Friday, September 28, 2007

Red Desert the topic at UW Art Museum

I attended the sessions today at the Red Desert Symposium at the UW Art Museum in Laramie. Photographer Marty Stupich started the day with some background on the 57 photos displayed in the museum's main gallery. One of them -- a distant shot of Boar's Thumb under a big sky -- is featured on the conference's poster (see above). This was followed by a panel discussion of the people behind the book "Red Desert," due for a 2008 release by the University of Texas Press. The project was edited by Annie Proulx of Saratoga, who also wrote and researched some of the text. Stupich's photos add visual pizzazz to the book. Other panelists were anthropologist Dudley Gardner and geologist Charles Ferguson.

Proulx became interested in the Red Desert when Stupich asked her to write the intro to his book of photos. She set off for the Coe Library at UW, figuring she'd grab a sack of books on the subject, read them, and write her intro. But she found not a single book on the Red Desert. At the UW Heritage Center, she found an old volume on the region's botany -- but that was it. The lack of publications spurred her to consult Dudley Gardner and they talked to other researchers and scientists. "It just grew after that," she said.

In the afternoon, UW entymologist and grasshopper expert (and WAC creative writing fellowship winner) Jeff Lockwood talked about the amazing amount and diversity of bugs he found during a Red Desert survey. He compared its biological richness similar to that of the Amazon River Basin in South America.

Lockwood was one of 14 presenters who had been sent to the Red Desert by conference organizers with the charge that they return with a 20-minute presentation. None knew what the other would present. Frieda Knobloch composed an essay on her travels and read it to the crowd. Anthropologist Robert Kelly read an imaginative essay, cued to a Powerpoint show, about the arrival of the first people to Wyoming in "Who First Saw the Red Desert?"

More sessions tomorrow (Sept. 29) at the Art Museum. Laramie's Linda Lillegraven will talk about her paintings about the desert. Bryce Reece of the Wyoming Wool Growers Association will speak about the history of the sheep industry in the Red Desert.

The Red Desert is 6,000 square miles of Wyoming. It's made up of thousands of species and scores of natural wonders. It also has -- at last count -- more than 15,000 oil and gas wells. The threats are clear, but the first step is gaining some information on this little-known place in the state.
--Michael Shay

Antarctica coming to UW Art Museum in October

Monday Night at the Museum at the UW Art Museum during October will feature programs on Antarctica. The first in a series of public programs will be held October 1.

Photographer Joan Myers is joined by photographer Martin Stupich for a Gallery Walk at 10 a.m. Myers will conduct an Open Forum in the museum at 2 p.m. and will present an Art Talk at 7 p.m. entitled Wondrous Cold: An Antarctic Journey. Joan Myers is a landscape photographer who has worked in the American Southwest and most recently Antarctica. "I don’t do portraits or social commentary," writes Myers. "What interests me is living – the way human beings affect the landscape in which they live. My job is to see clearly." Myers is one of seven artists in the current exhibition Antarctica, which celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Antarctic Artists and Writers Program and the 100th anniversary of the discovery and exploration of the Polar Regions.

The October 8th Art Talk, Science in cold/miserable places: geoscience at the poles of the earth, is presented by Neil Humphrey, UW Professor of Geology & Geophysics.

Laramie resident Jerry Bucher will present an afternoon travelogue of Antarctica, Saturday, October 20, beginning at 3 p.m. Join Jerry for an armchair tour as he discusses the trips he has taken and how others can participate in guided tours to this area.

On October 22nd, the UW MFA Creative Writing Program and the Art Museum host writer Christopher Cokinos who will read from his book, The Fallen Sky: A Private History of Shooting Stars, which is the culmination of his Antarctic trip in 2004.

Guy Guthridge, former director of the National Science Foundation ’s Antarctic Artists and Writers Program, will present the talk, ANTARCTICA: Artists, Writers, and the "Continent for Science" on October 29th. Immediately following, a pre-release screening of Werner Herzog’s newest film, Encounters at the End of the World (Discover Films) will be shown.

Antarctica and this series of programs have been funded in part by Richard and Judith Agee, the Guthrie Family Foundation, the National Advisory Board of the UW Art Museum, the Argosy Family Foundation and the UW Haub School and Ruckelshaus Institute of Environment and Natural Resources, the UW Program on Ecology, the Wyoming Council for the Humanities, and the Wyoming Arts Council through the Wyoming State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts which believes a great nation deserves great art. Each program is free and open to the public. Monday Nights at the Museum begin at 7 p.m.

Bringing the world of art to Wyoming, the Art Museum is located in the Centennial Complex at 22nd & Willett Drive in Laramie. Hours for the Museum and Museum Store are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Admission is free. For more information, please call the Art Museum at 307-766-6622 or visit

Thoroughly Modern Millie at Casper College

The Casper College Department of Theatre and Dance presents Thoroughly Modern Millie, book by Richard Morris and Dick Scanlan, new lyrics by Dick Scanlan, new music by Jeanine Tesori. Directed and choreographed by guest artist and Casper native Kurt Stamm, TMM will run October 12-13, 16-20, 23-27 at 7:30 p.m. on the McMurry Mainstage of the Gertrude Krampert Theatre.

Thoroughly Modern Millie takes place in the roaring 20's and tells the story of young MIllie dillmount, who moves to New York city to follow her dreams. It's a New York City to follow her dreams. It's a New York filled with mystery and jazz -- skirts are shorter, women are entering the workforce, and the rules of love and social behavior are changing forever. Based on the popular movie, Thoroughly Modern Millie includes a fantastic score of new songs and bright dance numbers. Filled with frisky flappers, dashing leading men and a dragon-lady villainess audiences will love to hate. An evening of madcap comedy.
FMI call (307) 268-2500, 800-442-2963, ext. 2500 or go online at

Thursday, September 27, 2007


A Dandelion for My Mother

How I loved those spiky suns,
rooted stubborn as childhood
in the grass, tough as the farmer's
big-headed children--the mats
of yellow hair, the bowl-cut fringe.
How sturdy they were and how
slowly they turned themselves
into galaxies, domes of ghost stars
barely visible by day, pale
cerebrums clinging to life
on tough green stems. Like you.
Like you, in the end. If you were here,
I'd pluck this trembling globe to show
how beautiful a thing can be
a breath will tear away.

by Maryland poet, Jean Nordhaus

Register now for Wyoming Arts Summit

Registration forms for the Wyoming Arts Summit in Casper must be postmarked by Oct. 1 to receive the early-bird rate of $100. That includes entry to an opening-night reception on Thursday, Oct. 18, at the Nicolaysen Art Museum, two days of informative talks by nationally known experts, tickets to the Friday night gala (which includes dinner and entertainment) and several other meals.

Fee for registrations after Oct. 1 is $125. Tickets for the Friday gala only are $25 apiece.

Find a printable form at the
Wyoming Arts Council web site. Call 307-777-7742 for more information.

Free screening: "In the Valley of the Wolves"

The Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival presents a free world premiere screening of “In the Valley of the Wolves” at 7 and 8:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 5, in the theater of the Center for the Arts in Jackson.

Here’s a description from the Center for the Arts web site:

As the first wolves reintroduced into Yellowstone, the Druids are the most celebrated wolf pack in North America. New pioneers in the wilderness, they were at the heart of a massive scientific experiment to restore an entire ecosystem which began to break down without its wolves. Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Bob Landis spent over three years with these remarkable wolves, creating a spectacularly dramatic and intimate record of their lives, their great battles with rival wolf packs, and the changing fortunes of the coyotes and foxes who share their home range in Yellowstone's beautiful Lamar Valley. Filmmaker Q/A will follow the screening.

Another great year for UW Music Dept.

From a press release:

Each year, the University of Wyoming Department of Music faculty in Laramie perform an array of vocal and instrumental combinations. This season, the UW Faculty Recital Series will feature 12 performances.

