge in a day, a week, or spread it out over a couple of months. You track your own progress, and your completion is based on an honors system. When you’re finished, let us know, and we’ll send you an awesome medal and a donation to the coordinating charity of the challenge of your choice!

Raise the Roof to Ease Poverty

Starting at sunrise on August 17, Catholic Charities of Northern Nevada & The St. Vincent’s Programs will Raise the Roof to Ease Poverty. KBUL on-air personality and Catholic Charities supporter, J.J. Christie will perch atop a local business, braving the elements, until the community meets his fundraising goal of $50,000. He will be joined on the rooftop by KOLO Meteorologist Jeff Thompson who will broadcast the weather live. That evening, CCNN will broadcast an event via Facebook Live, hosted by Wendy Damonte, from 6:30-7:30 p.m., highlighting client success stories and poverty assistance services.

Clay: Earthworks

  • When: Tuesday, August 18, 2020–Tuesday, September 22, 2020
  • Where: E.L. Cord Museum, 160 W Liberty St Reno
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Create decorative and functional pottery in this six-week class designed for the beginner as well as those who have taken intermediate pottery classes in the past. Students will learn how to work with clay in both hand-building and wheel-throwing techniques. Finishing methods such as decorating, stamping, painting, and staining will be introduced as well as the discussion and practice of firing and glazing of clay works. Stoneware clay will be used, and cone six and cone 06 glazes will be available. The Museum in an electric kiln will do all firings. All materials are provided.

Film: Kehinde Wiley: An Economy of Grace

  • When: Thursday, August 20, 2020
  • Where: Nevada Museum of Art, 160 W. Liberty St. Reno
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Known for his vibrant reinterpretations of classical portraits featuring African-American men, New York-based painter Kehinde Wiley has turned the practice of portraiture on its head and in the process has taken the art world by storm. The film Kehinde Wiley: An Economy of Grace follows the artist as he embarks on an exciting new project: a series of classical portraits of African-American women – something he’s never done before. The film documents the project as it unfolds, tracking Wiley’s process from concept to canvas, casting his models on the streets of New York and enlisting Riccardo Tisci of Givenchy to create couture gowns for each woman. The film offers a tantalizing look at the intersection of art and fashion and an intimate portrait of one of this generation’s most intriguing and accomplished visionaries. Run Time: 60 minutes This program will be held in the Wayne L. Prim Theater.

Textile Marbling on Scarves

  • When: Thursday, August 20, 2020–Friday, August 21, 2020
  • Where: E.L. Cord Museum, 160 W Liberty St Reno
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In this two-day workshop, students will create their own marbled designs on three different silk scarves. During the first day, we will discuss and practice patterns and color combinations that work well for marbled silk scarves. Students will have ample practice time to experiment and develop their vision in the standard marbling tray before moving on to the large scarf tray. Day two, we will prepare two 20” x 72” trays for the silk. Students will take turns on these trays to execute each scarf with the assistance of the instructor.

Stylized Pet Portraits in Acrylic

  • When: Saturday, August 22, 2020
  • Where: L. Cord Museum, 160 W Liberty St Reno
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Using bold colors, modern patterns, and engaging compositions, students will use acrylic paint combined with colored pencils to create inspired portraits of their animals. In this two-day intensive, students will work with basic drawing skills, contour lines, loose gridding, and blocking techniques to layout the portraits on wooden panels. The final pieces will be completed in acrylic. Each student can expect to complete a 18” x 24” wooden panel or two in this workshop. All materials are provided with registration.  Students are asked to bring their own photos for reference.

Virtual Art Discussion in Spanish

Join us for an online guided exploration of art through an interactive conversation in Spanish led by our experienced docents and designed for native and non-native Spanish speakers alike. This program will be hosted on Zoom.

Duck Race: A live-streamed event

The Nevada Humane Society Duck Race has become a much loved and looked-forward-to event in our community. Despite these uncertain times, we are committed to continuing this tradition by holding the Duck Race in 2020 as a live-streamed event!

Watercolor Techniques: Batik Method on Rice Paper

  • When: Sunday, August 30, 2020
  • Where: E.L. Cord Museum, 160 W Liberty St Reno
  • More Information

Take your watercolors to the next level with this fun method of using the batik method of applying hot wax to save and build layers of color. Together, we will create a painting on rice paper, which adds an extra element of interest and texture. The instructor will guide students through the batik process while assisting each student with color mixing, composition, and values to create a focal point in their work. A fairly simple drawing will be provided by the instructor for students to use, but students are also free to bring a reference image to draw out on their own. A working knowledge of watercolor painting is preferred; this class is not for absolute beginners to the medium.

At Dickson Realty, our team of local experts knows about the best events, activities, and places to live. To learn more about how to enjoy the Reno/Sparks region, contact one of our Realtors today.