April 21-22, various venues in Las Vegas
Believer
 

American Dreams: A Festival, presented by The Believer Magazine
+ The Black Mountain Institute

Hosted by Heidi Julavits, Joshua Wolf Shenk & Vendela Vida.

 
PRAYERS FOR THE AMERICAN DREAM

Friday, April 21, 6 p.m.
The Amphitheatre at Red Rock National Conservation Area

“Let me explain to you, let me just run it down briefly if I can. We’re looking for the American Dream, and we were told it was somewhere in this area.” —Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

In the face of open desert—the place of visionaries and wanderers and sagebrush lizards and red-spotted toads—an all-star cast of literary writers offer paeans, challenges, implorings, pleas and demands to the great unknown re: the promise and peril of American life and all its hyphens. This program is outdoors; it will end before dusk but dress warmly for the desert air.

Featuring:
Hossein Abkenar
Angelo Santino Ligori
Heidi Julavits
Sally Wen Mao
Laura McBride
Donald Revell
Luís Alberto Urrea
Erica Vital-Lazare
and special guests!

Hosted by Joshua Wolf Shenk and Vendela Vida

Note: Entry to the Red Rock Conservation Area is free for registered attendees of this program.

 
THE AMERICAN DREAM: ON TRIAL

Saturday, April 22, 10 a.m.

At the historic courtroom in the Mob Museum, 300 Stewart Ave.

Waitress: Hey, Lou, do you know where the American Dream is?
Attorney (to Duke): She’s asking the cook if he knows where the American Dream is
Waitress: Five tacos, one burger. Do you know where the American dream is?
Lou: What’s that? What is it?
— Hunter S. Thompson
, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

ABOUT THIS PROGRAM: In what field of work, study, aspiration or creative practice is the American dream most alive? Join an all-star cast of literary writers as they present amicus briefs to the court of literary opinion, making their case for where we should look.

Though we are, for now, retaining the original title, this is not a competitive trial, but a session for Amicus Briefs on the question, before the court of literary opinion, on which field of work, or which sector of American life, is the American dream most alive?

Featuring:
Ben Marcus
David J. Morris
Sally Wen Mao
Nicholas Russell
Timea Sipos
Luís Alberto Urrea
Ed Park
and special guests!

JUDGES
- Dan Hamilton
- ZZ Packer
- Ed Park

Hosted by Joshua Wolf Shenk and Vendela Vida

NOTE: Entrance to the Mob Museum is free for registered attendees of this program.

THE AMERICAN DREAM: SEX & ROCK ’N’ ROLL DIVISION

Saturday, April 22, 2 p.m. doors / 2:30 p.m. show

The Place on 7th, 115 7th Street, Las Vegas

All we were told is, go till you find the American Dream. Take this Cadillac and go until you find The American Dream. It’s somewhere in the Las Vegas area.
— Hunter S. Thompson
, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Join the filmmaker/performance artist/author Miranda July and songwriter/musician/actor/co-creator of Portlandia/memorist Carrie Brownstein
2 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Carrie Brownstein reads from her memoir Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl. Followed by a conversation with Dave Eggers.
3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Miranda July debuts an original, interactive performance piece
4:30 p.m. Book signing & drinks

CLOSING PARTY: ELEGIES & LOVE SONGS

Saturday, April 22, 7:30 p.m. doors / 8 p.m. show

The Bunkhouse Saloon, 124 South 11th Street, Las Vegas

Featuring:
Tift Merritt
Jim James

About Our Events
All BMI events are free and open to the public. RSVP in advance to reserve your seat. Sign up for our newsletter to hear first about BMI programs.

Parking at UNLV
On weekdays, visitors may park after 7 p.m. in any staff, student, or metered space. Parking in spaces marked "reserved" is not permitted. An interactive map of all parking areas is available from UNLV Parking Services.