Monday, March 31, 2008

Free master class with Doug Kershaw

From a press release:

The University of Northern Colorado is proud to offer Wyoming musicians a FREE master class with Cajun fiddler DOUG KERSHAW on Thursday, April 3 at 7 p.m. The workshop will take place in the LCSD1 Administration Building Auditorium, 2810 House Ave., Cheyenne.

Known to his fans worldwide as "The Ragin’ Cajun," Kershaw is considered to be the king of fiddlers. Many of his peers have said he is the best musician, performer and singer/songwriter to come out of southwest Louisiana.

Kershaw is holding this masterclass in support of "A Classical Cajun Gumbo," his April 5 performance in Greeley, Colo., with the UNC Symphony Orchestra. Kershaw will be joined at the workshop by UNC violin professor, Dr. Richard Fuchs.

All regional music students and teachers, community players and working professional musicians are invited. String players from all music fields are welcome: Cajun, Western, folk fiddling, bluegrass, Celtic and classical music, etc. Fiddlers, violinists, guita rists, banjo and mandolin players are especially encouraged to attend. Individuals, small ensembles and bands will be invited to perform as time allows. The session is "unplugged and acoustic;" no amplification will be allowed. The goal of the class is to improve individual performing skills.

Musicians should bring their own instruments and come ready to perform before their peers. Kershaw will work with both classical and non-classical musicians on technique and musicianship. Fuchs will work with classically trained players. All ages and skill levels are welcome.

String players interested in performing during the workshop are asked to contact Elisabet de Vallee, project coordinator, at E-mails should include name and contact information as well as details such as musical area(s) of interest, instruments and selection to be performed. Every effort will be made to schedule those who express an interest in performing, but no guarantees will be made. Musicians are encouraged to express their interest early.

The masterclass is a working session, not a public performance. The public is encouraged to attend Kershaw’s concert 8 p.m., Saturday, April 5 at the Union Colony Civic Center, 701 10th Ave., in Greeley, Colo. The performance will be an historic occasion for the veteran performer: it is his "orchestral debut" – the first time he has ever performed a full concert of his original music with a symphony orchestra.

For details about "A Classical Cajun Gumbo," Doug Kershaw or Cajun music, log on to A fundraiser for the 25th Annual Western States Honors Orchestra Festival, a 3-day workshop for high school string players to be held at the University of Northern Colorado in November, tickets for "A Classical Cajun Gumbo " are $32, $30 and $25. Student tickets are $15 each. For tickets, call 970-351-2200 or 800-315-ARTS. Concert tickets may be purchased online at

Doug Kershaw’s masterclass in Cheyenne for Wyoming-based musicians is FREE and open to all musicians in the state, regardless of age or skill level. Tickets are not required to attend. For more information, call 771-2105 or write

Friday, March 28, 2008

REMINDER: Artist Roster deadline March 31

Wyoming Arts Council Grants Manager Karen Merklin posts a reminder that the postmark deadline for applications for the 2008-2009 WAC Artists Roster in Monday, March 31. So, if you're planning on applying, you have four days remaining on the calendar.

She also reminds all roster artists who wish to remain on the 2008-2009 WAC Artist Roster to mail their signed renewal form no later than Monday, March 31. Artists wishing to make changes and/or updates to their bios or photos need to e-mail those changes to Karen by the 3/31/08 deadline.

We will assume that artists who do not return the renewal form are no longer interested in being on next year's roster.

Mail applications and renewals/updates to:
Karen Merklin, Grants Manager
Wyoming Arts Council
2320 Capitol Avenue,
Cheyenne, WY 82002

FMI: 307-777-7743 (voice), 777-5499 (fax) or e-mail

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Music & art mark "Rock Creek Wild" event

The Wyoming Wilderness Association and Sheridan Artists Guild Et Al (SAGE) invite you to participate in the Rock Creek Wild Concert & Art Auction.

Earth Day is in April and as a part of our celebration we are inviting you, your friends and/or class to participate in the Miniature Rock Creek Wild Art Show and Silent Auction. Finished and framed miniature art pieces should be dropped off between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Thursday, April 10, at the center for Vital Community, 171 North St. Sheridan. They will be displayed at a pre-showing the week of April 12-19. On Saturday, April 19, beginning at 6:30 p.m., they will be auctioned off as a part of the Rock Creek Wild Concert and Art Auction. Proceeds from the silent auction will benefit the Wyoming Wilderness Association’s campaign for protecting public wild lands.

The concert at the Elks Lodge will feature Jalan Crossland along with Doug Andrews, Kyle Williams and other local musicians and artists with a passion for the mountains and wild nature.
As a participant in the Miniature Art Show, artists are requested to create artwork in miniature of your own materials and to donate the piece to the Silent Art Auction. The artwork may be 2D or 3D, but we ask you keep it within the dimensions 5" x 7" x 7", and should be ready to hang or display.

Because this is an Earth Day event, artwork should focus on what wilderness or nature mean to you. Some fun suggestions are using recycled materials or materials directly from the earth. Otherwise, artistic freedom is yours. Fun earth-friendly prizes will be awarded to the top three favorite artists, decided by a panel of judges.

If you have any more questions please call Liz Howell at 307-672-2751 Wyoming Wilderness Association or email her at

Neil Hansen appointed to WAC board

We're pleased to announce that Neil Hansen of Powell has been appointed to the Wyoming Arts Council board by Governor Dave Freudenthal. Hansen replaces Sally Rogers of Jackson, who resigned earlier this year.

Hansen is a dedicated arts educator, mentoring music students at Northwest College in Powell since 1982. He teaches hundreds of Big Horn Basin secondary school students each June at the Yellowstone Summer Music Camp in Powell and at the Yellowstone Jazz Camp each July in the mountains above Cody.

Hansen founded the annual Northwest Jazz Festival, celebrating its 25th year, which has featured jazz legends such as Maynard Ferguson and Benny Carter. He later launched the Yellowstone Jazz Festival with a full slate of concerts every summer in Powell and Cody.

He has received numerous awards, including a 2007 Wyoming Governor’s Arts Award, Music Educator of the Year in 2000 and 2004 from the North Big Horn Basin Music Educators, and "jazz educator" honors at Iowa’s Jim Coffin Jazz Festival. He was keynote speaker for the 2005 Texas Association of Music Schools Conference.

When Hansen isn’t teaching, he plays the trumpet with local and regional bands and orchestras.

As noted in Hansen’s Governor’s Arts Award proclamation in February: "His passion for music education and performance has had a valuable impact on the Big Horn Basin, the State of Wyoming and the region."

Brush up on your Impressionists at AVA

UW creative writing prof publishes, receives fellowship

Craig Arnold, University of Wyoming creative writing professor, performs two passages from "Asunder," a poem that he says "makes the sound of a heart being dropped and broken." The poem appears in his second book, Made Flesh, which will be published by Ausable Press in Fall 2008. Arnold, who was recently awarded a Fulbright fellowship to Colombia, is currently working on "a book about volcanoes and the end of the world as we know it." Read more.

The University of Wyoming’s Creative Writing Master of Fine Arts program is an intensive 40-hour studio degree in poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction. Special features include opportunities for interdisciplinary study, supported by a wide range of university departments, and a required professional internship on campus, in the community, or farther afield, ensuring the acquisition or polishing of “real-life” writing skills. The UW MFA program is “where art and practicality meet.”

Serendipity recites The Bard April 26

Ed Warsaw send word that Serendipity Poets will celebrate William Shakespeare's birthday by holding its annual "National Poetry Month" celebration in the Willow Room at the Laramie County Public Library in Cheyenne on Saturday, April 26, 3 p.m.

Ed describes it this way: There will be words and music of original and favorite poems and poetry and quotes from The Bard himself. Along with special readings, we will have coffee, punch, and cake, and an open microphone as well. Tim Stark, president of Serendipity Poets, will be our master of ceremonies with support from our attending members."

"Shakespeare fans and poetry lovers and the general public are all invited to attend and participate in this annual event."

