Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Community Celebration in Laramie features local art, music December 4-6

National Christmas Tree, 2005

Celebrate the holidays in Laramie with musical performances by school and community groups, the Albany County Student Art Exhibition, holiday activities in the Shelton Studio, a visit with Santa Claus and a silent auction for specially-decorated trees and other holiday items. These are a few of the highlights of the University of Wyoming Art Museum’s annual Festival of Trees and Happy Holidays, Laramie!

30 decorated trees will be featured, both artificial and live. The Festival of Trees Silent Auction will begin Thursday, Dec. 4, 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. 6; bidders do not need to be present to win. Among the trees on display are the Governor’s tree titled Barnyard Country Christmas, and the UW President’s tree titled Crystal Nights. Other trees include those by the Girl Scouts of Montana and Wyoming, the Yellow Jackets 4H Club, the Laramie chapter of Campfire USA, Cathedral Home, 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, concluding with a grand finale performance by the Laramie Community Band at 3 p.m.," said Wendy Bredehoft, education curator. "And, youngsters will be able to participate in a variety of artmaking activities in the Shelton Studio."
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! is held from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 6. The exhibition will feature nearly 1,000 original works of art by Albany County students, which will be on view through December 23. The event is free and open to the public.
Happy Holidays, Laramie is sponsored by First Interstate Bank and funded in part by Bank of the West, First National Bank and UniWyo Federal Credit Union.
The museum and Museum Store are located in the Centennial Complex at 2111 Willett Drive in Laramie. The Art Museum and Museum Store are open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free.

Artists' show and sale

Artists in Cheyenne have joined together to put on an art show and sale. Chad Blakely, Maura Jacobsen, Eric Grant Lee, Lynn Newman, and Connie Norman will host Among Friends/Holiday Art Show and Sale, November 28 and 29, from 10 am to 7 pm, in the Powder River Room at The Historic Plains Hotel in Cheyenne. An hor d' oeuvres and cash bar reception begins at 7 pm on the 28th.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

WAC board chair receives teaching accolade

Bruce Richardson, the WAC board chair and the UW/CC English instructor at Casper College has won an Arts & Sciences Award for Extraordinary Merit in Teaching. Bruce teaches a huge array of courses to undergraduates in Casper. Bruce is an extraordinary teacher. He's articulate and generous, both extremely important qualities for teachers to have.

Bruce has also written a series of articles for the WAC newsletter on the topic of advocacy for the arts, of which he is very passionate and knowledgeable. These have become widely distributed to advocacy organizations and agencies. Bruce also is on the board of the National Association of State Arts Agencies.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Rounding up community theaters around the state

The Cheyenne Little Theatre Players (CLTP) is hosting the 2009 Wyoming State AACT (American Association of Community Theatre) Play Festival in Cheyenne, March 13-14, 2009 at the Mary Godfrey Playhouse. The event will feature sixty minute performances by Wyoming community theatres; networking opportunities; and workshops on fundraising, acting, and historical accuracy in set design, costuming and other production aspects in the performance of period plays and musicals.

Performances will be judged by AACT certified adjudicators from Colorado, Nebraska, and Missouri. Community theatres interested in participating can find entry information, the AACTFest 2009 Handbook, and a preliminary calendar of events at the CLTP’s website, Questions should be emailed to

Anyone may purchase tickets to attend performances or, for a small registration fee, attend workshops. More information on tickets and workshop fees will be available on the CLTP website in mid-January, 2009. The Wyoming State AACT Play Festival offers exciting opportunities for everyone interested in live theatre.

Harp classes at LCCC

Cheyenne native now living back in his hometown, Dave Shaul will be teaching harp classes for the 2009 Spring term at Laramie County Community College, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm. Dave is a graduate of East High in Cheyenne, and after a long education and performing sojourn, has returned to his home town. Class size will be limited to ten students, who will learn the basic finger technique used in virtually all styles of playing the harp.

Dave stopped into the WAC offices on Friday with his lap harp and played Celtic, Welsh, Irish and Isle of Mann songs, singing in those languages also. A real treat! He played for the Festival of Trees event that took place this weekend in Cheyenne at the Kiwanis Club House at Lion's Park.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

"Nutcracker" at WYO Theater Dec. 6-7

Join the professionals of the David Taylor Dance Theatre and a cast of 20 local dancers for two special performances at Sheridan's WYO Theater of the Holiday Classic THE NUTCRACKER. David Taylor Dance Theatre from Denver celebrates its 28th anniversary with a tour of its charming version of the family classic. Denver's Rocky Mountain News called David Taylor's production "a memorable 'Nutcracker' that captivates the eye. Satisfying, daring, and fun!"

Performances are Saturday, Dec. 6, 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 7, 2 p.m.

Tickets are $24 for adults, $22 seniors and military, $15 students, and $10 for children 12-and-younger.

Gillette Guitar Guild musicians perform at Rockpile Museum Open House

Friday, November 21, 2008

UW prof honored for Photovoice Project

From a UW press release:

University of Wyoming College of Education faculty member Kent Becker's innovative effort to use photography to raise awareness of children's mental health needs was recently honored by UPLIFT Wyoming, a division of the National Federation of Families.

Becker, a UW Department of Counselor Education associate professor, received UPLIFT's 2008 Making A Difference Advocacy Award for his work establishing the Wyoming SAGE Photovoice Project (

Becker received the award during UPLIFT's banquet, held in conjunction with the Governor's Roundtable on Children's Mental Health.

"This had a lot of meaning for me," Becker says. "The Photovoice Project is geared toward increasing awareness around children's mental health, about hearing their voices. To be given an award by this group really means a lot to me."

Photovoice is a technique that combines equal parts photography, research, group process, storytelling, social action and development of awareness of personal and community issues.

"The project's focus is toward the experiences of youths and families who have been in residential treatment or who have been clearly on the verge of being placed," Becker explains.
Peggy Nikkel, UPLIFT executive director, describes the qualities that Becker's selection represents.

"The outstanding qualities of Kent's advocacy efforts through Photovoice are his compassion and empathy for youth and families struggling with mental health and substance abuse," she says. "He is able to combine this with his diverse educational and clinical background to support parents and youth in becoming a dynamic voice for change in Wyoming."

Roundtable participants witnessed the project's power during a plenary session featuring the work of Becker and students in UW's counselor education doctoral program. Project participants also presented a narrated slide show featuring representative profiles. Presenters included Photovoice Project participants Lori Hutchinson and Susan Bentley and doctoral students Michael Bishop, Kelly Hubbell, Kristin Douglas and Konja Klepper.

Fellow counselor education faculty member Serena Lambert is the project's co-researcher. A qualitative research expert, Lambert will collaborate with Becker on data analysis and publishing related to the Wyoming SAGE Photovoice Project.

For more information, contact Becker at (307) 766-3123 or e-mail

2009 Conference on International Opportunities in the Arts

TransCultural Exchange announces the 2009 Conference on International Opportunities in the Arts, which will take place April 3-5, 2009 at Boston's Omni Parker House Hotel. Join more than 70 representatives from around the world to learn about long- and short-term residency opportunities for artists, writers and musicians. Learn about international exhibitions and performance opportunities, grants and other funding sources to help you find the inspiration, time and money for your work. Come to Boston to meet, network and have your work seen by the conference's distinguished curators, critics and panelists. Don't miss this chance to interact directly with some of the key players in the global arts arena. Registration costs for a full weekend of panels and workshops is $189 for early registration, due by 5 pm EST, December 15; after December 15-$265; $350 after April 1. Detailed information about the conference including schedule, registration forms and scholarship applications are available at
This past October, TransCultural Exchange was featured at the Fulbright Association's 31st Annual Conference "The Interconnected World" in Beijing, China. TransCultural Exchange's Director Mary Sherman presented the projects that the organization has produced around the world, in particular The Tile Project, Destination: The World, "will be completed by the end of 2008, for which over 100 artists, from over 40 countries, donated tiles to 22 world sites to create 22 site specific, permanent art works," said Sherman. "Their multicultural structures now dot the landscape from Berlin to Boston, Manila to Mumbai, Toronto to Taipei and 16 other sites in between."

The TransCultural Exchange mission is to bridge cultural, geographic, political and linguistic divides by bringing people together through the arts in order to foster a greater understanding of world cultures, while at the same time, seeking to further artistic innovation by creating large-scale, cross-discipline, global art projects and programming. For two decades TransCultural Exchange has been working directly with artists, arts organizations, foundations, museums and cultural centers in more than 60 countries and has staged award winning, critically acclaimed projects.

