The passing of Rainbow Company’s theater program specialist leaves a void in the arts community.
Written by Chris Cutler
I met Kris Shepherd in December when he joined the BLVDS editorial board. He fit right in with our diverse group, and he immediately pitched in with ideas and suggestions for the magazine. His participation continued after the meeting, too, as he sent me leads and contact information over the next two months until just before he passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on February 5, 2016.
In talking to others who knew Kris Shepherd since his untimely death, I’ve discovered that the passion he showed in joining the board was something he showed in approaching almost every aspect of his life. He was inquisitive, confident, versatile, and creative. Even as a child he was there to resolve problems or figure out how to make things work.
Kris received his BA from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and worked in professional theatre throughout the States. For almost 20 years , he was a theatre program specialist with the City of Las Vegas Rainbow Company, the city’s theatre education program which produces a four-show season of family- oriented theatre annually. A natural leader—and team player—Kris helped build Rainbow Company into a special theatre community that valued each person and his/her contribution. He held a keen interest in technology and social media—one of the subjects he was helping BLVDS with.
Besides Rainbow Company, Kris was active in a number of other professional and community organizations. He served on committees for the UNLV Alumni Association (College of Fine Arts) and chaired its advisory board. In addition, he participated in Project Imagine and in organizations in both of his children’s schools.
Over the past few months, I’ve learned that nothing was impossible to Kris Shepherd. He challenged anyone who said, “It can’t be done” with enthusiasm and a “can do” attitude. He recognized the possibilities of new ideas and was willing use innovative ways to handle any challenge. He was a original and clever, positive and enlightened.
While his passing is a great loss to all of us, his life should be an example we celebrate and emulate.