Thursday, March 31, 2011

Greg Mortenson -- education key to democracy

Greg Mortenson has humanitarian marrow in his bones. As an adolescent, he spent time in Africa with his Lutheran missionary parents and his then three-year-old sister as his father set up the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center in Moshi, Tanzania, which was opened in 1971. A month after his father said that in ten years, the facility would be staffed by the citizens of Tanzania, he was fired from his position for having the audacity to think that the running of the hospital could be done by the people in whose country it had been established. 

So Greg is familiar with failure. In fact, the title of the first chapter of Three Cups of Tea is "Failure." It is the beginning of his prophetic journey in building girls schools, first in Pakistan, and then in Afghanistan. At twenty-three years old, Greg's sister, Christa, who suffered from epilepsy, died from a massive seizure on the morning she was to go on her dream trip to Deyersville, Iowa, where the movie Field of Dreams had been filmed. It was a movie she watched again and again, and found much inspiration from. He had decided that he would climb Kilimanjaro in Christa's honor. He had brought her necklace with him that she had worn, which he planned to leave it as an offering at the top of the mountain to "whatever deity inhabited the upper atmosphere" (From Three Cups of Tea, pg. 9). He had summited "The Savage Peak" at eleven years of age, and had much climbing experience at other locations. Nothing to it to doing it again, he thought.

He ended up spending 78 days on the mountain, but never making it to the top. When he finally got down, he ended up in the village of Korphe, where the first school was built.

We watched a short film about the first school built in Afghanistan. On Mortenson's first visit to Afghanistan, he discovered classrooms of boys in the metal storage containers used by the Russians during the war. He also saw that the girls had class ourside on a hillside. It was here that he met Gomajin, a young boy who watched the progress of the school while he herded his goats, anxious for its completion so that he could attend. But he became the victim of a landmine and died from his wounds. In Gomajin's memory, his father learned how to remove land mines. There is a monument to Gomajin near the school.

Three cups of tea means that with the first cup, you are a stranger, second cup a friend, and by the time you are drinking a third cup, you are family. But this is not a linear progression, 1,2,3, boom you're in. In every village, there is an unspoken progression of bringing one into the social circle. It may take many cups of tea, not formally ceremonial, but an important indicator of acceptance and trust. Greg has taken many cups of tea in his 18 years in the field, and has facilitated the building of many girls schools.

Why girls schools? Educating girls has many positive rewards for the community. Women bring life and nurture it after it is here. Statistics show that when girls are educated, the birth rate drops, the infant mortality rate drops, the quality of life improves, and women go back and serve the community from a more informed place. It is a powerful thing when a woman can read the news. When people are isolated, this breeds fear, and fear breeds anger and ignorance. Education is the only way to civility.

Greg mentions more statistics. Since 2007, more than 3,000 girls schools have been destroyed or shut down by extremist groups. There is a proverb that says, "The ink of a scholar is holier than the blood of a martyr." In 2000, there were only 800,000 students, mostly boys age 5-15, attending school. In 2011, the count was up to 8.3 million children, with 2.8 million of those girls.

The subtitle on Three Cups of Teas is One Man's Mission to Promote Peace...One School at a Time. This was not the first choice of the publisher, who wanted to say something about one man's mission to fight terrorism. But Greg is adamant that he is doing this to promote peace. The book didn't sell with the publisher's subtitle, but Greg was able to get the publisher to agree that the subtitle would be changed if the book didn't at first do well. After the subtitle was changed, the book became a best seller.

Greg also talked about the poverty in this country and how we must be willing to touch, hear, and be poverty to realize any formative changes to the situation. His Pennies for Peace program does this, and suggests the grass roots effort in towns across America of collecting pennies and getting the money to our most impoverished schools. This was his first fund raising program, but it only began when he was asked to speak at a school about how to get the school built in Korphe. Up to then, he had typed hundreds of letters asking for donations, and only received one check back, from Tom Brokaw. A young boy brought his pennies to Greg, and that is how Pennies for Peace began.

Our military mission in Afghanistan now includes soldiers who work at laying some groundwork for the beginning of a school in villages. Greg believes the most successful mission begins with empowering the members of the village. They must dedicate the land for the school, provide the labor to build, and get the materials to where they need to be. With this kind of investment, the village is not so willing to let the school be closed. When the elders of a village in Afghanistan played on the playground of a school, they told Greg they wanted a school in their village, a place where extremists had a strong hold, but only if it had a playground also. They told him that as children, they never had a chance to play, all they were taught was to fight.

Around the world, children are bought and sold into slavery, and at the youngest of ages, are taught to kill. Soccer balls are made by children in Pakistan. China and India have huge child labor forces. Children are mistreated, poorly fed, work fourteen-hour days, and fear abduction and/or molestation at night. Many just disappear. They are certainly not allowed to go to school, but many express the desire to be able to.

So Greg continues his work against the ill winds of prejudice and ignorance. He received a standing ovation.