Summer 2008: GTMF celebrates Bernstein

Brochures, fliers and postcards for Wyoming's many summer events are pouring into the WAC office. We plan to feature a summer sampler in the spring issue of the print newsletter, which will be out in mid-May. Meanwhile, we'll try to post as many events on this blog and we can manage.

The Grand Teton Music Festival in Wilson opens it summer season with a tribute, "Bernstein at 90," on Thursday, July 3, and Saturday, July 5. Traditionally, the GTMF opens its season on a Friday but this year the Fourth of July holiday claims that day instead.

Donald Runnicles will conduct and Norman Krieger will be on the piano to celebrate what would have been Leonard Bernstein's 90th birthday. This GTMF concert replicates his final public performance 20 years ago at Tanglewood. Other GTMF summer 2008 programs will invoke "the adventurous spirit of this imaginative composer, conductor, pianist, teacher, humanitarian, thinker, and entertainer."

On the stage at Walk Festival Hall in Teton Village for July 3 and 5:

"Four Sea Interludes," Britten; "Symphony No. 2," Bernstein; and "Symphony No. 7," Beethoven.
FMI: 307-733-1128 or

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Poetry & hip-hop highlight women's issues

From a UW press release:

An evening of hip-hop, poetry and audience interaction, "Two Voices: Gender and Social Justice Through the Prism of Poetry," will be held Saturday, March 29, at 7 p.m. in the University of Wyoming College of Education auditorium as part of Women's History Month.

The event, free and open to the public, is sponsored by the Women's Action Network (WAN). Donations will be accepted to benefit Laramie Reproductive Health.

The evening, which celebrates the connection between art and social justice movements, will feature artists Adrian Molina and Day Acoli. It will also include spoken word poetry that reflects on issues of gender, race and social justice.

New brochures have tips, list programs

The arts council has just received two of our newly redesigned brochures: the Arts Advocacy Tips brochure, a do's and don'ts guide for advocating, and the Wyoming Arts Council overview brochure that lists all of our grant categories, agency programs and opportunities for organizations, schools, and individual artists. If you would like a copy of either of these, contact us as (307) 777-7742 and we'll get one in the mail for you.

Flutist opens Native American Business Expo

Flutist Andrew Vasquez will perform at the opening reception for the eighth annual Native American Business Expo on Wednesday, April 23, 5:30-7 p.m. at the Pronghorn Lodge, 150 E. Main St. in Lander. Tickets for the Expo – which includes the reception – are $75 before April 9 and $90 after. The Expo events will be held on Thursday, April 24, at Wyoming Indian High School in Ethete.

Andrew is a member of Oklahoma's Apache Tribe but also considers Wyoming and the Dakotas as home. He’s married to Myra Weed, a member of the Shoshone tribe of Wyoming’s Wind River Reservation. Andrew was known primarily as a singer and dancer when he toured with the New York-based American Indian Dance Theatre. While on tour in the mid-1980s, he was introduced to the flute and began to fill in as a flutist for rehearsals. He began to develop his own style and, eventually, his own compositions.

For more on Andrew, go to

For registration info on the expo, go to

Reminder: WyoPoets Workshop coming in April

A one-day poetry workshop honoring National Poetry Month featuring poet & artist Dawn Senior-Trask will be presented by WyoPoets, on Saturday, April 19, 2008 at the Hampton Inn,
Casper, Wyoming. Registration is $30 before March 31st and includes a critique of one poem byDawn Trask. After 3/31, the fee will be $35 and does NOT include a critique. All registration fees include refreshments, breaks and lunch.

The workshop will be held at the Hampton Inn, 400 West F St., Casper, WY, 82601, in the conference room. Ph. (307) 235-6668. From I-25 take the Poplar Street Exit. On the north side of the interstate between the Holiday Inn and El Jarro Restaurant, you’ll see the Hampton Inn.

The Hampton Inn is saving a block of rooms for those coming from out of town, at $84/night and this includes breakfast.
Download the BROCHURE (.PDF format)
or send registration: Nancy Gerlock, workshop chair, 736 East 16th Street, Casper WY 82601. Make check payable to WyoPoets.

Wyoming author John Nesbitt chosen as finalist

In an e-mail from John:
I was informed a few days ago that my novel Raven Springs was picked as a Western Writers of America Spur Awards Finalist in the Best Original Mass-Market Paperback category. The novel is the third in a mini-series of crossover western-mysteries I have written about a character named Jimmy Clevis. A library reviewer online called it “an engaging hybrid of the traditional western and a mystery,” while a reviewer in WWA’s Roundup wrote, “As much a mystery novel as a Western, Raven Springs is a delightful read, filled with interesting characters, unique plot twists, red herrings, and a likeable hero.” The Spur awards judges pick one winner and two finalists in each category, so to place on a national level such as this is very good news for me.

In January, I met John for the first time in Torrington. He was one of the talented people I interviewed while I was there to write about the state of the arts in Torrington for the community profile feature in the Winter 2008 issue of the Wyoming Arts Council newsletter, Artscapes. John teaches English classes at Eastern Wyoming College and received a 2008 literary fellowship from the WAC.

Congratulations, John!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Grant funds "Contemporary Dance Concert"

A "Contemporary Dance Concert," funded by a Wyoming Arts Council American Masterpices/New Deal grant, will be held at 7:30 p.m. on March 28 and 29 and April 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 in the Scifers Dance Performance Theatre at Casper College in Casper.

The work was choreographed by Jodi Youmans-Jones.

Visiting prof explores politics of blues music

From a UW press release:

Ulrich Adelt, the University of Wyoming's 2007-08 visiting assistant professor in African American Studies, will lecture Tuesday, April 1, on the politics of blues music.

Adelt's presentation, titled "Just Play the Blues: African-Americans, Afro-Germans, white Germans and the Politics of Primitivism," begins at 6 p.m. in Room 142 of the UW Classroom Building. A reception follows. The event is free and open to the public.

"Professor Adelt's lecture includes components of his research and teaching that focus on the politics of blues music," says Gracie Lawson-Borders, director of African American Studies at UW. "The lecture should afford us an opportunity to hear the social and political discourse surrounding blues music during the folk festival in 1962 and the continuing research on the music's aesthetic and political relevance in the U.S. and abroad."

Adelt's lecture is built around the story of Horst Lippmann, a Jew persecuted by the Nazis, and Fritz Rau, a former member of the Hitler Youth, a pair of white German concert promoters who organized the American Folk Blues Festival in East and West Germany and other European countries in the early 1960s.

Adelt received his M.A. in American studies from the University of Hamburg in Germany in 2000 and his Ph.D. in American studies from the University of Iowa in 2007. He has published articles in the Journal of Popular Music Studies, Popular Music and Society and the Journal of Popular Culture, and is working on a book project tentatively titled "Black, White and Blue: Racial Politics of Blues Music in the 1960s."

For more information, call Carol Robillard at (307) 766-2481 or e-mail

Fuller's new book explores oil patch death

Jackson writer Alexandra Fuller will hit the road May 8 with her new book, The Legend of Colton H. Bryant. On Friday, May 16, she’ll conduct an author’s talk and book signing in Evanston, hometown of the book’s subject. The event will be held at the Uinta County Library, 307 Main St., with a 5:30 p.m. social hour followed by Alexandra’s talk and signing. There will be a dinner at 7 p.m. for ticket holders. For more information, contact Jan Maggard at

Alexandra will be one of the faculty members for the 16th annual Jackson Hole Writers Conference June 26-29 at the Jackson Hole Center for the Arts. She'll be making other appearances in Wyoming -- we'll update you when we get more info.

Kirkus Reviews featured a starred review of the book in its March 15 issue. Here’s an excerpt:

A lyrical paean to an unsung...well, not exactly hero, but one of life’s unsung people. If this book were a country song, it would be by Merle Haggard. Whether British-born Fuller (Scribbling the Cat: Travels with an African Soldier, 2004, etc.) knows from Haggard is a matter of speculation, but what is clear is that she has an unfailing eye for common people caught up in uncommon events. This story of a young Wyomingite named Colton H. Bryant is also that of the oil and gas boom wrought by deregulation in these rapacious years of Bush, “a tragedy before it even starts because there was never a way for anyone to win against all the odds out here.”

