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Photo of students painting in a watercolor class



A six-year-old boy is happily banging on a homemade drum with a stick during art camp.A teenager with disabilities, Connor Fogal, intently listens to the instructor in an oil painting class.

Child participating in open-to-the public Art Camp/Connor Fogal participates in an open-to-the-public oil painting class

The great law of culture is, let each become all that he was created capable of being.

-Thomas Carlyle

VSA Nevada’s mission is to provide quality arts opportunities for ALL focusing on children and adults who have a disability, are disadvantaged, at-risk, or under-served by the arts.

VSA Nevada is responsible for the thoughtful preservation and year-round use of the Lake Mansion as a cultural and historic site.

Our Beliefs:

The Arts

  • Quality experiences in the arts, designed to engage participants in the development of artistic skills and expressions, are the foundation of our program.
  • The arts, as a part of education, leisure and recreation, provide a viable, effective way of teaching skills to ALL individuals. It can also be a chance to succeed, a chance to build self-control and self-esteem, and a chance to focus on ability rather than disability.
  • The arts serve as an important link for all individuals to experience the expressive, aesthetic and therapeutic elements within themselves and others through their capacity to create.
An aerial view of the historic Lake Mansion at the corner of Court Street, Flint Street and Arlington Avenue in Reno

An aerial view of the historic Lake Mansion at the corner of Court Street, Flint Street and Arlington Avenue in Reno

The Lake Mansion

Can a community lose its memory?  It happens every day when historic buildings are torn down or allowed to deteriorate. A part of our past can disappear forever.  When that happens, we lose opportunities to live and work in the interesting, attractive and supportive surrounding that older buildings and neighborhoods provide.  We lose the connections with history that help us know who we are.*

  • The Lake Mansion is one of the only places in Nevada where visitors can tour and enjoy a residence with period furnishings, several that were owned by the Lake family plus portraits of family members and an original oil painting of Reno in 1862.
  • The Lake Mansion has been called “Reno’s First Address” for good reason.  The mansion has been owed by five well-known families in the area as featured in Patty Cafferata’s book, Lake Mansion:  Home to Reno’s Founding Families which is sold at the mansion.  The Lake Mansion was moved in 1971 and again in 2004 to its present location.

*from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

If you would like to partner with VSA Nevada in providing these important programs please consider a tax deductible donation by

or learn more on the “Get Involved” page.