Linda Coatney

Poetry slam for teens and adults April 16 at Natrona County Library in Casper

April is National Poetry Month. If you are a poet and you know it, show your stuff during “Poetry Slam” sponsored by the Natrona County Public Library. The event will be held at the Metro Coffee Company Saturday, April 16 at 7 p.m.

Poets should prepare two or three original poems to read aloud during their three-minute time limit, and will receive a free drink courtesy of the Friends of the Library. Prizes will be awarded for the best entries. Don’t forget to bring your own audience! Teens and adults, grades 7 and up, are welcome to participate. The event is free and open to the public.

Performance time is limited, so please sign up in advance at the library or by calling 577-READ ext 2. Poets will need to arrive and check in at 6:45 the night of the event.

FMI: April Szuch, (307) 237-4935;

Jackson Hole Rock & Roll Camp

This unique multi-day clinic allows students to develop their individual skills in the context of a real rock band, rehearsing and performing with other student musicians and faculty professionals. Rock & Roll Camp is full of intense instruction, practical playing experience, and loads of fun!

Musicians in this camp include drummers, bassists, guitar players, vocalists, horn players, and others. Potential students must be at least going into the 6th grade in the fall of 2011, and they must have been studying their instrument for a minimum of one year.


Novelist Craig Johnson on the road again

Novelist Craig Johnson of Ucross hits the road April 9 and doesn't return for quite a long time. Here's the schedule:

April 9, Saratoga Museum, Saratoga, WY
April 12, Nantes, France
April 13, Poitiers, France
April 14, Limoges, France
April 15, 16, Clermont-Ferrand, France
April, 18, 19 Brussels, Belgium
April 20, Namur, Belgium
April 21, Liege, Belgium
May 22, WYO Theater ‘High Noon’, Sheridan, WY, 7:00 PM
May 27, Ranchester Branch Library, Ranchester, WY, 5:30 PM

The release date for HELL IS EMPTY is June 2
The release date for JUNKYARD DOGS paperback is May 31

May 31, Blue Heron Books, Casper, WY, 7 PM
June 1, Buffalo, WY, The Office Book Shop, Buffalo, WY, 4:30 PM
June 1, Sheridan Stationary, Sheridan, WY, 6:30 PM
June 2, Barnes and Noble, Billings, MT, 7 PM
June 4, Mechanicsburg Mystery Book Shop, Mechanicsburg, PA, 4 PM
June 6, Chester County Books and Music, Westchester, PA, 7 PM
June 7, Mystery Lovers Bookshop, Pittsburgh, PA, 6 PM
June 8, Books and Company, Dayton, OH, 7 PM
June 9, Regulator, Durham, NC, 7 PM
June 10, Page and Palette, Fairhope, AL, 6 PM
June 11, I Love a Mystery, Mission, KS, 2 PM
June 13, Next Chapter, Milwaukee, WI, 7 PM
June 14, Booked for Murder, Madison, WI, 6 PM
June 15, Once Upon a Crime, Minneapolis, MN, 7 PM
June 16, Book People, Austin, TX, 7 PM
June 17, Poisoned Pen, Phoenix, AZ, 7 PM
June 18, M is for Mystery, San Mateo, CA, 2 PM
June 20, Viking Rep Dinner (private event)
June 21, Boulder Bookstore, 12:30 PM, lunch stock signing
June 21, Tattered Cover (Colfax), Denver, CO, 7:30 PM
June 22, Murder by the Book, Denver, CO, Noon
June 22, High Crimes, Longmont, CO, 7 PM
June 23-26, Jackson Writer’s Conference, Jackson, WY
June 28, Red Lodge Books, Red Lodge, MT, 4:00 PM
June 29, Fact and Fiction, Missoula, MT, 7:00 PM
July 1, Seattle Mystery Book Shop, Seattle, WA, Noon
July 1, Whodunit Books, Olympia, WA, 7 PM
July 2, Murder by the Book, Portland, OR, Noon
July 2, Powell’s Books (Cedar Hills Crossing), Beaverton, OR, 4 PM
July 3, Sun River Books, Sun River, OR, 5 PM
July 4, Sun River Books, Sun River, OR, private party
July 5, Paulina Springs Books, Sisters, OR, 4 PM
July 5, Paulina Springs Books, Redmond, OR, 7 PM
July 6, Rediscovered Books, Boise, ID, 7 PM
July 7, The King’s English Books, Salt Lake City, UT, 7 PM
July 8, Main Street Books, Lander, WY, 6 PM
July 9, Powell Library, Powell, WY, Noon
July 9, Cowboy Bar, Meeteetse, WY, 7 PM
July 10, Cody Library, Cody, WY, 1:30 PM

Windwood Productions & Sign Stage Theatre present "Winnie the Pooh"

May 19, 2011 • 7:30 p.m.
John F. Welsh Auditorium, Natrona County High School
Join Christopher, his best friend Pooh, and the whole animal crew for a delightful, eye-opening adventure told with the hands and voices of deaf and hearing actors. Follow Pooh and Piglet on a Heffalump hunt, watch Rabbit scheme to rid the forest of Kanga’s dreaded bathtub, and help Eeyore search for his tail. Along the way you just might pick up a few lessons in friendship, loyalty and acceptance. Featuring the brilliant talent of Sign Stage On Tour in its 15th touring year, this family production is signed and spoken simultaneously.