Alternately bullied and ignored — “Retard” is a slur-cum-nickname that figures often in these pages — Colton did most of the things a young man in the heavily Mormon southwestern corner of the state is supposed to do: ride and rope, fish and hunt, cruise around in pickup trucks. Moreover, like young men in Evanston, Colton “was born with horses and oil in his blood like his father before him and his grandfather before that and maybe his grandfather’s father before that.” Having endured adolescence thanks to a good friend named Jake and a slightly misquoted creed borrowed from television (“Mind over matter”), Colton followed the second birthright to the oil patch, where he quickly found work as a roughneck, an unforgiving job.

“They have to keep drilling hour-after-hour — storm, heat, sleet, ice, sun — no matter what,” writes Fuller. “They’ll slap another beating heart on the rig to take your place if you’re so much as five minutes late.” Diligent and aware of the dangers, but needing to support a wife and baby, he fell into the well, as so many others have, just one of 35 Wyomingites to die on the rigs between 2000 and 2006. The petroleum company, in the meanwhile, boasted record profits—while Colton’s family “received no compensation for his loss.”

A latter-day Silkwood, quiet and understated, beautifully written, speaking volumes about the priorities of the age.

Register now for Wyoming Writers conference

Register now for the annual Wyoming Writers, Inc., conference June 6-8 at the Holiday Inn on the River in Casper. Register by May 15 for the Early Bird discount of $165 for members and $180 for non-members.

Here are the 2008 conference faculty members:

  • Screenwriting: Robert Ben Garant, screenwriter for A Night at the Museum, and Comedy Central's hit show, Reno911!

  • Poetry: Ray Gonzalez (pictured above), author of 10 books of poetry and former poetry editor of The Bloomsbury Review.

  • Fiction: Masha Hamilton, author of three novels, including two Book Sense picks, Hamilton served as a foreign correspondent for the Associated Press in the Middle East and Moscow.

  • Literary agents: Rita Rosenkranz, founded the Rita Rosenkranz Literary Agency in 1990 after a career as an editor with major New York houses; and Katharine Sands, agent and author of Making the Perfect Pitch: How to Catch a Literary Agent's Eye, a collection of pitching wisdom from leading literary agents.

Read more about this year's conference faculty here.

Get a FREE critique and one-on-one meeting with one of our 2008 conference faculty with your conference registration. Selection is first-come, first-served; six slots per genre will be accepted. Submissions must be postmarked between March 1 and April 10. Critique cost without conference registration is $25. Ray Gonzalez, poetry, will critique a one-page cover letter plus five poems, not to exceed 10 pages total. R. Ben Garant, screenwriter: one-page cover letter plus 20 pages of a screenplay. Masha Hamilton, fiction/nonfiction panelist: one-page cover letter plus 10 pages of prose. Send submissions to: WW Inc. Critique, Jeanne Rogers, P.O. Box 501, Sundance, WY 82729-0501. Please note genre on the envelope.

Are you ready for a literary agent? Bring your proposals and find out what you are doing right, and what needs fixing. Pitch your project to Rita Rosenkranz or Katharine Sands, literary agents looking for good writers marketing good work. Rosenkranz will have 20 one-on-one slots and Sands 15 slots on a first-come, first-served basis, with a sign-up sheet at the registration table.

A limited number of
conference scholarships are available. Application deadline: postmark by April 25, 2008. For more details, contact Scholarship Chair Nancy Wall at 208-238-8079 or

Request a conference brochure from or 307-283-2813.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Heart Mountain seen from a child's p.o.v.

Californian Shigeru Yabu grew up in the Heart Mountain internment camp located between Powell and Cody. Nearly 11,000 Japanese-Americans were held there during World War II. One day, Yabu and his friends, armed with homemade slingshots, shot a magpie next out of a tree. They found a chick inside, and Yabu brought it back to the barracks. He raised it as a pet, named it Maggie, and taught it to mimic "Hello Maggie”

"The bird not only meant a lot to me, but also to my parents and a lot of other folks, people that came and visited. It gave a lot of people a lot of hope," said Yabu in a story by Ruffin Prevost in today’s Billings Gazette.

A few years ago, Tabo began to transform his childhood memories into a book. To illustrate it, he asked a friend and former Disney animator, Willie Ito. Ito was interned during World War II in Topaz, Utah.

“Hello Maggie!” was published last year, the first project of the duo’s imprint, Yabitoon Books.

Yabu is a director of the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation, a group working to finance and build a $5.5 million learning center at the site of the internment camp. He is donating proceeds of the book to the facility.

"A center like that could educate so many people. It's a way of learning from our mistakes so it won't happen again," Yabu told the Billings Gazette.

You can purchase a copy of “Hello Maggie!” from your local bookstore or from the Japanese American Heritage Source web site.

On WAC web site: "Art of the Egg"

Easter is officially over, but the Wyoming Arts Council is just getting started with its display of egg art.

To view photos of the 33 eggs submitted by eggcellent Wyoming artists for the WAC's "Eggstraordinary Eggxhibit, " go to the on-line display at One of these eggs will be selected for the 2009 White House Easter Egg Contest, co-sponsored by the National Egg Board. Wyoming's 2008 winner was designed by Jules Webb of Cheyenne.

FMI: Call the WAC in Cheyenne at 307-777-7742.

PHOTO: "Moose" by BJ Durr of Wheatland

Janet Ahlquist performs April 6 in Casper

Janet Ahlquist, recipient of a 1998 Wyoming Governor's Arts Award, will perform on Sunday, April 6, 4 p.m., at the First United Methodist Church in Casper.

Here's additional information from the ARTCORE web site about Janet and her performance:

Janet Ahlquist has performed in numerous solo and chamber music recitals in such venues as Lincoln Center, Carnegie Recital Hall, Library of Congress, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Rockefeller Mansion, and the French Embassy. Internationally, she has performed in Russia, Norway, France, and Portugal.

Ahlquist is an adjunct faculty member at Immaculata University, performs as a soloist, and frequently joins musicians of the Bryn Mawr Chamber Music Society. She recently presented lecture-recitals at Temple University and Duquesne University. She performed to a standing-room only crowd in a concert sponsored by Steinway of New York and Philadelphia.

For the twenty-fifth birthday of the Casper Chamber Music Society, for which Janet Ahlquist was the artistic director for ten years, she looks forward to collaborating with local musicians for the Beethoven Piano Quintet in E-Flat and to performing Chopin's Twenty-four Preludes. She performed them at the French Embassy with the resulting review, "A large audience at the French Embassy in Washington D.C. was thrilled by Ahlquist's sensitive, brilliant performance of Chopin's 24 Preludes." She is performing and recording them Sept. 21 at Immaculata University, and they will be on a new CD with Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue with the Symphony and the Gershwin 3 Preludes. She is also playing Rachmaninoff for the Scriabin Society of America in New York City at Steinway Hall in October.

Get Tickets

"Poet Lariat" & Michael Hurwitz in Alta

From a press release:

The Teton County Alta Branch Library presents "The Alta Cowboy Jamboree," an evening of music and poetry at 7 p.m. Friday, April 4, at the Alta Elementary Gym.

This family-style entertainment begins with music by Pop Wagner and Michael Hurwitz and the Aimless Drifters. The cowboy music will be interspersed with original and classic cowboy poetry from local poets. The Friends of Alta Branch Library will further sweeten the evening by serving Dutch oven apple cobbler, ice cream and coffee or tea. The event is free and open to the public, and suitable for families with kids of all ages.

"Cowboy music is the highlight of our little Jamboree, this year, with a performance by Pop Wagner of Prairie Home Companion fame," said Gretchen Notzold, Alta Branch Library Manager. "He is not just a musician but literally a poet-lariat. You should see him twirl that rope while he poetizes!"