All concerts are held in the Fine Arts concert hall. Cost is $5 for students and senior citizens, and $7 for general admission. Tickets can be purchased individually or as a series from the UW Fine Arts Box Office by calling (307) 766-6666 or online at

All performances begin at 7:30 p.m. The schedule:

Friday, Sept. 28 -- Dave Cooper, guest artist trumpet recital, performs works by Telemann, Fasch, Goedicke, Bartok and Plog.
Sunday, Nov. 11 -- UW Brass Quintet performs operatic duets with UW faculty and guest artists.
Monday, Nov. 12 -- Maureen Sorensson, soprano, and Theresa Bogard, fortepiano, perform works by Haydn and Mozart.
Monday, Nov. 19 -- Javier Pinell, violin; Maureen Sorensson, soprano; Theresa Bogard, piano and harpsichord; and the UW Percussion Ensemble offer an evening of masterpieces, directed by Steve Barnhart.
Thursday, Dec. 6 -- Summit Chamber Players presents works by Mozart, Dvorak and Shostakovich.
Saturday, Feb. 2 -- Thomas Pfotenhauer, trumpet, and Theresa Bogard, piano, offer an evening of 20th century works.
Feb. 11-18 -- Anne Guzzo directs the New Music Concert Series, featuring diverse music by contemporary composers. For a detailed schedule visit the Department of Music Web site at
Wednesday, Feb. 13 -- Concert featuring Barbara Thiem on cello and Theresa Bogard on piano.
Thursday, March 6 -- James Przygocki, viola, and Rubia Santos, piano, perform works by Brahms, Schumann, and other composers.
Saturday, March 29 -- Belle Donna Piano Duo: Rubia Santos and Alexandra Mascolo-David perform "Brazil: New Sounds for Four-Hand Piano Literature."
Wednesday, April 23 -- Summit Chamber Players present works by Schumann, Turina and other composers.
Saturday, May 3 -- The Globe Saxophone Quartet performs works by Jean Rivier, Frederick Fox and other composers.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Cowboy poets come to Pinedale

From a press release:

The second annual Pinedale Cowboy Roundup will be held Saturday Oct. 6, at the Pinedale High School auditorium. Many of our old friends are coming back to entertain us again and there will also be a few new ones for you to get to know. One thing is for sure and for certain, the same quality of cowboy entertainment that was at the PCR last year will be present and accounted for this year.

This year's line-up includes the returning 2006 favorites Yvonne Hollenbeck, Jesse Smith, Chris Isaacs, and Jerry Hall and Trick Shot. Joining them on stage are the unequaled talents of Jean Prescott and Chuck Larsen.

As always, all proceeds go the Small Miracles Foundation and Kickin' Cancer in Sublette County.

FMI: 307-367-6710 or

Chekhov on stage at UW Oct. 2-6

The University of Wyoming Department of Theatre and Dance opens its fall season with "Uncle Vanya," Anton Chekov's bittersweet comedy about love, loss and desire.

The play, directed by UW Department of Theatre and Dance Professor (and WAC Governor's Arts Award winner) William Missouri Downs, runs Oct. 2-6, at 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 7, at 2 p.m. on the Fine Arts main stage. Tickets are $14 for adults, $11 for seniors and $7 for students. To purchase tickets, call (307) 766-6666 or go to the Web site at

Set in pre-revolution Russia, Chekov's painfully funny tale, completed in 1899, tracks the intertwined lives of the pretentious Professor Serebryakov, who has led a charmed life; Vanya, the professor's brother-in-law whose life has followed a less fortunate path; and Sonya, the professor's daughter who has become an old maid while working to support her father.

FMI: Kathy Kirkaldie, Fine Arts programs coordinator, at (307) 766-2160 or

Olson & Olson at LCCC Gallery

"From Paper to Clay," an exhibit of work by Michael Olson and Amber Battista Olson, will be held Oct. 4-31 at the Esther and John Clay Fine Arts Gallery at Laramie County Community College at 1400 East College Drive in Cheyenne.

The exhibit documents how these artists work from sketchbook or concept to the finished piece.

The Clay Gallery is open from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

FMI: 1-800-522-2993.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

An evening with Mark Spragg

"An Evening with Wyoming Author Mark Spragg" will be held on Friday, Oct. 12, 7:30-8:30 p.m., at the Teton County Public Library in Jackson. The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be provided.

The Cody-based writer and Wyoming native will read from and discuss his memoir, “Where Rivers Change Direction,” and his two novels, “An Unfinished Life” and “The Fruit of Stone.”

FMI: 733-2164 ext. 135. To register for the Saturday, Oct. 13, discussion on memoir writing with Jackson Hole Writers and Spragg, call Tim Sandlin at 307-413-3331.

Classical guitarist featured at Arts Summit

Robert Bluestone, a classical guitarist, teacher and arts advocate from Santa Fe, N.M., will perform and talk about his work at the Wyoming Arts Summit in the Casper Events Center on Oct. 19-20. To register for the conference, go to the Wyoming Arts Council web site.

Here’s a bio on Bluestone:

Classical Guitarist Robert Bluestone has earned an international reputation as an artist of the first rank. His programs are celebrations of the splendid diversity of the repertoire of the classical guitar, often playing music from four continents and four centuries. He is not afraid to talk with his audiences. His charm, wit, and humor are always evident in his insightful and often spontaneous commentary on the music, its composers, and historical context. He puts audiences at ease and gives them a portal through which to enter his world and the music. Bluestone is in the vanguard of a select group of musicians who are reinvigorating the classical tradition.

The musician’s critically acclaimed recordings -- "Recital," "Alchemy," and "Convergence" -- are available on the Linares label.

Celebrate the arts in October

October is Arts & Humanities Month

National Arts and Humanities Month, a coast-to-coast collective celebration of culture coordinated by Americans for the Arts, is the largest annual celebration of the arts and humanities in the nation.

You can get involved by celebrating the arts in October -- attend an event, gets your kids more involved, or share information with your friends about National Arts and Humanities Month! Attend the Wyoming Arts Summit Oct. 19-20 in Casper!

Send news about your October arts events to Michael Shay or Linda Coatney at the WAC, and we'll put it on the blog.

FMI: 307-777-7742.

Monday, September 24, 2007

New anthology features state's writers

The Wyoming Humanities Council and the Wyoming Arts Council announce Wyoming Fence Lines, an anthology of original work by 57 writers from Wyoming and beyond. Edited by Wyoming Poet Laureate David Romtvedt, the anthology celebrates the Wyoming tour of the Smithsonian exhibition "Between Fences."

The 228-page anthology explores the nature of both real and metaphorical fences. In his introduction to the collection, editor David Romtvedt writes, “It is clear that the fence represents something important in our psyches. And clear, too, that like most things that have a psychological dimension, the fence reveals the diversity of our experience and of our response to experience.”

In these pages, the fence sometimes inspires ambivalence. Fences isolate, yet they also bring us together. They separate us from outsiders while creating a space where strangers can meet and talk. What is it we need to fence in, or fence out? Wyoming Fences Lines invites readers to explore this question and, in the words of the editor, to “build fences only when you think they’re needed, and only where you want them to stand.”

To order your copy of Wyoming Fence Lines, contact Jenn Koiter, Communications Coordinator, at (307) 721-9243 or Copies are $14.95 each; please inquire about wholesale discounts. Also available through your local bookseller.

Railroad stories at Evanston Depot

For "Working on the Railroad" on Saturday, Oct. 20, 6:30-8 p.m., the spirits of engineers and tiehacks and hoboes return to Evanston's Depot Square to talk about their lives on the railroad. Tours will be scheduled every half hour. Admission is $10.

There will be resfreshments offered at the Uinta County Museum.

FMI: 307-789-8248.

Arts festival set for Green River

"Fall Festival of the Arts" will be held Sept. 28-29 at St. John's Episcopal Church in Green River.

Opening reception will be held from 5-8 p.m. on Friday. Festival hours on Saturday will be 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Featured art forms include jewelry, painting, pottery, photography, fiber arts, music, and books.

FMI: 307-875-7034 or 875-5567.

Two artists chosen for portraits of governors

Two artists, Michele Rushworth and Galina Perova, have been selected by the Governor’s Portrait Selection Committee to complete five portraits of former Wyoming Governors in the coming year.

Rushworth and Perova were selected from 37 applications received in a regional search of artists from Wyoming, Colorado, Montana, Idaho, Utah, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, Oregon and Washington.

Rushworth, of Sammamish, Wash., has previously completed portraits of Governor Gary Locke of Washington and Governor Kenny Guinn of Nevada. She has also done portraits of corporate executives and professional athletes, including baseball player Edgar Martinez of the Seattle Mariners.

She appeared on a national CBS television broadcast when she donated a portrait of a firefighter, who died in the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks.