Cleveland Signstage Theatre has a distinguished background of accomplishments beginning in 1975. In that year two talented Cleveland actors, one deaf (Brian Kilpatrick) and one hearing (Charles St. Clair), formed a group with a unique mission. They founded Fairmount Theatre of the Deaf to present plays that both hearing and deaf audiences could understand and enjoy. Their objective was to entertain and educate both hearing and deaf adults and children and thereby achieve cultural integration. Their innovative approach was to have the actors themselves speak all the lines and at the same time, sign them in American Sign Language (ASL). This simultaneous integration permits the deaf to follow both the action and the dialog without having to continuously switch their attention from the stage to an off-stage interpreter. Some deaf actors choose not to speak so their voices come from an off-stage hearing person through a microphone or another hearing actor performing with them on stage.

To get tickets and directions, go to

Co-Sponsored by the Casper Journal, First Interstate Bank, KUYO, Hometown Buffet, House of Printing, La Cocina, and the Parkway Plaza. Partial funding is from the Wyoming Arts Council through the Wyoming State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts, the Schneider Fund in the Wyoming Community Foundation, and Natrona County School District No. 1.

ARTCORE • P.O. Box 874 • Casper, WY 82602 • (307) 265-1564 •

The Wyoming Short Film Contest

The Wyoming Short Film Contest

Check out the entries and vote for your favorite entry!


Contest Details

The Wyoming Short Film Contest requires all entries to either take place in Wyoming, feature Wyoming, or present Wyoming as a major character in the storyline. And with a $25,000 Grand Prize for the winner's next shot-in-Wyoming project, there's plenty of incentive to enter.
The contest starts with a public voting round. After the voting round ends the 10 best rated entries go before our panel of judges, who ultimately select our Grand Prize Winner. For more details, see our contest timeline.
Judges: Brian Patrick (Professor, Film Studies Division: University of Utah)
            Robert Arnold (Director, School of Film & Photography: Montana State University)
            Mike McCrimmon (Videography Program Manager: Wyoming Travel & Tourism)
            Lisa Samford (Executive Director:Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival)
            Dave Hanks (Wyoming Tourism Board: Rock Springs Chamber of Commerce—Vice Chairman)

Judges announced for 2011 Wyoming Arts Council visual arts fellowship competition

The Wyoming Arts Council invites you to apply for its 2011 Visual Arts Fellowships, juried by Nancy Bowen, Mark Klett and Joshua Wiener.

This year, the WAC will award up to three fellowships of $3,000 each to honor the work of visual artists that reflects serious and exceptional aesthetic investigation. Painters, sculptors, printmakers, potters, media artists, craftspeople, video, film and others are invited to apply by submitting digital images of their work.

Applications will be up on the web site next week, and paper apps will be mailed to everyone on the agency's visual arts list. Postmark deadline is May 13, 2011.

SAVE THE DATE: On Saturday, May 21, the WAC fellowship judges will each conduct a 90-minute professional development workshop at Works of Wyoming in the Laramie Civic Center. Two workshop sessions will be held in the morning and one in the afternoon. To wrap up the presentations, WAC staffers will preview the agency’s new Online Artist Image Registry. Fellowship winners also will be announced. These sessions are free but registration is required. Call Mike Shay at 307-777-5234.

Judges' bios:

NANCY BOWEN is a mixed media artist who lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.  Her work combines an eclectic mix of imagery and materials to create an uneasy fusion of information and experience. Her sculptural pieces generally incorporate cast and blown glass elements into clay, steel and mixed media constructions. She has  had solo exhibitions throughout the United States and Europe including the Lesley Heller Gallery, Annina Nosei Gallery in NYC, Galerie Farideh Cadot in Paris, the Betsy Rosenfield gallery in Chicago, and the James Gallery in Houston among others. Her work has been reviewed  widely in such journals as Art in America, Artforum, Glass Magazine, Sculpture Magazine and a host of newspapers. She has won awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts and the European Ceramic Work Center. She received a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA from Hunter College (CUNY). She is currently an Associate Professor of Sculpture at Purchase College, State University of New York. See and read about her current exhibition at

MARK KLETT photographs the intersection of cultures, landscapes and time. His background includes working as a geologist before turning to photography. Klett has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Buhl Foundation, and the Japan/U.S. Friendship Commission. His work has been exhibited and published both nationally and internationally for over 30 years, including a 2000 show at the University of Wyoming Art Museum entitled “Witness to an Occupied Land.” His work is held in over 80 museum collections worldwide. He is the author of thirteen books including Saguaros (Radius Press and DAP, 2007), After the Ruins (University of California Press, 2006), Yosemite in Time (Trinity University Press, 2005), and Third Views, Second Sights (Museum of New Mexico Press, 2004). Mark Klett is Regents’ Professor of Art at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona. FMI:

