Volunteers were busy this Saturday bringing the original pews back to the historic Lear Theater building in downtown Reno. They’re getting ready to host an all day TEDx conference there on June 6th.
TEDx organizers want to combine history with new possibilities for the well-known venue. The Lear Theater, which was built as a church in 1939, has been closed for the past 12 years while community leaders formulated a plan for its future.
TED talks feature speakers who share ideas and inspire others with topics from science, to business to local issues. TEDx events are independently hosted conferences.
TEDx Reno’s Meghan Pescio said the Reno landmark is the perfect place for sharing big ideas. “We want to help the community re-imagine what the Lear Theater would be like if it was a functioning, open theater for local performers and for the community,” she said. The Lear has undergone major renovations, paid for by fundraising campaigns. But more repairs are needed. For the event in June, it will serve as a type of ‘special events tent’ with pillars. “We have to bring in power,” said Doug Erwin of EDAWN. “We have to bring in water, we have to bring in air conditioning,” he added.
Erwin says the event will cost about $70,000 which will be paid for with a mix of sponsorships, in-kind donations and ticket sales. He believes the Lear can be an integral part of redevelopment in downtown Reno. “TED is all about ‘Ideas Worth Sharing’ and for TEDx Reno our big idea is to re-launch the Lear Theater in the community,” he said. Two years ago Artown agreed to take over the theater and is overseeing plans for future renovations.
Organizers expect to fill all 400 seats for the event, and say that tickets usually sell out in the first 24 hours. For more information go to TEDxReno.com. And prepare to be inspired.