TransCultural Exchange
516 East Second Street, #30
Boston, Massachusetts 02127

NEA will host workshops

Click for a bigger image.

Wyoming, do you have what it takes... be on the NBC hit show America's Got Talent, that is. If you've watched the show at all, you know that the talent search is open to any act of any age. Host of the show, Jerry Springer, introduces and interviews a much less troubled American clientele, while celebrity judges Sharon Osborne, the British version of Paula Abdul, David Hasselhoff, who uses the buzzer the least and encourages the contestants the most, and Piers Morgan, who brings his tough British no-nonsense attitude to the American pat-ourselves-on-the-back syndrome, lend the show a variety of personalities to keep the beat and the contestants going (or not). Through the celebrity judging process and audience reactions,(both by the studio audience and call-in voting) the various acts are culled down to the grand prize winner who receives the million bucks and a chance to perform in Las Vegas. So get out your hula hoops, your juggling props, your dummies, your sequined and fringed costumes, your tap shoes and your vocal and musical instruments and start practicin' like you've never practiced before.

Here's more info from one of the show's publicists, Sara:

For season four, the show is planning a massive nationwide audition tour beginning in January, 2009. The auditions will be traveling across America to over eight major cities including New York, LA, Chicago, Washington, D.C., just to name a few.

What makes the show unique that it has brought the variety format back to the forefront of American culture by showcasing the hottest performers from across the country. Season's 3 winner, insurance salesman/opera singer Neal E. Boyd from Missouri won the money and achieved his lifelong dream to headline on the Las Vegas Strip with a show planned for the MGM.

Any talent goes. We want to see anything and everything…No matter how zany, bizarre or unusual others may think your talent is, on our show, it could make you a star. So Wyoming, do you have talent? If so here's your chance to show America! To pre-register for an Audition and for more information on AGT, please log onto If you are not able to attend one of the America’s Got Talent audition cities we still want to see you shine! Please visit soon as possible for instructions on how to submit a video of your performance. Remember to submit your video audition as quickly as possible for your shot at being America’s next ONE MILLION DOLLAR WINNER!

Idaho Center for the Book newsletter rounds up poets laureate of the West

Tom Trusky at the Idaho Center for the Book in Boise has assembled another great issue of the ICB newsletter. The October 2008 issue, "Gem State Laurels," is devoted to profiles of the state's poet laureate program which, in the early 1980s, morphed into the position of writer-in-residence. Idaho's first poet laureate was Irene Grissom, appointed to the honorary lifetime position in 1923 and Sudie Stuart Hager, who served from 1949-1982.

In 1982, then-Governor John Evans appointed a panel to select a new laureate. The panel instead advised the Governor to select a writer-in-residence. The WIR, according to the newsletter story by Chris Lewis, "would be appointed for a term of only two years but would be paid $5,000 annually [$10,000 total] and would be required to give 12 public readings." He or she could be a writer of poetry, fiction of non-fiction, and must live in the state but didn't have to be Idaho born-and-bred. In 1998, budget cuts caused the WIR term to be increased to three years with a stipend of $8,000.

So, since 1984, Idaho's had a great line-up in this position: Ron McFarland, Robert Wrigley, Eberle Umbach, Neidy Messer, Daryl Jones, Clay Morgan, Lance Olsen, Bill Johnson, Jim Irons, Kim Barnes and Anthony Doerr. That's a lot of talent.

The October ICB newsletter also arrived with an insert, "Neighboring Laurels," that explores poet laureate-style positions in Idaho's neighboring states. Washington has the newest program, appointing Samuel Greene its first poet laureate in 2007. He'll serve a two-year term and receive a $10,000 stipend. Montana started its program in 2005 under Gov. Brian Schweitzer. Sandra Alcosser served the first two-year (unpaid) term and Greg Pape will serve until 2009. Oldest poet laureate position in the region? A tie between Idaho and Oregon with beginnings that go back to 1923. Oregon's 2006-2008 poet laureate is Lawson Fusao Inada.

Wyoming's on the list, too (last, as always). Our poet laureate position goes back to 1981 when Gov. Ed Herschler appointed Peggy Simson Curry. In Wyoming, the poets are unpaid and serve "at the pleasure of the Governor," which usually means eight years. Poet laureate under Gov Dave is Poet Dave -- David Romtvedt of Buffalo -- who is the first in this honorary position to have a budget. The 2008 state legislature approved a $5,000 annual project budget, which means it goes to fund travel, readings, workshops, etc., conducted by David R. It's not a salary. This fall, David spent some of the funding on touring high schools for readings and talks to promote Wyoming Poetry Out Loud.

Chris Lewis compiled all this useful info for the Idaho Center for the Book newsletter. He contacted wyomingarts for the background info on Wyoming. If appears to be accurate, but if you find any errors, blame Idaho.

Meanwhile, you might want to snag a copy of the publication. It's chock full of information and pleasant to look at. You also might want to take a gander at the October 2007 issue with its all-calligraphy layout. For more info, go to the ICB web site at

Thursday, November 20, 2008

"Tinsel Through Time" at Historic Mansion

Here's a press release from the Historic Governor's Mansion, part of the Wyoming Division of State Parks and Cutltural Resources:

"Tinsel Through Time: Christmas at the Mansion"

Cinnamon, cranberry, pine and peppermint, tinsel, toys and traditions are reminiscences of Christmas life at the Historic Governors’ Mansion. On Saturday, Dec. 6, from 5–8 p.m., we invite you to be our guest and take a historic Christmas tour. Enjoy a special evening of Christmas traditions, live holiday music and refreshments while the mansion glistens and glows with several decades of holiday décor. The East High School Singers will give a special performance at 5:30 p.m. Pianist Don Bogensberger will perform throughout the evening. World War II soldiers (re- enactors) will greet guests.

This free Christmas exhibit will be on display from Dec. 6–24, Tuesday–Saturday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m., at 300 E. 21st Street, Cheyenne.

FMI: 307-777-7878 for information or

While there is no admission charge to the mansion, donations are accepted.

National Book Award winners announced

The 2008 National Book Award winners were announced Wednesday night in a ceremony in New York City. The awards go to:

Fiction: Peter Matthiessen, Shadow Country (Modern Library); click here for interview
Annette Gordon-Reed, The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family (W.W. Norton & Company); interview
Young People's Literature:
Judy Blundell, What I Saw and How I Lied (Scholastic); interview
Mark Doty, Fire to Fire: New and Collected Poems (HarperCollins); interview

For more, go to

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Upcoming events at Lander Art Center

The Lander Art Center wants everyone to know about two upcoming events:

The Fiber Arts Guild Exhibition will be held at the LAC, 244 Main St., Nov. 17-Jan. 2. The opening reception is on Friday, Nov. 21, 6-8 p.m. "Come see the wonderful fiber creations in knitting, weaving, felting, needlecraft and rug hooking in wool, silk, cotton and linen. Selected items will be available for purchase for the holidays."

"Art in the Afternoon" will be held on Sunday, Dec. 7, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Noble Hotel, 266 Main Street, Lander. "Come see great local arts and crafts and stock up for the holidays at this fabulous annual sale at the Noble Hotel on the corner of 3rd Street and Main."

For more information on these events, call the Lander Art Center at 332-5772 or e-mail

Reception for AVA artists Friday night

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Author & activist attorney speaks on "Honoring the Native Voice" at UW

Charles Wilkinson, a former attorney with the Native American Rights Fund and now Moses Lasky Professor of Law at the University of Colorado, Boulder, will speak Friday, Nov. 21, at 2 p.m. in the University of Wyoming Union East Ballroom.

Friday's American Indian Heritage Month lecture is titled "Honoring the Native Voice: Some Thoughts on Writing Tribal History." The talk is sponsored by the American Indian Studies Program, the College of Law, ASUW, the American Indian Studies Alliance and Keepers of the Fire.

Wilkinson has written 12 books, including most recently "Blood Struggle," which examines the fight for tribal sovereignty, including termination, the Red Power movement, Indian gaming and economic development issues.

"I have no doubt that everyone who hears Charles Wilkinson will take away important lessons about tribes' place in American history and their role in government and society today," said Debra Donahue, professor of law at UW. "As a scholar and teacher, he is arguably in a class of his own."

