Friday, November 30, 2007

Raising Readers raises funds at B&N

Raising Readers in Wyoming will hold a fund-raiser this weekend at Barnes & Noble Booksellers, 1851 Dell Range Blvd., Cheyenne. As you make your purchases Friday through Sunday, just tell the store clerks you want to participate in the fund-raiser. It doesn't cost you any extra, and Barnes & Noble will donate a percentage of sales to Raising Readers, which gets books into the hands of young children.

Special guests will be at the store's children's section to read books to kids and their parents. Those sessions begin at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 1, and noon on Sunday, Dec. 2. Sunday's guests include Wyoming First Lady Nancy Freudenthal and former First Lady Sherri Geringer.

FMI: Barnes & Noble, 307-632-3000.

Planning meeting set for powwow

The Southeast Wyoming Inter-tribal Powwow Association invites Native Americans and non-natives interested in helping organize an annual powwow to attend a meeting on Monday, Dec. 3, at the Pinewood Village Community Room, 1005 W. 5th St., Cheyenne. For times and more details, contact Jeremy at 307-433-0090.

New book from Mark Jenkins

Laramie's Mark Jenkins, recipient of two WAC creative writing fellowships, has a new book from the Modern Times imprint of Rodale Books. In "A Man's Life: Dispatches from Dangerous Places," Mark writes about sea kayaking around Turkey's Gallipoli peninsula and canyoneering in Australia. He's one of those guys who can say "been there, done that" with a straight face.

Two of Mark's previous books, "To Timbuktu" and "Off the Map" will be release in paperback from Modern Times in June 2008.

Here's a description of "A Man's Life:"

"Brought to life by a poetic and muscular style, Jenkins’s writing is a brew of history, philosophy, and raw emotion. His journeys are as intellectual and spiritual as they are physical, and we are by his side, in his head." So wrote Robin Russin for the LA Times about Mark Jenkins’s last book, 'The Hard Way.'

In 'A Man’s Life,' Jenkins walks across northern Afghanistan, retracing the ancient route of Marco Polo; clandestinely enters northern Burma, slipping along the forgotten Burma Road; climbs a new route in Uganda’s Mountains of the Moon; bicycles across Lithuania with a long-lost friend; canoes through Surinam with the Maroons, descendants of escaped slaves. Described by critic Bill Berkeley as having a "Whitmanesque openness to experience," Jenkins’s desire to explore and understand the world has pushed him to extremes most of us cannot imagine—being arrested in a dozen different countries from Tibet to Tajikistan, breaking a dozen bones, climbing inside glaciers in Iceland, narrowly escaping falling glaciers on Mont Blanc.

Through his willingness to put himself out there, Jenkins captures profound glimpses of our chaotic, contradictory, ever-morphing world. "A Man’s Life" shares how these experiences change Jenkins from a reckless young globetrotter to a mature, contemplative family man who seeks adventure because he viscerally must, and yet is constantly aware of the dangers of the world and its cool-faced indifference to one man’s life. Each departure from home could be permanent and each homecoming is layered with pathos—his latest journey might have cost him his daughter’s first steps or his wife’s birthday.

The tales in 'A Man’s Life' explore the razor’s edge between life and death, as well as the nature of love and friendship, failure and redemption. Together, they unite Jenkins’s stunning travels with his lucid contemplations on the meaning of it all.

Praised by Richard Bernstein in The New York Times for being able to "[transform] a common sight into a moment of pure magic" and by Amanda Heller in the Boston Globe as "blessed with a rare combination of physical and intellectual grace … he makes us understand what pushes the man who pushes the envelope," Jenkins is one of the rare writers who channels action-packed adventure into lyrical, evocative storytelling.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Reminder: Thursday WAC Gallery reception

The Wyoming Arts Council will hold a free public reception on Thursday, Nov. 29, 4:30-6 p.m., featuring the artists in the “Wyoming Folk Masters” exhibition in the WAC Gallery, 2320 Capitol Ave in Cheyenne. Refreshments will be served.

The exhibit features the works of ten exemplary Wyoming folk artists: Jerry Curcio, Riverton, overshot loom weaver; Ed Fowler, Riverton, bladesmith; Cleo Goggles, Ethete, beaded buckskin vests; Beatrice Haukaas, Ft. Washakie, Shoshone cradleboards; Mary Maynard, Laramie, crochet and tatting; Kevin McNiven, Lander, cowboy music and dance; Jack Mease, Lander, rawhide braiding; Sally O’Connor, Elk Mountain, baskets and chair caning; Reba Teran, Ft. Washakie, Shoshone saddle and trappings; and Kelly Wells, Deaver, old-time fiddling.

FMI: 307-777-7742.

Sweetwater Valley doc airs on wyoptv

Some of you heard Tom Rea speak about his new book, "Devil's Gate: Owning the Land, Owning the Story," at the Wyoming Book Festival in September. The Casper writer also led a series of lectures and panel discussion about the Mormon Trail and Sweetwater Valley during the Equality State Book Festival in Casper in October 2006. Some of those speakers are in a new documentary set to air on Wyoming Public Television. Here's some info from Tom:

You might be interested in catching or taping Wyoming Public TV's new 30-minute documentary on the past of the Sweetwater Valley on Thursday, Nov. 29, at 7 p.m.

The film features history, geography, politics, emigrants, Mormons (past and present), Tom Sun, Cattle Kate, etc. There is commentery from people like Gary Long of the BLM, Chad Orton of the LDS church history office, trails historian Lyndia Carter, and interested parties like Dennis Sun, Ben Kern, and more, including a lot from me, Tom Rea.

And remember you can always find interesting reading on Wyoming's past at Ten episodes I wrote for the American History Cowboy Coalition are posted now; look for eight more soon.

If you live in Wyoming and don't get Wyoming Public TV on your cable or satellite, that's a drag. The TV station hopes to have its original programs available for streaming in 2008 via

VSA arts holds contest for visual artists

VSA arts in Washington, D.C., is seeking visual artists with disabilities whose work is inspired by the performing arts.

"Derivative Composition" looks for work with a strong visual component. Eligible media include (but are not limited to) two- and three-dimensional art: painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, textile, glass, etc.

Applicants from a wide range of practices, such as digital arts, installation, and time-based media, are also encouraged to apply.

Open to artists (ages 18 and over) who are committed to their artistic progress and who have a physical, cognitive, or mental disability.

Deadline is March 21, 2008.

Learn more about the theme of "Derivative Composition."

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

"Jazz Night Wednesday" at UW

Some of the region's best jazz musicians will perform at the University of Wyoming in Laramie for "Jazz Night Wednesday" on Nov. 28.

The free concert begins at 8 p.m. in the Wyoming Union ballroom. Featured performers include the legendary Ronnie Bedford on drums, Jeff Troxel on guitar, Eric Thorin on bass and Lynn Baker, the director of jazz studies and commercial music at the Lamont School of Music in Denver, on saxophone.

Bedford, who is now retired and living in northern Wyoming, has recorded with some of the world's best jazz musicians, including Benny Goodman, Johnny Richards, Benny Carter, Tommy Newsom, Hank Jones, and Buddy DeFranco.

FMI: Student Activities Council at 307-766-6343.

"Jentel Presents" Dec. 4 in Sheridan

From a Jentel Foundation press release:

A broad range of artists and writers compose the current group of artistic talents together in a presentation at Sheridan County Fulmer Public Library, Inner Circle, for this month’s “Jentel Presents.” Residents at the Jentel Artist Residency Program in Banner will be featured in an event open to the public at the Inner Circle, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 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:

  • Catherine Borg, a visual artist working across multiple mediums. She currently is at “home in the neon”, living and working in Las Vegas
  • Lynn Cazabon, a videographer based in Baltimore. She has tested ½ and ¼ size violins, flown a plane and traveled in France
  • Margaret De Angelis, a novelist from Harrisburg, Penn., whose perennial subject is the stranger in a strange land. She comes to Wyoming seeking the spirit of a new place
  • Bev Glueckert, a printmaker and a fourth generation Montanan, living in Missoula. She tends to view the world in terms of printable surfaces
  • Karen Latuchie,a novelist from Northampton, Mass. She is returning to Wyoming after 40 years to rekindle the romance of boot-cut jeans
  • Rhiannon Mercer, a mixed media artist from Albuquerque, N.M. She has worked on trail crews, search and rescue teams, and as a wildland firefighter, always seeking challenging experiences in nature to feed the artist in her.

