The film, directed and produced by Shannon, Dray and co-produced by Tami Yaron, debuts next month
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Shannon Dorn remembers the early days of the Arts District, when the city was experiencing a turn-of-the-century cultural renaissance. “At that time it was hard to find your community. There were no coffee shops. There was nowhere to hang,” she says.
A budding teenage photographer in the early 2000s, Shannon found community by documenting underground hip-hop shows. She recalls meeting artist Dray at a show at the Huntridge, who invited her to photograph him painting a mural at the now-defunct Funk House, a cultural beacon owned by Cindy Funkhouser, who started at First Friday Las Vegas in 2002.
“I was hooked just vibing with everybody,” Shannon says. “I found my home. I’ve been stuck down there ever since.”
702 Unstripped Documentary Captures Vegas Culture
In the new documentary 702 Unstripped, Shannon and her friends are making sure those stories aren’t forgotten. The film, directed and produced by Shannon, Dray and co-produced by Tami Yaron, debuts next month. It features footage stretching back to the 90s, with much of the early 2000s recording captured by Shannon herself, along with interviews with more than 75 artists, poets, DJs and community leaders who helped pave the way for today’s culture.
“It’s about the birth of the Las Vegas arts scene and how it was influenced by hip-hip culture. All my friends were b-boys, MCs or graffiti artists,” Shannon says.
“That there was nothing, and then there was something,” she recalls.
Taking Dope Fotos and Cruising Downtown on Bike Tours
Almost 20 years after she fell in love with the arts scene, Shannon is still in the thick of Vegas culture, continuing to propel it forward in creative ways. On top of the documentary, she runs cannabis photography company Dope Foto and bike rental/bike tour service Ride On Bike Tours and Rentals inside Crank and Grind on Main Street. She also hosts the monthly Canna Crewzers’ rides, which includes brand pop-ups, food, music and stops at dispensaries.
Everything she does honors her roots — Vegas’ roots.
“People think of Vegas as a gambling, party city,” the Las Vegas native says. “I just want to show it in another light.”
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