Meet the Humans of Downtown: stories and snapshots from the urban core of Las Vegas
No one reps for Las Vegas culture like Arturo Cecena. As a charismatic host, he masters ceremonies at events like Boozy Bingo at Corduroy, Down & Derby at Gold Spike and On the Record’s Sound and Color. As a creative director for TheresnothingtodoinVegas.com, he makes many of the viral graphics, photos and videos you see (check out his photography on Instagram), in addition to building relationships with venues and partners.
Arturo has had his kicks on the ground, literally, since moving here in 2009. A street dancer, he’d perform outside of Bally’s six times a day. Crowds flocked around him, drawn by his charm and mesmerized by his moves.
“That was the real training ground for my hosting — to be able to grab the attention of random tourists and to be witty enough to get them to watch your show, be entertained, be invested enough to pay attention and give you a cash donation,” he says.
It was only a matter of time before he was recruited to host events at Insert Coins, open for Steve Aoki at Omnia and perform at Life is Beautiful. That’s because Arturo understands the assignment thoroughly.
“As a host you’re the glue that holds the puzzle together,” he says. “You need to be one with the crowd. Being able to read the crowd and pick up the energy and problem solve on the fly is when you know you are doing a good job.”
Though the pandemic put some of his work on pause early on, it gave Arturo time to reconnect with his artistic side, as well as with the community. He helped launch Nothing to Do’s “Nothing and Everything” interview series and got more involved in activism.
Arturo’s been a pillar for the culture for more than a decade, and he’ll be one for years to come.
“What makes Vegas so special to me is that it has a new wave of energy every three years, whether it’s a new group of 21 year olds, collectives, venues or trends,” he says. “This new energy helps keep it young and vibrant. Knowing how to ride that wave while keeping traditions will always keep you youthful and relevant.”
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