Rushworth has been an artist for more than 30 years, and is a member of the Portrait Society of America. She recently received a grant from the Washington State Arts Commission, and averages 10-12 portraits a year.

Galina Perova, of Salt Lake City, had her formal training in St. Petersburg, Russia, and taught at the University of Utah from 1989 to 1991. In 2004, she received the Utah Governors’ Mansion Artist Award, and in 2005, completed a 500-square-foot mural at UU. She is currently completing a portrait of the former president of the World Bank.

The highly competitive artist selection process took into account the current portraiture work done by the artists, their experience in commission portrait work, and the quality of the submitted images viewed by the Committee.

The portraits to be painted include Governors Stan Hathaway, John Joseph Hickey, Cliff Hansen, Mike Sullivan and Jim Geringer. These will be the first portraits to be painted thanks to funding provided by the Wyoming State Legislature to complete the process of painting the portraits of all of the state’ s former governors. The portraits are expected to be completed next year and will be displayed in the Wyoming State Capitol building in Cheyenne.

"Open Life Drawing" at AVA Center

Author Joy Williams at UW

The University of Wyoming MFA Program’s Visiting Writers Series is pleased to announce a visit by critically acclaimed novelist, essayist and short story writer Joy Williams. Williams will read from her work at 5:10 PM on Monday, October 1st in the UW Classroom Building, Room 214. After the reading, she will answer questions from the audience and sign books. The event is free and open to the public. Parking is free on campus after 5 PM. Williams is the author of four novels, including The Quick and the Dead (2000), which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Widely anthologized in the Best American series, she has been awarded a Guggenheim fellowship, a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts, and the Harold and Mildred Strauss Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She has also won a National Magazine Award and a Rea Award. A Massachusetts native and daughter of a minister, Williams earned an MFA from the University of Iowa, but "decided she needed to live someplace more mysterious and exotic so she moved to a trailer park in northern Florida surrounded by swamps and alligators and snakes." The result was her first novel, State of Grace (1973), which was a finalist for the National Book Award. William’s second novel, Changeling (1978) will be reissued next year by Vintage. She has also authored three collections of short stories, Taking Care (1982), Escapes (1990) and Honored Guest (2004), as well an illustrated history and guide to the Florida Keys. Her book of essays Ill Nature: Rants and Reflections on Humanity and Other Animals (2001) was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism. Her most recent book, Honored Guest, "contains among the best American short stories of the past two decades" (The Atlantic Monthly). They are "so vibrant and alive they have heartbeats, the prose so electric and dazzling it makes the pulse race" (Vanity Fair). "If Joy Williams's publisher made cigarettes rather than story collections," writes The Philadelphia Inquirer, "it would be required to slap a consumer warning on her latest collection…Williams is so good she merely has to wave her characters' melancholia under our noses and we crave more."

Williams claims that she cannot write unless she's chewing gum. She said, "Big Red is great. Or Wrigley's or Trident, or bubble gum. I'm very faithful to my gum. Some people just chew it for a minute or two. I chew it and chew it and chew it. ... I use it up. I'm a dutiful person." She has taught at the University of Iowa as well as at the University of Houston, the University of Florida, the University of Arizona and the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas. She now divides her time between Tucson, Arizona and Key West. Williams’ visit is made possible by a generous endowment from the state of Wyoming, and is supported in part by a grant from the Wyoming Arts Council, through funding from the Wyoming State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes a great nation deserves great art.

The MFA Program is Wyoming’s graduate creative writing program, mentoring a new generation of writers and bringing to the state a wealth of literary talent from the region, the nation and the world. Each semester, the MFA Visiting Writers Series brings a number of
distinguished authors to Wyoming. Past guests include Terry Tempest Williams, David Quammen, Francine Prose, Pico Iyer, Alexandra Fuller and U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser.

"Jentel Presents" Oct. 2 in Sheridan

From a Jentel press release:

A broad range of artists and writers compose the current group of artistic talents together in a presentation at Sheridan Stationery, 206 North Main, Sheridan, for this month’s " Jentel Presents." Current residents at the Jentel Artist Residency Program in Banner will be featured in an event open to the public at Sheridan Stationery, Tuesday, Oct. 2 , 5:30-7 p.m. "Jentel Presents" is a community outreach program that features slide presentations and readings by the visual artists and writers at the residency.

Presenters include:

Aimee Lee, Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y. Aimee, a book artist, was born in New York and has studied a variety of dance as well as trapeze, papermaking, meditation and yoga

Marianne Barcellona, N.Y. Marianne, whose passion is painting, was a successful magazine photographer traveling 21 countries and participating in many humanitarian endeavors

Belinda Nicoll, Raleigh, N.C. Belinda is a freelance writer and life coach/trainer in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). She and her husband share a keen interest in cultural diversity. They have traveled and worked in South Africa, America, Europe, Canada, the Middle East and Mexico as well as Mauritius, Phuket, The Camares, St. Thomas, and St. John

Christina Petrone, Kingston, N.Y. Chris spends most of her days managing the print shop and papermaking studios at a non-profit artists’ workspace in upstate New York. She is excited to be miles away for a month, having her first residency experience at Jentel. She plays the accordion and eats avocados as much as possible.

Nancy Sirkis, N.Y. Nancy, a photographer, believes that most of her photographs never happened, at least not in the same moment; but they tell a story, depicting the ambience and mood of the small, American towns that she is photographing

Joana Varawa, Lanai, Hawaii. Joana is a hula dancer, chanter, artist, dog walker and a professional writer. Her latest book tells the story of her meeting and marriage to a Fijian fisherman half her age (still married after 20 years!). Her first book, Mind in the Waters, influenced a generation of writers and is considered a classic.

For anyone looking for a stimulating evening, come join the crowd at Sheridan Stationery. There is no admission charge for "Jentel Presents" and refreshments are available.

The Jentel Foundation offers dedicated individuals a supportive environment in which to further their creative development. While at Jentel, visual artists and writers have the opportunity to experience unfettered time to allow for thoughtful reflection and meditation on the creative process in a setting that preserves the agricultural and historical integrity of the land.

FMI: Lynn Reeves 307-737-2311,

Friday, September 21, 2007

WAC announces fellowship winners

John Sutton, John D. Nesbitt, and Chavawn Kelley have been named the recipients of 2008 creative writing fellowships in creative nonfiction from the Wyoming Arts Council.

John Sutton teaches English and works at the Learning Center at Sheridan College in Sheridan. He grew up in Indiana and lived in California and New York before moving to Wyoming. His winning manuscript is “Writing Floyd,” an excerpt from the book about his family history entitled Becoming White: A Family’s Journey from Slavery to Ku Klux Klan.

John D. Nesbitt is the author of numerous novels and short stories set in the American West. His most recent publications include a western novel, Raven Springs, and “Blue Horse Mesa,” a short story featured in the anthology Lost Trails. He lives in Torrington and teaches English and Spanish at Eastern Wyoming College. He received a 1988 WAC creative writing fellowship. His winning submission includes two chapters from a memoir, “Boy from the Country” and “Dunville.”

Chavawn Kelley of Laramie has appeared in publications such as Creative Nonfiction, Northern Lights, Quarterly West, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and Crossroads: A Southern Culture Annual. She’s been awarded the Neltje Blanchan Memorial Writing Award, the Frank Nelson Doubleday Memorial Writing Award, and a 2002 WAC creative writing fellowship. Her manuscript, “Two Mothers,” tells the story of a family’s adoption.

Each of the fellowship recipients will receive a $3,000 prize as well as a $500 stipend to read their work at the Casper College Literary Conference on Wednesday, Oct. 17, 7:30 p.m., in the Aley Fine Arts Center, Durham Hall. The event is free and open to the public. Judge for the competition, Nick Flynn, will participate in the reading along with the three winners.

Flynn, a memoirist and poet from New York City, also selected three writers for honorable mentions. They are April Heaney and Craig Arnold of Laramie and Diane Panozzo of Tie Siding.

For more information on the WAC’s fellowship programs, contact Mike Shay at 307-777-5234 or

Roberto Rodriguez speaks at UW

Syndicated columnist Roberto Rodriguez will speak Monday, Sept. 24, as part of National Hispanic Heritage Month celebration at the University of Wyoming.