Nature's Gateway by Joshua Wiener
JOSHUA WIENER is a stone sculptor who has created large-scale public art for Castle Rock, Broomfield, Wheat Ridge, Denver, and Longmont in Colorado. He is an instructor at the Art Students League in Denver and has taught workshops at the Denver Art Museum and The Colorado Academy. He also received a residency at PlatteForum in Denver as part of his 2006 Mayor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts. In 2004, Joshua was invited to Bangalore, India to be a part of a stone sculpting symposium. For two weeks, he and over forty other carvers from around the world carved stone. The sculptures were exhibited in Bangalore and are now in the permanent collection at the Valley School in India. The Marble Institute of Colorado was the springboard to his sculpting career. He also apprenticed twice with Uchida in Japan and has worked with Uchida on monumental pieces for museums and also public and private collections. Through an intense exploration of stone and landscape, Joshua current body of work is about creating places. “I typically use stone as my medium because it requires clarity of vision and accuracy of hand, and the fact that it will be here in 500 years is also exciting.” FMI:

UW Shepard Symposium presents "A Slice of Rice, Frijoles and Beans" April 7

The theme for this year’s Shepard Symposium on Social Justice at the University of Wyoming in Laramie is “CREATE: Activism Toward Social Justice.”

The Shepard Symposium entertainment will be provided by "A Slice of Rice, Frijoles and Greens," from 8:30-10 p.m. Thursday, April 7, in the UW Education auditorium.

"A Slice of Rice, Frijoles and Greens" is a multicultural extravaganza that brings together African American, Latina and Asian American artists for a program of spoken word, music, movement and song. The artists open windows into their own worlds through personal tales. Though each "slice" may be different, "rice, frijoles and greens" makes a statement that entertains as it enlightens, taking audiences beyond cultural borders.

Paulina Sahagun performs excerpts from "Nahuatl - Now What?" her Hi-Tech Aztec-in-Gringolandia Self-help Extravaganza. From the mercado in Guadalajara to bad-hair days in LA, there is only one question: Does she know how to make tortillas? 

Dan Kwong performs "Birth Interview" and "Song for Grandpa," stories of growing up in Los Angeles in a Model Minority family gone haywire. 

Chic Street Man, singer/songwriter and blues guitarist, brings it all home with his acoustic ballads, funky rhythms and jazzy upbeat originals.

For a complete agenda for the symposium, visit the Shepard Symposium website at .

Casper College music students perform in a percussion recital April 9

The Casper College Music Department will present two Casper students in a percussion recital on Saturday, April 9 at 7:30 p.m. in Durham Recital Hall located in the Aley Fine Arts Center.

"David Bower and Delane Doyle will perform a wide variety of music from 'Log Cabin Blues,' a ragtime xylophone piece, to 'Wenda Kanawa,' a work derived from the gyil, an African marimba," said Terry Gunderson, Casper College percussion instructor.

The two will also perform a percussion duo; 'Boom' composed by Casper College graduate Brett Reed, who received his doctorate of musical arts degree from the University of California, San Diego.

"Both of these students continue the trend of outstanding and entertaining spring percussion recitals," noted Gunderson.

The concert is free and open to the public.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

"Chicago" razzle dazzles UW April 12-17

Broadway's musical sensation "Chicago" will be the University of Wyoming Department of Theatre and Dance's final performance this season. "Chicago" will run at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 12 through Saturday, April 16 and at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 17, at the Fine Arts main stage.

Tickets cost $16 for general admission, $13 for senior citizens and $8 for students. Tickets are available at the Wyoming Union and Fine Arts box offices. For tickets and information call (307)766-6666 or go online at

A send-up of the windy city's gangster era, "Chicago" is a sensational tale of murder, corruption and celebrity, originally featuring Bob Fosse's legendary choreography and show-stopping dance numbers including "All That Jazz," "Razzle Dazzle" and "Cellblock Tango."

Director Leigh Selting is pleased to secure the rights to produce the show.

"As a young actor, I was in a production of Chicago in 1981, after the original production had closed and I've always wanted to direct the piece myself. As the revival of Chicago is still playing on Broadway today, we're quite fortunate to be able to produce the show," Selting says. "I'd inquired after the performance rights for a number of years, and we were finally notified last spring that the University of Wyoming was granted permission to produce the show -- one of very few universities in the country.  It's rare to be able to present a show that is still playing on Broadway."

He said the show is a wonderful challenge for UW musical theatre and dance students. Selting notes that the production presents a unique opportunity for theatre design and technology students to work in a non-realistic setting. "Chicago" makes use of plenty of steel fabrication and the costumes are iconic of the sexy and seductive time and place in Chicago that Fosse made famous in the revival production.

"People should not expect the movie version here, either," Selting adds.  "We're doing the stage version that has since become the longest-running Broadway revival in history."

The UW production is conducted by music faculty Professor Michael Griffith, vocals conducted by musical theatre faculty member Patrick Newell and choreographed by dance faculty member Lawrence Jackson.

"Chicago" contains language and themes that some might find objectionable.