Wagner's cowboy anthems crackle with the warmth of a prairie campfire and his old-time fiddle tunes set toes a tappin' while he serves up spellbinding rope tricks and tall stories, all with a good dose of friendly humor.

Wagner also will be performing at local schools in the community and at the Teton County Library in Jackson at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 3. Michael Hurwitz and the Aimless Drifters, a local cowboy band gaining national attention, will perform original songs from Hurwitz's most recent CD, "Cowboy Fandango," as well as other CDs.

"Pop and I are old friends and we're both looking forward to playing together again," said Hurwitz, who's a Wyoming Arts Council roster artist.

Hurwitz provides a sometimes edgy and always interesting ride, according to Notzold. His songs are peopled by a cast of characters as diverse as the landscape they inhabit from the prairies, mountains and plains of Wyoming to the ranches, dance-halls and honky-tonks. There are cowboys and cowgirls, outlaws and bankers, bartenders and beauty queens, quirky horses, dancing badgers, ghosts and aliens.

Hurwitz's "Cowboy Fandango" was chosen as one of the top 20 country and bluegrass albums of 2007 by Jerome Clark, country and bluegrass editor of the roots music website

For information on the upcoming jamboree, contact the Alta Branch Library at 307-353-2505 or visit online at The Alta School Elementary Gym is located in the Alta Elementary School, 15 Alta School Road, off Ski Hill Road in Alta.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

"Debauchery" in March at Center for the Arts

Each month, artists bring their inspired creations from the prior month's theme to discuss and display on the third floor of the Center for the Arts in downtown Jackson. Artists and non-artists of all media and genres -- painters, poets, pros and putterers -- are welcome, as are newcomers. This month, artists are addressing "Debauchery and Art."

It will be held Friday, March 28, 6 p.m.-whenever. Free and open to the public.

FMI: Contact Amy Larkin at the Art Association at (307) 733-6379 or

Missoula Children's Theatre returns

The Missoula Children's Theatre returns to Pinedale with the classic fairy-tale Cinderella April 29-May 3. Sponsored by the Pinedale Fine Arts Council. Pinedale students K-12 grades will compose the cast which will perform two shows.

Here's the schedule:

April 28: Pinedale auditions at 3:30 p.m. in the Wrangler Gym.
April 29-May 2: Pinedale rehearsals at 3:30 p.m. in the Wrangler Gym.
May 2: Evening performance at 7:30 p.m. in Wrangler Gym.
May 3: Afternoon matinee performance 1 p.m. in the Wrangler Gym.

FMI: 307-367-7322.

Friday, March 14, 2008

WAC bloggers take time off

Posts on this blog will be intermittent, possibly nonexistent, March 15-23. The wyomingarts blogmeisters will be out of the office, possibly on vacation, and away from most electronic communication devices during this time.

See you March 24.

For WAC info, call 307-777-7742.

Camerata Ireland at UW March 27

On Thursday, March 27, 7:30 p.m., University of Wyoming Cultural Programs presents Camerata Ireland, chamber orchestra, Fine Arts Center concert hall in Laramie. Tickets cost $25 for general admission and $18 for students and senior citizens.

Call (307) 766-5000 for updates on UW events and activities or go to

Gwen Barstad leads pre-K art classes

Who's Who in American Artists now online

The launch of Who's Who in American Art's Artists' Gallery website is now complete!

The Artists' Gallery showcases the work of hundreds of artists listed in Who's Who in American Art, one of the Marquis Who's Who family of publications which features the biographies of the country's most prominent artists. First published in December as a glossy, full-color section in the 2008 (28th) Edition of Who's Who in American Art, the Artists' Gallery is now also an interactive online gallery that is available to the public, free of charge.

Be one of the first to view this impressive collection by visiting
We are very excited about this initial launch of the gallery, and plan to expand it later this year by adding the work of many new artists.

In addition to Who's Who in American Art, Marquis Who's Who publishes The Official Museum Directory and the American Art Directory under sister division, National Register Publishing. The Who's Who in American Art biographical database is also available online to libraries and research institutions around the world. Click here for more information:
If you have any questions or suggestions regarding the Artists' Gallery, call Marketing director Michael Noerr at 1-800-473-7020 ext.1037 or by email at

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Shepard Symposium announces schedule

From a UW press release:

The 12th annual Shepard Symposium on Social Justice, "Life at the Margins: Gender, Race and Class in the Global Era," will be held March 25-28, at the University of Wyoming.

The Shepard Symposium has grown from a local grassroots event to a nationally-recognized conference, says one of the event's organizers. Originally named "The Symposium for the Eradication of Social Inequality," the event honors the work of the Shepard family and the memory of their son, Matthew Shepard, a UW student who was murdered in 1998. The symposium steering committee unanimously agreed to change the name to the Shepard Symposium for Social Justice to honor his memory.

This year's symposium keynote speaker is Barbara Martinez Jitner, a nationally-known writer and director who will give a free public talk Thursday, March 27, at 7 p.m., in the College of Arts and Sciences auditorium. She is an executive producer of "American Family," a series that made history as the first Latino family drama on broadcast television when it debuted on PBS in January 2002. As president of El Norte Productions, Jitner is now developing several feature films for Gregory Nava, including Nava's "Bordertown," "Zapata" for Disney, and "Tattooed Soldier" for HBO.

Martinez Jitner began her career as an award-winning director of commercials and documentaries, and produced the Showtime millennium documentary, "An American Tapestry." She is the inspiration behind the coming Jennifer Lopez film, "Bordertown," based on her research of the Mexican town of Juarez, where more than 400 women have been murdered.

A variety of concurrent sessions will be held throughout the symposium. For a list of complete event and registration information, visit the symposium's Web site at

Among other highlights of the four-day event are:

  • Wednesday, March 26, 7-10 p.m., in the Wyoming Union Ballroom -- A hip hop event featuring Adrian Molina, Flobots and student performances. Visit for more information.
  • Friday, March 28, 5:30 p.m., in the Wyoming Union ballroom -- Cesar Chavez Dinner.
  • Saturday, March 29, noon and 7 p.m. and Sunday, March 30, 10 a.m., in the UW Fieldhouse -- UW Keeper of the Fire Spring Powwow.

For more information, contact Kate Welsh, Shepard Symposium chairman, at (307) 766-2013 or e-mail

Intertribal Center to house cultural artifacts

From a press release:

Gov. Dave Freudenthal signed House Bill 67 Tuesday that provides Central Wyoming College in Riverton an additional $1.1 million toward the construction of its Intertribal Education and Community Center.

Architectural plans envision a structure in the shape of a tribal drum (see artist's rendering above).

Introduced by the House Select Committee on Tribal Relations, the appropriation bill was approved by both the House and Senate chambers of the Wyoming Legislature. It allows the college to move forward on construction of the 13,920 foot facility that will eventually house a number of CWC academic programs, the college's collection of Native American art and artifacts as well as the Outreach Center for the University of Wyoming.

Recently, U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi was on the CWC campus to announce a $420,000 appropriation for the Intertribal Center, which is on top of a $1 million federal appropriation he secured for the center's construction through the Department of Housing and Urban Development two years ago.

"The college has been actively working toward establishment of the Intertribal Center for the past eight years," said CWC President Jo Anne McFarland, noting the college has received more than $600,000 in private donations toward the project, including a recent pledge of $25,000 from the Eastern Shoshone tribes. The University of Wyoming is contributing another $1.1 million toward the construction to move its outreach offices from across the highway from the CWC campus into the Intertribal Center.

"This exciting higher educational partnership will allow UW to expand its outreach presence, visibility, and access in Fremont County and tie the university closer to CWC," she said. "This makes sharing of space a very appropriate use of space and better use of scarce state resources. But even more important is the increased access to UW courses and programs for our students, many of whom transfer to UW, as well as the synergy and joint programming that we expect will come through this enhanced partnership with UW."

With the appropriation from the state, CWC expects to break ground in the spring of 2009. "The Intertribal Center will be a tribute to the historical significance of the Native American culture to our state and Fremont County, but it will also be a place where natives and non-natives alike can work together for a better collective future," said President McFarland.