Rodriguez will present a free lecture, "Centeotzintli: Sacred Maize: A 7,000 Year-Old Ceremonial Discourse," from 7-8:30 p.m. in the Wyoming Union ballroom.

Rodriguez is the writer of two books and a research associate at the University of Arizona. He is a syndicated columnist for the Column of the Americas and a 2003 Cesar Chavez/Chicano Studies Distinguished Community Scholar at UCLA.

National Hispanic Heritage Month began Sept. 15, the anniversary of independence for five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Mexico also gained independence Sept. 16 and Chile Sept. 18. National Hispanic Heritage Month has been celebrated in the United States since 1988.

FMI: Cynthia Chavez Kelly, Hispanic Student Programs project coordinator, at (307) 766-6193 or e-mail

At Summit, Overton to address "rural genius"

Patrick Overton, director of the Front Porch Institute in Astoria, Oregon, will be the luncheon speaker from noon-1 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 19, at the Wyoming Arts Summit in the Casper Events Center. From 1:15-2:30 p.m. that day, he will conduct a workshop, “Strengthening Rural Communities through the Arts.” To register for the conference, go to the Wyoming Arts Council web site.

Here’s his bio:

Patrick Overton created the Front Porch Institute in 1996 while he was a tenured faculty member at Columbia College in Columbia, Missouri. It's dedicated to creating resources for community arts and community cultural development. In addition to his teaching responsibilities at Columbia College as Associate Professor of Communication and Cultural Studies (1985-1999), he served as the founding Director of the Columbia College Center for Community & Cultural Studies which focused on developing resources, curricula, and training experiences to enhance rural and small community cultural development. His work in this area is now incorporated in his role as Director of the Front Porch Institute. He is the recipient of the 1997 Missouri Arts Award, recognizing his "creative and outstanding service that has made an important and lasting contribution to the arts in Missouri." In addition, in 1997, the Missouri House of Representatives passed a special resolution honoring his work in Missouri.

Obtaining a Ph.D. in Communication in 1987, Overton studied as a Gregory Fellow and a College of Arts and Science Graduate Fellow at the University of Missouri, His area of concentration was organizational communications with collateral work in community development. His ongoing research in organizational communication focuses on 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit, community-based organizations, exploring ways to develop and strengthen the vital contribution they make to the community-making process.
Patrick's work through the Front Porch Institute focuses on non-profit, community-based organizational development, facility assessment, strategic planning, cultural assessment, and cultural planning. While he works with organizations of all types and sizes, he continues to address the special needs of smaller organizations in rural and small communities. His workshop topics include nonprofit organizational development, paid and non-paid staff development (in particular, managing stress and burnout), grant writing, board development, cultural diversity, arts education and exploration of the relationship between the arts, healing and spirituality.

A teacher, scholar, poet, playwright, author, lyricist, speaker, and visual artist, Patrick has devoted his entire adult life to exploring human communication, designing and building organizational systems that enhance the development of the human community, and creating innovative resource networks to help people in rural and small communities nurture the invisible culture of "Rural Genius."

Patrick is an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), having served as a bi-vocational parish minister to rural and small community churches for eighteen years. A native Californian raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, he lived 31 years in the Midwest. Overton currently lives in Astoria, Oregon, where he resides with his wife, Lindi.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Wyoming-style stickers promote libraries

"On Sacred Ground" in Lander

“On Sacred Ground: Faith and the Environment” an event that "inspires, educates and motivates participants of faith and conservation communities toward earth stewardship," will take place September 27-29 in Lander.

This is the first time in Wyoming that faith and conservation communities have been invited to participate in an event of this kind. The conference will provide an opportunity for participants to develop working partnerships and identify mutual goals between them to care for the natural world.

Featured speakers include Peter Illyn, author of "Restoring Eden," and Peter Sawtell of Eco-Justice Ministries.


Poetry Out Loud: Tips for Wyoming teachers

Poetry Out Loud was designed so that teachers may easily implement this "poetry bee" contest in the classroom. Poetry Out Loud awards more than $100,000 in prizes to students and schools at the state and national levels.

Teachers love the program because it fits well into their literature curriculum, creates an entry point for students to appreciate poetry, strengthens community in the classroom, and reaches students whom they’ve never thought would take to poetry and take to the stage.

Poetry Out Loud satisfies most of the National Council for Teachers of English (NCTE) English Language Arts Standards. In addition to memorizing and performing great poems, students will have the opportunity to discuss poetry and—if the teacher wishes to use the supplemental lesson plans—to write poetry of their own.

Steps to Join Poetry Out Loud—the only national poetry contest for high school students:

Get Started. For an overview of the program, classroom tools, and model recitations visit

Get Connected. Contact the Wyoming Arts Council to officially sign up your school to become part of the National Poetry Out Loud competition. Contact Michael Shay, 307-777-5234, or Camellia El-Antably, 307-777-5305 at the WAC.

Get Out Your Calendar. Poetry Out Loud classroom contests and district/regional contests happen throughout the late fall and winter, and the state competition takes place during March in Cheyenne, culminating in the National Finals in the nation’s capitol April 27-29.

Get Motivated. See what teachers are saying with their work with Poetry Out Loud at

"Wyoming Bar Journey" arrives in Cheyenne

The Cheyenne Family YMCA's "Women Writing in Wyoming" series leads off with Laramie writer Julianne Couch, author of "Jukeboxes & Jackalopes, A Wyoming Bar Journey."

She will discuss nonfiction writing and read from her book on Thursday, September 20, 7-8:30 p.m. at the YMCA, 1426 E. Lincolnway. A book signing will follow. This event is free and open to the community. YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE A YMCA MEMBER TO ATTEND!

This is the first event in a series that will feature Wyoming's women writers. For more information on other authors in the series, go to the Y web site at

At AVA: Artmobile and artist talk

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Chicago dance troupe visits Pinedale

Hubbard Street 2 (HS2) will perform in Pinedale on Thursday, Oct. 11, 7:30 p.m., in the Pinedale Auditorium. This is "a vibrant company of six dancers performing a repertoire that mirrors the variety and vitality of parent company, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. HS2 has become a respected training ground for young, professional dancers and choreographers. HS2, which tours nationally and internationally, reaches more than 35,000 people annually."

FMI: Pinedale Fine Arts Council, 307-367-7322.

African-American history in the West

Quintard Taylor will speak about African-American history in the American West on Thursday, Sept. 20, at the University of Wyoming in Laramie.

Taylor's presentation, entitled "At Home on the Plains: African-Americans and the Shaping of the American West," begins at 7 p.m. in Room 133 of the Classroom Building.

Taylor, professor of American History at the University of Washington, has more than three decades of research and teaching experience. He recently launched a Web site at, which serves as an reference center for African-American history.

His visit was organized by UW's African American Studies Program.

Second City Comedy enlivens Idea Expo

The Wyoming Small Business Development Center sponsors the 2007 Idea Expo Sept. 26-28 in Casper. The conference is designed to inspire innovation. If you're involved in business you'll want to take part in this creative learning experience. The Expo will kick off on Wednesday the 26th with afternoon tours of innovative businesses in the Casper area, an evening reception and an improv comedy performance by the Second City Comedy Club Touring Company. Thursday the 27th offers an engaging schedule of educational sessions and speakers. Learning opportunities continue on Friday the 28th. Throughout the conference you'll be able to meet with representatives from state agencies, visit with vendors and enjoy networking with peers.

Wyoming Chamber Members -- Register through your local Chamber to attend the activities on Thursday only for a special $50 fee.

FMI: Diane Wolverton at or 1-800-348-5194.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

19-year-old "poet prodigy" speaks at Casper College Literary Conference Oct. 17-19

The Casper College Literary Conference presents "Spiritual Warriors" Oct. 17-19 on the CC campus. Professional writers from across the globe will present readings and workshops. Here's a profile of one of those presenters:

Ekiwah Adler-Beléndez is a 19-year old poet prodigy who has captivated Mexico’s literary scene. Raised in the small village of Amatlan, Mexico, Ekiwah began writing poems and stories at the age of 10. Two years later, Ekiwah published his first collection of poetry, Soy (I Am). When he presented his newly published book to an audience at the Jardín Borda in Cuernavaca, he became an immediate literary sensation. By age 16, he had published two additional collections, Palabras Inagotables (Never-ending Words) and Weave (his first book in English).

