Wildflower Village Visit
I have four moms: my biological mother, my adoptive mother, my stepmother and Pat Campbell, founder and owner the Wildflower Village. I wouldn’t be surprised if other people referred to her as their mother either. The Wildflower Village would be their second home. It’s the kind of place where one can express their full creativity and be welcomed with applause from Pat and her many volunteers. And maybe a snack.
Located at 4395 W. 4th St. in Reno, the Wildflower Village is tucked back away from the mainstream entertainment block of the city. It’s a is a non-profit arts center, rentable motel and performance space that caters to the art community, musicians local and abroad, and anyone who just needs a place to call home. Pat and her husband bought the site 20 years ago and rented out the single occupancy room to passersby. When I first met her, she greeted me with a smile and a cup of black coffee. Pat introduced to her right-hand man, Mike Mac Millan, who helps around the Village with repairs and event planning. We sat down together and chatted in the Golden Rose Cafe which was set up for an evening performance.
“It’s not Midtown. It’s not east Fourth,” said Macmillan. “We are a unique destination. I was attracted to the alternative draw of this place. I lived in the Bay area and they don’t have anything like this quite out there, even now.”
The Wildflower hosts different events each month, ranging from comedy nights to three-day long outdoor concerts (last summer’s Wildstock that featured 27 bands from the Truckee Meadows and northern California). Each summer, they have a plethora of burners stopping at the motel for a clean place to rest their head before heading off into the dusty Black Rock.
The behind-the-scenes team is mostly made up of volunteers. They are the ones who plan the events and keep the Wildflower looking pretty. Last year, during Burning Man season, the Wildflower was filled with international volunteers. “There was a plethora of people,” said Macmillan. “It was pretty incredible. There were people from Australia and England- Wildflower was a massive international center.”
One of the great things about the Wildflower is that it is open to partnerships. It thrives on collaboration and those involved want to get the community involved.
“We’re always evolving and we want to the public to be involved,” said Campbell. “The Wildflower is here for those needing a space or an outlet where they can flourish and be creative and express themselves how they want.”
Art studios, as well as living studios, are available to rent at the Wildflower. They also have an indoor cabaret stage, an outdoor amphitheatre and spaces for parties and weddings.
I spent a good chunk of my day there, talking with Mike and Pat as we explored the site. Pat gave me a tour of the onsite galleries; some which local artists will use this summer for the Nada Dada motel and hotel art show (for more information about Nada Dada and its sister party, Nada Gras, visit www.NadaDadaMotel.weebly.com. We paused for a moment in the absinthe bar, where Pat serves ten varieties of the green liquor. I admired the painting in the bride's room. Walking outside in the warm sunshine, Pat pointed out the areas where she hopes to build an outdoor stage and the onsite brewery. When I asked about the completion date for all these projects, Pat simply replied, “As soon as we get the money.”
Pat sent me off with a gift, a beautiful wooden and turquoise bowl her husband crafted, and two kisses parisian style on my cheeks. I promised her that I’d be back for a visit soon. As I made my way home, I thought about Pat and Mike’s kindness and all the work they want to do to improve the Wildflower Village. After meeting good people like that and listening about their frustrations and dreams, you can’t help but want to support their business. You want to tell everyone you know about the place so they can start raising money. I hope that these next upcoming years for the Wildflower will be nothing but successful. They are a part of our community and we should show them nothing but encouragement and love.
The Wildflower Village. Just another reason why I love Reno and why I’m happy to call this city my home.
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