Photo: Noelia Antweiler leads the cast in the University of Wyoming Department of Theatre and Dance production of the Broadway musical sensation "Chicago." (UW Photo)

Call for entries: "Prairies to Peaks, A Plein Air in Wyoming"

“Prairies to Peaks, A Plein Air in Wyoming

August 1-13, 2011

Exhibition through September 30, 2011

Please enter this event showcasing the vast and diverse landscapes in Wyoming captured in the Plein Air style.

$4,200 in cash prizes

Entry deadline May 2, 2011

Juror is Sterling Hoffmann. Plein Air Workshop with Sterling Hoffmann, Thursday, Aug. 11, and Friday, Aug. 12. $225 pre-registration  Limited to 20 participants. Send with your entry (due May 2) or $250 thereafter.

Info at:

“Prairies to Peaks, a Plein Air in Wyoming
 Deselms Fine Art & Custom Framing
 300 East 17th Street
 Cheyenne WY 82001
 307 432 0606

Casper College music faculty members Jerome Fleg and Kristen Robinson perform April 1

From a Casper College press release:

Casper College's newest music faculty members, Jerome Fleg and Kristen Robinson, will present a vocal and instrumental recital on Friday, April 1 beginning at 7 p.m. in Durham Recital Hall, located in the Aley Fine Arts Center.

"As the new members of the music department at Casper College, Jerome and I decided to present a program to introduce ourselves to the community," said Robinson, vocal instructor. "We will present an eclectic evening of music. This program will feature lots of short, colorful pieces for different combinations of voice, piano, and clarinet," added Fleg, woodwind instructor. Paula Flynn will also join the two on piano.

"Schubert's popular trio 'Shepherd on the Rock' features a beautiful soprano part sung by Kristen, which trades back and forth with my clarinet and Paula's piano," said Fleg.

Fleg will also perform a new piece commissioned by American composer Paul Hembree, "Placing into Infinity," which explores innovative sounds and colors produced by solo clarinet as well as a pair of show Argentinean pieces by composer Astor Piazzolla.

The recital is free and open to all.

Wyoming Writers, Inc., conference presenters earning their "Spurs"

News from John Nesbitt, Wyoming Writers, Inc., Board President:

The annual Western Writers of America Spur Award winners have been announced, and it is with pleasure that I pass on a couple of worthy names. Max McCoy, our headliner for last year's conference, once again won the Spur in the Best Mass-Market Paperback Original category, while Lucia St. Clair Robson (in photo at right), this year's headliner, won the Spur in the Best Long Novel category. These are very prestigious awards, and we are fortunate to have such distinguished presenters. Congratulations to Max and Lucia, and onward to another good conference.


P.S. Just received an e-mail from Shelagh Wisdom with WWInc 37th annual conference brochure attached. This line-up of presenters looks like the best yet, especially if you're interested in getting your book published. Early-bird registration until May 9 is $155 for members. Get more info at WWInc link above.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Congo Tour film will be screened tonight at Casper College

Tonight at 7 p.m. Casper College will be showing The Congo Tour film from Invisible Children.

From the organizer, Casper College student Lorian Stegelman: We will be screening the new TONY bracelet documentary (eight years in the making and finally being screened for the first time). Also, a Ugandan adocate named Collines is coming with the Roadies. She is part of the 1% of Ugandan students who make it to University. Extra: IC will be bringing in more merchandise, including more MEND bags. The event is free, but the merchandise helps to fund IC campaigns.

The screening will take place in the Wheeler Auditorium Rm. 103 in the Wheeler Auditorium, Wold Physical Science Center. You are welcome to attend and visit with Lorian, Collines, the roadies, etc.

More information on the Congo Tour can be found here:

Cheyenne's Al Weiderspahn will deliver keynote address at Preserve Wyoming Conference

Keynote speaker Alvin Weiderspahn will discuss his efforts to rehabilitate Cheyenne’s Grier Building during a Preserve Wyoming Conference, April 29-30 in Casper.

The conference is sponsored by the Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office in partnership with Wyoming Main Street, Alliance for Historic Wyoming, Casper Historic Preservation Board, Wyoming State Historical Society and Yellowstone Garage.

Weiderspahn’s rehabilitation of the Grier Building is the state’s first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified project.

Other session topics during the conference include building restoration projects, the future of Wyoming’s historic schools and case studies of school preservation. Also, an advocacy session on preservation issues will be held with Wyoming legislators.

An awards ceremony will highlight the outstanding work and efforts of Wyoming’s Certified Local Government organizations and the Wyoming Main Street Program.

A walking tour of downtown Casper and the Yellowstone District will be held April 29 with a tour of Natrona County High School on April 30.

