Public Programs at the Nevada State Museum Carson City
The Capitol was completed in 1871 and housed all three branches of government. Today, the Capitol building houses the offices of the governor, lieutenant governor, and state treasurer, as well as a business office for the secretary of state. It’s also home to the Battle Born Hall museum on the building’s second floor. Trailblazing Nevada, the current exhibit, takes visitors through the full Silver State narrative, from prehistory to the 19th century mining boom to current times. People and events that defined Nevada are showcased here. This building — a structure rich with history, still functioning, and open to the public — is a state treasure of which all Nevadans can be proud. And now that it has re-opened to the public, we invite you to visit this Nevada landmark on its 150th anniversary.
The Nevada State Capitol Building is currently open to the public. There are docent led tours of the building available on Saturdays at 10:30 am and 1:30 pm. To request a tour at another time go to NSMConnect or call the Nevada State Museum Education Department at (775)687-4810 ext 237.
Since 1993 the Nevada State Museum has honored educator and historian Frances Humphrey with a lecture series in her name. This evening talk on a Nevada history topic is held on the fourth Thursday of every month except December. The program has grown in popularity through the years, compelling the museum to often hold two presentations of the same lecture to meet the demand. The History Department records select lectures. A description of past lectures and some of the videos can be found here. We are currently offering lectures in-person and via Zoom. Check our upcoming events calendar for details on this month’s lecture.
Family Fun Saturday is a regular program that occurs on the second Saturday of every month designed for parents or caregivers and their children. Program themes vary each month depending on the time of year, and often include a craft activity for kids. Starting December 12, 2020 we will be doing these programs on Facebook Live and posting the video on YouTube. Tune in to celebrate Nevada’s natural and cultural heritage with us. All programs are free and craft supplies are available at the museum. For dates and times check our upcoming events calendar.
Mint 150! 2019 and 2020 marked the 150th anniversary of the Carson City U.S. Branch Mint building and the beginning of coin production at the mint in 1870. You can learn more about this by going to Mint150.com
Historic Coin Press No. 1 Demonstrations
Every Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. we hold historic Coin Press No. 1 demonstrations in the 150 year old Carson City Mint building. If they wish, visitors may purchase a planchet (coin blank) in the Museum Store and bring it to the Coin Press No. 1 gallery to have it minted just for them. Planchets are one half ounce .999 fine silver. For more information check our Upcoming Events Calendar or contact Holly Payson at (775)687-4810 ext. 222.
On the first and third Wednesdays of every month curators present an object or group of objects to visitors passing through the museum’s demonstration gallery. The museum has collected and interpreted objects related to Nevada’s unique heritage, including historical, cultural, anthropological, and natural History since 1941. This is an opportunity for visitors to experience some of these amazing objects not regularly on display. For more information contact Mina Stafford at (775)687-4810 ext. 243. Check our calendar for more details.
Chinese New Year
We celebrate Chinese New Year on the first or second Saturday of February. This program includes a display of historic Chinatown artifacts from our collections, Chinese music and dance demonstrations, a hands on activity to make Chinese noise makers, and a Lion Dance parade up Carson Street to the Children’s Museum of Northern Nevada. This program is free to the public and takes place in our Dema Guinn Concourse.
In Hawai’i, “May Day is Lei Day.” Beginning in 2018*, the Museum has annually shared this tradition with the northern Nevada community with lei and kupeʻe (wristlets) making demonstrations by Malcolm Delovio and individuals from Nā ʻŌiwi O Hawaiʻi, Northern Nevada Hawaiian Civic Club. This free, public event has also included traditional Hawaiian music by the band Pono, hula performances by Ka Pā Hula ʻO Kawaiolanoelaniokāne and Matasina Polynesian Review, as well as hands-on activities for the kids. Mahalo (thank you) to our partners at the Carson City Cultural Commission and the Carson City Culture and Tourism Authority.
*Lei Day 2020 was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since 2006 the Nevada State Museum has been celebrating Nevada’s Hispanic heritage with a Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) Celebration. Over the years this program has evolved into a three day celebration in collaboration with the Western Nevada College Latino Cohort. During the celebration we have community-made altars on display, folkloric dancers, face painting, sugar skull decorating, and many other hands-on crafts. More people than ever are attending this festive event, and last year’s crowd enjoyed the dancing program outside in the parking lot, along with an invited food truck!
This program is free to the public thanks to support from the community.