“Jentel Presents” is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

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.

The Jentel Artist Residency Program accepts applications twice a year from visual artists in all media and writers in all genres for a one-month residency. A residency includes a comfortable accommodation, common living, dining and recreation areas, a private workspace and a stipend to help defray expenses during the program.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Aussie vocal group headlines jazz fest

Press release from Lisa Icenogle in the Casper College Office of College Relations:

Next year’s 41st Annual Casper College Kinser Jazz Festival will feature the four-member Australian a cappella group, The Idea of North. The group will perform in concert on Tuesday, Feb. 5 at 7:30 p.m. in the John F. Welsh Auditorium.

The Idea of North first formed in 1993 more as a pastime then a career for the members. An unexpectedly enthusiastic response to their 1997 debut CD, some professional gig requests, and an invitation to an international jazz festival prompted the decision to commit to The Idea Of North on a full-time basis in 1998.

Official recognition of their international appeal came in 2003 when they won The Harmony Sweepstakes – the largest international open a cappella competition in the world. The Idea of North was the first non-U.S. group to win the prestigious award in its 20-year history. At the same competition they also received the ‘audience favorite’ and ‘best arrangement’ awards.

"We are thrilled to have this a cappella group come to Casper," says Robert Kleinschmidt, executive director of the Kinser Jazz Festival. "I believe that concert goers will love their distinctive sound and the way that they are able to sing in a variety of musical genres including jazz, gospel, folk, classical, pop and others," he adds.

Tickets for the concert are now on sale for $15 and can be purchased by calling the Casper College Music Department at 268-2021, toll free 800-442-2963, ext. 2021, or online at

Poetry Foundation offers weekly columns and reviews for newspapers

This press release recently landed in my e-mail box. It's from Anne Halsey, media coordinator of the Poetry Foundation, one of the sponsors of the Poetry Out Loud national recitation contest. The Wyoming Arts Council sponsors Poetry Out Loud in our state, and currently is taking applications from schools interested in participating.

Here's the press release:

The Poetry Foundation, publisher of "American Life in Poetry," is happy to announce the launch of the Poetry Foundation Syndicate, a free weekly service for newspapers offering poetry book reviews, poetry columnists, and articles about poets and poetry, selected with the general reader in mind.

Poetry in America, a National Opinion Research Center study commissioned by the Foundation, revealed that the vast majority (90%) of American readers highly value poetry and believe it offers a deeper appreciation of the world around them, a better understanding of oneself and others, comfort in difficult times, and sheer enjoyment. In addition, an overall 64% of adult readers think that people should read more poetry.

This research, along with the continued success of Ted Kooser's weekly poetry column "American Life in Poetry,"--published by the Poetry Foundation and now reaching more than 4 million readers a week in more than 70 newspapers--has prompted the Foundation to believe that editors and newspaper readers will welcome more extensive commentary about contemporary poetry.

With the purpose of making poetry more available to a broader audience, the Poetry Foundation Syndicate features engaging and informative writing about the art form by leading poets and writers.

To register to receive the syndicate's free weekly releases, or for more information, go to

Grants 101 workshop set for Laramie

"The Grant Institute's Grants 101: Professional Grant Proposal Writing Workshop" will be held at the University of Wyoming in Laramie Dec. 3-5. Interested development professionals, researchers, faculty, and graduate students should register as soon as possible, as demand means that seats will fill up quickly.

All participants will receive certification in professional grant writing from the Institute. For more information call (888) 824 - 4424 or visit
The Grant Institute web site.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Illuminate yourself with 2008 UW courses

From a UW press release:

Beginning in January, students will be able to take selected University of Wyoming courses just for the fun of it, without receiving a grade or UW credit. Classes in writing, business, history and literature will be available to everyone, regardless of admission status.

"Some students wish to take UW classes without worrying about the UW credit," says Sheila Couture, director of the Outreach School Division of Community Service Education. "These classes simplify the process by not requiring that students be admitted to the university."

"Writer's Workshop in Non-Fiction" and "Business and Communication" will be offered in Casper, while "Regional Literature of the West" and "Europe: 1930 - Present" will be available statewide via Wyoming's Video Conferencing Network.

Non-credit participants must register by Jan. 1, and space is limited. The cost of each class is $150. To register or for more information call the UW Outreach School at (307) 766-6802.

History with your coffee at Gatchell Museum

A History and Coffee Hour is held the second Wednesday of each month, 10 a.m.noon, at the Jim Gatchell Museum in Buffalo. Next session is Jan. 9, 2008. Free and open to the public. For information, call 307-684-9331.

Brinton features James F. Jackson paintings

The Bradford Brinton Memorial and Museum, 239 Brinton Rd. in Sheridan County, offers its 17th annual holiday show through Dec. 22. This year, the museum features the "Native American Image Series -- Rendering Levels of Reality," paintings by James F. Jackson.

The Bradford Brinton is located four miles from the town of Big Horn and 12 miles south of Sheridan. Hours are limited this time of year. Call 307-672-3173 for details.

Pictured is "Dancing Breeze," oil painting, 8" x 6".

For purchase details or further info, contact Ken Schuster at

Deadline Nov. 30 for poetry competition

Deadline is Nov. 30 for sending your work into the WyoPoets’ Eugene V. Shea National Contest 2007.

You do not need to be a WyoPoets member to enter!

Here are the guidelines:
1. Poems may be on any subject and in any form.
2. Limit of 40 lines to the poem. Poems must be titled.
3. Published poems may be entered or any poem that has not won a prize above $25. Must be the original work of the entrant. No limit on number of poems entered.
4. Fees: 2 poems or less for $3; additional poems can be entered at $1 per poem Example the fee for five (5) poems will be $6.
5. Send two copies of each poem, one with name, address, and tel#; and one for the judge with no identification on it.
6. If you wish to receive a winners list please enclose a SASE.
7. Prizes: First place, $50; Second place, $30; Third place, $20. Four or more honorable mentions will also be awarded.
8. Deadline: Postmarked no later than November 30th 2007.

Send your entries to:
Eugene Shea
Contest Chairman
P.O. Box 490
Hanna, WY. 82327

Sunday, November 25, 2007

BBHC goes digital with historic photos

From the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody:

Two of Park County's most popular historic photographers, Jack Richard and Charles Belden, now have their work displayed via the Internet. A grant from the Carol McMurry Library Donor Advised Endowment Fund, through the Wyoming Community Foundation, made the online collection possible for the Buffalo Bill Historical Center’s McCracken Research Library (shown in photo). For the first time, print reproductions of these digital images are available through the web site at

“We are very excited to introduce our digital collection,” Photo Archivist Megan Peacock says. “Being able to provide online access to collection materials such as the Charles Belden Collection and Jack Richard Photograph Collection is a huge accomplishment for the library and the historical center.”
According to Peacock, placing the images online makes it possible for users, who might never have the chance to visit the library in person, to access collection materials. The images include both the often-requested material and other important, but lesser know materials, and print reproductions of all these classic images are available for purchase.

Jack Richard’s fifty-year professional career began in 1931 with his work as a journalist. By 1953, he’d turned to full time photography, and throughout his career, a number of national magazines featured his work including Sports Afield, Life, and National Geographic. The Jack Richard Collection consists of more than 160,000 negatives and 100,000 prints along with other materials. A very small portion of the collection has been digitized.

The Charles J. Belden collection contains approximately 2,500 original negatives and 2,000 prints as well as scrapbooks, correspondence, research notes, and personal memorabilia. From 1914 to 1940, Belden operated the Pitchfork Ranch, near Meeteetse, Wyoming, where most of the images were taken. There he photographed cowboys, cattle, and sheep, capturing classic images of the American West and Wyoming ranch life. The diverse collection has images of personal vacations, aerial photographs of northwest Wyoming, and publicity photographs for dude ranching. Thumbnail images of each photograph are featured in the digital collection where users may generally browse collection images or search by keyword. Richard’s photographs are organized into the categories of national parks, hunting, Heart Mountain Relocation Center, and aerial shots. Belden’s images also include aerial photography as well as sheep, antelope, cattle, Pitchfork Ranch, and cowboys. There are 1,748 Richard images now available online and 2,528 Belden images.

