Pandemic or not, when was the last time you went out on a Saturday night in Reno and saw multiple musicians perform, learned about gleaning through an interview in a hot tub, toured an art opening at the Depot Gallery in Sparks, learned the ins and outs of recycling in Washoe County, caught a stand-up comedy set, and learned that you could make an LED light with some household items you probably have in your junk drawer?
Now, I know anything is possible in Reno, but even for the most culturally committed patron of Northern Nevada arts, the above would be, to say the least, a lot.
Enter Signal Boost, a virtual tour of the Reno/Northern Nevada art and culture communities streamed live every Saturday at 7 pm. The hour-ish-long event amplifies voices in a low effort space meant to level the playing field of art online.
The first event in the series took place on Feb. 20 and, in an hour, teased out more art happenings in the area than could ever fit in a Saturday night out on the town.
“It’s really a platform for everyone,” Signal Boost founder Jessi “Sprocket” Janusee said. “I’m super willing to put anything out there within reason. It’s a no judgment space where you can just record a poem in your bedroom and send it over to us.”
Signal Boost was born out of positive feedback from the virtual Reno Punk Rock Flea Market (RPRFM)—an annual fundraiser for The Generator that went virtual this year—where viewers wondered, “why something like this isn’t available every Sunday.” Sprocket heeded this call, and Signal Boost has seen two iterations to date and is multi-streamed on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitch. “It is hard just to get your art in front of people, especially now,” Sprocket said. “And if The Generator and The Flea Market can use the platforms we already have to share the art that’s already happening within our community, then I am more than happy to make that happen.”
Make it happen she did. Sprocket, who is also the founder of RPRFM and the communications director at The Generator, live streams herself (and special guests) from the comforts of her living room, through the airwaves of the ether, to yours. She browses the internet, plays submitted clips from local artists, and interviews friends of The Generator. And she is damn good at it. She hopes that Signal Boost will continue well past COVID-related restrictions and eventually morph into a weekly or monthly open mic night in the new Generator space.
And the community is receptive. While viewership numbers are small but mighty, the series has a loyal fan base. “I absolutely love your show. I look forward to this weekly. Plus finding out about all the local art and projects are so interesting,” a comment on Signal Boost: Episode 2’s YouTube page. “This show makes me fall in love with Reno more and more.”
Signal Boost streams every Saturday at 7 pm on the Generator’s Facebook, Twitch, and YouTube pages. Want to submit your art to Signal Boost? Email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any questions, reach out via email or social media and Sprocket will walk you through the process.