For more information about Wilkinson's visit or about American Indian Heritage Month, call American Indian Studies at (307) 766-6520.

Guernsey-Sunrise senior wins Wyoming Poetry Out Loud competition

Sara Needles (left), administrator for the Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources,congratulates Wyoming Poetry Out Loud
winner Danielle Then of Guernsey-Sunrise H.S. Photo by Linda Coatney.

Danielle Then, a senior at Guernsey-Sunrise High School, was named state champion at the Wyoming Poetry Out Loud finals Nov. 17 in Cheyenne. She will represent the state at the national finals of Poetry Out Loud April 27-28, 2009, in Washington, D.C.

Second place went to Jordan Lawrence, a ninth-grader at Shoshoni High School.

The awards were presented by Sara Needles, administrator of the Wyoming Cultural Resources Division, at a Nov. 18 ceremony in the State Capitol Rotunda.

First-place finisher also receives $200 and a selection of books. Her school receives a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. Second-place finisher receives $100 and a selection of books. Her school receives a $200 stipend to buy poetry books.

At school, Danielle is active in speech, FCCLA, choir and Spanish Club. She's received a scholarship to attend Sheridan College next year. Jordan is active in her school's dance team.

Also participating in the state finals was Deb Cobb, a senior at Wright High School. She is on the Wright speech and debate team and performs on the drama team.

Judges for the Nov. 17 competition were Jackson's Bob Berky, actor, playwright and theatrical clown; Cheyenne's Liz Skrabacz, coordinator of the LCCC honors program and an English instructor; and David Neary of Lander, who is vice chair of the Wyoming Arts Council and managing director of the Wyoming Shakespeare Festival Company. Marcia Dunsmore of Four Corners, Wyo., served at accuracy judge and also coordinates Poetry Out Loud for the Wyoming Arts Council. It was held at the Historic Atlas Theatre in downtown Cheyenne.

The Wyoming Arts Council invites high school students involved in creative writing, drama, and speech-and-debate to encourage their teachers to sign up for next year's Poetry Out Loud program. We will send out registration information in the spring of 2009. School competitions will be held in September and October and the state finals will be held in Cheyenne in mid-November. The WAC is still discussing next year's schedule. Stay tuned to these pages for more info.Meanwhile, you can learn more about the program at the web site at Or call the WAC at 307-777-7742 or e-mail Michael Shay at

One of the poems recited by Danielle Then was a classic by Thomas Hardy.

Channel Firing
By Thomas Hardy

That night your great guns, unawares,
Shook all our coffins as we lay,
And broke the chancel window-squares,
We thought it was the Judgment-day

And sat upright. While drearisome
Arose the howl of wakened hounds:
The mouse let fall the altar-crumb,
The worms drew back into the mounds,

The glebe cow drooled. Till God called, “No;
It’s gunnery practice out at sea
Just as before you went below;
The world is as it used to be:

“All nations striving strong to make
Red war yet redder. Mad as hatters
They do no more for Christés sake
Than you who are helpless in such matters.

“That this is not the judgment-hour
For some of them’s a blessed thing,
For if it were they’d have to scour
Hell’s floor for so much threatening....

“Ha, ha. It will be warmer when
I blow the trumpet (if indeed
I ever do; for you are men,
And rest eternal sorely need).”

So down we lay again. “I wonder,
Will the world ever saner be,”
Said one, “than when He sent us under
In our indifferent century!”

And many a skeleton shook his head.
“Instead of preaching forty year,”
My neighbour Parson Thirdly said,
“I wish I had stuck to pipes and beer.”

Again the guns disturbed the hour,
Roaring their readiness to avenge,
As far inland as Stourton Tower,
And Camelot, and starlit Stonehenge.

White House announced 2008 National Medal of Arts Recipients

On November 17, President George W. Bush announced the recipients of the 2008 National Medal of Arts. Nine medals were presented by the President and Mrs. Laura Bush in an East Room ceremony at the White House. The National Medal of Arts is a White House initiative managed by the National Endowment for the Arts. The NEA organizes and oversees the National Medal of Arts nomination process and notifies the artists of their selection to receive a medal, the nation's highest honor for artistic excellence.

"These individuals and organizations represent the variety and scope of great American art, from the traditional fine arts to popular culture," said NEA Chairman Dana Gioia. "This lifetime honor recognizes their exceptional contributions to our national culture." In a surprise announcement at the ceremony, President Bush announced the award of five Presidential Citizens Medals going to NEA Chairman Dana Gioia, National Endowment for the Humanities Chairman Bruce Cole, President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities Chair Adair Margo, and Anne-Imelda M. Radice and Robert S. Martin, the current and former directors of the Institute for Museum and Library Services. The official citation for Chairman Gioia states: "A distinguished poet and educator, Dana Gioia has helped strengthen the role of the arts in our country. He has advanced some of our most treasured traditions, expanded public support for the arts and arts education, and increased the understanding and appreciation of the arts among our nation's youth. The United States honors Dana Gioia for his dedication to fostering creativity and expression and for helping preserve America's rich artistic legacy."

The 2008 National Medal of Arts Recipients:
Olivia de Havilland, actress, Paris, France
Fisk Jubilee Singers, choral ensemble, Nashville, TN
Ford's Theatre Society, theater and museum, Washington, DC
Hank Jones, jazz musician, NEA Jazz Master (1989), New York, NY
Stan Lee, comic book writer, producer, Los Angeles, CA
José Limón Dance Foundation, modern dance company and institute, New York, NY
Jesús Moroles (below,left) sculptor, Rockport, TX
The Presser Foundation, music patron, Haverford, PA
The Sherman Brothers, songwriting team, Los Angeles, CA and London, England

The Presidential initiative is managed by the National Endowment for the Arts. For the full release and bios for the recipients, please go to

WAC notes: Dana Gioia was the keynote speaker at the first Wyoming Arts Summit, held in Casper in October 2007. He will be stepping down as director of the NEA this coming January. A sculpture by Jesus Moroles is part of the University of Wyoming Art Museum's year-long Sculpture: A Wyoming Invitational, with work exhibited on campus and throughout Laramie. Moroles will participate in the Public Art Symposium: Inspiration and Reflection, April 3-4, 2009, at the UW Conference Center in Laramie.

Monday, November 17, 2008

23 years of WAC creative writing fellowships

Wyomingarts is assembling lists of past fellowship winners in the literary, performing and visual arts. Once assembled, they'll appear on the Wyoming Arts Council home page at under "Individual Artists." The performing arts list is already up, and I'm working on the visual arts category. The literary stats should be on the lit page by the end of the week. Here's a chronological list of winners along with the names of jurors:

Wyoming Arts Council Literature Fellowship Recipients

Fiscal Year 1987 (awarded 1986)
Tilly Warnock; Laramie, Len Sherwin; Douglas, Kirk Keller; Moran, Mary Alice Gunderson; Casper. Jurors: Mark Harelik, William Kloefkorn and Marilyn Krysl.

FY 88 (awarded 1987)
Sandra Dorr; Story, Mark Jenkins; Laramie, John Nesbitt; Torrington, Tim Sandlin; Jackson. Jurors: Joy Harjo, Nancy Mairs and Bill Ransom.

FY 89 (awarded 1988)
B.J. Buckley, Arvada; David Mouat, Worland; Mark Spragg, Wapiti; Geoff Peterson; Green River. Jurors: Marvin Bell, Terry McMillan and Kim Stafford.

FY 90 (awarded 1989)
Rick Kempa, Rock Springs; Jennifer McMullin, Casper; Barbara Smith, Rock Springs; Dan Whipple, Casper. Jurors: Ray Gonzalez, Diane Wakoski and Jerome Washington.

FY 91 (awarded 1990)
Vicki Lindner, Laramie; Michael Riley, Cody; Geoff O’Gara, Lander (only three winners in FY 91). Jurors: David Lee, Russell Martin and Mary LaChapelle.

FY 92 (awarded 1991)
C.J. Box, Cheyenne; Len Edgerly, Casper; Dainis Hazners, Story; Julia Hoagland, Powell. Jurors: Denise Chavez, Don Snow and Michael Martone.

FY 93 (awarded 1992)
Leslie (Bridewell) McMillan, Rock Springs; Scott Hagel, Cody; Mark Jenkins, Laramie; Page Lambert, Sundance. Jurors: Starkey Flythe, Jr., Linda Hasselstrom and David Milofsky.