The BBHC is now operating its winter schedule, open daily 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, closed Mondays. This schedule is in effect until April 1.

Friday, November 23, 2007

"Winter Photography in Yellowstone"

A field seminar, “Silence and Solitude: Winter Photography in Yellowstone,” will be held Jan. 18-21 at the Lamar Buffalo Ranch in Yellowstone National Park. Instructor is Tom Murphy. Cost is $360, $350 for members of the Yellowstone Association.

Description of the course:

Surrounded by the quiet, stunning beauty of Yellowstone winter, you’ll learn photography techniques and philosophy. Field trips and classroom sessions focus on landscape composition, ethics, wildlife behavior, and the technical challenge of photographing in a winter environment. You’ll also have the option to learn techniques specific to digital cameras and computer techniques to work with your images. Bring your digital or film camera. This course is ideal for beginning to intermediate photographers.

Lodging at the Lamar Valley Buffalo Ranch is recommended for this course. You can book your cabin when you register.


Teton Mountain Writer's Workshop

The Teton Mountain Writer’s Workshop will be held at Grand Targhee Resort outside Alta on Saturday, Dec. 15, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Cost is $40, which includes all-day instruction, lunch, and snowshoe tour. Discounted packages available, space is limited. To register, call 307-353-2300, ext. 1375; <>.

This workshop will be conducted by writers from Alpinist Magazine. Here’s a description from the Grand Targhee web site:

The workshop is for those interested in writing to celebrate and help preserve our wild lands. We will spend a day exploring the outdoors through discussion of literature and a snowshoe tour. We'll discuss and practice how to translate ideas into stories that help promote environmental sustainability, look at how elements of literary writing craft can be applied to outdoor subjects in order to create compelling short fiction, creative nonfiction and feature articles, and talk about how to get published in outdoor, travel and adventure sport magazines.

A graduate from the University of Iowa Writers Workshop, with an MFA in Fiction, Katie Ives is the senior editor for Alpinist Magazine. Her fiction, nonfiction and translations have appeared in Rock & Ice, Alpinist, The American Alpine Journal, She Sends, The Mountain Gazette, Urban Climber, The Harvard Mountaineering Club Journal, Circumference, 91st Meridian, The Mongolian Studies Journal and Ideya Magazine. In 2004, she won the Mammut/Rock & Ice Writing Contest.

After graduating from Dartmouth Colleges MALS program, where he earned a masters in nonfiction and journalism, Erik Lambert became the online editor for Alpinist Magazine. A contributor to Thin Ice: Inuit Traditions within a Changing Environment, Erik has also written for Rock & Ice, Alpinist, Homestead Magazine and a number of newspapers.

Both instructors have extensive teaching experience.

Ark debuts new Creative Arts Center

Ark Regional Services will hold an open house and gallery opening on Saturday, Dec. 1, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., in its new Creative Arts Center, 1174 N. 4th St., Laramie. It's free and open to the public. Tours of the facility will be provided by Ark staff.

The gallery exhibit will feature selected works by artists from the Creative Arts Program. You may have seen some samples from these artists at the Governor's Arts Awards ceremony last year in Cheyenne. Ark was one of the 2006 Governor's Arts Awards recipients.


ALA offers award for military fiction

From the American Library Association web site:

The W.Y. Boyd Award "For Excellence in Military Fiction" is an annual award consisting of $5,000 and a 24k gold-framed citation of achievement honoring the best fiction set in a period when the United States was at war. It recognizes the service of American veterans and military personnel and encourages the writing and publishing of outstanding war-related fiction for young adults or adults.

Publishers or authors are requested to submit seven copies of books which meet the following criteria: novel has been published during the year prior to the award; incidents of war can constitute the main plot of the story or merely provide the setting; Young adult and adult novels only.

Juries will examine each book for excellence of writing, attention to detail, accuracy, and the ability to hold the reader's interest.

Click here for an application

Please send seven (7) copies of this application and 7 books to: ALA Awards, Program Governance Office, 50 East Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611.


For questions about this application, contact the
ALA Awards Program Office

Previous winners include Jeff Shaara, Nick Arvin, and James Brady. For a full listing, click

AVA sale features art for the holidays

Downs' new play explores Shepard legacy

From a UW press release:

The lingering stigma attached to the University of Wyoming and Laramie by the murder of student Matthew Shepard almost 10 years ago -- and the stories that arose from it -- provide a starting point for the new play by UW's playwright-in-residence and Governor's Arts Award recipient, William Missouri Downs.

"The 'M' Word" will run December 4-8 at 7:30 p.m. on the Fine Arts Main Stage. The cost is $14 for the public, $11 for seniors and $7 for students. For tickets call the Fine Arts Box Office at (307) 766-6666 or go online at

The multi-layered drama centers on Christian, a failed novelist who joins the creative writing faculty at UW. What Christian discovers is a campus community driven by fear, where taking offense is mandatory and accusations of intolerance are a form of professional survival.

Downs says the Matthew Shepard murder and its aftermath provide the backdrop for the play, but are not at its core.

"I was tired of all the work about Matthew Shepard being exactly the same and presenting the same story in exactly the same light," Downs says. "One of the most frustrating things coming out of the murder coverage was that there was no deep analysis of what actually happened."

The power of storytelling in shaping how divisive issues are perceived and talked about is one of the play's dominant themes.

"I think that's what happened with the Matthew Shepard murder: a story developed that didn't tell us much about him or the facts, but it was compelling, so everyone jumped on it," Downs says. "The end result was that this town was sacrificed for a great story, but that story has little to do with the truth."

For more information call Kathy Kirkaldie, Fine Arts programs coordinator, at (307) 766-2160.

Waddie Mitchell at "Heart of the West"

Cheyenne's Rattle Snake Jake was on Channel 5's interview show this morning promoting this weekend's Heart of the West Festival. The main event will be held Saturday, Nov. 24, 6:45 p.m., with a performance by Jon Chandler and the Wichitones, Bill Barwick with special guests, and headliner Waddie Mitchell. It's at the Historic Atlas Theater downtown. It will be preceded by a chuckwagon dinner from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the Plains Hotel. Tickets are $40 for dinner and the show.

FMI: Debbie at; Plains Hotel Sales Office, 307.638.3311.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

"The Legend of Santa Pig"

From the Casper Children's Theatre:


This play answers the age old philosophical question: "If It's Christmas In The Barnyard And No One Is Around, Will The Animals Have One Bang-up Christmas Party?"

Final dress rehearsal will be Thursday, Dec. 6, 6-7:30 p.m. and performances will be Dec. 7, 8, 14, 15 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 9 and 16 at 2 p.m. at the Casper Children Theatre's facility, 138 S. Kimball, Suite 6, in the Commissary Mall.

UW's Festival of Trees and Happy Holidays, Laramie!

Highlights of the UW Art Museum's annual Festival of Trees and Happy Holidays, Laramie! include -- musical performances by school and community groups; the Albany County Student Art Exhibition; holiday activities in the Shelton Studio; a visit with Santa Claus; a silent auction for specially-decorated trees and other holiday items.

The Festival of Trees Silent Auction features 30 decorated artificial and live trees. Auction will begin Thursday, Nov. 29, from 6-8 p.m. and continue Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The auction ends at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1; bidders do not need to be present to win. Among the trees on display are the Governor’s tree, The Wyoming Quarter: A Holiday Celebration, and the UW President’s tree, A Holiday for the Birds. Other trees include those by several

Laramie Girl Scout Chapters, university student groups, community service groups, businesses, and individuals. Decorations and time to participate in the Festival of Trees are donated; proceeds benefit the Art Museum’s programs.

“We have a number of great performances scheduled for the lighting of the trees reception on Thursday and throughout the celebration on Saturday,” said Wendy Bredehoft, education curator. “And, youngsters will be able to participate in a variety of artmaking activities in the Shelton Studio during Happy Holidays, Laramie!”

In addition to the performances and artwork on display, a Kid’s Store will offer gifts for under $5 and gift wrapping activities. “It’s fun to have the kids wrap their own presents,” said Rosie Chapp, manager of the Museum Store.

Happy Holidays, Laramie! takes place from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 1. The exhibition will feature nearly 1,000 original works of art by Albany County students, which will be on view through December 22. The event is free and open to the public.