To register for the conference, please visit Persons with questions are asked to contact Ashley Rooney at 307-777-7566 or

Pittsburgh Opera soprano Deborah Selig performs April 8 at UW

Acclaimed Pittsburgh Opera soprano Deborah Selig performs in concert Friday, April 8, at 7:30 p.m. in the University of Wyoming Fine Arts concert hall.
Tickets cost $18 for general admission and $15 for students and senior citizens. Tickets are available at the Wyoming Union and Fine Arts Center box offices, or online at . Call (307) 766-6666 for ticket information.
Thursday, April 7, Selig will join the UW Symphony to perform Richard Strauss's "Vier Letzte Lieder" at 7:30 p.m. in the Fine Arts concert hall.
Cedric Reverand, UW Cultural Programs director, says Selig was selected following a lengthy search for a soprano to perform with the UW Symphony Orchestra.
"And then, at the Central City Opera, we saw Deborah Selig as Zerlina in Mozart's 'Don Giovanni,'" Reverand recalls. "At the end of one of her arias, ‘Vedrai carino,' there was a huge, audible sigh from the audience. We knew we had our soprano."
One reviewer described her Zerlina as "absolutely stunning."
 Selig holds an artist's diploma from the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and a B.A. degree with honors from the University of Michigan, where she majored in voice performance and English.

Writing in the Cracks -- WyoPoets annual workshop in Casper April 23, 2011

Join WyoPoets 2011 workshop facilitator Lee Ann Roripaugh for "Writing in the Cracks/Hybrid-Genre Poetry" on April 23, 2011 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Casper.

Early registration is $40. After April 5, $45. A deli lunch buffet is included. The first 8 poems received are eligible for a critique by Ms. Roripaugh.

Rooms are available at the Hampton Inn, which is next door to the Hilton Garden Inn, for the special rate of $84/night, double beds. Please ask for the WyoPoets room block. Hampton provides a continental breakfast.

Lee Ann Roripaugh was was born and raised in Laramie, Wyoming. Her degrees include an M.M. in music history, a B.M. in piano performance, and an M.F.A. in creative writing, all from Indiana University. Her first volume of poetry, Beyond Heart Mountain (Penguin Books, 1999), was selected by Ishmael Reed for the National Poetry Series and was also a finalist for the 2000 Asian American Literature Awards. Other honors include an Academy of American Poets Prize, an AWP Intro Award, and the 1995 Randall Jarrell International Poetry Prize. Her poetry has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Black Warrior Review, Cream City Review, Crab Orchard Review, New England Review, Parnassus: Poetry in Review, Phoebe, and Seneca Review. Her poetry has also been selected for inclusion in the anthologies American Identities: Contemporary Multicultural Voices (eds. Robert Pack and Jay Parini, 1994), American Poetry: The Next Generation (eds. Gerald Costanzo and Jim Daniels, 2000), and Waltzing on Water: Poetry by Women (eds. Norma Fox Mazer and Marjorie Lewis, 1989). Ms. Roripaugh is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of South Dakota.

Cheyenne Artists Guild sponsors Terrie Lombardi "Art of the Flower" workshop April 16-17

Terrie Lombardi
Art of the Flower Workshop
   April 16-17, 2011
Plan to join Terrie Lombardi, in this inspirational, fun and relaxed floral workshop sponsored by the Cheyenne Artists Guild.  The workshop is open to all levels of students.  Terrie has developed her own vision and technique, which enables her to compose floral images demonstrating a rich expressive use of color and value.  Students can work in their chosen medium, pastel, oil or acrylic.  Day one will be a demo and instruction, using reference photos and completing an 11x14 painting.  Day two will utilize the same reference and with cropping you will complete two additional 5x7 paintings.                                                             Artist Terrie Lombardi
With more than 25 years of experience Terrie masterfully blends vibrant colors, light and dimension to draw in the onlooker like an invitation to a party.  She is represented at Abend Gallery and Fine Art in Denver and Evergreen Fine Art in Evergreen, Colorado.
She studied at the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design and the Art Students League of Denver.  Terrie also participated in numerous workshops with instructors such as Tony Ortega, Carol Katchen, Quang Ho, Kang Cho, Albert Handell, Lorenzo Chavez, Doug Dawson, Desmond O'Hagen, and Kevin Weckbach. She is an active member with the Pastel Society of America, and the Pastel Society of Colorado.

$100 for Guild Members
$120 non-Guild Members
Call 307 632-2263 for Registration
Visit the Cheyenne Artists Guild In Holliday Park Noon to 4:30 Tuesday – Friday.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Matteo Pistono, author of "In the Shadow of the Buddha," returns to Wyoming April 5-8

Author Matteo Pistono was one of the speakers at the Casper College Humanities Festival in February. He’s returning to the state in April for presentations in Casper and Laramie. Here are the details:

Tuesday, April 5, 6 p.m., Casper
Casper College, Leik Auditorium, Physical Sciences 103
“Tibetan Pilgrimage: In the Shadow of the Buddha”
Slide show and Book Talk by Matteo Pistono

Thursday, April  7, 3:10 p.m., Laramie
International Studies Program, University of Wyoming
China, Tibet, and the Human Rights Debate: Why Can¹t the Dalai Lama and China Find Common Ground?”
Lecture by Matteo Pistono followed by response by Jean Garrison, Tom Seitz and Michael Brose

Friday, April 8, 7-8 p.m., Laramie
Second Story Books, 105 East Ivinson
“Tibetan Pilgrimage: In the Shadow of the Buddha”
Slide show and Book Talk