The college is proposing to build the center on a site west of the Arts Center that would be highly visible from U.S. Highway 26.

Author & artist Teresa Jordan visits CWC

Teresa Jordan, who was raised on a cattle ranch near Chugwater and has written or edited many books about rural life in the West, will be speaking at the Central Wyoming College Library in Riverton on Thursday, April 10.

Here's info on the visit from the CWC web site:

Jordan, the author of the acclaimed memoir "Riding the White Horse Home" and the classic study of women on ranches and in the rodeo, "Cowgirls: Women of the American West," gives a free public presentation in the Little Theatre, located in the Student Center, at 6:30 p.m. Following the address, there will be a reception and the author will sign copies of her book.

When Jordan turned 50 she realized that if she were ever to learn a second language, she needed to start. She enrolled in an immersion program in Argentina and threw herself into the culture, where she often found herself center stage in a comedy of errors born of mangled words and missed connections.

Her upcoming book: "Learning the Language: My Extraterrestrial Taxista and Other Mid-life Adventures in Spanish" is the subject of her presentation.

"Learning the Language" is a cultural memoir in the tradition of Peter Mayle's "A Year in Provence," where Jordan weaves personal stories around meditations on broader topics such as language acquisition, the aging brain, and the intense desire of humankind to communicate across barriers of language and culture.

The author, raised in the Iron Mountain country of southeast Wyoming, is the recipient of the Western Heritage Award from the Cowboy Hall of Fame for scriptwriting. She also won a literary fellowship from the National Endowment of the Arts as well as many other literary awards. Her most recent book is "Fieldnotes from Yosemite," the second volume in her series of "Sketchbook Expeditions."

After 20 years as an author, Teresa Jordan turned to visual art as part of a "mid-life expansion." She has had one- and two-woman shows in Salt Lake City at both the Phillips Gallery and Finch Lane Gallery, at the University of Denver, and at the Lewis and Clark Center for the Arts and History in Lewistown, Idaho, and has exhibited in group shows in several Western states.

A frequent public speaker, Teresa has presented keynote addresses to such various organizations and conferences as the Oregon School of Arts and Crafts, the Fife Folklore Conference, the Center of the American West, and the Rocky Mountain Book Publisher's Association. She has served as writer in residence at the University of Nebraska and the University of Utah, and has taught writing at colleges, universities, and workshops throughout the West.

Teresa and her husband, folklorist and public radio producer Hal Cannon, live in Salt Lake City.

FMI: Call the library at 307-855-2141.

Upcoming Arts Council deadlines

Here's a list of key postmark deadline dates for various Wyoming Arts Council programs. You'll note that the deadline for the Grants to Organizations category is this Saturday. Better get busy if you're applying in GTO.

Here are the dates:

March 15: GTO grant deadline

March 31: Application deadline for Artist Roster

April 7: Community Arts Partners deadline

April 30: Visual Arts Fellowships deadline

May 15: Deadline to apply for events happening before June 30 in Arts Access, Folk Arts and Technology in the Arts

June 10: Deadline for Open Door and Arts Across Wyoming grants for projects ending June 30

For more info: Call the WAC at 307-777-7742 or go to the web site at

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Sheridan band concert March 16

The Sheridan College Music Department is presenting a mid-semester band concert featuring the Community/College Jazz and Symphonic Bands under the direction of Dr. David Knutson on Sunday, March 16 at 7 p.m. in the Sue Henry Theater at Sheridan High School.

The jazz band will begin the evening with six selections including a Dave Barduhn arrangement (featuring the saxophones) of Jerome Richardson’s “Groove Merchant,” Dave Wolpe’s arrangement of “How High the Moon” by Morgan Lewis which features the trombone section, and Mark Taylor’s trumpet section feature “Brass Machine.” Gary Mcknight will also be a featured soloist on tenor saxophone as he performs a Mark Taylor arrangement of Jerome Kern’s “Yesterdays.”

After a brief intermission, the symphonic band will take the stage and perform four challenging works including W. Francis McBeth’s “Masque,” the three-movement “Incidental Suite” by Claude T. Smith, and a relatively new work by Brian Balmages aptly titled “When Spirits Soar.” The concert is free to the public.

FMI: Dr. Knutson at 307-674-6446, ext. 3009.


We recorded the finals of the Wyoming Poetry Out Loud competition March 10 in Cheyenne. To listen to a podcast of the event, go to

The Ragin' Cajun is coming to Northern Colorado

A pops benefit concert to raise money for the University of Northern Colorado's 25th annual Western States Honors Orchestra Festival, featuring DOUG KERSHAW, the Ragin' Cajun, and the UNC Symphony, will take place Saturday, April 5, 2008 at 8:00 p.m. in the Union Colony Civic Center, 701 10th Ave., Greeley.

The Western States Honors Orchestra Festival (or Weekend for Strings) brings top high school string players from across the Rocky Mountain West to UNC for three days of intense training, workshops and music-making. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the festival's founding. This year's festival will be held in early November. Cajun fiddler Doug Kershaw got wind of all this and offered to help UNC raise money by performing with the orchestra. He's been enormously successful in his career, but most people don't know Kershaw can't read or write music. He's totally self taught! And he plays more than 25 instruments! His interest in learning how to read and write music is what brought him to UNC.

Various professors are teaching him the basics; in return, he's making his ORCHESTRAL DEBUT, so more money can be raised for the fall's WSHOF. His top hits will be performed -- titles that include songs everybody knows (but maybe didn't realize he wrote) like "Jambalaya," "Battle of New Orleans," and "Orange Blossom Special," (the only tune they are doing that he didn't write).
Tickets, available through UNC's box office as well as Union Colony, are $32, $30 & $25. Student tickets are $16, $15 and $12.50. Group rates are available. Visit or for concert details and for tickets. It promises to be a great concert.

Fry Street Quartet in Evanston April 4

On Friday, April 4, 7 p.m., the Fry Street Quartet will perform at Davis Middle School in Evanston.

This classical string quartet has perfected a "blend of technical precision and scorching spontaneity.” The group won the Millennium Grand Prize at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, and has performed from Carnegie Hall to Sarajevo to Jerusalem.

The Fry Street Quartet will present an after-school workshop for orchestral strings students on Friday afternoon at 4 p.m.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Poetry track added to Jackson Conference

The Jackson Hole Writers Conference has added a poetry track to its June 26-29 event at the Arts Center in Jackson.

Christopher Merrill, one of the most respected poets and teachers in the U.S., "will add a wonderful dimension to an already great conference,” said JHWC co-coordinator Tim Sandlin. Local cowboy poet David Kornblum is sponsoring the new poetry track.

Merrill has published four collections of poetry, including “Brilliant Water” and “Watch Fire,” for which he received the Peter I. B. Lavan Younger Poets Award from the Academy of American Poets; translations of Aleš Debeljak’s “Anxious Moments” and “The City and the Child”; several edited volumes, among them “The Forgotten Language: Contemporary Poets and Nature” and “From the Faraway Nearby: Georgia O’Keeffe as Icon;" and four books of nonfiction. He directs the International Writing Program at The University of Iowa.

Other poets joining the faculty this year are Leah Shlachter. whose poetry has appeared in “The Owen Wister Review,” “Bamboo Ridge” and the Jackson Hole News and Guide; and Cecily Parks, author of “Field Folly Snow,” soon to be published by the University of Georgia Press, and “Cold Work,” winner the 2005 Poetry Society of America New York Chapbook Fellowship. Parks' work also has appeared in “Best New Poets 2007.”


Centennial Singers perform March 15

From a UW press release:

The University of Wyoming singing group, The Centennial Singers, will perform Saturday, March 15, at 7:30 p.m., in the College of Arts and Sciences auditorium. Tickets cost $8 for adults and $5 for students, senior citizens and children under 17.

The Centennial Singers will present director Patrick Newell's original show, "Good Beginnings, Happy Endings." The two-part production is choreographed by General McArthur Hambrick and costumed by Carol Baalman.