FY 94 (awarded 1993)
Tim McGee, Worland; Hannah Hinchman, Dubois; Rodney Mahaffey, Casper; and Lawrence Sullenger, Story. Jurors: Simon Ortiz, Scott Walker and Wanda Coleman.

FY 95 (awarded 1994)
Janell Hanson, Laramie; Craig Johnson, Ucross; Marie J. Carvalho, Rock Springs; Stephanie Buehler, Sheridan. Jurors: Dagoberto Gilb, Gregg Levoy and Robert Greer.

FY 96 (awarded 1995)
C.L. Rawlins, Laramie; Suzanne Tyler, Jackson; Jane Wohl, Sheridan; Ron Franscell, Gillette. Jurors: Peggy Shumaker, Michael Katakis and Melissa Pritchard.

FY 97 (awarded 1996)
Laura Bell, Shell; Bob McKee, Douglas; Diane LeBlanc, Laramie; David Romtvedt, Buffalo. Jurors: Ron Carlson, Elizabeth Woody and E. Ethelbert Miller.

FY 98 (awarded 1997)
Dainis Hazners, Story; Jon Billman, Kemmerer; Julia Hoagland, Powell; Maija Rhee Devine, Laramie. Jurors: Mary Crow; Kevin McIlvoy; and Jewell Parker Rhodes.

FY 99 (awarded 1998)
Carol Deering, Riverton; Christy Stillwell, Laramie; William Hoagland, Powell; Lisa Vice, Thermopolis. Jurors: Agha Shahid Ali, Jonis Agee and Kent Nelson.

FY 00 (awarded 1999)
Mark Spragg, Cody; Alyson Hagy, Laramie; Sam Western, Sheridan; Martha Clark Cummings, Thermopolis. Jurors: Sandra Alcosser, Mark Amerika and Stephanie von Hirschberg.

FY 01 (awarded 2000)
Robert Druchniak, Evanston; Charles Levendosky, Casper; Stefani Farris, Laramie; Geoff Peterson, Green River. Jurors: Lewis Nordan, Judyth Hill and Gary Ferguson.

FY 02 (awarded 2001)
Rodney Gene Mahaffey, Casper; Paisley Rekdal, Laramie; Chavawn Kelley, Laramie; Bo Moore, Green River. Jurors: M.L. Liebler, Bill Tremblay and Sharman Apt Russell.

FY 03 (awarded 2002)
Diane Panozzo, Tie Siding; Ted Kerasote, Jackson; Ann McCutchan, Laramie; Connie Wieneke, Wilson. Jurors: Robert Priest, Lisa D. Chavez and Bob Fox.

FY 04 (poetry – awarded 2003))
W. Dale Nelson, Laramie; Page Lambert, Sundance; and Michael Harkin, Laramie. Judge: Virgil Suarez.

FY 05 (creative nonfiction – awarded 2004)
Heather LaVonne Jensen, Cheyenne; Laura Bell, Cody; and Vicki Lindner, Casper. Judge: Elmaz Abinader

FY 06 (fiction – awarded 2005)
John English, Casper; Alyson Hagy, Laramie; Geneen Marie Haugen, Kelly. Judge: James Sallis

FY 07 (poetry – awarded 2006)
Jane Wohl, Sheridan; Myra L. Peak, Green River; and Jeffe Kennedy, Laramie. Judge: Rosemary Daniell

FY 08 (creative nonfiction – awarded 2007)
John Sutton of Sheridan, John D. Nesbitt of Torrington, Chavawn Kelley of Laramie. Judge: Nick Flynn

FY 09 (fiction – awarded 2008)
Kevin Holdsworth, Green River; Doug Reitinger, Sheridan; and Valerie Pexton, Laramie. Judge: Laura Pritchett.

Listen to a podcast featuring excerpts of our most recent fellowship winners reading their work at the Equality State Book Festival in Casper on Sept. 18, 2008, by going to

Dancer's Workshop presents...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

BBHC has new Whitney Gallery blog

From a Buffalo Bill Historical Center press release:

Whitney Gallery of Western Art Curator Mindy Besaw is now writing a weekly blog.

Besaw has adopted the blog to chronicle the reinstallation of the Whitney gallery. “Progress on the renovation and reinstallation is moving rapidly,” Besaw says, “and this is a great way to keep everyone updated on our activities.”

Cody Firearms Museum Curator David Kennedy has long planned a blog to communicate with historians and firearms enthusiasts, and on October 7, 2008, the firearms blog was up and running. “This is a great means by which we can reach the constituency of the Cody Firearms Museum,” Kennedy explains. “It gives us a chance to ‘lift the veil’ and talk about not only what we do, but how we do it and why.”

With its many illustrations and photos, the Whitney’s reinstallation blog provides an inside track on the developments and progress of the reinstallation. Besaw takes the reader through the closing of the gallery, removal of artwork, demolition of the interior walls, design and creation of a new gallery, reinstallation of artwork, and reopening of the gallery in June 2009. “We update the blog each week with current activities,” Besaw says. “In addition, the blog features insight into how artwork is selected for installation, plans for interpretation, and updates on design of the gallery.”

The Whitney Gallery of Western Art opened in 1959, and as part of its 50th Anniversary in 2009, the gallery is redefining its presentation and interpretation of western American art. “We closed the Whitney on October 1 in preparation for this complete renovation and reinstallation of the gallery,” Besaw remarks. “However, a good number of the most popular paintings and sculptures are on display elsewhere in the historical center, particularly in the special exhibitions area and the Cody Firearms Museum breezeway. We open again on June 21, 2009.”

Kennedy notes that the goals for the Cody Firearms Museum Blog are to “inform our friends and the public about some of the day-to-day of the institution.” As he puts it, “Museum operations go well beyond ‘getting to play with all of the stuff,’ as some people have described their expectations. Meetings, research, conferences, lectures, object conservation, donor interaction, and other duties are included in our daily routine. Showing this side of our jobs will allow for a greater understanding of what museums do and increase the public appreciation for museums everywhere.” Visitors to the firearms blog may also leave comments or questions.

To visit the Whitney blog, go to and click on the blog link. For the firearms blog, visit and click on the blog link there. The Buffalo Bill Historical Center, an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, is open 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Thursday through Sunday, closed Monday – Wednesday.

For general information, visit or call 307.587.4771.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Tickets available for Tai Murray concert

From a UW press release:

An internationally known violinist who made her stage debut with the Chicago Symphony at age 9, Tai Murray will close the University of Wyoming Cultural Programs' fall concert series with a 7:30 p.m. performance Friday, Nov. 21, inside the Fine Arts Center concert hall in Laramie.

Tickets cost $18 for adults and $15 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

"We try to feature not only well-known artists, but also performers who are just beginning their careers, although Ms. Murray, now merely 26, could already be considered a veteran," says UW Cultural Programs Director Cedric Reverand. "She's clearly blossoming into a fine player, already established on the international scene, with a great career ahead of her. We're pleased to be able to introduce her to our audiences."

Over the past few years, Murray has emerged as a popular concert soloist and chamber artist, performing on such stages as Berlin's Konzerthaus, Chicago's Orchestra Hall, Copenhagen's Tivoli Gardens and New York's Carnegie Hall. Recently, Murray was chosen as a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist, an annual program designed to mentor and launch the careers of promising young artists.

For ticket information, call the Fine Arts Center box office at (307) 766-6666 or go to on the Internet.

Listen to "rough mixes" of Bryan Ragsdale's new songs on

This comes from WAC roster artist Bryan Ragsdale of Green River:

"As many of you know, Where Cowpokes Grow will be released in January of 2009. I am so excited to inform you things are going well and you can preview several rough mixes (no effects) at We still have a lot of work to do, many things to add, and to fix but I could not wait any longer to give you a taste of what is to come. Please enjoy and let me know what you think. We are still trying to decide the order the songs will appear on the CD. Your input on this would also be greatly appreciated."

E-mail Bryan at

Learn more about the WAC artist roster at

Poetry Out Loud finals Nov. 17 in Cheyenne

High school students from Wright, Shoshoni and Guernsey-Sunrise will compete in the Wyoming finals of the Poetry Out Loud recitation contest on Monday, Nov. 17, 7 p.m. at the Atlas Theatre in Cheyenne. The awards ceremony will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 18, 8 a.m. in the State Capitol Rotunda. The events, sponsored by the Wyoming Arts Council, are free and open to the public.