Elena Poniatowska, one of Mexico’s finest writers and journalists, has hailed Ekiwah “a young Prometheus unchained.” In addition to receiving honorable mention for the Premio Nacional de la Juventud (National Prize for the Youth) by the Governor of the State of Morelos, Ekiwah has also been granted scholarships by FONCA (the National Institute for Support of the Arts.) Bi-lingual and of dual citizenship, Ekiwah is currently studying in the U.S., as well as speaking and reading his poems at universities, high schools, and conferences both in the U.S. and Mexico.

Ekiwah -- which means Warrior in the language of the Purepecha – is an appropriate title, given that he has battled cerebral palsy since a premature birth. Ekiwah writes, “I think that what poets do is decipher silence."

if you attempt to trace me,
do not speak to me
speak to what makes me hungry
follow the tracks of what I love

(From "Coyotes Trace")

Click here to register for Ekiwah's workshop.

Author delivers keynote at WECA event

Alfie Kohn, nationally known speaker and writer on education and parenting, is the keynote speaker at the 2007 Wyoming Early Childhood Association Conference on Saturday, Sept. 22, 8 a.m., at the Parkway Plaza Hotel in Casper. He will discuss his latest book, Beyond Discipline: From Compliance to Community. The keynote address is sponsored by the UW/Casper College Center, Natrona Co. School Dist. 1, and Albany Co. School Dist. 1.

Allen Trent, UW Dept. of Educational Studies department head and associate professor, will open the conference Friday, Sept. 21, at 7:30 p.m. with his discussion "Playing with Theories: Teaching, Learning, Art and Community." The is free and open to the public.

Other program highlights include workshops on "Operating a Successful Child Care Business," "Learning Environments: The Essential Teaching Element," and a Saturday luncheon speech by Wyoming early childhood development educational consultant Anita Sullivan.

Teachers, professionals in early child care and education, child advocates and parents are encouraged to attend.

FMI: Visit the WECA website

Central Wyoming College's 07-08 Arts Events

Central Wyoming College arts facility, the Robert A. Peck Arts Center, built in 1983, boasts an almost acoustically perfect 942 seat auditorium, establishing itself as the cultural center of the region.
Intertwining Ideas -- Exhibit runs through September 23 in the RAP Gallery. Reception is September 20, 6:30-8:00 p.m.
Surface Quest -- an exhibit of artists exploring what the Earth has to offer. Runs September 26-October 28. in the RAP Gallery. Reception is October 25, from 6:30-8:00 p.m.
Everyman, A Fantasy Told in Dance -- October 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, at 7:30 p.m. on the Main Stage.
Guitar Duo -- Jeff Troxel and Jalan Crossland on the Main Stage at 7:30 p.m.
Jazz Night -- CWC Jazz Groups bring you instrumental and vocal jazz. 7:30 p.m. Free admission.
Type Emblem Font -- An exhibit that explores the use of everyday letters and words in unusual ways. Runs October 31-November 27. Reception November 15, 6:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m.
Fall Music Showcase -- November 13, 7:30 p.m., CWC's Collegiate Chorale and Concert Band will be featured.
Holiday Concert -- Sunday, December 2, 3:00 p.m.
Fall Student Music Recital -- CWC Music Students bring you a variety of solo and ensemble literature. Monday, December 10, 7:30 p.m.
A Christmal Carol -- December 7 and 8, 7:30 p.m., December 9, 2:30 p.m. and December 14 and 15, 7:30 p.m.
Auditions for Beauty and the Beast -- December 4 and 5, 6:30 p.m.
The Little Mermaid -- January 26, 7:00 p.m.
Art Faculty Exhibition -- faculty will be speaking about their work. Runs January 14-February 17. Reception is February 14, noon-1 p.m.
Jazz Night -- Jazz selections from CWC"s Touring Ensembles and the Time's-a-Wastin' Big Band, with guest artists. Friday, February 8, 7:30 p.m.
Dinner and a Concert -- Thursday, February 14
Organics -- February 21-March 30. An exhibition inspired by nature. Reception is March 6, 6:30-8:00 p.m.
Beauty and the Beast -- March 7 & 8, 7:30 p.m., Sunday, March 9, 2:30 p.m., March 13, 14 & 15, 7:30 p.m.
Annual Student Art Exhibition -- April 2-30. Reception and awards at 6:00 p.m. on April 15.
Jazz Night -- Friday, April 11, 7:30 p.m.
Showcase 2008 -- An evening of short theater pieces directed and designed by students. April 25 & 26, 7:30 p.m.
Spring Showcase Concert -- April 29, 7:30 p.m. The Concert Band and Collegiate Chorale bring you an eveni9ng of music.
Mingled Slices -- an exhibit of contemporary quilts. Runs May 2-June 1.
Student Music Recital -- CWC's Music Students present a variety of solo and ensemble literature, May 4.
Riverton National Art Show -- June 3-13. Reception is June 4, 7:00 p.m. Artists from all over the nation exhibit their creations in this juried show.
Riverton Art Guild Show -- June 14-July 15. A showcase of local artists.

FMI on the Robert A. Peck Arts Center, 2660 Peck Avenue, Riverton, WY, 82501 contact these people --
Theater -- Mike Myers @ (307) 855-2217
Music -- Robert Hussa @ (307) 855-2213
Gallery -- Nita Keho-Gadway @ (307) 855-2211
Box Office -- Alec Henderson @ (307) 855-2002
Arts in Action -- Sharon Dalton @ (307) 855-2215
Tickets can be purchased by phone at (307) 855-2002 or 1-800-865-0190 or go to

AVA needs your art!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Wild Spaces, Working Places II

Four years ago, the Ucross Foundation and The Nature Conservancy in Wyoming teamed up to present the work of three Sheridan County artists -- Danna Hildebrand, Dani Reel and Dianne Wyatt -- who had painted the landscapes of the Wyoming preserves and conservation easements of The Nature Conservancy. More than half of the 20,000-acre Ucross Ranch is held in a conservation easement by The Nature Conservancy, making the collaborative project especially fitting. The excellent response to the exhibition demonstrated the community’s deep appreciation and concern for the health and beauty of Wyoming lands.

Now, on September 28, a second exhibition of new paintings by the three artists, Wild Spaces, Working Places II, will open at the Ucross Foundation Art Gallery and will be on view through December 14, 2007. A public reception for the artists will be held at the art gallery on Friday, Sept. 28, 6-8 p.m.

Hildebrand, Reel and Wyatt traveled over the course of the past two years to create on-site individual interpretations of these protected lands. Painting sites range from preserves to private lands – from Ucross in the Powder River Basin to the Pitchfork Ranch on the eastern slope of the Absarokas – with much focus on the Bighorn Mountains’ eastern watersheds – Crazy Woman, and Clear Creeks, Wolf and Pass Creeks, to name a few.

“This exhibit is a beautiful visual tribute to the land and arts of Wyoming, with participation by three terrific Wyoming painters, The Nature Conservancy in Wyoming, and the Wyoming Arts Council,” says Sharon Dynak, Ucross Foundation President. Sally Morton, Director of the NE Wyoming Program for The Nature Conservancy, states, “We have the good fortune of knowing such talented artists who have a desire to memorialize and celebrate the conservation achievements of the Conservancy’s Wyoming Chapter.”

Through the artists’ direct observation, the paintings document a vital link between art, landscape, ranching, conservation and the environment. The exhibit represents each artist’s personal response to the culture of each place visited and painted. As Danna Hildebrand says, “Color has the greatest impact visually in outdoor painting because light and shadow are fleeting. From the plein air tradition of the French Impressionists to today, color is a key element of painting out-of-doors. Our show demonstrates this wonderful obsession.”

Dianne Wyatt comments, “The three of us have experienced the joys of meeting people and making friends whom we might otherwise have missed knowing and appreciating. We have seen wildlife we might not have gotten to see: a mountain lion, a herd of elk, baby cranes and gigantic owls….I’ve tried to discover ways to paint so the viewer can feel the blazing heat or the coolness of the streamside setting; can smell the new-mown hay and the scent of the pines; can hear the birdsong and the rustle of the leaves.” Dani Reel notes that “plein air painting in the peaceful, quiet, mostly undeveloped Nature Conservancy easements…has allowed me to be aware of my perceptions and feelings toward these pristine lands…The glorious, rich colors of these landscapes have sparked a desire to capture and hold nature’s beauty for others to enjoy.”