Happy Holidays, Laramie is sponsored by First Interstate Bank and funded in part by June Allen, Public Accountant; American National Bank; Duane Toro Real Estate; First National Bank; Holland Cleaners; and UniWyo Federal Credit Union.

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

Short story master Richard Bausch at UW

Master of the short story, Richard Bausch will visit the University of Wyoming the week after Thanksgiving as part of the MFA Visiting Writers Series. The critically acclaimed author will read from his work at 5:10 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 28 in Classroom Building 222. Afterward he 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. Bausch has been called “a master of the short story…who writes some of the most gripping dialogue in contemporary letters” (Janet Burroway, New York Times). In his “truly redemptive tales,” he “illuminates both benevolent and malevolent aspects of human nature with dark humor, a spiky imagination, consummate artistry, and unfailing compassion” (Booklist).

Bausch’s stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, Esquire, Playboy, GQ, Harper's, O. Henry and Pushcart anthologies, Best American Short Stories and New Stories from the South. They have been recently compiled in The Stories of Richard Bausch (2004), which won the PEN/Malamud Award. He is also the author of ten novels, including In the Night Season (1998), Hello to the Cannibals (2002) and Wives & Lovers: Three Short Novels (2004). Often compared to Hemingway as an analyst of the modern male consciousness, he is equally admired for the conviction and credibility of his portrayals of women. In his most recent novel, Thanksgiving Night (2006), Bausch takes a sharp look at his favorite subject: family dynamics, the domestic turmoil and unspoken tensions that are brought to the surface by the country’s most famously confrontational holiday. “He has turned a mirror on us and our next-door neighbors and shown us how real people live and laugh and cry,” according to The Washington Post. “And, yes, how they get into all kinds of mischief.”

Richard Bausch was born in Fort Benning, Georgia, and grew up near Washington DC with his twin brother Robert, who is also a novelist. After serving in the Air Force from 1966-69, he roamed the Midwest and South playing guitar, singing in a rock band, and writing poetry. Later he would go on to earn an MFA in creative writing from the University of Iowa. Among his numerous honors and awards are a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, a Guggenheim, the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Writer’s Award, and a literature award from the Academy of Arts and Letters. A legendary teacher and workshop leader, Bausch currently holds the Lillian and Morrie A. Moss Chair of Excellence at The University of Memphis. But he doesn’t teach writing, he says: “I teach patience, toughness, stubbornness, the willingness to fail. I teach the life. When you feel global doubt about your talent, that is your talent. People who have no talent don't have any doubt.”

Bausch’s 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. Recent guests include Dorothy Allison, Terry Tempest Williams, David Quammen, Francine Prose, Pico Iyer, Alexandra Fuller and U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser. Further info:

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

"Cowboy Songs and Range Ballads"

Wyoming Public Television will premiere a documentary featuring the 25th anniversary of the Buffalo Bill Historical Center's Cowboy Songs & Range Ballads on Saturday, Dec. 1.

Get your copy of the 25th Anniversary album and poster from the BBHC’s
Museum Selections.

For questions or more information, please e-mail BBHC

The BBHC is located at 720 Sheridan Ave. in Cody.

UW presents "Remembering Sunrise Mine"

From a UW press release:

The former mining town of Sunrise has been deserted for 27 years.

But the University of Wyoming American Studies program is poised to bring this once-bustling community near Guernsey back to life.

In an effort to recognize the Sunrise Mine Historic District's importance in Wyoming's rich history, UW has spent the past year interviewing former miners and their spouses about their experiences and memories of life in a community ahead of its time.

"I want people to respect this place. The town was torn down, but it's so important for us to remember and recognize its history and culture," says Sophia Beck, an American Studies office associate who was raised in Sunrise. "I don't want it to become a ghost town. This place existed, and let's not forget about it."

UW's research project will culminate Wednesday, Nov. 28, with a 7 p.m. presentation at Hartville Town Hall. A mile from the former town of Sunrise, Hartville remains home to many second-generation children of the miners.

The presentation, titled "Remembering Sunrise Mine and its Community: Portrait of a Company Town," is sponsored by the Platte County Historical Society. The UW American Studies program's research will be archived at the American Heritage Center (AHC) on the UW campus, at public libraries in Wheatland and Torrington and at the Bessemer Historical Society in Pueblo, Colo.

For more information on the Sunrise Mining Historic District, call the UW American Studies office at (307) 766-3898.

Painting with JB King at AVA

Library program offers "Wyoming Curiosities"

Jackson author Dina Mishev will read from her book, "Wyoming Curiosities," on Wednesday, Dec. 12, 7-8 p.m., in the Ordway Auditorium of the Teton County Public Library, 125 Virginian Lane, Jackson. Free and open to the public.

The book "dishes up the definitive collection of Wyoming’s oddest, wackiest and most offbeat people, places and things."

FMI: Adult Program Coordinator, 733-2164 ext. 135.

Monday, November 19, 2007

ARTCORE sponsors Jan. 11 Fireants concert

The Fireants, Wyoming Arts Council roster artists, will perform on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 7:30 p.m., at Kelly Walsh High School in Casper.

The Fireants hail from Buffalo, Wyoming, and vicinity. They play Carribean Basin dance music, USA-two-steps and waltzes from Cajun and Creole Louisiana; polkas, waltzes, chotises, huapangos, boleros, and cumbias from the conjunto tradition of Texas, calypsos from Trinidad, sones from Cuba, cumbias and vallenato from Colombia. Now and again, they play a little frolic from the North Carolina black stringband tradition, reels from Quebec, a fandango or two from the Basque Country, and original tunes and songs that have been inspired by their love of traditional music.

David Romvedt, Wyoming Poet Laureate, plays the button accordion. He writes some of the music and lyrics that the band performs and is known to ad-libbed lyrics for any occasion. Cindy Baker, from Sheridan, plays the bass and also works as an ayurvedic practitioner and yoga instructor. Percussionist Margo Brown and guitar player Courtney Caplan are potters when they are not playing in the band. All four members of the group sing.

The Casper event is sponsored by ARTCORE. FMI:

For more info about how to bring The Fireants to your community with a WAC Arts Across Wyoming grant, go to

NWC exhibits "Gestalt Critter Compositions"

"Gestalt Critter Compositions," an exhibition of the photography of Rick Rivard, will be shown through Dec. 14 at the Sinclair Gallery at Northwest College, 231 W. Sixth St. in Powell. Hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday.


Art for Art fundraiser for UW symphony

From a UW press release:

An extremely limited work by Wyoming artist Richard Evans is available to win during the University of Wyoming Symphony Association Art for Art Stampede fundraiser.

Stampede tickets for $10 each or six for $50 are available from the UW Fine Arts Center box office, (307) 766-6666, or go to Drawing for the winner will be on March 12, 2008, 1 p.m., at the UW Centennial Complex. The reproduction will be awarded to the winner at the final UWSO concert of the season April 17.

The reproduction, "All the Days of Summer," matted and framed by Richard and Suzanne Evans, is being displayed at UW Symphony Orchestra (UWSO) concerts this season.

The Art for Art Stampede raises funds for UWSO scholarships, which are performance-based and provide incentive for outstanding young students to perform with the UWSO.

Caboose comes to Evanston Jan. 25

The 2008 Uinta County Concert series, presented by Young Musicians, Inc., gets off to a rousing start on Friday, Jan. 25, 7 p.m., with Caboose (with members of Enoch Train). It will be held at Davis Middle School in Evanston. Caboose will spend the day touring Evanston's elementary schools.

Season tickets are $35 for adults, $25 for students and seniors. Individual event tickets are $8 and $5.


WAC Gallery Reception features folk artists

The Wyoming Arts Council will hold a free public reception on Thursday, Nov. 29, 4:30-6 p.m., featuring the artists in the “Wyoming Folk Masters” exhibition in the WAC Gallery, 2320 Capitol Ave in Cheyenne. Refreshments will be served.

The exhibit features the works of ten exemplary Wyoming folk artists: Jerry Curcio, Riverton, overshot loom weaver; Ed Fowler, Riverton, bladesmith; Cleo Goggles, Ethete, beaded buckskin vests; Beatrice Haukaas, Ft. Washakie, Shoshone cradleboards; Mary Maynard, Laramie, crochet and tatting; Kevin McNiven, Lander, cowboy music and dance; Jack Mease, Lander, rawhide braiding; Sally O’Connor, Elk Mountain, baskets and chair caning; Reba Teran, Ft. Washakie, Shoshone saddle and trappings; and Kelly Wells, Deaver, old-time fiddling.,

You can view “Wyoming Folk Masters” through Feb. 22, 2008. The gallery is open from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday (except for holidays). Admission is always free.