This year's Centennial Singers include Bridger Bailey, J.P. Jaramillo, Anne Mason and Tiffany Young, all of Laramie; Rebecca Diamond of Winter Park, Colo.; Kyli Hale of Afton; Erin Hamel of Green River; Christian Munck and Kayla O'Keefe, both of Helena, Mont.; Veronica Olson of Pittsburgh, Pa.; Nathan Owen of Cheyenne; Matt Sanderson of Scottsbluff, Neb.; Zach Taylor of Aurora, Colo.; Sarah Thomas of Southlake, Texas; Bart Ulbrich of Bayard, Neb.; and Nicholas Wineman of Cut Bank, Mont.

Great Gray Owl featured in stamp art contest

The opening reception for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department's 25th annual Wyoming Conservation Stamp Art Competition, Sale and Art Show will be on Friday, March 14, in the Wyoming State Museum, 2301 Central Ave., Cheyenne. The reception begins at 5 p.m. in the museum lobby, followed at 6 with the awards ceremony and artwork sales. The event is free and open to the public.

The theme for this year is the Great Gray Owl (strix nebulosa)

Entries will remain on display and for sale through April 19.


Final weekend for Stage III Theatre comedy

This is the final weekend for the Stage III Community Theatre’s production of "The Voice of the Prairie," a comedy by John Olive. The play follows David Quinn, a quiet farmer in the Nebraska Sandhills who is coaxed into telling a story on the air by a traveling radio salesman. Soon he becomes a national sensation. David’s stories are about his childhood as a hobo, traveling first with his Poppy (“the worst confidence man in the USA”), then with a fearless runaway blind girl named Frankie.

Stage III’s production is directed by Pat Greiner, assisted by Phil Brown. The cast includes Will Wallace as Davey Quinn, Dob Wallace as the grown-up David Quinn, Jeffrey Dodson as Leon Schwab, Pat Turner Pulitzer as Frances Reed, Kayla Albertson as Frankie, Dennis Rollins as Frankie’s Father and James, Jeff Steele as Poppy, Kelly Delap as Susie, Walter Hawn as the Watermelon Man and the News Vendor, PJ Rose as the Jailor, and Abigail Schneider and Nathan Brown as townspeople.

"The Voice of the Prairie" is sponsored by Hilltop National Bank and produced with support from the Wyoming Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. Performances are March 13, 14 and 15 at 7:30 p.m. at Stage III, 900 North Center Street. Tickets are $12 for adults, $8 for seniors and full-time students; available in advance at Grant Street Grocery, Metro Coffee Company, and the Cadillac Cowgirl. Group rates are available upon request; call the theatre at 234-0946.

Laramie Artists Project meets March 13

The Laramie Artists Project's next meeting will be on Thursday, March 13, 7 p.m. at Dan Hayward’s studio in the Civic Center (Room 278) in Laramie. Come in the door on the northwest side of the building on 7th St. off Garfield and go upstairs and then go straight to the office.


Buffalo student is Poetry Out Loud winner

Photo by Gary Schoene, Wyoming State Parks and Cultural Resources

Caila Booth (shown above at left with her mother), a senior at Buffalo High School, was named winner of the 2008 Wyoming Poetry Out Loud competition today in Cheyenne. At the awards ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda, she was presented a certificate and $200 by Wyoming State Auditor Rita Meyer and State Parks and Cultural Resources Director Milward Simpson. Caila's school will receive a $500 stipend to purchase poetry books for its library. She will travel to Washington, D.C., April 27-29 to represent Wyoming in the national Poetry Out Loud finals.

The contest's runner-up was Carey Junior High ninth-grader Xon Adams. He received a certificate and $100; his school library will receive a stipend to buy $200 in poetry books.

The competition was held Monday evening at the Historic Plains Hotel. Other performers were Thomas Wells from Star Valley High School in Afton, Danielle Then from Guernsey-Sunrise High School, Tom Powers from Cheyenne East, and Sienna White from Cody High School.

Judges were performer and playwright Bob Berky of Jackson, cowboy poet and state legislator Sue Wallis from Recluse, and Damien Kortum of Cheyenne, who teaches composition and creative writing at Laramie County Community College. Accuracy judge was Marcia Dunsmore of Four Corners, who also directs Poetry Out Loud for the Arts Council.

This is the second year in a row that a student from Buffalo has won the Wyoming contest.

Poetry Out Loud is co-sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. The Wyoming Arts Council is the state sponsor. If your school is interested in competing in the program's next round, contact the WAC's Mike Shay at 307-777-5234.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Cheyenne artist's egg wins state competition

The Wyoming Arts Council sponsored a contest to select the Wyoming egg for the National Egg Board's White House event. An artistic egg by a Cheyenne resident won the competition. The 33 artistic eggs submitted for the 2009 competition are now on display at the WAC in downtown Cheyenne. Legislators voted on their selections during the recent session. We'll have those results in April.

Today's Wyoming Tribune-Eagle had a feature on the 2008 winner. Here are some excerpts:

Jules Webb, a Cheyenne egg artist, won the state's competition and traveled to Washington, D.C. this past weekend for a little schmoozing with the first lady and other egg artists from around the country.

Last year, the egg that was chosen to represent Wyoming was actually decorated by someone from Illinois. "It was really sad," Webb said of the injustice, adding that last year's egg art was painfully lacking in, well, artistry.

So this year, Wyoming egg artists wouldn't let themselves be overshadowed again. The Wyoming Arts Council put out a call for entries and required that the artists be Wyoming residents.

The first lady of Wyoming, Nancy Freudenthal, chose the winning egg, which was decorated with a Wyoming theme: earth tones, mountains, fish, deer and the sun, Webb said.

"I was surprised," Webb said of the moment she learned she had won. She has been decorating eggs for 35 years, she said, and never knew there was a contest.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Wyo. folk artists on Public TV April 3

The unique talents of four Cowboy State folk artists are chronicled in “Wyoming Folks,” a 30-minute documentary produced by the Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources.

The documentary, to appear on Wyoming Public Television on April 3, 7 p.m., explores the lives and art work of Shoshone drum keeper, Sonny Shoyo; tatter, Mary Maynard; bladesmith, Ed Fowler; and weaver, Jerry Curcio. During the film, each artist shares examples of their work and artistic processes.

The documentary explores not just the world of traditional arts around Wyoming, but also unique and quirky insights the artists offer on everything from how to build a weaving loom from scratch, to how blades of grass affect the design of a knife.

"I always try to bring out the more interesting and unusual aspect of artists and their work, so that even people who aren’t interested in the art will still relate to the film,” Dean Petersen, who wrote, directed and edited the documentary, said.

“Wyoming Folks,” is the first feature length documentary produced by Petersen and Anne Hatch, folk and traditional arts specialist for the Wyoming Arts Council, to appear on television.

Originally created to showcase different award-winning folk artists in the state, the film is an entertaining jaunt through the interesting and often unusual world of folk arts in Wyoming.

“The Arts Council is delighted to recognize traditional artists generally not known beyond their local community and nice market and bring their talents to a larger audience," Hatch said.

Children's writers: Power Up Your Craft!

From a SCBWI press release:

The Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators is hosting a one-day "Power Up Your Craft" workshop on Saturday, April 5. We will be meeting in Lakewood at an exciting new venue, the Qwest Learning and Conference Center. With state-of-the-art technical capabilities available at this facility, illustrators will be thrilled by the interactive learning sessions led by Danlyn Iantorno and Sandy Ferguson Fuller.

We will be treated to an inspiring message to help defeat the demons that keep us from our creative work presented by our keynote speaker. Claudia Mills is the author of many memorable children's books including the stories of "Gus and Grandpa". From Junior Library Guild selection honors to the Colorado Author's League award, Claudia has been widely recognized for her thoughtful and touching contributions to children's literature. Kirkus Review says of her work, "Mills writes with such a light, humorous touch that many scenes beg to be read aloud."

