Public Programs at the Nevada State Museum Carson City
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. Due to the crowd restrictions associated with controlling the spread of COVID-19 we are presenting the Frances Humphrey Lecture Series online as a member benefit. Get information about museum membership here.
Family Fun Saturday
Family Fun Saturday is a regular program that occurs on the second Saturday of every month, except in June, July and August, and is 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. Plan to bring your kids to Family Fun Saturday to celebrate Nevada’s natural and cultural heritage. All programs are free with paid or member admission to the museum. For more details check our upcoming events calendar.
Mint 150! 2019 and 2020 mark the 150th anniversary of the Carson City U.S. Branch Mint building and the beginning of coin production at the mint in 1870. This program series features interesting speakers sharing different aspects of the Mint’s history and how it impacted Nevada History. Following each program will be demonstrations of historic Coin Press No. 1, the Mint’s first coin press, and the minting of special medallions. For those wishing to have a medallion minted just for them, one half ounce .999 fine silver planchets (coin blanks) are available in the museum store. Purchasers simply bring their reciept to the Coin Press No. 1 gallery to watch it in action. For more details check our upcoming events calendar.
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. Contact Holly Payson at (775)687-4810 ext. 222 for more information.
Behind the Scenes Tours
On the last Friday of the month curators provide behind the scenes tours of the Anthropology basket vault and the Natural History research collections. Space is limited and therefore it is recommended to call and reserve a spot. Contact Holly Payson at (775)687-4810 ext. 222 to make reservations.
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.