Watch the video trailer for “In the Shadow of the Buddha: Secret Journeys, Sacred Histories, and Spiritual Discovery in Tibet” at

Penny Zeller book signing April 2 in Sheridan

Author Penny Zeller will be at Sheridan Stationery this Saturday, April 2, from 1-3 p.m., signing copies of her newest release Kaydie, which was just released last week. Kaydie follows McKenzie in the author's Montana Skies Historical Romance Series. Below is a short blurb about Kaydie:

Since the death of her abusive husband, Kaydie Kraemer’s life has been easier, but she’s wary of men and builds a wall of protection around her, staying with her sister McKenzie as she awaits the birth of her baby. Haunted by her painful marriage, Kaydie is determined never to fall in love again, and it will take the grace of God to change her mind—the same grace that works in the heart of ranch hand Jonah Dickenson, a confirmed bachelor who has unhealed wounds of his own to overcome.

Here is the link to the book trailer:

Celebrate Nepalese New Year 2068 at UW

Celebrate the Nepalese New Year 2068 with Friends of Nepal at the University of Wyoming Saturday April 2.
Nepalese culture will be shared through delicious cuisine and cultural shows, including music and dance performances, musical bands as guest artists, drama and other diverse programs.
The cultural program starts at 5:30 p.m. in the Arts and Sciences auditorium, followed at 8:30 p.m. by cuisine and dance in the Wyoming Union ballroom. Tickets for the cuisine and dance are free but must be obtained at the Wyoming Union information desk March 28-29 from 10 a.m.-noon.
For more information contact Resha Singh at (903) 647-1311 or e-mail .
Photo: These dancers will be among performers at the Nepalese New Year's celebration Saturday, April 2.

Call for entries: Laramie Area Visitor Center Photo Contest

Sign up now for the 2011 Laramie Area Visitor Center Photo Contest at

The contest will run from March 10 through April 29, 2011.  Entries will be judged by a local panel, and finalists in each category will be displayed at downtown businesses where citizens of Albany County will be encouraged to vote for their favorite photo. The photos will be in downtown businesses from May 9 through May 20, 2011.  The voting results will then be used as part of the formula to select the winning entries.  The winning photos will be announced in the Laramie Boomerang during the week of May 23, 2011.

Acceptable entries must be original photographs taken in Albany County in the last two years (from 2009 to 2011).  Entries will be judged in the following six categories that represent the spirit and people of Albany County:  Landscape; Wildlife; Winter Activities; Summer Activities; Building/Museums; and Western Heritage.  Lake Marie and Medicine Bow Peak are in Carbon County, but very spectacular from the Albany side, so photographs taken of Lake Marie and Medicine Bow Peak from the Albany County side will be accepted.

Call for entries: Sheridan Artists' Guild Juried Art Show

The first Sheridan Artists’ Guild, Et. Al., Juried Art Show will be held in Sheridan during the month of June 2011.

Submission deadline is April 1!

The show will be on display at the Historic Train Depot. The artists’ reception and presentation of awards will be on Friday, June 24, from 5-7 pm, also at the Historic Train Depot located at 201 E. 5th Street. The juror for this show is Phil Starke, an extraordinary artist from Tucson, Arizona.

Click here to download a prospectus or email Karen at

Friday, March 25, 2011

CWC Intertribal Education and Community Center dedicated today in Riverton

From a UW press release:

Central Wyoming College officially dedicated and celebrated the opening of the Intertribal Education and Community Center at a ceremony (today) Friday, March 25 in Riverton.

After a decade of planning and fundraising, the 16,713-square foot facility, which opened for classes and community gatherings last October, was officially dedicated during a ceremony on the plaza in front of the building.

The Intertribal Center has a multipurpose function. In addition to being an educational facility for both CWC and the University of Wyoming, it serves as a venue for conferences, workshops and meetings. It is also a highly visible landmark that celebrates the cultural diversity of the area, said CWC President Jo Anne McFarland.

U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi, who obtained federal appropriations that allowed CWC to proceed with construction in 2009, was the special guest. His talk was followed by remarks from UW Provost Myron Allen, Fremont County representatives Del McOmie and Patrick Goggles, as well as tribal and college officials.

Eastern Shoshone tribal member Ann Abeyta performed a hoop dance accompanied by a drum group. The ceremony was preceded with an informal feast in the Wind River Room and followed by tours of the building.

Funds for the facility came from multiple sources, including state and federal appropriations and private donations. CWC also has received support from the Northern Arapaho, Eastern Shoshone and the Shakopee Mdewankanton Sioux tribes.

UW contributed $1.1 million toward the center's construction to make its Fremont County Outreach Center more visible and accessible.

"This stunning facility represents a truly innovative relationship among Central Wyoming College, UW, and Wyoming's American Indian communities. It's a win-win-win scenario," says Allen. "The intertribal center makes every leader in higher education proud, and UW President Tom Buchanan and CWC President Jo Anne McFarland stand with the best. The students are Wyoming's, and they're our best hope for the future."