To round out this all-star list of speakers, we have three Colorado Book Award winners Mary Peace Finley, Denise Vega and Kathleen Pelley. They will be sharing their strategies for developing your craft in areas including manuscript preparation, plot synopses, picture book proposals, school visit presentations, character development, and more.

The Qwest Learning and Conference Center is located at 3898 South Teller in Lakewood. The Early registration cost for the full-day event including meals is $99 for SCBWI members and $125 for non-members. Don't miss this special rate that expires March 16. Please visit our website at for a complete conference schedule and to register.

Young artists featured in Art Blast 2008

More than three dozen artworks by Casper artists between the ages of 15-21 are now on display as part of Art Blast 2008, a month-long art exhibit/contest at the Nicolaysen Art Museum in Casper.

The 39 accepted pieces, which range from drawings to sculptures, will be on display in the Rosenthal Gallery for the entire month of March and the winners will be announced March 28 at Rock the Nic, an evening of art and music. The works will be juried by members of the NIC staff and a panel of young artists. The top three artists will have a future opportunity to participate in a group exhibition in the Rosenthal Gallery as well as win a free museum membership.

For more on Art Blast 2008, read the article in today's Casper Star-Tribune.

PHOTO: Nicolaysen Art Museum Registrar Ingrid Burnett installs the work featured in Art Blast.

Poet Laureate closes legislative session

Wyoming Poet Laureate David Romtvedt usually addresses the Wyoming House and Senate near the beginning of their deliberations.

This year, he helped them close out the 20-day budget session on its final day of business. In the Senate, there were bills to take care of before David came to the podium and read, "Oh, if you could know," a poem from the point of view of his wife Margo when she was young and in love with horses and horned toads.

He wrapped up with a Basque song on the button accordion. David married into a Johnson County Basque family, so he played a song whose original name I can't pronounce. It's used for both greetings and departures, and is played at everything from weddings to (David says) legislative sessions.

A great way to wrap up a fairly congenial and productive 2008 Legislature.

Worlds of Music March 14-15

Worlds of Music presents The Buffalo Bison Tatanka Steel Drum Ensemble in two performances and a workshop with Pan Ramajay Director Tom Miller.

Friday, March 14, 2008, 12:45 p.m. is the performance at the Buffalo Senior Center at 671 West Fetterman, Buffalo, Wyoming.
Saturday, March 15, 2008 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. is the workshop at Buffalo High music room. Also on Saturday, at 7:00 p.m., the performance at the DeerField, 7 North Main, in Buffalo.

All events are free and open to the public. To sign up for the workshop, call 684-2194 or 217-0028.

Worlds of Music is a not for profit organization devoted to the place of music in community. In addition to the free public programs, Mr. Miller's visit will include events for k-12 students in the Buffalo Schools. The Tatanka Steel Drum Ensemble's instruments were purchases with funds from Worlds of Music and Wyoming Arts Council. Worlds of Music programs are supported by the HF Bar Guest Ranch and the Johnson County School District.

Wyoming Cultural Trust Funds available

Grant applications for the next round of the Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund (WCTF) are now available on the agency's website,

The WCTFB can provide grant funding for all forms of arts and culture, including but not limited to, visual arts, performing arts, crafts, design arts, media arts, literature, folklife and traditional arts, humanities, historic and architectural preservation, community cultural celebrations and cultural corridors.

For additional information or a paper copy of the application, contact Renee Bovee, WCTF Administrator, at 307-777-6312. The application postmark deadline is May 1 for projects beginning after July 1.

Grant deadline extended

The end date for American Masterpieces "New Deal" grant projects has been extended to December 1, by the Wyoming Arts Council.

Grants of up to $5,000 are available for arts projects related to American Master Artists from the New Deal era, 1933-1943.

Projects should focus on artwork created by American New Deal era master artists, or by contemporary Wyoming master artists inspired by or documenting New Deal artwork and should take place between now and December 1.

Possible ideas for arts projects include concerts or performances, literary readings and publications, r adio shows / plays, exhibits of artwork created in the New Deal era, contemporary exhibits inspired by the New Deal/Great Depression, cowboy songs and poetry gatherings, New Deal era film festivals, and lectures or symposia about New Deal arts.

Grant requests may be for up to 50 percent of the proposed project cash expenses - a 1:1 cash match requirement. Maximum request is $5,000. Grants will be fully funded or not at all. Submit applications at least six weeks (42 days) before the project start date.
Apply at

WOW artists stage first group exhibit

Nine local artists will exhibit their work Friday March 7, from 5-8:30 p.m., at Laramie's March gallery walk in the Civic Center for the Works of Wyoming (WOW).

This is WOW's first group exhibit. The artists will display a variety of art in their Civic Center studios and galleries. They are Dan Hayward and Mack Brislawn in Room 278, Susan Davis and Rebecca Sissman in Room 267, Jerry Glass in Room 265, and Jon Madsen in Room 201.

The WOW offices and gallery, located in Room 271, will be open during the gallery walk.

All of the studios and galleries are on the north end of the Civic Center's second floor, off of Garfield Street. Additionally, other WOW-related artists will exhibit their artwork in studios outside the Civic Center. Mike and Jeny Stoesz and Brett Deacon will show in the Stoesz's store at 213 Grand Ave., Raymond Jordan will show on the fifth floor of the Connor Building, and Terry Reid will show in his studio at 408 E. Custer.

Art mediums to be exhibited by the WOW artists include fine art photography, jewelry, fiber arts, pottery, drawings and photo-real painting.

WOW is a collaborative project between the University of Wyoming Small Business Development Center and the Wyoming Women's Business Center. The project began in 2003 and, in late 2007, it evolved into a statewide business incubator for artists from all artistic genres.

FMI: WOW offices at (307) 766-3083 or Dan Hayward at (307) 742-6307.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Dan Hayward is a roster artist for the Wyoming Arts Council. You can bring him to your community for a presentation through an Arts Across Wyoming grant. Go to and click on the Grants & Applications link.

PHOTO CREDIT: "Spearhead Mesa in Fog, First Snow 2003" by Dan Hayward

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Coming to Cheyenne: Poetry Out Loud

The winner of the Wyoming Poetry Out Loud state finals will be announced at an awards ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda at 8 a.m., Tuesday, March 11. This year’s competition will be held at 7 p.m., Monday, March 10 at the Plains Hotel in Cheyenne.

Wyoming Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources Director Milward Simpson will serve as master of ceremonies and make the awards presentation March 11.

This year’s winner will receive a $200 scholarship and an expense-paid trip to Washington D.C. to represent Wyoming in the National Poetry Out Loud competition, April 27-29. The winner’s school will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. Wyoming’s runner-up will receive a $100 scholarship, with their school receiving a $200 stipend.

Students from Buffalo, Cody, Cheyenne East, Guernsey-Sunrise, Star Valley and Wheatland high schools participated in this year’s competition, as well as representatives of Cheyenne’s Carey Junior High School.

Judges for the Wyoming finals competition are Jackson resident Bob Berky, an actor, director, playwright and theatrical clown who's performed throughout the world; Laramie County Community College instructor Damien Kortum, who teaches composition, literature and creative writing; and Sue Wallis of Recluse, a member of the Wyoming House of Representatives and writer.

Held in partnership with the Wyoming Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, the contest is a national program that encourages high school students to learn about poetry through memorization, performance and competition. The program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.

This is the third consecutive year that Wyoming has held the "Poetry Out Loud" competition. Josh Schaberg, a senior at Buffalo High School won last year’s competition.

FMI: Wyoming Arts Council at 307-777-7742, or visit

Visual arts fellowship forms in the mail

The paper applications for the 2008 WAC visual arts fellowships are now being mailed to everyone on the Artist Image Registry (AIR) list. If you're interested in a print application and don't receive one by The Ides of March (they're sent bulk mail, which is cheaper but takes longer to deliver), please call the WAC at 307-777-7742 and we'll mail one out to you.

Printable visual arts fellowship applications have been available on the agency web site since mid-February. Go to our home page at and click on the visual arts program link.