FMI: 307-777-7742.

NEA: Decline in reading equals lower test scores

From an NEA press release:

Today, the National Endowment for the Arts announces the release of "To Read or Not To Read: A Question of National Consequence," a new and comprehensive analysis of reading patterns in the United States. "To Read or Not To Read" gathers statistics from more than 40 studies on the reading habits and skills of children, teenagers, and adults. The compendium reveals recent declines in voluntary reading and test scores alike, exposing trends that have severe consequences for American society.

"The new NEA study is the first to bring together reliable, nationally representative data, including everything the federal government knows about reading," said NEA Chairman Dana Gioia. "This study shows the startling declines, in how much and how well Americans read, that are adversely affecting this country's culture, economy, and civic life as well as our children's educational achievement."

"To Read or Not To Read" expands the investigation of the NEA's landmark 2004 report, Reading at Risk. While that report focused mainly on literary reading trends, "To Read or Not To Read" looks at all varieties of reading, including fiction and nonfiction genres in various formats such as books, magazines, newspapers, and online reading. Whereas the earlier report assessed reading among adults age 18 and older, "To Read or Not To Read" analyzes reading trends for youth and adults, and readers of various education levels. "To Read or Not To Read" is unique for its consideration of reading habits alongside other behaviors and related outcomes including academic achievement, employment, and community involvement.

Among the key findings:

Americans are reading less -- teens and young adults read less often and for shorter amounts of time compared with other age groups and with Americans of previous years.

  • Less than one-third of 13-year-olds are daily readers, a 14 percent decline from 20 years earlier. Among 17-year-olds, the percentage of non-readers doubled over a 20-year period, from nine percent in 1984 to 19 percent in 2004.
  • On average, Americans ages 15 to 24 spend almost two hours a day watching TV, and only seven minutes of their daily leisure time on reading.

Americans are reading less well –- reading scores continue to worsen, especially among teenagers and young males. By contrast, the average reading score of 9-year-olds has improved.

  • Reading scores for 12th-grade readers fell significantly from 1992 to 2005, with the sharpest declines among lower-level readers.
  • 2005 reading scores for male 12th-graders are 13 points lower than for female 12th-graders, and that gender gap has widened since 1992.
  • Reading scores for American adults of almost all education levels have deteriorated, notably among the best-educated groups. From 1992 to 2003, the percentage of adults with graduate school experience who were rated proficient in prose reading dropped by 10 points, a 20 percent rate of decline.
The declines in reading have civic, social, and economic implications -- Advanced readers accrue personal, professional, and social advantages. Deficient readers run higher risks of failure in all three areas.

  • Nearly two-thirds of employers ranked reading comprehension "very important" for high school graduates. Yet 38 percent consider most high school graduates deficient in this basic skill.
  • American 15-year-olds ranked fifteenth in average reading scores for 31 industrialized nations, behind Poland, Korea, France, and Canada, among others.
  • Literary readers are more likely than non-readers to engage in positive civic and individual activities – such as volunteering, attending sports or cultural events, and exercising.
"This report shows striking statistical links between reading, advanced reading skills, and other individual and social benefits," said Sunil Iyengar, NEA Director of Research and Analysis. "To Read or Not to Read compels us to consider more carefully how we spend our time, since those choices affect us individually and collectively."

While no single government agency or entity can solve the problem of declining reading rates, the NEA national reading program, the Big Read, is one response to these findings. The Big Read is designed to restore reading to the center of American culture by providing citizens with the opportunity to read and discuss a single book within their communities. In 2007, nearly 200 communities nationwide are participating in the Big Read, reading one of 12 classic American novels such as Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury and Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. The NEA presents the Big Read in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and in cooperation with Arts Midwest. FMI:

"To Read or Not To Read" assembled data on reading trends from more than 40 sources, including federal agencies, universities, foundations, and associations. Primary sources include the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Labor, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, the University of Indiana, Bloomington, the University of California, Los Angeles, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Alpinist Film Festival Jan. 17-20

The 2008 Alpinist Film Festival will take place January 17-20, in Jackson.

In addition to Snow, Surf and Stone Nights which showcase, respectively, the world's best skiing surfing and climbing films, a new People's Choice Ceremony will screen the People's Choice award winners from the preceding evenings, allowing the audience to choose the 2008 Grand Prize award winner.

Snow, Surf and Stone Nights will take place at Teton Village's Walk Festival Hall January 17-19; the People's Choice Ceremony will take place downtown at Jackson's Center for the Arts on January 20.


Saturday, November 17, 2007

Open house set for Dec. 4 at Rockpile

The Rockpile Museum will hold its annual Christmas Open House on Tuesday, Dec. 4, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Visit the museum at 900 W. Second St. in Gillette and enjoy a variety of entertainment, crafts, refreshments, and a visit from Santa Claus. Performances will be conducted by a children’s choir, the Gillette Guitar Guild, the Gillette Community Theater.

FMI: 307-682-5723 or go to

Friday, November 16, 2007

Talented young violinist performs Nov. 18

ARTCORE announces that local violin prodigy Likai He will perform on Sunday, Nov. 18, 4 p.m. at Our Saviour's Lutheran Church in Casper.

Likai recently performed at the Wyoming Arts Summit at the Casper Events Center.

Here's some background on the young violinist:

A seventh-grader at Dean Morgan Junior High School, Likai He has been certified at the highest grade for violin performance in China by the Music Examination Committee of the Chinese Musicians' Association.

Gifted in violin, he was the grand-prize winner of the 2006 Wyoming ASTA Young Artists' Competition and also a recipient of Lucy Rognstad Award conferred by the Casper Chamber Music Society. Performing violin with Casper Children's Chorale at 2007 Colorado Springs Music Festival, he was honored with the Maestro Award, a prize "not given very often" according to director Marcia Patton.

Likai was born in Yinchuan, a city located in northwest of China and came to the United States in 1997 when he was two-years old. He studies violin with his father Jianjun He, a composer and music theory teacher at Casper College. In recent years, the young violinist has performed frequently in Casper and Yinchuan. He is scheduled to perform Mendelssohn's violin concerto with Gillette's Powder River Symphony in the spring of 2008.

The repertoire of the Nov. 18 ARTCORE recital will include the masterworks for violin by Bach, Mozart, Paganini, Mendelssohn, and Sarasate, as well as pieces by Chinese composers.

Wranglers roll into Afton for concert

The Star Valley Arts Council presents the "Bar J Wranglers Holiday Homecoming" on Friday, Nov. 23, 7 p.m. at the Star Valley High School auditorium in Afton.

The Bar J Wranglers from Jackson will perform a standard repertoire of Western music laced with humor and storytelling during this two-hour concert.

Tickets are $14 per person.


Williams: "The Art of Engagement"

From a UW press release:

Terry Tempest Williams, the University of Wyoming's first Eminent Writer in Residence in the Master of Fine Arts Program in creative writing, will host four events this semester.

The final two installments of Williams' free brown bag lunch series, "The Art of Engagement: Conversations about Culture and Landscape," will be held Wednesday, Nov. 28 and Wednesday, Dec. 5, from noon-1 p.m. in the UW Foundation House. To reserve a place, e-mail Alan Barstow, UWyo Magazine intern, at, or call the UW English Department at 307-766-6452.

Williams will host a discussion and reading session in Rawlins on Nov. 28. The free discussion will begin at 7 p.m. at Carbon County Higher Education Center, located at 705 Rodeo St. For more information, call Dave Throgmorten at the Carbon County Higher Education Center at 307-328-9204.

Williams also will host a discussion and reading in Cheyenne on Dec. 5. The session begins at 7 p.m. at the Laramie County Library, located at 2200 Pioneer Ave. For more information, call the Laramie County Library at 307-773-7225.

An award-winning writer and wilderness advocate who has written on nature and culture, Williams has been credited with starting national conversations about the importance of dissent. Her latest book, Mosaic: Finding Beauty in a Broken World, will be released in 2008.

