Skip to main content
Art Views

The Arts Are Stronger Together

Published January 19, 2024

The Arts Are Stronger Together

by Rosine Bena

I have always subscribed to the philosophy that we are stronger when we unite together. But past experience has shown me that everyone in the world is not of that same philosophy – especially in the field of art in a small community. 

I was born into a family of artists from the East Coast. I had a top professional ballet stage career performing all over Europe and the U.S. (from New York’s Lincoln Center Metropolitan Opera House to San Francisco’s War Memorial Opera House). I was a leading ballerina and my favorite part of my art was dancing pas de deux (a dance for a man and a woman). Partnering with another human being is a great spiritual and uplifting experience in my opinion. 

SNB Academy students Lia Bartos and Tommy Weir at the Steinway Piano Gallery temporary studios 

I first moved to this area in 1999 and was excited to partner and collaborate with others in the arts. At that time, I remember meeting a very friendly and experienced performing artist who lived in Reno. He told me, “I think we are very lucky to have you here, Rosine, but do not expect that philosophy from everyone. You will have difficulty collaborating with some because this is a small community.” He continued, “Performing Arts schools may be intimidated by your extensive professional arts background and may be afraid of losing students, and arts organizations might be afraid of the competition in applying for funding and grants.”

While the Nevada Arts Council was very enthusiastic about my ideas on collaboration and helped me very much, and while Nevada Ballet Theater (in southern Nevada) and the Sacramento Ballet (in California) were interested in collaborating, many arts groups in this area were not at first enthusiastic about partnering. Sadly, some even displayed hostility.

There were, however, wonderful individuals like Beth MacMillan, Barbara Land, Tim Jones, Christine Fey, Susan Boskoff, Michael Borowitz, Gina Kaskie Davis, Cathy and Jen Boyle; and organizations like Nevada Museum of Art, the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival, and the Nevada Shakespeare Company that were open to partnering right away. 

Through our 23-year Sierra Nevada Ballet (SNB) history we have seen a real growth and change and more willingness to unite within our arts community. SNB has continued to promote the philosophy that working together makes us stronger and has partnered with over 70 organizations in our community.  

SNB Academy teacher Iliana Harris teaches young students at the Steinway Piano Gallery temporary studios 

Now in 2024 our 23-year old dream is finally coming true. 

SNB and SNB Academy are partnering with several quality non-profit organizations: Steinway Piano Gallery and Music School, Sierra School of Performing Arts, Silver State Story Tellers, Healthy Performers Nevada, T&L Media; Dr. Jayson Weir, and local visual artists to create the Northern Nevada Performing Arts Collective at 500 E. Moana Lane in Reno. This center designed by architect George Ghusn is presently under renovation and will feature four large studios, four modern offices, a visual arts lobby showcasing works from community artists, dressing rooms for performers and students, storage space for costumes and props, and a performance space (theater) for small presentations. 

SNB and the SNB Academy had planned to move into this new space on January 1, 2024, but due to a delay in shipping the steel for construction, the renovation has been delayed a few weeks.

This delay could have left SNB and the SNB Academy homeless for a time were it not for the amazing friendship and generosity of Lamis and Arlen Prichard, owners of the Steinway Piano Gallery and Music School (Steinway is on the left side of 500 E. Moana Lane and SNB’s studios are on the right side).

Choreographer Oliver Adams creates a new work for the SNB Company (at the Steinway Piano Gallery temporary studios) for SNB's 2024 Spring Program of Brew, Brats and Ballet

The Prichards invited SNB to join them on their side of the building until our space is completed. This was not easy, and it was necessary for the Steinway group to empty out their large storage area and their performance hall so that SNB could create temporary studios with proper dance flooring, barres, and mirrors. Thanks to their kindness and willingness to collaborate, SNB and SNB Academy opened on January 8, 2024 (temporarily on the left side of the building at Steinway Piano Gallery). It is a joy for all concerned to be teaching and creating art together in an atmosphere of enthusiasm and support.    

Renovations are estimated at about $150,000 and we plan to start a GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign online to raise $50,000 to help pay for some of it. If you are interested in being a part of this new, exciting collaboration, please visit our website or check out our crowdfunding program which will be online very soon.  

Join us in the philosophy that each of us is stronger when we lift up one another. 

To learn more about SNB and the SNB Academy and the Northern Nevada Performing Arts Collective please call 775-360-8663 or visit our SNB website at 

More from Rosine Bena

SNB Collaborates with Arts Organizations to Create a Performing Arts Hub in Reno by Rosine Bena — December 15, 2023

SNB’s Holiday Peanutcracker Brings the Community Together by Rosine Bena — November 3, 2023

SNB Presents a Tale of Horror in the Spirit of Halloween and Burning Man by Rosine Bena — September 22, 2023

SNB Presents Dracula the Ballet, a Brand New Production! by Rosine Bena — August 18, 2023

Preparations Underway for SNB Historic Event by Rosine Bena — July 14, 2023

SNB is the Only Company in the World Authorized to Perform The Last Unicorn by Rosine Bena — June 9, 2023

ART In The Family by Rosine Bena — May 5, 2023

SNB Presents an Eclectic Brew, Brats & Ballet by Rosine Bena — March 31, 2023

A Labor of Love by Rosine Bena — February 24, 2023

A Strong Spirit of Collaboration is Evident in the Reno Arts Communityby Rosine Bena — January 20, 2023

The Peanutcracker: The Story behind the Story by Rosine Bena — December 16, 2022

A Tale of Two Sugar Plums for Sierra Nevada Balletby Rosine Bena — November 11, 2022

Dance Theatre of Harlem Returns to Renoby Rosine Bena — October 7, 2022

Ballet Training Can Greatly Enhance the Child Birth Experience by Rosine Bena — September 9, 2022


SNB’s Swan Lake: The Product of a Devoted Arts Communityby Rosine Bena — August 12, 2022


SNB Presents Swan Lake with an International cast of Professional Dancers by Rosine Bena — July 15, 2022

SNB Performs Swan Lake at Eldorado as Part of Artown  by Rosine Bena — June 17, 2022

Swan Lake: A Life-Changing Experience by Rosine Bena — May 20, 2022

SNB Presents the Popular Brew, Brats and Ballet in Reno and Carson Cityby Rosine Bena — April 22, 2022

Regional Dance America Presents Inaugural Festival in Renoby Rosine Bena — April 1, 2022

Additional ART VIEWS Contributors