A percentage of the sale of these paintings will be donated to The Nature Conservancy, to further the support of conservation throughout the state of Wyoming. The exhibition is supported in part by a grant from the Wyoming Arts Council, through funding from the Wyoming State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts.

For further information about Wild Spaces, Working Places II, contact the Ucross Foundation at (307) 737-2291. The Art Gallery is located at 30 Big Red Lane in Ucross, Wyoming, ½ mile east of the junction of Highways 14 and 16. Gallery hours are Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.

October is National Arts & Humanities Month

Take a moment during National Arts and Humanities Month to participate locally, take action, and be inspired.

October is National Arts and Humanities Month -- our opportunity to recognize and celebrate the positive impact the arts bring to our schools and communities. We hope you'll join us along with other arts leaders and supporters across the county by planning activities to showcase the arts in your area.

FMI: Visit the NAHM website.

Publishing help for history manuscripts

The Wyoming State Historical Society, in cooperation with the Wyoming Historical Foundation, invites authors to apply for financial assistance toward the cost of publishing scholarly works in the field of Wyoming history. The fund is designed to encourage and support book-length publications of scholarly and creative works as they apply to topics on Wyoming history that otherwise might not be published due to lack of funds.

All manuscripts will be reviewed by members of the Wyoming State Historical Society, among others. According to Rick Ewig, editor of the Society’s scholarly journal, Annals of Wyoming, any manuscript accepted for publication will be handled as a book project sponsored by the Society. Monies from the Publications Fund can be used for editorial costs, marketing, manuscript preparation and publishing, and for any additional costs associated with the inclusion of maps and/or illustrations in the final work. The Society’s Publications Committee will determine the sale price; however, the author will retain the copyright, awarding the Society rights for one time use.

Ewig said that royalties will be paid to the author after publications costs are recovered, and that the author will receive a certain number of books for his/her own use.

Request applications through the Wyoming State Historical Society at P. O. Box 247, Wheatland, Wyoming 82201, or by contacting Linda Fabian at 307-322-4237 or

Application deadline is Dec. 1, 2007.


"Jesus Christ Superstar" returns

Catch Cheyenne Little Theatre Players presentation of “Jesus Christ Superstar,” October 12-14, 18-21, and 25-28, at the Mary Godfrey Playhouse; Thur, Fri, & Sat, at 7:30 p.m. and on Sunday at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $18 for adults, $16 for seniors, $12 for students. For more info call 638-6543 or go to

Spin the wheel for Depot Museum

From a press release from the Cheyenne Depot Museum:

Midas Auto Service Centers and the Cheyenne Depot Museum are teaming up to bring another night of gambling and gaming fun to Cheyenne -- Casino Night at the Depot. This event will be held on Friday, Sept. 28, 6-10 p.m. in the lobby of the Cheyenne Depot. Tickets are $25 at the door and include $250 in scrip to start playing, a free dinner and a free mug for free libations throughout the evening. The games that will be played include Texas Hold ‘Em, poker, black jack, roulette and craps.

At the end of the evening, players can use their winnings to purchase live auction items. One of the most popular live auction items will be a Weekend Gambling Getaway at the Isle of Capri in Blackhawk, Colorado. Attendees will also receive a Master Raffle Ticket to win cash prizes.

Tickets are available at Midas Auto Service Center at 2423 East Lincolnway in Cheyenne or the Cheyenne Depot Museum at 121 West 15th Street, Ste 300 in downtown Cheyenne. Tickets will also be available at the door.

FMI: 307-632-3905.

NEA chairman to address Arts Summit

Dana Gioia, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts and an award-winning poet, is the keynote speaker for the inaugural Wyoming Arts Summit Oct., 19-20 in Casper. Gioia's speech will be from 9-10:15 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 19, at the Casper Events Center. To register for the conference, go to the Wyoming Arts Council web site.

Here's some bio information from the NEA web site:

Dana Gioia is serving his second term as chairman of the NEA. He is a native Californian of Italian and Mexican descent. Gioia (pronounced JOY-uh) received a B.A. and a M.B.A. from Stanford University and an M.A. in Comparative Literature from Harvard University.

He has published three full-length collections of poetry, as well as eight chapbooks. His poetry collection, Interrogations at Noon, won the 2002 American Book Award. An influential critic as well, Gioia’s 1991 book Can Poetry Matter?, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle award, is credited with helping to revive the role of poetry in American public culture.

Gioia is also a prolific literary anthologist. His anthology, Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama, co-edited with X.J. Kennedy, is the best-selling college literary textbook in America. His many other anthologies include Twentieth-Century American Poetry, 100 Great Poets of the English Language, and The Longman Anthology of Short Fiction.

Dana Gioia was also a long-time commentator on American culture and literature for BBC Radio. His poems, translations, essays, and reviews have appeared in many magazines including The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Washington Post Book World, The New York Times Book Review, Slate and The Hudson Review.

His poetry has been set to music by many composers in genres from classical to rock, including a full-length dance theater piece, Counting the Children. He has written two opera libretti, including Nosferatu (2001), with composer Alva Henderson, published by Graywolf Press. A recording of Nosferatu was released by Albany Records in 2005.

In 2001, Gioia founded "Teaching Poetry," a conference dedicated to improving high school teaching of poetry. Also, he is the founder and co-director of the West Chester University Poetry Conference, the nation's largest annual all-poetry writing conference. He has taught as a visiting writer at Johns Hopkins University, Sarah Lawrence College, Colorado College, and Wesleyan University. He is the former Vice President of the Poetry Society of America.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Belarus poet at Casper literary conference

The Casper College Literary Conference presents "Spiritual Warriors" Oct. 17-19 on the CC campus. Professional writers from across the globe will present readings and workshops. Here's a profile of one of those presenters:

Valzhyna Mort was born in Minsk, Belarus. She's a 26-year-old poet whose work has been translated into several European languages and published in various literary magazines and anthologies. Famed throughout Europe for her remarkable reading performances, Valzhyna is the winner of poetry competitions in Belarus, as well as the Crystal of Velenica Award for reading performance in Slovenia. Valzhyna’s first collection, I’m as Thin as Your Eyelashes (2005), is startlingly assured and reveals a powerful poetic voice. Her first U.S. book, Factory of Tears, is forthcoming by Copper Canyon Press in the spring of 2008. Valzhyna reads her poems aloud in both Belarusian and English, the former a means of retaining and saving her native language from previous government attempts to absorb Belarusian into the Russian language. In addition, this young author speaks about "The Politics of Language" and "The Poetry of Revolution," specifically addressing the poetry of anti-communist revolutions in Eastern Europe from the 1970s to the 1990s, a period when poets became prophets for their nations and when poetry, the only voice of freedom, had to be carefully hidden, because poetry was considered both a sin and a weapon. In a humanizing view of history, Valzhyna looks at poems written at the time of the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia and the Solidarity Movement in Poland. She also addresses the overlapping political and poetic scenes in regard to the Orange Revolution in Ukraine and the current situation in Belarus. As Franz Wright notes, listening to Valzhyna is simply "electrifying."

we grew up in a country where

your door is first stroked with chalk
and then at dark there comes a chariot
and no one sees you any more
(from Belarusian II)

For more about the conference, or to register for one of the workshops, go to

"Open Life Drawing" at AVA Center

Brush-up on your drawing with "Open Life Drawing." Every Monday evening from September 24-October 29, AVA offers the opportunity to draw from a live model. Participants must be at least 18 years old. There’s a drop-in fee of $5 or $10 depending on the number of participants. From 9/24-10/29, 7-9 p.m., at the AVA Community Art Center, Gillette. FMI: 307-682-9133.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Images from Wyoming Book Festival

Poets (from left to right) Robert Roripaugh, Harvey Hix, Craig Arnold, and David Romtvedt discuss the state of poetry in 21st century Wyoming at the book festival Sept. 15 in Cheyenne.
Victoria Sherry of the Wyoming Humanities Council announces the launch of the new anthology "Wyoming Fencelines" at the book festival Sept. 15.

Casper's Tom Rea discusses his research techniques during a bookfest session Sept. 14 at the new Laramie County Public Library in Cheyenne.

