Great Basin Arts and Entertainment is a Nevada 501(c)(3) organization formed in 1997. The organization’s history reaches back to 1992 when a small group of friends met to determine how they might keep culture alive in Winnemucca following the massive arson fire that swept the historic Nixon Opera House. That historic building, a gift from Nevada Senator George S. Nixon, had been the center of Winnemucca’s cultural life since it was constructed in 1907.
This small group of volunteers, driven by their love of live music and the performing arts, started finding and promoting a series of events utilizing the high school gym, school auditoriums, the facilities at the Winnemucca Convention Center, any place available, until it found a cozy home in the banquet room facilities in the historic Martin Hotel.
GBAE events are promoted in the manner of now widely popular house concerts. A group of dedicated volunteers still does all the leg work to locate a wide variety of interesting performers and artists, make all the arrangements necessary to schedule their performances, create, produce and distribute the marketing materials to promote the event, then print and distribute the tickets. Just before each event a small army of people show up to set up the stage, the sound system, seating, and lighting.
Prices, on the highly sought after tickets, are kept low to allow anyone with a love of music the opportunity to attend. Performers are generally paid 100% of the gate along with a great meal at the Martin Hotel and complementary rooms provided by a local hotel. Funds needed to pay for supplies consumed by the promotional materials, marketing and ticket production are raised by passing a hat, or jar, at each performance, with occasional assistance provided by local businesses that support the efforts of the volunteers.