The Believer Festival is as moveable a literary feast as there is.
Saturday afternoon, after already having held programs at the Neon Museum’s Ne10 Studio, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area and the Mob Museum, the festival moved to The Lucy, the recently opened literary complex at Sixth Street and Bonneville Avenue in downtown Las Vegas.
There, readers met authors, authors met authors, audiences met a typically eclectic collection of participants in a series of programs and discussions, and — most important of all — ideas met ideas.
The Believer Festival, a three-day celebration of writing, music and visual arts, is produced by the Beverly Rogers, Carol C. Harter Black Mountain Institute. Saturday’s final day of the third annual event also included what the festival called “a night of music, comedy and revolution” at UNLV’s Artemus Ham Concert Hall.
But before that came Saturday afternoon’s gathering at The Lucy, a casual affair made up of equal parts street festival, marketplace and just generally cool spot to hear some fascinating people talk about interesting things.
Patty Donahue of Las Vegas had signed up to attend every event but the Mob Museum program, and that’s only because tickets for it went so quickly.
She’s a Believer Festival veteran — she caught the first one, but missed last year’s because of a family obligation — and called the Believer Festival “great. It’s just amazing to see that there are all these literary people in Las Vegas that you never knew lived here.”
Donahue also was surprised to learn that many attendees travel to Las Vegas to take part. During Friday’s Red Rock Canyon event, “they asked, ‘Who here is from out of town?’ and it was like the majority of people,” she said. “That means so much. You’ve got this huge influx of talent, and the talent is from all over the world.”
Author Claire Vaye Watkins, a Nevada author and former Black Mountain Institute fellow, said such gatherings are important in creating a sense of community. At the festival, she said, authors “talk to readers and talk to other artists as well.”
The Believer Festival is named after The Believer, a bimonthly magazine of literature, arts and culture published by the Black Mountain Institute.