Staffing the Wyoming Arts Council information booth at the Wyoming Book Festival Sept. 15 were (from left to right) Annie Hatch, WAC; Renee Bovee, Wyo. Cultural Trust; Denver writer/storyteller Pat Mendoza; and the WAC's Marirose Morris.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Enliven your day with poetry

Now is the time to start planning what you will do in your life or community to celebrate National Poetry Day, October 15th 2007. Poetry day is often overlooked since Poetry Month in April gets so much attention.
Here are ideas:
- write a poem
- read a poem
- read a poem to the children in your local school
- distribute a poem at the local Sr. Center
- let your local newspaper know about Poetry Day
- subscribe to a poetry magazine
- anything else that comes to mind

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Wyo. Public TV offers bookfest shows

In conjunction with the Wyoming Book Festival Sept. 14-15 in downtown Cheyenne, Wyoming Public Television is airing two bookfest-related programs tonight (Sept. 13). Both shows are being aired 30 minutes later than originally scheduled, due to President Bush's Iraq War speech.

Here's the schedule:

7:30 p.m.: "Nellie Tayloe Ross: A Governor First." The story of the nation's first female governor, Wyoming's own Nellie Tayloe Ross.
The bookfest offers these Ross events:
- See the documentary and talk with Gov. Ross's grandson, William Bradford Ross III, starting at noon on Saturday, Sept. 15 at the Laramie County Library.
- Also see W.B. Ross as part of our special, "The West in Fact and Fiction" panel at 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14 at the Historic Cheyenne Depot Museum.
- Did you know Gov. Ross was also the first woman to head the U.S. Mint? It's something to celebrate as we roll out the new Wyoming state quarter on Friday. Stop by the Wyoming Quarter Tent on Saturday to learn more!
8:30 p.m. "Willa Cather: The Road is All." This showing of the acclaimed documentary about Cather kicks off "The Big Read: Wyoming Reads MY ANTONIA."

The bookfest offers these Cather/Big Read events:
- Get your free copy of MY ANTONIA while they last at the Big Read tent on Saturday, starting at 9 a.m.
- Join us at 10:30 a.m. for a keynote address on Willa Cather by Wyoming's past poet laureate Robert Roripaugh, followed by a living history performance by Lynne Swanson.
- Check with your local library for Big Read events across the state, or visit

Conference offers workshops & readings

Last October, Casper College brought you the Equality State Book Festival.

This year, we return to our roots to offer you the "Spiritual Warriors" Literary Conference on Oct. 17-19, which includes free events on the Casper College campus and other local venues.

Here's the line-up of free events:

Wednesday, Oct. 17
Doornbos Student Lounge, Administration Building, noon-12:50 p.m. -- Spiritual Warriors: Introductory Readings and Commentary by Ekiwah Adler-Beléndez, Valzhyna Mort,
and Nick Flynn
Durham Hall, Aley Fine Arts Center, 7:30 p.m. -- Readings by recipients of the 2007 Wyoming Arts Council Literary Fellowships
Introductions by Nick Flynn, contest judge
Thursday, October 18
Doornbos Student Lounge, Administration Building, noon-12:50 p.m. -- Life in the Humanities: Our Daily Bread, with Dr. Jean Shinoda Bolen, Ekiwah Adler-Beléndez, Valzhyna Mort,
and Nick Flynn
Izaak Walton Clubhouse, 5-7 p.m. -- President's Reception hosted by Walter and Rebecca Nolte and featuring music by
the Jeff Finlin Band
followed by
7-9 p.m. -- Spiritual Warriors: Readings and Commentary, with Ekiwah Adler-Beléndez, Valzhyna Mort, Nick Flynn, and Chad Hanson
9 p.m. -- Book Signings
Friday, October 19
Roberts Commons Ballroom, noon-1:30 p.m. -- Open Mic Readings by Conference Attendees(cafeteria buffet available)
Durham Hall, Aley Fine Arts Center, 2-4 p.m. Gender Mythologies: Dr. Jean Shinoda Bolen
4-5 p.m., Book Signings

These writers also will be offering on-campus writing workshops. To register, go to the literary conference web site or contact Kathy Coe, 307-268-2533 or 800-442-2963.
P.S.: Don't forget to hang around after the literary conference for the Wyoming Arts Summit, Oct. 19-20 at the Casper Events Center.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Wyo. Arts Summit presents Dan Kemmis

Daniel Kemmis will serve as a guest speaker at the Wyoming Arts Summit on Saturday, Oct. 20, 8-9:15 a.m., in the Casper Events Center.

Kemmis is a senior fellow in public policy at the O'Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West at the University of Montana in Missoula. He was mayor of Missoula before joining the Center in 1996. He also has served in the Montana Legislature as speaker of the house.

Here's his full bio from the O'Connor Center web site:

Kemmis is the author of Community and The Politics of Place and The Good City and the Good Life. His newest book, This Sovereign Land: A New Vision for Governing the West, was published by Island Press in June of 2001. He's published numerous articles on public policy in the West, democratic theory and practice, community and community building, and regionalism, and he is frequently invited to speak on these and related topics at regional and national conferences. He was recognized by the Utne Reader in 1995 as one of its "100 Visionaries." In 1997, President Clinton awarded Kemmis the Charles Frankel Prize for outstanding contribution to the field of the humanities. In 1998, the Center of the American West awarded him the Wallace Stegner Prize for sustained contribution to the cultural identity of the West. In the fall of 1998 he was awarded a fellowship at the Harvard Kennedy School's Institute of Politics. In 2002, his book This Sovereign Land was the top choice for the Interior Department's Executive Forum Speaker Series.

Other guest speakers for the Oct. 19-20 Summit in Casper include Dana Gioia, Robert Bluestone, Patrick Overton, and Stuart Rosenfeld. To register for the Summit, go to the Wyoming Arts Council web site.

FMI: 307-777-7742.

"Forbidden Art" at UW Art Museum

Forbidden Art: The Postwar Russian Avant-Garde opens Saturday, Sept. 15. An art talk, brown bag lunch and open forum will take place Saturday, with a separate gallery walk and art talk on Monday, Sept. 17, at the UW Art Museum in Laramie.

From the purges of the Stalinist era to the time before Glasnost, artists creating art that was outside the realm of a social-realist ideology could face drastic consequences that ranged from unemployment to imprisonment. The sweeping cultural reforms that have subsequently taken place in Russia have enabled a more detailed appraisal of this ‘non-conformist’ art. Forbidden Art: The Postwar Russian Avant-Garde provides a unique framework to explore and understand this period of Russian art history.

Forbidden Art traces the influences and ways that dissident artists articulated their reactions to Social Realism. It highlights five movements associated with this period: The Reform School, characterized by an expanded interpretation of the socialist principle and drawing inspiration from Russia’s cultural traditions and classical art; The Radical School which united artists that defied the social-realist communal values; Sots-art, which reflected on social-realist control of national identity and iconography by characterizing the Soviet mythology and its political system; Moscow Conceptualism, a reactionary response to Sots-art; and the Modernist Movement in Leningrad which moved toward spirituality and drew inspiration from Suprematism and Dada’s surrealism.

An opening reception for the exhibitions takes place Friday between 6-8 p.m. Gerald Janecek, Professor of Russian, University of Kentucky, will present an art talk about the works on display on Saturday at 11 a.m. followed by a brown bag lunch with the scholar at 12:30 p.m. and an open forum at 2 p.m. Janecek is the editor-in-chief of Slavic & East European Journal and is the author of The Look of Russian Literature: Avant-Garde Visual Experiments, 1900-1930, ZAUM: The Transrational Poetry of Russian Futurism, and Sight & Sound Entwined: Studies of the New Russian Poetry.
In 2004, Janecek received a one year National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Fellowship to complete a book on Moscow Conceptualism, an art and literature movement that occurred during the later years of the Soviet Union.

Exhibition discussions continue on Monday at 11 a.m. with a Gallery Walk with Stephen Norris, Assistant Professor of History and Director of Film Studies from Miami University. Norris’s work studies popular images and propaganda in Russia during the 19th and 20th centuries. His book, A War of Images: Russian Popular Prints, Wartime Culture, and National Identity, 1812-1945, is under contract. He is presently working on a book about Post-Soviet film. Norris will give an Art Talk at 7 p.m. Monday.

