County Hosts 1 October Remembrance Exhibits at Museum, Government Center

The Clark County Museum is hosting exhibits that explore the community’s grief and healing process since the shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival on Oct. 1, 2017.   

A retrospective called “5 Years Later: Remembering 1 October & Becoming Vegas Stronger” features letters, posters, signs, and other items from the museum’s 22,000-piece 1 October collection in the Clark County Museum’s exhibit hall at 1830 S. Boulder Highway. The exhibit runs through Jan. 30 in the museum’s Heritage Gallery and features letters, posters, signs and other items from the museum’s 22,000-piece 1 October collection. The museum's daily hours are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  Admission is $2 for adults and $1 for children and seniors.  

The Clark County Museum launched an extensive effort after the attack at the Route 91 festival on Oct. 1, 2017, to collect, catalogue and preserve memorial items left at the Welcome to Las Vegas sign and other sites near the festival venue to help tell the story of how our community responded.  

"It's important for us to honor the lives lost and forever changed because of 1 October,” said Clark County Commission Chairman Jim Gibson, whose district includes the museum and festival site. “Our community can be proud of how we responded to the darkness of that day and remember the outpouring of love and support we received from each other and from across the country and around the world. It’s also important to recognize the strength and resiliency that we continue to demonstrate as a community in response to the tragedy with every passing year.”

The Clark County Museum also is hosting a companion exhibit through Thursday, Oct. 13 in the Rotunda Gallery located on the first floor of the Clark County Government Center in downtown Las Vegas at 500 S. Grand Central Parkway. The Government Center exhibit includes banners and other items from the museum’s 1 October collection as well as The Art of Healing Mural and Angels of Love exhibit created in remembrance of the first anniversary of 1 October. The Art of Healing Mural, created by local artists and students at Las Vegas Academy of the Arts high school, contains nine large panels with teddy bear images representing the 58 lives lost in the immediate aftermath of 1 October and condolence messages the public was invited to write the first year it was on display. The Angels of Love exhibit, created by a California nonprofit organization, contains stain-glass angels in remembrance of those who perished and the hundreds who were injured, as well as memorabilia dedicated to first responders who sprang into action to help victims. It has remained on display in the Government Center since it was given to the County in 2018.

The Government Center’s daily hours are Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The Rotunda will be open on Saturday, Oct. 1 until noon following the 7:30 a.m. Sunrise Remembrance ceremony in the Government Center’s outdoor amphitheater. Additionally, the Spread Kindness Angel Wings Project by students at Cadwallader Middle School will be on exhibit inside the Government Center following the Sunrise Remembrance Ceremony on Oct. 1. The project was started by Christine Janette, a Cadwallader teacher and 1 October survivor, as a tribute to the 58 lives lost in the aftermath of the tragedy and an initiative to encourage kindness in the world. Each year, advanced art students under the direction of art teacher Frank Eclarin at the school are provided with a photo and brief biography of those who perished. Students use the information to design a set of angel wings that they feel represents the specific person and his or her life.  

Both museum exhibits include displays that highlight the progress of Clark County’s 1 October Memorial Committee. The Clark County Commission established the committee to gather input from the public to a permanent memorial that remembers those who perished in the attack, honors survivors, first responders and all those affected by the incident, and celebrates the resiliency and compassion of our community.

“We welcome everyone to participate in the memorial development process that is under way whether you live in Las Vegas or California or another state or country,” said Clark County Commissioner Marilyn Kirkpatrick. “This project is near and dear to many hearts. We want to develop a memorial that will honor the lives that were lost and the lives that will never be the same. We also want to pay tribute to our community’s resiliency in response to the devastating act of evil that occurred.”

A Call for Creative Expressions is open through Oct. 31, that invites the public to share ideas for the memorial or any form of creativity made in response to the tragedy. From the earliest days following the 1 October attack, people have used creativity in a multitude of ways to express love, hope, sorrow and support. The committee hopes to capture as many forms of those expressions as possible to help shape the eventual memorial project that gets built. All types of expressions are welcome including drawings, photos, songs and other artwork, and can be made on the committee’s website at ClarkCountyNV.gov/1OctoberMemorial  and through this mobile app: https://apps.vdomobile.com/m/1octobermemorial/. Individual artists interested in contributing to the creation of the memorial also are invited to share their resumes or portfolios.  Design teams selected to develop concepts for a memorial will be asked to review all Creative Expressions submissions to inform their proposals. Submissions received so far can be seen in the committee’s online gallery at https://tinyurl.com/38snr674. The process for developing a memorial project is expected to result in a formal recommendation to the County Commission in the summer of 2023.

As part of the museum’s efforts involving 1 October, staff and volunteers spent 18 months and hundreds of hours cataloging artifacts. Items were photographed and can be viewed on the museum’s website at www.ClarkCountyNV.gov/museum. Appointments can be made to view specific items in the collection. The museum also is collecting stories behind memorial items to be included in its efforts to preserve the memory of our community’s reaction to the 1 October tragedy. A form is posted on the museum’s website for anyone interested in sharing their story about what they left at one of the memorial sites. The collection includes many of the white wooden crosses that were part of “The Crosses for Losses” display that was set up at the Welcome sign by Illinois carpenter Greg Zanis. Some of the crosses have been given to family members at their request.  A calendar of community-related 1 October remembrance events scheduled during September and October is available on the Vegas Strong Resiliency Center’s website at www.vegasstrongrc.org.                                                                      

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Clark County is a dynamic and innovative organization dedicated to providing top-quality service with integrity, respect and accountability.  With jurisdiction over the world-famous Las Vegas Strip and covering an area the size of New Jersey, Clark is the nation’s 11th-largest county and provides extensive regional services to 2.3 million citizens and 45.6 million visitors a year (2019). Included are the nation’s 8th-busiest airport, air quality compliance, social services and the state’s largest public hospital, University Medical Center. The County also provides municipal services that are traditionally provided by cities to 1 million residents in the unincorporated area. Those include fire protection, roads and other public works, parks and recreation, and planning and development.