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Las Vegas Society News  

Note: This is a past article from April 10, 2013
You can find the current Las Vegas Society News article HERE

Two Great Society News Events


Elena Romanova and Ilona Frank creators of Fire Art Biennale

Fire Art Biennale Ladies and Auction items

Fire Art Biennale Festival of Arts Host and Dr. Adele Zorn

FIRE ART BIENNALE Las Vegas recently held a BlackTie fundraising gala event at The PALAZZO’s ACT Nightclub. The proceeds from this event benefitted the worthy cause, World Chess Federation Initiative for the Blind and Visually Impaired. This inaugural FIRE ART BIENNALE – FESTIVAL OF ARTSenabled Las Vegas artists to see their work more clearly within an international context, and created international cultural links that at present do not exist. The Black Tie Event featured a silent auction, cocktails and tasty cuisine by Origin India. DJ Steve Walker played music throughout the evening and guests enjoyed entertainment by new singing star TVA Parks, Belly Dancer Amira and other celebrities.


Entertainer with Shawn Lane, publicist of event

Las Vegas Artist, A.D. Cook displayed his artwork

The event showcased emerging local and international artists and attracted a diverse international audience from areas far and wide such as Israel, Russia, Ukraine and elsewhere who might not have otherwise visited Las Vegas. In doing so, the FESTIVAL OF ARTS provided a broad experience of international contemporary art and showed how art relates to life today. Truly unique attention-grabbing magnificent handmade clothing, jewelry and other items, along with the amazing works of art, were submitted by over 30 different artists who came to the event from 8 countries. Local artist Anya Peterson presented live paintings and Las Vegas artist A.D. Cook displayed his four new abstracts.

A.D. Cook with International Guests


Guests enjoying Entertainment

The starting point of FIRE ART BIENNALE Las Vegas was formed by Ilona Frank and Elena Romanova who live in Vegas. They joined forces as they both are lovers of beauty and had a great desire to save the world. Their creativity led them to use the slogan "Beauty will save the world!"and they created FIRE ART BIENNALE Las Vegas, an organization with a mission to present Las Vegas with the largest and most exciting contemporary visual and applied arts events. Launched in 2012, their aim is to strengthen the art and culture scene in Las Vegas and become a platform to bring together local and international artists and provide a program of talks, performances, forums and special events.

They both decided that the fantastic city of Las Vegas was the perfect place to host an event like FIRE ART BIENNALE - Festival of Arts and that is how this successful occasion came about.


Judge Kathleen Delaney and
Emerge Founder, Erin Bilbray-Kohn

Former U.S. Congressman James Bilbray and wife Mikey
(parents of Emerge Founder Erin Bilbray-Kohn)

EMERGE NEVADA hosted an excellent Woman of the Year Reception at Bally’s. Barbara Buckley, the first woman Speaker of the Nevada Assembly, was honored as EMERGE NEVADA's 2013 Woman of the Year. Also honored were Alison Gaulden and Annette Magnus who received a very special outstanding EMERGE NEVADA Alumnae of the Year award. As well as experiencing an inspiring event, guests enjoyed delicious appetizers, drinks, a silent auction and a raffle.

In the 148 years since its statehood, Nevada has only elected a total of 3 women to the U.S. House of Representatives and has never elected a woman to the U.S. Senate or as Governor of Nevada. EMERGE NEVADA has realized that a pool of highly qualified candidates are left untapped. Too often, women do not see themselves running for office—they assume they aren’t experienced enough or they don’t know where to begin. EMERGE NEVADA is changing that, and is changing the face of Nevada politics by identifying, training and encouraging women to run for office, get elected and seek higher office. EMERGE has a unique intensive, cohort-based seven-month training program. As of this year, 14 women elected officials have been graduates of Emerge.

Assemblywomen Ellen Speigal and Irene Bustamante with their spouses

Honoree Barbara Buckley and Emerge Graduate, Assemblywoman, Ellen Speigal

Honorees - Alison Gaulden, Barbara Buckley, Annette Magnus

Judge Kathleen Delaney opened the program and introduced Nina Bailey who spoke about EMERGE NEVADA and its accomplishments. Katherine Cortez Masto, Nevada Attorney General spoke next and told the audience that when she was in Washington D.C. she found out that only 8 out of 50 Attorney Generals in the United States are women.

Irene Bustamante, last year’s EMERGE Graduate Alumni of the year introduced this year’s special Outstanding Alumnae of the Year honorees, Alison Gaulden and Annette Magnus.

Alison said: “Women are phenomenal, and can be anything they want to be and, we are darn good at what we do.” Alison also said that women dominate the economy as they are 66% of the voting block and women can use their voice - and must!

Emerge Nevada Graduates

Dr. Adele Zorn and Barbara Buckley

Barbara Buckley and Mike Aupperle

Annette Magnus, graduated Emerge class of 2007. She said she was born and raised in Nevada and always knew she would be a community activist and organizer.

Assemblywoman and Emerge Graduate, Ellen Speigal next talked about Emerge 2013 of the Year, former speaker of the Nevada Assembly, Barbara Buckley. Ellen spoke of Barbara’s important work efforts and about her personal and enormous professional achievements. Ellen then introduced Barbara Buckley.

The audience wholeheartedly and lovingly gave Barbara Buckley a long standing ovation.

BARBARA told how she originally was a maid on the strip and how she came to be interested in politics. She lovingly honored her mother Edith Buckley in the audience, as the one she gets her passion from, who taught her everything she knows, and to put people first. Barbara talked about the women activists who marched on the Strip and Medical Clinics and acknowledged Ruby Duncan who was in the audience.

Barbara Buckley's Mother, Edith

Vicky and John Birkland - Grand prize winner of raffle


In 2007, Barbara Buckley was the first woman in Nevada history to serve as Speaker of the Nevada Assembly. She is currently executive director of the Clark County Legal Aid Society and an Attorney at Law.


At entrance to event at Bally.s

Her important message was quoted from Ben Franklin who said, “Keep Mentoring each other.” And, that is what EMERGE NEVADA is all about.

[ List of Past Las Vegas Society News Articles ]
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