From Terry Tempest Williams' web site:

SNEWS Live sat down one-on-one with Terry Tempest Williams following her keynote address at the Conservation Alliance's annual meeting during Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2007, in Salt Lake City, Utah. The topic of the interview was the role that art and poetry can play in creating a life dedicated to conservation and sustainability. The interview is available online as a podcast, posted on March 2, 2007.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

"Short Film Challenge" for filmmakers

Independent Feature Project (IFP) Phoenix's FOUR SEASONS SHORT FILM CHALLENGE is a year-long competition with winning filmmakers taking home cash, prizes and bragging rights!

ROUND THREE -- WINTER: The holidays and the New Year's Resolution brings out something in everyone. Make a three-minute film with that theme; the genre is up to you! The top 30 films submitted will be screened. Submission deadline: January 28, 2008. Submission fee: $40 for IFP/PHX members, $60 for non-members. Theme: New Year's Resolution. Length: 3 minutes. Prizes: Specialty awards, Top 5 move on to the Spring Finals, $300 cash for first place.

ROUND FOUR -- SPRING: The top 15 films from the SUMMER, FALL and WINTER Challenge (5 from each) will compete in this SPRING FINALS round to determine the FOUR SEASONS FILM CHALLENGE BEST FILM. The screening will be held at the 2008 Phoenix Film Festival on MONDAY, April 7, 2008. Prizes: Specialty awards and trophies. First Place winner receives: $1000 cash, one-year IFP/PHX membership, AUTOMATIC SELECTION to the 2009 Phoenix Film Festival, the 2009 Sedona Film Festival, plus more festivals and prizes to be announced.

FMI: IFP Phoenix, 602.955.6444;

Apply now for Wyoming Writers, Inc., contest

Wyoming Writers 2008 Writing Contest is open to all Wyoming residents and non-residents. All works must be original and in English. Previously published material or work accepted or under consideration for publication elsewhere, or entered in another contest simultaneously, is NOT eligible. Work that has previously placed or received honorable mention in a Wyoming Writers, Inc. contest is NOT eligible.

Entry Fee: Prose: $10 per entry for members of Wyoming Writers, Inc.; $15 per entry for non-members. Poetry: $5 per entry for members of Wyoming Writers, Inc. and $10 per entry for non-members.

Length: Not more than 3,500 words per prose entry; not more than 40 lines per poem.

Categories: Adult Fiction, Adult Non-fiction, Fiction for Children, Free Verse, and Traditional Poetry.

Prizes: Cash prizes of $50, $30 and $20 will be awarded in each judged category.


Downs' "Cockeyed" debuts in Cheyenne

"Cockeyed," a play by UW Theatre Dept. professor (and Governor's Arts Awards recipient) William Missouri Downs, will be presented Nov. 30-Dec. 2 and Dec. 6-9 at the Historic Atlas Theatre in downtown Cheyenne. Thursday-Saturday shows are at 7:30 p.m. Sunday matinees are at 2 p.m.

The play, directed by Patti Kelly, features Brooks Reeves, Sarah Whittle, and Dale Williams.

FMI: Cheyenne Little Theatre, 307-638-6543.

Young Musicians, Inc., receives NEA grant

Young Musicians, Inc., in Evanston has received a $10,000 Challenge America Fast-Track grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington, D.C. YMI Director Carolee Bowen says that the funds will be used for its Music, Art and Technology Camp.

The NEA's Patrice Powell said that 115 Challenge America Fast-Track grants totaling $1,150,000 were given in this round. Find more information in the "News Room" section of the NEA web site along with a complete listing of Fast-Track grants.

You can also call Erin Waylor, Challenge America Fast Track Specialist, at 202-682-5411.

Johnson County holiday happenings

The Children's Theatre presents The Shoemaker and the Elves. Performance dates are November 16 at 7:00 p.m. and November 17 at 1:00 p.m. in the Buffalo High School Auditorium.

A Christmas Melodrama, written by local playwright Daithi O'Donnchadha, will be performed at 7:00 p.m. on December 18 and 19 in the lobby of the Occidental Hotel. The play is about a group of local citizens trying to save Buffalo Town from the most dastardly, most wicked, most evil, most despicable villian of all time. The event is free to the public although donations for our starving actors will be gratefully accepted at the door.

The Cloud Peak Symphony performs November 17 at Buffalo High School at 7:30 p.m.

The Johnson County Arts and Humanities Council will sponsor the Holiday Arts Show, beginning with an open house from 5-7 p.m. on November 29, to meet the artists. The show runs through December 31 at the DeerField Gallery and Coffee Shop. FMI: Dollie Iberlin, 307-684-2404.

Cloud Peak Symphony plays Mussorgsky

The Cloud Peak Symphony of Sheridan and Buffalo kicks off the 2007-2008 season with a program at the WYO Theater on Sunday, Nov. 18, 7:30 p.m., featuring Beethoven's Symphony No. 1 in C Major, Mussorgsky's Night on Bald Mountain, and the overture to Die Freischutz by Carl Maria von Weber.

In addition to the concert at the WYO, the symphony also will perform the same program at Buffalo High School on Saturday, Nov. 17, 7:30 p.m.

"It is going to be a melodious and thumpy night at the concert hall," said CPS Conductor Tim Cummings. "I am really pleased with the pieces that the board has chosen for our fall concert. Each has its own blend of the wild and the mild."

WYO Theater concert tickets are $5 for adults and free for students 18 and younger.

FMI: 307-672-9084.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Concerto for coffee cans and cellos

From a UW press release:

Wind chimes, clock coils, coffee cans and plumber's pipes will accompany violins, cellos and oboes for a concert at the University of Wyoming Monday, Nov. 19.

UW Department of Music faculty members will perform innovative composer Lou Harrison's "Concerto for Violin and Percussion Orchestra" at 7:30 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center concert hall.

The cost is $5 for students and senior citizens and $7 for others. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Fine Arts Box Office at (307) 766-6666.

Ensemble members are Javier Pinell, violin; Theresa Bogard, piano and harpsichord; Maureen Sorensson, soprano; Lindsey Bird Reynolds, oboe; Eduardo Vargas, cello; and Steve Barnhart, conductor. The program also includes four arias from Bach's secular cantatas, a sonata for piano and violin by Mozart, and two pieces by French composer Lili Boulanger.

FMI: UW music department, (307) 766-5242.

Randy Oestman begins new post here at WAC as Community Development and The Arts specialist

New program manager, Randy Oestman, says, "I'm excited to begin this new chapter of my professional career with the Division of Parks and Cultural Resources and in joining the team at the Wyoming Arts Council. Having lived most of my life in Wyoming it will be a tremendous honor to meet and engage artists and leaders around this great state to help promote community development as it relates to the arts. For most of the past 25 years I have been very active in theatre, music and various other arts activities while honing my business management skills in both the non-profit arts sector and the professional for-profit business world. I look forward to meetin many of you who are excited by this new frontier of "Community Development and The Arts," and am sure that our future collaborations will continue to prove that an important part of Wyoming's beauty is in the creativity of you the people."

The Wyoming Arts Council is proud to welcome Randy to the team.

Barbara Graham releases new book

This just in from Barbara Graham about her new book,
Murder by Serpents:

East Tennessee Sheriff Tony Abernathy finds himself searching for a murderer. Who killed a snake-handling preacher--using his own snakes as the weapon? Aided in his search by his wife, Theo, a quilt shop owner and mother of two boys, Tony must dig through conflicting information. Tony may think of Theo's shop as "gossip central" but he pays attention to what she learns. When more bodies turn up, they are both embroiled in the hunt for the truth.
The "clues" for Theo's mystery quilt are included as a little something extra for other quilting addicts.

Murder By Serpents: The Mystery Quilt release date is Wednesday, November 14 by Five Star Books, an imprint of Gale, ISBN13: 978-1-59414-590-2.

Kirkus Review calls it--“A soothing cozy debut that includes a pattern for a mystery quilt”. Set in East Tennessee, the novel concerns the murder of a snake-handling preacher. His own snakes are used as the murder weapon.

2007 Signings scheduled:
December 1-Big Horn Quilts in Greybull from 10:00 a.m. until ?
December 8-Cody Newsstand in Cody from 4:00 until 6:00 p.m.
December 9-Barnes & Noble Booksellers-Billings, MT from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.
December 15-Friends & Company Quilt Store-Cody from Noon to 2:00 p.m.
December 16-Borders Books-Billings, MT from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM

2008 Readings scheduled:
January 19 Meeteetsee Branch of Park County Library beginning at 2:00 p.m.
January 22 Cody Public Library beginning at 7:00 p.m.