Judges for the Nov. 17 competition are Liz Skrabacz, English instructor and honors coordinator at Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne; Bob Berky, theatrical clown, actor and playwright from Jackson; and David Neary, actor and WAC board member from Lander. The students were judged on memorization, voice inflection, stage presence and other criteria.

The Wyoming winner will receive $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip (with a chaperone) to Washington, D.C., for the national finals on April 27-28, 2009. The state winner’s school will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. The runner-up will receive $100, with $200 for his or her school library.

At the national finals, winners will receive $50,000 total in scholarships and school stipends, with at least a $20,000 college scholarship for the Poetry Out Loud national champion.

The Poetry Out Loud national initiative is a partnership involving the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Foundation and state arts agencies.

FMI: Contact the Wyoming Arts Council at 307-777-7742.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Help Wanted: Collections Curator

The State Museum in the Wyoming Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources is looking for a collections curator. Here are the details:

RESPONSIBILITIES: Responsible for the care and maintenance of all art works held by the State Museum, curate art work for Museum exhibitions and serve as liaison between elected officials, the State Legislative Service Office and the State Museum regarding the Legislative Artwork Donation Program, the Governor's Capitol Art Collection, the Governor's Residence Sculpture selection and the Governor's Portrait Project.

ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS: Coordinate art work in State Museum, the Capitol, the Governor's residence, the Dept. of Education, Travel & Tourism. Coordinate legislative art work donation program, Governor's Capitol Art Collection, Governor's portrait project and residence sculpture project. Provide five (5) elected officials offices and Travel and Tourism with Capitol Art Collection. Oversee Governor's portrait selection process, artist's timeline, unveiling process and framing process. Promote legislative art work donation program by placing ads in periodicals and soliciting donations from artists and donors. Attend legislative facilities meetings and State Parks and Cultural Resources meetings when appropriate. Care and maintenance of art works. Provide necessary resources for temporary exhibits and maintain inventory of art collections. Coordinate Art's Council Biennial Exhibit. Maintain records and organize storage of art works in art storage areas and Past Perfect. Curate work for art exhibits, organize receptions for art exhibits, print materials and publicity. Serve as member of exhibits committee and museum rotating security staff. Work with collections, education, public relations and web staff. Attend exhibit meetings and provide input into exhibit schedules. Provide updated calendar schedules when necessary. Attend conferences or meetings for professional development. Provide monthly reports. Represent museum at meetings/conferences. Attend museum staff meetings. Submit grant applications for museum exhibits.

KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS: Knowledge of various art forms and artists of Wyoming and the West. Knowledge of Museum and Art Exhibit practices. Skill in organization and time management and in independent judgment. Skill in oral and written communication. Ability to work with volunteers, government officials, arts administrators, artists and donors.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS: Any combination of training and experience equivalent to a bachelors degree in arts administration, visual , literary or performing arts, art history, business or public administration or closely related field PLUS two years professional work experience in the arts or cultural organizations.

APPLICATIONS: For more information or to apply online go to or submit a State of Wyoming Employment Application to the Human Resource Division, Emerson Building, 2001 Capitol Avenue, Cheyenne, WY 82002-0060, Phone: 307-777-7188, Fax: (307)777-6562, along with transcripts of any relevant course work.

Blanchan/Doubleday submissions on way to juror

This morning, Wyomingarts boxed up the entries to the Blanchan and Doubleday writing competitions and mailed them to juror Laurel Blossom in South Carolina. There were 46 submissions in the Blanchan category and 45 in Doubleday. Ms. Blossom will have about two months to read the submissions and decide on up to one winner and two honorable mentions in each category. The winners will be announced in mid-January.

If you'd like to find out more about the Blanchan/Doubleday juror, go to her web site at

"Into the Woods" at WWCC in Rock Springs

Still two weekends remaining to attend the Western Wyoming Community College production of "Into the Woods." Tickets are available to the shows on Fridays and Saturdays, Nov. 14, 15, 21 and 22, 7:30 p.m., at the WWCC Theatre in Rock Springs.

Here's a description from the web site:

"Into the Woods" is a musical of all your favorite fairy tales all mixed together. An ambivalent Cinderella? A blood-thirsty Little Red Riding Hood? A Prince Charming with a roving eye? A witch...who raps? They're all among the cockeyed characters in James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim's fractured fairy tale "Into The Woods." Everyone's wish is granted at the end of act one, but the consequences of their actions return to haunt them later, with disastrous results. Consequences are real! This musical hit has pleased millions of audiences the world over and taught a powerful lesson every time. Directed by Chris Will, WWCC's new musical theatre faculty member just here from New York City.

For tickets, please click on this link: You can pay and select your tickets all in the same place. If you have any questions Please contact Heather Robinson 307-382-1721 or

Upcoming deadlines for individual artists

The Wyoming Arts Council periodically sends out e-mail bursts about grants, application deadlines and special events. This one, which was sent out today, features news for individual artists. You can find more information at the WAC web site at

Performing arts fellowships

The Wyoming Arts Council invites Wyomingites involved in music performance to compete for the 2009 Performing Arts Fellowships.Postmark deadline is Dec. 12, 2008. The WAC welcomes applications from Wyoming residents 18 or older who are not full-time students pursuing high school, college or university art-related degrees.

The WAC will award up to two fellowships of $3,000 each to honor the most exciting, creative work by Wyoming instrumentalists and vocalists (individuals only). Two jurors from Arizona, vocalist/musician Ruth Lara Vichules and guitarist/composer Brad Richter, will choose the winners.

The agency's fellowships are on a four-year rotation schedule among music composition; theatre and dance performance; music performance; and theatre direction, dance choreography and design for the stage.

Fellowship applicants must use a printed form and not the WAC Cybergrants system. You can find a printable application in the WAC web site at If you need further information, contact Michael Shay at the WAC in Cheyenne at 307-777-5234 or

Apply for WAC Artist Roster by Dec. 1

The Wyoming Arts Council invites artists (individuals and groups) to apply for its 2009-2010 artist roster. Applications are accepted from all artistic disciplines. You must be a current Wyoming resident, 18 years of age or older. Postmark deadline is Dec. 1, 2008.

The roster gives a WAC "stamp of approval" to the roster artist and also serves as a resource to Wyoming communities, organizations and schools seeking quality artists for their local programs. A printable roster application is available on the WAC web page at

For more information, contact one of these Wyoming Arts Council staffers: Karen Merklin, grants manager and roster coordinator, 777-7743,; Annie Hatch, folk and traditional arts specialist, 777-7721,; or Mike Shay, performing, literary and visual arts specialist, 777-5234,

WAC survey of individual artists

The Wyoming Arts Council is conducting a survey of individual artists through Dec. 31, 2008. The WAC seeks a large and representative sampling of artists, writers, performers and folk artists in the state. We will use the responses in our planning process. What are your thoughts on the Arts Council's fellowship programs? What about its Individual Artist Professional Development grants? Should the WAC sponsor an annual gathering of individual artists? If so, when and where should it be held? More questions await your response at the Survey Monkey web site. To take the survey, go to

Poet Claudia Rankine eminent professor of poetry next year at UW

This just in from Beth Loffreda, director of the MFA creative writing program at UW in Laramie:

The eminent writer in poetry next year will be Claudia Rankine, who will teach a five-week workshop next September.

Claudia Rankine is the author of four collections of poetry, including Don’t Let Me Be Lonely (Graywolf, 2004), PLOT (Grove/Atlantic, 2001); The End Of The Alphabet (Grove/Atlantic, 1998), and Nothing in Nature is Private (Cleveland State University Poetry Press, 1995). She is also co-editor of American Women Poets in the Twenty-First Century: Where Lyric Meets Language and American Poets in the Twenty-First Century: The New Poetics (Wesleyan University Press). A recipient of fellowships from the Academy of American Poetry, the National Endowments for the Arts, and the Lannan Foundation, she is the Henry G. Lee Professor of English at Pomona College. Of her most recent book Don’t Let Me Be Lonely, an experimental multi-genre project that blends poetry, essays, and images, poet Robert Creeley said: “It’s a master work in every sense, and altogether her own.”