Postmark deadline for entries is April 30, 2008. It's open to Wyoming artists only.

What happened back then?

Liquor, taxes, and the government during the Great Depression is the focus of this month’s Wyoming State Museum lecture, March 13 at 7 p.m. in the Multi-Purpose Room.
Titled, "Legalizing Liquor, Talking Taxes, and Shrinking Government: How the 1933 Special Session of the Wyoming Legislature Dealt with the Great Depression," Dr. Phil Roberts, associate professor of History at the University of Wyoming, examines how the lawmakers of that time dealt with a variety of complex issues.

Wyoming’s "Great Depression" began in the early 1920s, and by the time that the rest of the country was in depression, Wyomingites had already experienced economic distress.
Prohibition vexed law enforcement throughout the ‘20s as more and more Wyoming citizens turned against the "noble experiment." When the Wyoming Legislature met in 1933, it faced these issues and more. The result of that session’s deliberations – repeal of prohibition, debates over income and sales taxes and rancorous efforts to reduce the size of state government – left a lasting legacy. Dr. Roberts’ presentation will discuss some of the roots of these issues and how the legislature responded to the challenges.

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

Music and kids--a most excellent collaboration

Now is the time to join the Grand Teton Music Festival in supporting local school music programs! In a proclamation endorsing a month-long celebration of music education this March, Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal encourages teachers, parents, students, and all citizens of the state of Wyoming to do the same. Throughout March, national Music In Our Schools Month®, the Grand Teton Music Festival challenges the Jackson Hole community to share in the experience of music and music education by actively participating in the Festival's educational events and concerts. Through programs like Music In The Schools (Festival musicians visit local classrooms) and Tune-UP! (in-school instrumental instruction), the Festival reaches thousands of area young people each year. Ticket sales from the Grand Teton Music Festival's winter concert series help to support these, and the Festival's other, music
education initiatives.

These winter concerts play a vital role in the Festival's in-school education programs, bringing visiting artists into local classrooms for week-long residencies, including master classes, private instrumental instruction, and full-school assemblies. It's likely your child will be visited this month!

Learn about how music prepares kids for life! The cultural and social benefits of school-based music programs are long known - music provides an outlet for creativity, self-expression, encourages teamwork, reinforces communication skills, and sustains our cultural heritage . But there is now scientific evidence, both behavioral and neurophysiological, that music does so much more. It generates neural connections, uniquely enhancing higher brain functions that enable a child to reason abstractly in subjects such as math, physics, and engineering. Kids involved in school music programs even score higher on standardized tests. Most important of all, music is simply worth knowing! Great information is already out there: starting Thursday, March 6, you can read all about the benefits of music education, and link to current research, on the Festival's new website at Or go to

For more information about the Festival's education and outreach programming, contact Liz Kintz at 307-733-3050 x109.

Tickets are available for purchase through the Grand Teton Music Festival ticket office at
307-733-1128 or online at All sales are final. No refunds or exchanges.

4015 W Lake Creek Drive #1
Wilson, WY 83014
t 307.733.3050 x107
f 307.739.9043

Internship opportunity in New York City

The National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts is seeking an intern to support our efforts to increase membership and member participation.
The National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts is America's service association for community arts education organizations that provide access to high quality sequential instruction so that all people may participate in the arts according to their interests and abilities. In concert with this dynamic network, the Guild researches and promotes best practices, provides opportunities for professional development and dialogue, advocates for broad access, and makes grants to the field.
The Guild's 370+ member organizations range from community schools of the arts to arts centers to community divisions of universities, museums, government agencies, performing arts companies, and others. Our core constituents are tax-exempt organizations and government agencies dedicated to making arts education accessible to all people of ages, aptitudes and backgrounds within their

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
Assisting with market research to identify potential member institution; Assisting with the production and distribution of marketing materials; Preparing reports on the impact of marketing efforts; Providing general support to the Marketing departments; Adding qualified potential member institutions to the Guild's database; Other duties as assigned

Internships run throughout the year. A three-month commitment of a minimum of 12 hours per week is required. Hours flexible between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Excellent communication and customer service skills; Excellent analytical and organizational skills; Detail oriented; Facility with MS Office Applications; Facility with web and internet communications; College junior or senior or graduate student; Willingness to help with a variety of programs and tasks; Compensation and Benefits; Stipend available; College credit may be arranged; On the job training; Opportunity to participate in meetings with senior level staff; Opportunity to learn about the community arts education field from a national perspective; This internship also may qualify for participation in Federal Community Work Service.

Application: Please submit cover letter, résumé, and two work references to Kenneth T. Cole at or Please include "Marketing Intern" in the subject line.

National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts
520 Eighth Avenue
New York, New York 10018
(212) 268-3337

Visit the Red Desert online

Video coverage of the symposium, The Red Desert: Among Dead Volcanoes and Living Dunes, A Public Conversation on the Value of Place, is now available online. For those who missed the September 28-29 events at the University of Wyoming Art Museum, or for those who would like to view the symposium again, visit and click on Red Desert Symposium.

For the past five years, photographer Martin Stupich, writer Annie Proulx, archeologist Dudley Gardner and geologist Charles Ferguson have been exploring, photographing, and researching the Red Desert. Their collected stories, images, observations, and learned scholarship will result in a publication on the Red Desert (University of Texas Press, 2008). The publication is as much a study about the region’s natural landscape, archeology, and human history as it is a study on public lands and last use over the last century.

Curated by Susan Moldenhauer, director and chief curator of the University Art Museum, the exhibition, Portrait of a Place: Wyoming’s Red Desert, photographs by Martin Stupich, featured Stupich’s images and became the platform for a larger discussion. The symposium included presenters as diverse as the desert itself. In addition to Stupich, Proulx, Gardner, and Ferguson, more than 20 presenters representing the arts, humanities, sciences, industry, public policy, and conservation provided insight on a particular region of the desert—Boar’s Tusk and the Kilpecker Dunes—and collectively offered a portrait of the Red Desert.

The symposium was made possible by the Richard and Judith Agee, Guthrie Family Foundation, the National Advisory Board of the UW Art Museum, the Argosy Family Foundation and the Haub School and Ruckelshaus Institute of Environment and Natural Resources, 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.

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 February through April. Admission is free.

WyoPoets upcoming workshop

To our members: Watch your mail in the coming week. The new brochures for our April workshop "The Word Box and Ghost Shadows" are hot off the press & ready to be mailed
to you!

Registration is $30 before March 31st and includes a critique of one poem by Dawn Trask. After 3/31, the fee will be $35 and does NOT include a critique. All registration fees include refreshment breaks and lunch.

The Hampton Inn is saving a block of rooms for those coming from out of town, at $84/night
and this includes breakfast.

On poetry, from Ted Kooser

Here, poet Yusef Komunyakaa, who teaches at New York University, shows us a fine portrait of the hard life of a worker--in this case, a horse--and, through metaphor, the terrible, clumsy beauty of his final moments.


When the plowblade struck
An old stump hiding under
The soil like a beggar's
Rotten tooth, they swarmed up
& Mister Jackson left the plow
Wedged like a whaler's harpoon.
The horse was midnight
Against dusk, tethered to somebody's
Pocketwatch. He shivered, but not
The way women shook their heads
Before mirrors at the five
& dime--a deeper connection
To the low field's evening star.
He stood there, in tracechains,
Lathered in froth, just
Stopped by a great, goofy
Calmness. He whinnied
Once, & then the whole
Beautiful, blue-black sky
Fell on his back.

American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright (c) 2001 by Yusef Komunyakaa, reprinted from "Pleasure Dome: New & Collected Poems, 1975-1999," Wesleyan Univ. Press, 2001, by permission. Introduction copyright (c) 2008 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction's author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006. They do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.

American Life in Poetry provides newspapers and online publications with a free weekly column featuring contemporary American poems. The sole mission of this project is to promote poetry: American Life in Poetry seeks to create a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture. There are no costs for reprinting the columns; we do require that you register your publication here and that the text of the column be reproduced without alteration.