FMI about Barbara Graham, go to her website at

Barbara was always a daydreamer. Her early literary efforts centered around her saving the world. Thank goodness it didn't all fall on her shoulders. She's a bit of a flake. Born in the Texas Panhandle and unable to remain still, she has lived in places as diverse as Denver, New Orleans and East Tennessee. A former travel agent, mom, and ballet teacher, she resides in Wyoming with her long suffering husband and two dogs.

Help wanted: Wyo. Humanities Council

The Wyoming Humanities Council in Laramie is looking for a program coordinator. Deadline is Dec. 1. The WCH and the WAC have worked work together on a number of projects, including the recently released Wyoming Fence Lines anthology. We've also co-sponsored the Equality State Book Festival (Casper) and the Wyoming Book Festival (Cheyenne). Here are some details from the WCH web site:

The Wyoming Humanities Council seeks a program coordinator to expand statewide audiences and oversee and implement new formats for innovative, engaging, relevant, and comprehensive public humanities programs. The Wyoming Humanities Council is an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. It offers a supportive work environment including annual leave, health, and retirement benefits. The office is located in Laramie on the University of Wyoming campus where there are ample opportunities for professional development. Laramie is located at the base of the Snowy Range Mountains, two hours from Denver. EOE.

Applicants are required to submit cover letter, resume, references, and writing sample by December 1 to: Marcia Wolter Britton, Executive Director, Wyoming Humanities Council, 1315 E. Lewis Street, Laramie, WY 82072 or e-mail to Visit

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Tim Sandlin: "Rowdy in Paris"

A review copy of Tim Sandlin's new novel, Rowdy in Paris, landed in my mailbox last week. We don't review books on wyomingarts, but we certainly promote them if they're by Wyoming authors, such as Tim -- or they're about Wyoming.

The cover of Rowdy in Paris shows an action-figure cowboy with lariat with the Eiffel Tower in the background. That's attention-getting enough, but the book also carries some blurbs from some high-powered writers.

Says Nick Hornby (author of The Believer): "Sandlin can see that there is a kind of gruesome comedy to what happoens to us, but the humor is never mean, and he loves his people too much not to understand that their grief and nostalgia and frustration is real."

Says Karen Joy Fowler (author of The Jane Austen Book Club): "Tim's comedy is sharp, stinging, and ultimately generous."

Rowdy is Paris will be released in January by Riverhead Books, a Penguin imprint. And Tim's novel Jimmy Hendrix Turns Eighty is now out in paperback. Find out more at Tim's web site.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Through Nov. 17: Romeo & Juliet

Write at Devils Tower in 2008

Some of you are probably aware of this, but Bearlodge Writers in northeast Wyoming teams up with Devils Tower National Monument for an annual writer's residency program. The guidelines and application are out for the 2008 residency. Here they are:

Two one-week residencies will be available at the monument in September and October. Selected individuals will be offered modest housing at the monument. A $100 travel stipend is provided in two payments by the Devils Tower Natural History Association. The goal of this residency is to provide an inspiring, secluded working environment for promising writers.

Interested writers should submit writing samples to:
Christine Czazasty, Chief of Interpretation

Devils Tower National Monument
P.O. Box 10
Devils Tower, WY 82714

Please follow these guidelines:

  • Your name must not appear anywhere on the manuscript. Include a cover sheet, listing genre, title of work, your name, address, phone number, and a one-paragraph bio. Manuscripts will not be returned.
  • Entries must be postmarked by April 1, 2008. Applicants must be United States citizens or permanent U.S. residents to be eligible. Winners may not reapply for a 5-year period.
    Writing may have been previously published but must be retyped to conform to manuscript guidelines.
  • Submit one copy of work, typed double-spaced (not 1 ½ spaced) on 16 or 20-pound 8 ½ x 11” white paper. Use 12 pt. Times New Roman font with 1 inch margins. Clean photocopies are acceptable; no carbon copies please.
  • Manuscripts should be no more than 2,500 words, or 10 pages (excess pages will be discarded), of essays, fiction, nonfiction, or poetry. Poems may be single-spaced, one poem to a page.
  • Do not staple manuscripts or use any cover or binder; paper clip pages together.
  • Manuscript pages must be consecutively numbered, starting with page 1. Include genre (For example: poetry, fiction, nonfiction, creative non-fiction, children’s fiction, children’s nonfiction or children’s poetry), and title of work on each page.
  • Do not send supplementary materials, such as photos or illustrations.

Notification to winners will be postmarked by May 15, 2008.

Winners must contribute to the Tower Story Box, answering the question “What does the Tower mean to you?” Writings must be received by February 28, 2009. The second $50 payment will be sent upon receipt of story box contribution.

If you wish to receive an announcement of winners, enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Receipt of your manuscript will be acknowledged if you enclose a self-addressed stamped postcard.

Each entry goes through three stages of judging, using the following criteria: clarity of message or theme; technical merit/grammar, composition, etc.: style/language skills/grace of language; creativity/originality; overall like/dislike/gut reaction.

FMI: Christine Czazasty at 307-467-5283 ext. 224

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Allen Toussaint performs Nov. 16 at UW

From a UW press release:

New Orleans R&B legend Allen Toussaint will perform Friday, Nov. 16, in the finale of the University of Wyoming Cultural Programs' fall concert series.

Toussaint's concert begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center concert hall. Tickets cost $20 for the public and $16 for students and senior citizens. Tickets are available by calling the Fine Arts Center box office at (307) 766-6666 or at the Web site

A producer, songwriter, pianist and vocalist, Toussaint (shown above with Paul Shaffer during an NBC "Tonight Show" appearance in September 2005) has written music for, among others, The Rolling Stones, Robert Palmer, Otis Redding, Al Hirt, Lee Dorsey and the Pointer Sisters, Harry Connick Jr., and Elvis Costello.

The Cultural Programs' spring concert series, which includes five performances, begins Jan. 25 with the Belcea String Quartet, from London's Royal Academy of Music.

Heads' up for "Bottoms Up"

Open auditions will be held for the play "Bottoms Up!" on Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 12-13, at the Mary Godfrey Playhouse, 2706 E. Pershing Blvd., home of the Cheyenne Little Theatre Players. Roles are available for three women and six men. Rehearsals begin Nov. 14 at 6:30 p.m. and performances will be held Jan. 11-13 and 17-20, 2008.

The play, described as "a hilarious farce set in a Caribbean hotel," was written by Gregg Kreutz and will be directed locally by Jeff Miller.

For script and more info, call 307-638-6543.

"Sound" residencies in Seattle

Jack Straw Productions’ Artist Residency Programs offer artists in various disciplines the opportunity to explore the creative use of sound through residencies at their headquarters in Seattle. The organization offers distinct residencies for visual artists, media artists, and writers; all three have the same deadline of Nov. 16. Travel and lodging expenses are the responsibility of the artist. For complete information on the program and how to apply, visit (listing from the New York Foundation for the Arts web site).

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

REMINDER: Thursday Thermop reception

A reception will be held in Thermopolis for the Wyoming Arts Council board on Thursday, Nov. 8, 7-9 p.m., in the Ralph Witters Elementary School commons area. Thermopolis will be showcasing local and Big Horn Basin artists, including many young people. This event is free and open to the public.

The WAC board will hold its quarterly meeting on Nov. 8-9 at the Holiday Inn in Hot Springs State Park in Thermopolis. The public comment session will be held there on Thursday at 4 p.m.

FMI: WAC at 307-777-7742.

November Craft Shows in Cheyenne

November 9-10--Needles and Nail Craft Show at 1608 Madison Ave. Crafts, furniture and antiques and collectibles. Call Betty at (307) 634-7587.

November 9-10--Cheyenne Craft Club Craft Show at 1st United Methodist Church, 108 E. 18th st. Handmade crafts, lunch with soup, sandwiches and pie. Call Yvonne Peterson at (307) 631- 4324

November 9-10--Winterfest Craft Sale at Knights of Columbus, 507 W. 28th St. Crafts and bake sale. Friday hours are 9:00-6:00, Saturday hours are 9:00-3:00.