She’s also been commissioned to write a play this year, and has been making short films—so the multi-genre work is ongoing.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Rock on at UW Green Rock Concert

From a UW press release:

Local musicians will get a chance to show their skills during the University of Wyoming Green Rock local band night at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 19, in the Wyoming Union ballroom in Laramie. Bands interested in performing are asked to submit press kits to the Campus Activities Center in the Wyoming Union by Nov. 14.

The Green Rock concert will help to increase awareness of the importance of environmental sustainability on campus. With the combined efforts of the ASUW student government and the Student Activities Council, this event will give local bands an opportunity to showcase their talents.

The show will also serve as a fun, relaxed event where registered student organizations and other interested parties can present a variety of things to increase campus sustainability.

"When we were trying to decide what to do in ASUW this year, one of our main goals was to increase the dialogue and actions regarding environmental sustainability on this campus," say Kelsey Day, ASUW president, and Jonathan McBride, ASUW vice president. "We felt that the Green Rock concert would be a great opportunity for students to come together in a relaxed, fun and informative setting."

FMI: Mike Lange at or by phone at 307-766-2752.

Nov. 22 fund-raiser for Gillette Theatre

Vote locally for national historic property prize

Rose Wagner of the Cheyenne Little Theatre Players sends this plea:

The Hampton Inns provide money and volunteer assistance to the historic property (Hampton Inns refers to these properties as landmarks) that receive the most votes in their annual Hampton Inn Landmark competition. This year, the Historic Atlas Theatre has been nominated to receive this assistance. If the Atlas attracts the most votes in Wyoming, Hampton Innswill provide volunteers to work on the building next October for a half-day and award $20,000 to the Atlas renovation program.

Voting has already started and goes through December 5. So, go to the site below, click on Wyoming and then vote for the Atlas!! Tell your friends and relatives and acquaintances to do the same.

Wyomingarts has listened to Rose's plea and has voted for the Atlas. In the interest of fair play, wyomingarts must inform you that two other worthy Cheyenne institutions are on the ballot: Cheyenne Botanic Gardens and Historic Arboretum and the Historic Depot Museum. Obviously, this blog has no sway over voters, but it must be noted that the Atlas Theatre needs something like $5 million in renovations. The $20,000 could go a long way toward making it an historic downtown jewel to match the renovated Depot. Vote early. Vote often.

Touchstone 2008 in Laramie this weekend

Sampler of works by Laramie Artist Project artists to be exhibited at Touchstone 2008 (top to bottom): Ray Jordan, "Oasis," acrylic, 24"x24"; Sharon Mathiesen, "Lost," clay platter/wall piece; Dan Hayward, "Life & Afterlife, #1," photograph; Wendy Lemen Bredehoft, "Drama: Hilda's Day," pastel, 16.5"x23.5"

Touchstone Laramie 2008, an exhibition and sale by the Laramie Artists Project, will be held on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 15-16, at the Ramada, I-80 and U.S. Hwy. 287 in Laramie. Times on Saturday will be 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and on Sunday 1-5 p.m.

The Laramie Artists Project is a consortium of Laramie-area professional artists. Artists in this exhibit include Alberto Alcantara, Alison Arnold, Joe Arnold, Wendy Bredehoft, Mack Brislawn, Penelope Caldwell, Cathi Carr-Lundfelt, Katie Christensen, Susan Davis, Stan Dolega, Ken Driese, Jerry Glass, Anthony Guzzo, Sandra Guzzo, Dan Hayward (WAC roster artist), Travis Ivey, Raymond Jordan, Crystal Lawrence, Linda Lillegraven, Ginnie Madsen, Jon Madsen, Debbie Mathew, Sharon Mathiesen, Susan Moldenhauer, Barry O’Riley, Jeremy Page, Joanne Ramsey, Terry Reid, Rebecca Sissman, Jeny Stoesz, Mike Stoesz and Paula Wilson-Cazier.


Monday, November 10, 2008

Spinmarket Art is new venue for visual artists

Mary Sundet Jones of the Iowa Arts Councils sends this news about opportunities for visual artists:

The Iowa Arts Council launched an online store a few years ago, to help Iowa artists who needed an online vehicle for selling their artwork, photography, books, and cd’s. We called it It’s been a grand experiment for us, and it’s now moving into a new phase, which may interest you as well.

The good result from this pilot project is that we did indeed provide more than 100 Iowa artists with an online presence, and introduced them to buyers all over the country that they would never have been able to connect with otherwise. The downside was that we had a tiger by the tail – we realized that within the Iowa Arts Council, we just didn’t have the technical expertise or marketing resources to really take the site where it needed to go.

So the program has privatized. The company we worked with initially to design and develop the site, Spindustry Interactive, has now taken it on as their own program. It is now Spinmarket Art, and it’s not just for Iowa artists anymore. The site ( is now an online market for all types of creative art at a national level. The goal of Spinmarket Art is to become the premier online source for connecting customers interested in unique and genuine art of all kinds, directly with the artist and art they are looking for.

Privatizing the program allows it to build in ways we just couldn’t manage from this office. It maintains several of the advantages we incorporated from the beginning (the artist doesn’t have to handle the marketing or the fiscal transactions – just the packing and shipping when orders come in, the artist controls the content and images of their work that show up online, having an online store means possibility of selling to buyers all over the U.S., the artist’s investment is much less than if they developed a system on their own, the artist’s percentage received from each sale may be better than other venues).

In addition, with Spindustry in charge of the site, there are professional marketing folks working to promote it, and professional tech folks who can smooth the way for nervous artists. We’ve had an excellent relationship with the company, and are pleased that they’re taking this project on.

Contact Spinmarket Art at for more information. There’s an annual membership fee of $50 through the end of 2008. Basic membership allows for full participation in the site; there are some additional fees if lots of tech support is needed, or if the artist wants to add particular design enhancements. An advisory council will oversee the uploaded artwork to ensure quality and integrity is maintained.

"May you mark your day with a white stone"

Sherrie Sibert, member of Wyoming Writers, Inc., who lives across the border in Idaho, sends this announcement:

I am writing to announce the release of my latest novel, "The Warrior's Dance," a gripping account of Rome's third king, Tullus Hostilius, who is celebrated in history as the bellicose leader who destroyed Rome's mother city, Alba Longa. In this rich compelling look back at a time when history and myth intermingle, King Tullus is portrayed as a young demigod, impetuous, insolent, unhampered by scruples, and exposed to the temptations of tyranny.

Trouble begins during the waning days of elderly King Numa, when Tullus and his restless young partisans go about decrying a Rome grown weak. In the springtime of their lives, they ridicule the piety and peace forced upon them by a doddering ruler and yearn to pursue the warrior's way. A new generation longs for action and glory, while fathers quake at the seditious talk of their sons.

"The Warrior's Dance" is told by those who lived the breathtaking adventure of King Tullus' ascent to power. Their fates perforce are caught up in their hero's triumphs and snared by his ruinous descent into superstition and brutality. When the balance tips too far, the gods will demand their due.

This book (ISBN: 978-0-595-48611-3) can be ordered from your favorite local bookseller, or from online bookstores like Amazon. My books are also available in e-book format. For more information, book particulars, reviews, and great links to historical fiction sites, visit my website at Thank you for your continuing interest, and ...

"May you mark your day with a white stone!" (Read novel to understand this fond wish.)

Fort Collins reading features Laramie's Julianne Couch and Denver's Chris Ransick

Laramie's Julianne Couch will join Denver Poet Laureate Chris Ransick for a reading on Tuesday, Nov. 18's "Poetry & Prose event," taking place at 7:30 p.m. at Bas Bleu Theatre Company, 401 Pine St. in Fort Collins, Colo.

Lest you think that Chris is thoroughly a Coloradan... He once told me that he was married on Casper Mountain. Also, his first book of poetry, "Never Summer," was published by Pronghorn Press in Greybull.

Ransick won the Colorado Book Award in 2003 for "Never Summer." His book "Lost Songs & Last Chances" won the Colorado Authors’ League Award for poetry in 2006. Julianne Couch is the author of "Jukeboxes & Jackalopes: A Wyoming Bar Journey" and an English professor at the University of Wyoming.

Each author will read from their respective works for 45 minutes each and then will answer audience questions.

Bas Bleu’s quarterly Poetry & Prose series showcases nationally acclaimed literary and creative writing professionals in an historic salon theatre venue. The format encourages interaction between the audience and performers, with each reading offering an open discussion and opportunities for the audience to meet the artists.