Forbidden Art: The Postwar Russian Avant-Garde was organized for a national tour by International Arts & Artists, New York. It has been funded in part by Murdock and Associates Law Firm, Rocky Mountain Power, the National Advisory Board of the UW Art Museum, and Wyoming Public Radio. The exhibition will run through November 17, 2007.

Bringing the world of art to Wyoming, the Art Museum is located in the Centennial Complex at 22nd & Willett Drive in Laramie. The Museum and Museum Store are open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m with extended hours until 9 p.m. on Mondays from September through November. Admission is free.

Music conference enhances skills

Devote two days to music career development issues, and leave energized and fueled to better assist music students and alumni. This is a conference for music administrators, faculty and staff that focuses on music career development skills and services useful for music festivals, competitions, music schools, and anyone else who is interested in enhancing music career development. Speakers include John Steinmetz, arts consultant/composer/bassoonist. Early bird registration rate: $150 (if you register by November 1). After November 1, the cost is $200. Contact: Angela Beeching at New England Conservatory (617) 585-1117 or Full conference details are at

Write an essay for "Open Spaces"

This comes from Wyoming Public Radio, KUWR in Laramie:

Submit your essay today for "Open Spaces." We are looking for people interested in writing essays for the program. The essay needs to be two to three minutes in length and they would have to be able to read it on the air. Topics need to be Wyoming-oriented. To submit a topic contact, the "Open Spaces" team here.
"Open Spaces" airs every Friday at 3 p.m.

Paper Works Competition

Northwest Art Center at Minot State University announces their Americas 2000: Paper Works competition. Works in any medium, traditional or experimental, on or of paper, including photographs, qualify. All works must be original, completed within the last two years, and not previously exhibited in an Americas:2000 exhibition. Juror is Elizabeth Dove, a printmaker and photographer currently residing in Missoula, MT, where she teaches in the Art Department at the University of Montana.

Entry deadline postmark is November 1, 2007. Other deadlines follow. Exhibition dates are Janurary 15, 2008, to February 27, 2008.

FMI, e-mail is or call (701) 858-3264 or 1-800-777-0750, ext. 3264.
Northwest Art Center, Minot State University, 500 University Avenue West, Minot, ND, 58707

What is this thing you call poetry slam?

Loosen up those lips and sign up to join in Saturday night's Poetry Slam at Synergy Cafe, in the Vandehei Plaza at 459 Vandehei, at the I-25 and Vandehei exit. Sign up at 6:00 p.m. Open mike begins at 6:30 p.m., with the signed-up slammers beginning at 7:00 p.m. Bring three poems to compete and win weird, inexplicable prizes. Takes place in conjunction with the Wyoming Book Festival, September 14 and 15.

Finalists announced in Yellowstone Teton Song contest

The Western Folklife Center has chosen 16 songs as finalists in the Yellowstone and Teton Song Contest. The contest sought songs inspired by the life and landscape in this great American place. The finalists were chosen from a field of 139 songs written by 94 songwriters. The public may now listen to the 16 finalists on the Western Folklife Center’s website at and vote on their favorite song. The winner of the online voting will
receive the Audience Award and a new Gibson Songwriter Deluxe acoustic guitar valued at close to $3,000. Judges will choose among the 16 finalists for the grand prize of $1,000 and second prize of $500. Online voting will run through midnight, October 7, 2007. All awards will be announced October 15. Hal Cannon, founding director of the Western Folklife Center and Song Contest organizer said of the contest entries: "I am amazed by the breadth of music submitted, all expressing a love for this great place in the world. It is certainly a testament to the creativity of the rural West."

Two of the finalists live in Wyoming. Michael Hurwitz, currently a Wyoming Arts Council Roster Artist who lives in Alta, wrote Ed Trafton. He also performs the song, along with Jerry Linn and Tom Broderick. Dan Thomasma, who lives in Kelly, wrote Teton Waltz, and performs it along with Terry Yazzolino, Ben Winship, and Shelley Clarke Rubrecht.

Producer of the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering for 23 years, the Western Folklife Center is a regional organization dedicated to grassroots culture in the West. Headquartered in Elko, Nevada the Folklife Center conducts its work all over the region and is a regular contributor to National Public Radio with its series, What’s in a Song, which is broadcast over 500 public radio stations nationwide. This project is supported by the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, Gibson Guitar, Museum of the Rockies and public radio and television stations throughout the region.

The mission of the Western Folklife Center is to enhance the vitality of American life through the experience, understanding, and appreciation of the diverse cultural heritage of the American West.

FMI, contact Western Folklife Center Media, Eccles Broadcast Center, 101 Wasatch Drive, Salt Lake City, Utah 84112

Eiko J. Ozawa exhibits

Northwest Gallery in the Cabre Building presents Eiko J. Ozawa in a sculptural installation, September 11-October 12, 2oo7. Gallery hours are 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Thursdays.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Hear "The Women of Jackson Hole"

News about "The Women of Jackson Hole Fifth Anniversary Concert:"

Friday, Sept. 21, 7 p.m., at The Center Theater, 265 S. Cache Street, Jackson. Tickets: $15 adults, $10 students and Jackson Hole Music Experience members, plus service fee.

Headlining this fabulous array of female musicians is the valley's own Beth McIntosh. Featuring locals Margo Valiente, The Miller Sisters, Willowstar, Sacred Mountain Drummers, Sarah Carlson, Lina Marquis, Strings Attached and African drumming and dancing group, Djembe Fo.

All funds raised will benefit the Women's and Students Music Scholarship Fund through the Jackson Hole Music Experience.

The West in Fact and Fiction

Here's info about a late addition to the Wyoming Book Festival schedule:

Make plans to join us at the Wyoming Book Festival from 6-7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14 at the Cheyenne Depot Museum, 121 W. 15th St., for a special, high-profile panel discussion: "The West in Fact and Fiction."

If our stories shape us, then is the West better served by fact of fiction? Does our cowboy image celebrated on our new state quarter reflect Wyoming's reality? Do we live up to our heritage as "The Equality State?" A lively discussion that brings together high-profile panelists to discuss the stories - real and fanciful - about the West.

Panelists are:
Pete Simpson -- former State Legislator and long-time University of Wyoming instructor, hes a fourth-generation Wyomingite and part of one of the states most prominent political families.
William Bradford Ross III -- grandson of Gov. Nellie Tayloe Ross, the first female governor in the United States and the first woman appointed to head the U.S. Mint.
Sam Western -- his controversial 2002 book, "Pushed Off the Mountain, Sold Down the River: Wyoming's Search for Its Soul," has sparked numerous debates.
Martin Murie -- western novelist and long-time natural sciences professor, he grew up in Jackson Hole and is the son of famed conservationists Olaus and Mardy Murie.
Kathleen O'Neal Gear -- historian, archaeologist, and co-author with her husband, W. Michael Gear, of the bestselling North America's Forgotten Past Series.
Candy Moulton -- author or co-author of 11 history books including "Steamboat: Legendary Bucking Horse."

The discussion is moderated by UW history professor Phil Roberts, who is also a co-author of the Wyoming Almanac.

Read more about all our panelists at

"The West in Fact and Fiction" is part of our "Wyoming Talks -- About Books" series of programs at the festival sponsored by the
Wyoming Humanities Council.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Gears featured at Wyo. Book Festival

Michael and Kathleen Gear, the best-known fiction-writing and buffalo-ranching team in Wyoming, will be appearing at the Wyoming Book Festival Sept. 14-15 in Cheyenne. They will be speaking about their work at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday in the fiction tent, which will be followed at 11:30 with a book signing. They will be part of a panel "From Sci-Fi to Romance: Genre Fiction," at 3:30 p.m. Friday at the Atlas Theatre.

Here's some bio info:

W. Michael Gear, who holds a master's degree in archaeology with a specialty in physical anthropology, has worked as a professional archaeologist/anthropologist since 1978. He is currently principal investigator for Wind River Archaeological Consultants. With his wife, Kathleen O'Neal Gear, he has written the international and USA Today bestselling North America's Forgotten Past Series and Anasazi Mystery Series. Kathleen O'Neal Gear is a former state historian and archaeologist for Wyoming, Kansas, and Nebraska for the U.S. Department of the Interior. She has twice received the federal government's Special Achievement Award for "outstanding management" of our nation's cultural heritage.

Check out their web site at