Special Initiatives

Nevada Humanities offers a variety of initiatives that offer new paths for the people of Nevada to experience, think about, and explore the humanities. Each year Nevada Humanities develops special, often one-off, programs and partnerships. These special initiatives include programming that may not be offered every year but that remains an important part of the work we do.


Robert Laxalt Distinguished Writer Program

The Robert Laxalt Distinguished Writer Program was established in 2001 to inspire new generations of writers in honor of Nevada writer Robert Laxalt, who developed from news reporter to fiction and nonfiction author during his prolific career. Considered by many to be Nevada’s finest writer, Laxalt founded the University of Nevada Press and wrote 17 books, four of which were entered for the Pulitzer Prize. He also wrote for National Geographic and served as a professor at the University of Nevada, Reno’s Reynolds School of Journalism for 18 years, teaching magazine writing and literary journalism. Since 2010, Nevada Humanities has joined the Reynolds School of Journalism as a partner in producing this program, which takes place in Reno each Fall.

Past Robert Laxalt distinguished writers include:

Timothy Eagan, 2018

Sally Denton, 2017

Richard Ford, 2016

Jess Walter, 2015

Sheri Fink, 2014

Jim Lynch, 2013

Mark Kurlansky, 2012

Rebecca Solnit, 2011

Stephen G. Bloom, 2010

Isabel Wilkerson, 2009

James D. Houston, 2008

Clay Jenkins

Lou Cannon, 2006

Alicia Parlette, 2005

Paige Williams, 2005

William Albert Allard, 2004


Each year Nevada Humanities and the Nevada Arts Council partner to create a special program celebrating National Arts & Humanities Month. Shaken & Stirred pairs two entirely unrelated topics to find common ground during a tag team lecture. Each speaker gets 10 minutes to teach us something new about unrelated topics. Audience members do the deep thinking to find commonalities between the two, and ask questions to join everything together. Ideas start to mix and anything can happen! Appetizers are on us.

Details about upcoming Shaken & Stirred events will be posted each Fall.