FMI: Bas Bleu Theatre Company’s web site at or call Andra Coberly at 970-419-3218.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Teton Co. Library presents "Turning Real Life Into Fiction" with Chris Crutcher

From a press release:

Chris Crutcher doesn't back down from writing about real life.

As the author of ten novels for teens, a therapist and child protection advocate, Crutcher tackles subjects such as child abuse, depression, censorship and racism.

Teton County Library hosts a free evening program "Turning Real Life into Fiction" with acclaimed author Chris Crutcher on Thursday, November 20 from 7-8 p.m. in the library's Ordway Auditorium. Crutcher will talk about how he turns real life material into compelling, award-winning stories. As an author who has said, "the real creativity in writing comes from the
rewriting process," Crutcher will reveal his writing strategies and answer audience questions. The talk will be followed by a book signing, with booksavailable for purchase from Valley Bookstore.

The library also invites teens to view Crutcher's work on the screen with the Teen Movie Matinee: "Angus," based on the short story "Angus Bethune," on Monday, November 10 from 3:30-5 p.m. in the Ordway Auditorium. The movie is rated PG-13 and suggested for teens age 13 and older. Both events are free and open to the public and sponsored by the Charles Englehard Foundation and through the general support of Teton County Library Foundation.

Crutcher will spend several days in the valley, visiting with students in grades 9-12 at Red Top Meadows, Summit High School and Jackson Hole High School. Many students at these schools are reading Crutcher's work in preparation for his visit. A child-parent book group led by Lynne Wegner will also read titles such as Staying Fat for Sarah Burns and meet with Crutcher while he is in town.

The library's Teen Program Coordinator, Allie Gillen, says that teens, parents and teachers are excited for Crutcher's visit. The library brought the author to the valley in 2002 to rave reviews, and Crutcher's return visit is in direct response to community requests.

In keeping with his popularity, Crutcher's most recent book Deadline is on the short-list of nominees for Wyoming's Soaring Eagle Award for 2008-09. Most notably, recipients of this award (to be given in 2009) are nominated and chosen by students in grades 7-12.

Crutcher's subject matter has also keep him high on another list, the American Library Association's top 10 most frequently challenged authors for 2007. This means that Crutcher's titles received numerous challenges asking libraries to remove Crutcher's books from library shelves. Mark Twain, Phillip Pullman and Toni Morrison are also in the top 10, and the entire
list can be viewed at

Thursday, November 6, 2008

WAC's Randy Oestman conducts grants training session in Gillette Nov. 14

Interested in holding your own grant-writing workshop? Call the Wyoming Arts Council at 307-777-7742 and set one up. If you're in Gillette or vicinity on Nov. 14, the WAC's Randy Oestman will explain it all for you.

Raghu Raj P leads Indian dance class at UW

From a UW press release:

The University of Wyoming Department of Theatre and Dance will offer a classical Indian dance class, led by acclaimed Bharathanatyam dancer Raghu Raj P, from 8:10-9:25 a.m. Monday, Nov. 10, in the Margaret Mains Dance Studio in the UW Fine Arts Building in Laramie. The class is free and open to the public.

A research assistant in the UW Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Raghu began studying Bharathanatyam dance at age three. He has been developing and refining his expertise in this art form ever since.

Raghu has given more than 400 performances and won more than 100 prizes in this dance form, including the Supreme Dancer Award by the Forest Minister Sri Rabganathji.
Additionally, Raghu has worked as the director of Shivashakthi School of Dance for more than four years, guiding students to complete their junior and senior exams in dance. He is currently the team leader of SANSKRITHI, a dance team of PES Institute of Technology. Raghu has also won more than 30 awards for choreography, both at state and national levels, in a short span of three years.

This event is sponsored by the UW Fine Arts Artist-in-Residence endowment.

UW welcomes Mark Jenkins as writer in residence

This just in from Beth Loffreda, director of the MFA creative writing program at UW:

Mark Jenkins is joining UW's MFA faculty as a writer in residence. Mark lives here in Laramie, and he’s currently a contributing writer for National Geographic, and he has had a long and brilliant career as an adventure/travel/nature writer for a range of magazines—Outside (where he wrote “The Hard Way” column for many years), GQ, Men’s Health, Sierra, and many others. He’s the author of several books, including To Timbuktu: A Journey Down the Niger, and A Man’s Life:Dispatches from Dangerous Places, and his work has been anthologized widely.

Mark grew up in Wyoming and attended UW. He’s known not only for his nonfiction but also for his expeditions into the world's last remote regions, which include the 2nd American ascent of Mt. Xixabangma, Tibet (1984), the U.S. Everest North Face Expedition (1986), the 1st ascent of the highest peaks in the Arctic Circle (1988), the 1st coast-to-coast crossing of the former Soviet Union by bicycle (1989), the 1st descent of the Niger River headwaters, West Africa (1991), the 1st ascent of the Peak Rawu, Tibet (1993), first ascent of the South Face of Mt. Waddington, Canada (1995) and the first ascent of the West Face Direct of Margherita, the highest peak in the Rwenzori Mountains of Uganda. That’s an incomplete list, but you get the idea.

Mark’s will be associated with the MFA, International Studies, ENR, and the Outdoor Adventure program. Mark will remain a full-time magazine writer and global correspondent, so he’ll work with MFA students when he can. Mark’s an extraordinary resource for students interested in magazine writing, freelancing, travel writing, nonfiction aesthetics and ethics, etc, etc (the list is long). He’s approachable, funny, very candid, and very sharp.

(WAC note: Mark is part of very distinguished group of WAC fellowship recipients who have twice been so rewarded. Mark received a fellowship in 1989, and again in 1994).

NIC welcomes piano virtuoso

2005 Van Cliburn Piano Competition finalist Davide Cabassi will perform at Casper's Nicolaysen Art Museum & Discovery Center on Nov. 15 at 7:30 p.m. Director Holly Turner says, "This is the last stop on his tour of Wyoming, so this will be your last chance to see him. He is boarding a flight for Italy the next day."

He made his orchestral debut at the age of thirteen with the RAI Symphony Orchestra in Milan. He has since performed with symphonies in Austria, China, France, Germany, Japan, Portugal, Russia, Scandinavia, and Switzerland, highlighted by appearances in Salzburg's Mozarteum, the Gasteig in Munich, and Rachmaninoff Hall in Moscow.

Known and appreciated for the warmth and sincerity he brings to his performances, Cabassi has become very popular with presenters in the U.S. and audience since he was named a winner of the 12th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 2005. In 2006, Cabassi was selected by the Association of Performing Arts Managers (APAP) to showcase at its annual conference in New York attracting over 4000 industry professionals. During the 2006-2007 concert season he made his debut with the Amarillo and Hartford Symphony Orchestras. He has also been engaged for recitals and educational programs by Purdue University; the University of Wyoming in Laramie; the Portland Piano International Festival in Oregon; and the Louvre Museum series in Paris.

Cabassi’s debut disc for Sony-BMG records, Dancing with the Orchestra, featuring works by Bartok, De Falla, Ravel, and Stravinsky, was released worldwide in the spring of 2006. He was featured prominently in the film documentary about the Twelfth Cliburn Competition, In the Heart of Music, which began airing on PBS stations in October 2005.

Since 1962, the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition has been the most visible expression of the Van Cliburn Foundation's commitment to the highest standards of musical achievement. The Foundation disseminates classical music worldwide, as well as launches and nurtures young artists' careers through the quadrennial Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, ensuing international concert tours of its medalists, award-winning television documentaries, and internationally syndicated radio series dedicated to the Competition and its most memorable performances.

For his performance at the NIC, Cabassi is scheduled to play Franz Schubert’s " Impromptus op.142 n. 2 + op.90 n.4" as well as Modest Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.

Admission to this special performance is $10 for members and $15 for non-members. The doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and guests can enjoy dessert available from Market and More and a cash bar operated by Bi Rite.

Folklorist heads up arts transition team

Oregon folklorist and blogger Camilla Mortensen reports this:

President-elect Barack Obama has begun to put together his transition team.

The American Folklore Society announced this morning that one of its members, former head of the National Endowment for the Arts, William "Bill" Ivey, was named to the transition team by Obama.

According to AFS, Ivey will have responsibility for the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services during the transition.

Ivey is often credited with "restoring Congressional confidence in the NEA" and getting back some of the arts funding that had been lost in the Reagan years.