November 10--Golden Harvest Bazaar at Holy Trinity Church, 1836 Hot Springs. Craft items, baked goods and jellies. Lunch available. 9:00-1:00. Call Sue Mulvaney at (307) 634-2823.

November 10--VFW 1881 Craft Show at 2816 E. 7th St. 9:00 -3:00. Call Connie at (307) 634-0257 or Hazel at (307) 635-4931.

November 17--St. Christopher's Episcopal Church Craft Sale at 2602 Deming Blvd. Crafts, lunch baked goods. 9:00-3:00. Call Dolores Dionne at (307) 634-2717.

November 17--Santa and Mrs. Claus in the Depot Lobby from 4:00-6:00. Call Pam at (307) 632-3905.

November 17-18 and 23-25--Sugar Plum Lane Gift Shop in the Depot Lobby. Saturday from 9:00-7:30. Sunday from 11:00-5:00. Call Marla Lewis at (307) 631-8012.

November 23-24--Cheyenne Christmas Parade, Craft Show & Concert. Concert is free--Lights and Sounds of Christmas takes place at the Cheyenne Civic Center at 7:00 p.m. Parade is on Saturday beginning at 5:00 p.m. in downtown Cheyenne. Craft sale takes place Friday and Saturday from 11:00-8:00 at The Plains Hotel. Call Marie Crader at (307) 638-0151 or Lisa at (307) 778-8626.

November 23-25--Depot Gift Shop Christmas Open House in the Depot Lobby. Unique gifts, door prizes and hot cider and cookies. 9:00-5:00. Call Candi at (307) 638-6338.

November 23-25--Christkindlemart at Depot Lobby & Plaza. 9:00-5:00. Call (307) 632-3905.

November 23-December 6--Business Leadership Network's Festival of Trees in the Depot Lobby. 8:00-5:00. VIP reception is November 27 from 5:30-7:00. Call (307) 632-3905.

November 30-December 1--Women's Civic League Christmas House at 726 Oakhurst Dr. Lots of crafts and homemade goodies. $5 per person, 4 years and under, free. Hours are Friday 9:00-7:00, Saturday 9:00-3:00. Call Wendy Owen at (307) 635-7400.

Midori's Orchestra Residencies Program

A longtime champion of music in the lives of young people, violinist Midori established this program to enhance the American youth orchestra experience. Through activities ranging from public concerts, workshops, music advocacy and more, the program seeks to cultivate the connection between a youth orchestra and its local professional orchestra, as well as to improve relationships with visiting artists, orchestra administration and the community-at-large.

The application deadline is February 15, 2008 for a residency in the 2009/2010 season.

Details about past residencies and eligibility requirements can be found online at

FMI or questions, contact Kelly Gehrs, Project Director at

Cheyenne Civic Center presents...

On Thursday, November 8, 2007 at 7:00 p.m., Laramie County Community College presents FREEDOM SINGS which takes a look at the First Amendment. Audiences are invited to take a fresh look at the First Amendment in this entertaining and irreverent and inspirational program that is packed with live music, video and graphics. It features hit songwriters and Grammy Award winners devoted to sharing the power, passions and poetry of music.

The Christmas Parade Concert is on Friday, November 23, 2007 at 7:00 p.m.

On November 30, 2007 at 7:30 p.m., The Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra presents a free Christmas concert, "A Sacred Christmas."

Call the box office to reserve tickets at (307) 637-6363. Box office hours are 10:00-5:00 Monday through Friday. Website is

The William F. Cody that nobody knew

History Professor and author Robert E. Bonner will be at the Wyoming State Museum at 11:30 a.m., November 8, to present a lunchtime lecture and sign his new book, William F. Cody's Wyoming Empire: The Buffalo Bill Nobody Knows.

The book chronicles Cody's accomplishments as land developer and town promoter. Bonner examines Cody's efforts as president of the Shoshone Irrigation Company to develop the Big Horn Basin through large-scale irrigation and town development. This meticulously researched account shows a Buffalo Bill preoccupied with making a buck and not at all shy about using his fame to do it.

Cody spent huge sums of money, bullied partners, patronized state officials and exercises his charm in pursuit of developing the high plains east of Yellowstone National Park. His efforts helped shape the city of Cody and the big Horn Basin.

With the famous Irma Hotel as a cornerstone, he built the first infrastructure of the Cody-Yellowstone tourist trade and connected his little Wyoming town with the wealth of the East through personal hospitality and travel. Bonner's book features engaging anecdotes and more than 20 photographs.

Bonner is professor emeritus at Carleton College, Northfield, Minn. His numerous articles have appeared in such journals as the Western Historical Quarterly and Montana, The Magazine of Western History.

The Wyoming State Museum is located in the Barrett Building, 2301 Central Avenue in Cheyenne. For more information about this and other Wyoming State Museum programs, please call 777-7022.

Wyoming photogs meet UW Symphony

Dean Petersen, videographer for State Parks and Cultural Resources, assembled a presentation for our recent Arts Summit that features photos by Wyoming artists set to music by the University of Wyoming Symphony Orchestra. The music composition is Wind River. Here's a description from the Summit program:

Wind River was commissioned by the UW Symphony Orchestra for the celebration of the new millennium in 2000, and was first performed in Laramie in April 2001. “Since the piece was inspired by Wyoming, premiered by a Wyoming Orchestra, and commissioned by the Wyoming Arts Council and other Wyoming groups, it is the perfect piece for this wonderful event,” says Michael Griffith who invited Joseph Curiale to compose this work.

Curiale remembers, “The thought of paying honor to both the majesty and power of Wyoming’s beauty and the enduring spirit of its people really touched my heart.....I made many trips to Wyoming and one to the Wind River mountains feel the wind, to breathe the air, and to experience oneness with this monumental beautiful temple of the earth.”

Wind River was composed in Santa Ynez, California and is dedicated to Michael Griffith.

Click on this link to the video, sit back, and enjoy your own private WYO:

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Explore the world at Jackson event

"Light at the Edge of the World: A Journey through the Realm of Vanishing Cultures"

December 1, 7:30 p.m., Center Theater, Jackson Hole Center for the Arts, 265 S. Cache Street, Jackson. Tickets are $15, plus service fee.

Center of Wonder presents author, anthropologist and botanical explorer Wade Davis, National Geographic Society explorer-in-residence. Journey with the jaguar shaman of the Amazon and visit the living dead of Vodoun of Haite. Also, bestselling author and explorer, Broughton Coburn will preview the discoveries that he and his team made in remote cave near the Tibetan border containing 13th century wall paintings and ancient texts. A portion of proceeds from this event will benefit the American Himalayan Foundation.

London: From Laramie to Cheyenne

RoseMarie London from Laramie, author of "The Search for an Inappropriate Man," will be the visiting author at the Cheyenne Family YMCA on Thursday, Nov. 15, 7-8:30 p.m. RoseMarie will talk about her book and take questions from the audience. Book signing to follow. Refreshments served. The event is free and open to the public. You don't have to be a YMCA member to attend!

FMI: Chris Shay, 307-634-9622, ext. 16.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Veteran's Day reading: Stories of women at war, and on the homefront

Teresa Funke will be reading from her two new books on Saturday, Nov. 10, at 5 p.m. at Barnes & Noble Booksellers in Cheyenne. Teresa has devoted her writing life to documenting stories of women at war and on the homefront during the Second World War. "Remember Wake" is the true story of the American men taken prisoner by the Japanese during the Battle of Wake Island and of the women they left behind in Idaho. "Dancing in Combat Boots, and other stories of American women in World War II" are short stories that have been called "poignant and inspiring." Teresa's new book for young readers (ages 8 and up) is "Doing My Part," which documents the wartime contributions of Helen Marshall -- the first in the "Home-Front Heroes" series.

Teresa says that "Saving women's and children's stories, as well as men's stories, from WWII is a passion of mine and I'm hoping people will come Saturday to share their stories with me. I'm also collecting those stories on my website. Check it out. It went live last week and I've already got half a dozen stories up."

During the day Saturday, the writer will be conducting a workshop, "That Book Inside You," at Cheyenne's Nagle-Warren Mansion B&B, 222 East 17th Street. Visit to register.

There will be an article about Teresa and her books in Friday's "What's Up" section in the Wyoming Tribune-Eagle.