The president-elect's arts education policies

Interested in President-elect Barack Obama’s policy on the arts? Here’s the part of the policy that refers to arts education. You can read the entire thing in pdf form at You can find more info on Obama's outlook on the arts and culture at Americans for the Arts:

Reinvest in Arts Education: To remain competitive in the global economy, America needs to reinvigorate the kind of creativity and innovation that has made this country great. To do so, we must nourish our children's creative skills. In addition to giving our children the science and math skills they need to compete in the new global context, we should also encourage the ability to think creatively that comes from a meaningful arts education. Unfortunately, many school districts are cutting instructional time for art and music education. Barack Obama and Joe Biden believe that the arts should be a central part of effective teaching and learning. The
Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts recently said ''The purpose of arts education is not to produce more artists, though that is a byproduct. The real purpose of arts education is to create complete human beings capable of leading successful and productive lives in a free society.''

To support greater arts education, Obama will:

  • Expand Public/Private Partnerships Between Schools and Arts Organizations: Barack Obama and Joe Biden will increase resources for the U.S. Department of Education's Arts Education Model Development and Dissemination Grants, which develop public/private partnerships between schools and arts organizations. They will also engage the foundation and corporate community to increase support for public/private partnerships.
  • Create an Artist Corps: Barack Obama and Joe Biden support the creation of an ''Artists Corps'' of young artists trained to work in low-income schools and their communities. Studies in Chicago have demonstrated that test scores improved faster for students enrolled in low-income schools that link arts across the curriculum than scores for students in schools lacking such programs.
  • Publicly Champion the Importance of Arts Education: As president, Barack Obama will use the bully pulpit and the example he will set in the White House to promote the importance of arts and arts education in America. Not only is arts education indispensable for success in a rapidly changing, high skill, information economy, but studies show that arts education raises test scores in other subject areas as well.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Janice Hamilton watercolor series at AVA

StringFest 2008 Nov. 13 at Walk Festival Hall

From a press release:

The Grand Teton Music Festival invites the community to enjoy the final product of its annual youth clinic -- StringFest 2008.

The annual three-day string clinic brings the orchestra students of Jackson Hole and Star Valley middle schools together with Festival veteran violinist Barbara Scowcroft for an intense collaborative rehearsal and concert experience. The largest StringFest to date, more than 80 young string students will be on stage at Walk Festival Hall for StringFest¹s free public performance on Thursday, November 13 at 7:30 pm. No tickets are required, and all ages are welcome.

Jackson string instructor Vincent Gutwein sees StringFest as a vital complement to his school strings program: "Learning to play a string instrument is a challenging task, but the rewards and benefits students gain from public school music is invaluable," he said. "StringFest supports my school program in a really motivating way. It's incredible for my students to meet and play with other students in the Valley who share the same passion and commitment as they do, and for parents to see their child's music education as more than just something they do in school. StringFest really gives these kids a boost."

StringFest kicks off the Grand Teton Music Festival's in-school education programs each year -- the students of Jackson Hole Middle School and Star Valley Junior High School start working on their music for StringFest as soon as the school year begins. The clinician, GTMF musician and Utah Symphony violinist Barbara Scowcroft, will visit the seventh and eighth grade orchestra classes of Mr. Gutwein (Jackson) and Brian Ashton (Star Valley) November 11 and 12 to work with each group separately before they join forces for an all-day rehearsal followed by their combined performance in Walk Festival Hall on Thursday, November 13.

Wyoming's Patricia Guthrie receives UW award

Wyoming native and University of Wyoming Alumnus, Patricia R. Guthrie, has been awarded the University of Wyoming National Advisory Board President’s Award for 2008. Mrs. Guthrie has been given the award for recognition of her hard work and dedication in supporting the arts in Wyoming.

Born in Rock Springs, Guthrie graduated from the University of Wyoming in 1953 with a bachelor’s degree in home economics. While in attendance at UW, Guthrie was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa national honor society and Pi Beta Phi sorority.

Guthrie has been a member of the UW Art Museum National Advisory Board since 1989 and served as the board’s president from 1997-98. She was the first chairwoman for the UW Art Museum Annual Miniature Show and Art Sale in 1997-98. She has been tireless in her support of the museum including raising funds to build an elevator in the Centennial Complex to make the building and the Art Museum more accessible.

In 2001, as part of the Distinction Campaign and with the Wyoming State Matching Fund program, Guthrie established the Patricia R. Guthrie Special Exhibition endowment, valued at $1 million for the UW Art Museum in support of new acquisitions, conservation and special exhibitions.

The UW National Advisory Board President’s Award is an award created in 1995 as a special recognition for an individual, group or organization that represents a lifetime commitment to the arts in Wyoming. The award was presented to the honoree at the Art Museum’s annual Gala Ball Saturday. A replica of the award is on display at the UW Art Museum.

Photographer Deborah Ford at NWC

Artist Deborah Ford talks about her photographic work at a Nov. 7 artists reception in the Northwest Gallery at Northwest Community College in Powell. Go to: for more details.

Photographer Jeff Vanuga at Lander Arts Center

The Lander Art Center and the Lander Photo Group present "Thirty Years of Photography" by well-known photographer Jeff Vanuga from Dubois. The presentation will be at the Lander Art Center, 224 Main Street, Lander on Tuesday, November 11th from 7-9 p.m.

Jeff Vanuga has photographed professionally for over 20 years. His work has been published world-wide in magazines and major advertising campaigns including National Geographic, Audubon, Natural History, National Wildlife. His work has won major international awards including BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year and the National Wildlife Photographic competition. He has hosted TV shows on nature photography for the Outdoor Life Channel and Nature’s Best Magazine and leads photography tours and workshops around the globe. His work is also represented by one of the largest and best photographic stock agencies in the world, Corbis. His website:

"The New Gold Rush" exhibit on display Nov. 13-Dec. 30 at Teton County Library

From a press release:

Geologist and SkyTruth founder, John Amos uses satellite imagery to track the pace and scale of changes sweeping Wyoming's open range during what's been dubbed "The New Gold Rush."

Today, the fever is for natural gas. Amos will illustrate how America's thirst for energy is changing Wyoming's landscape with "A Sky View of Wyoming Gas Drilling" on Saturday, Nov. 15 from 4:30-5:30 p.m. in the Teton County Library Ordway Auditorium in Jackson. Free and open to the public, the program is sponsored by the Teton County Library Foundation.

Amos is one of four artists, who paint a portrait of the people and the place being crisscrossed by pipelines, roads, wellpads and other changes from drilling in northern Wyoming's Powder River Basin. Their work is displayed in the exhibition: "The New Gold Rush: Images of Coalbed Methane," on display in the library's Exhibit Gallery during regular hours from November 13 through December 30. The exhibit combines the satellite images by Amos with photography by Ann Fuller, Patrick Smith and Ted Wood.

The exhibit was developed by the Ucross Foundation and Powder River Basin Resource Council, which will present "In My Backyard: Living with Coalbed Methane in the Powder River Basin" on Wednesday, December 3 from 6-7 p.m. in the Ordway Auditorium. Resource Council members and landowners will describe what it's like to live in a land rich in natural gas and efforts to protect the land, air, water and wildlife. This program is free and open to the public.

According to Amos, energy consumers often are unaware of the environmental costs of drilling, which are increasingly borne by western lands and residents. "As long as energy is cheap, nobody is talking about it. As long as a few ranchers are the ones being impacted by it, nobody cares," he says.

In addition to highlighting changes in Wyoming's Powder River Basin, Amos will show satellite images and photographs of drilling underway around Pinedale, in the Upper Green River Basin, and in the Altlantic Rim, south of Rawlins. He also will present simulations of what drilling could look like in the Wyoming Range.

"As a society, we're not so good at making rational decisions about this because we don't have all the information as to what the benefits and costs are of this activity," Amos says. Amos said he hopes to educate consumers, especially in cities, about how their energy consumption impacts western lands.

After earning a graduate degree from the University of Wyoming, Amos worked for 10 years as a consultant for the energy industry and government. He started SkyTruth, a nonprofit based in West Virginia, specializing in using satellite imagery to illustrate the landscape-scale impacts of drilling, mining, logging and other activities.

Library exhibits and programs are sponsored by the Teton County Library Foundation. For information on library programs, contact the Adult Humanities Coordinator, Oona Doherty, at 733-2164 ext. 135.