Photo: The Intertribal Education and Community Center at Central Wyoming College was dedicated Friday. In addition to being an educational facility for both CWC and the University of Wyoming, it serves as a venue for conferences, workshops and meetings. (CWC Photo)

Cinco de Mayo will be first fund-raiser at new Sagebrush Community Art Center in Sheridan

New Sagebrush Community Art Center at Sheridan Historic Depot
The Sagebrush Community Art Center in Sheridan is planning a Cinco de Mayo Celebration on Thursday, May 5, 6-9pm. This will be the first fund-raising event in the new home at the Historic Train Depot, 201 E. 5th St.).

Tickets are on sale at the art center and are $40 per person or $75 for a couple which includes music, a Mexican inspired dinner and one free beverage. Activities include a silent and live auction of artwork from SAGE members and painted and signed ceramic trains from several local celebrities. The trains and ceramic paints were donated by Alex Boyle of “Something to Kiln”, a local paint your own pottery store. There will be piƱatas and balloons filled with great prizes including one pass to attend the oil painting workshop by Phil Starke coming in June 2011 in conjunction with the SAGE Juried Art Show. Proceeds will help with art programming and operating expenses of the Sagebrush Community Art Center.

For more information or to purchase tickets please call Executive Director Karen Myers at 674-1970 or email her at

New CD from Gary Small & the Coyote Brothers: "Wyoming (For Dummies)"

Grady Kirkpatrick playing latest CD by Gary Small and the Coyote Brothers today on Wyoming Public Radio's "Morning Music." Selection was "Snaggle-Tooth Jackalope." Here's info from the Coyote Bros web site: "We've just released 'Wyoming (for Dummies).' An EP with 6 crazy rockabilly and surf songs about our quirky culture in Wonderful Wyoming. If you've ever worked in the Park, or been to Yellowstone, ya' better get this one."

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Get into the swing of country swing at Casper College

Two popular dance classes, Country Swing (Beginning) (CMSV 0040 80) and Country Swing (Intermediate) (CMSV 0041 80), will begin on Sunday, March 27, at Casper College.

Country Swing (Intermediate) will run from 4 to 6 p.m. each Sunday through April 17. According to Machelle Holloway, instructor, those taking the class will “expand on the dance steps learned in the country swing beginners class and learn the two-step, waltz, and some ballroom.”

County Swing (Beginning) will run from 6 to 8 p.m. The country swing class is a beginner’s level class and “students will learn three fun and easy dances; country swing, two-step, and country waltz,” Holloway said. The class runs from 6 to 8 p.m. each Sunday and will also run through April 17.

Both four-week classes are open to all ages. To register or for more information contact Laura Burnett, Casper College events and programs specialist, at 268-3399.

Clay sculpting workshop by Barbara Wolf March 29 at the Cheyenne Artists Guild

Clay Day at the Cheyenne Artists Guild
Tuesday, March 29, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
$50 for Guild members, $60 non-members, plus $10 material fee

If you have always wondered how it would feel to have clay between your fingers and see the miraculous transformation from a clump of clay into a recognizable human shape, this is the class for you. We will begin with a basic human anatomy lesson, and we will culminate in acquiring the sensitivity to express feelings, purpose and emotions represented by a well thought-out gesture. You will have the opportunity to experiment with different modeling techniques, usage of various sculpting tools using a self-drying clay, which hardens without firing. No prior experience is necessary, so please do not feel intimidated if you have never sculpted before. The class is small so you will receive plenty of one on one attention and leave with your own sculpture.

Barbara Wolf is a graduate of Central Michigan University, with masters from Aquinas College. With a background in dance as a performer, teacher and choreographer, she always had a passion for sculpting. Her first experience with sculpting clay began in high school and her bust of a man won her a state award of a blue ribbon. Her more recent work is a study in a series of women figures that she sculpted and in addition, wrote a book based on these figures. Barbara enjoys teaching sculpting of the human body and finds that it is expressive, complex, challenging and rewarding. She feels working with the human form affords the artist the ability to express feelings, purpose and emotions that may be hard to verbalize.

Take a day to come play with clay!

Sign up at the Cheyenne Artists Guild

Open Noon to 4:30 Tuesday through Friday.

Call 307 632-2263 for info

SEWIPA Powwow March 26 at LCCC

Richard Olveda and John Fink, Jr., exhibit opens May 23 at ASUW Gallery 234 in Laramie

Call for artists: Jackson Hole pedestrian underpass public art project

Public Art Opportunity

Pedestrian Underpass Wing Walls Connecting the National Museum of Wildlife Art to Jackson Hole Community Pathways

Request for Qualifications Deadline: April 22
Project Budget: $25,000
Download the call and image Index at

The Pedestrian Underpass connects the Jackson Hole Community Pathway’s System North Highway 89 Pathway to the National Museum of Wildlife Art. The Underpass acts as a gateway to the Walter Hood designed sculpture trail which is scheduled for construction this summer. This section of Pathway will connect the Town of Jackson to Grand Teton National Park and runs parallel to the National Elk Refuge. Opportunities exist for artists to enhance the four concrete retaining walls on framing the underpass after they have been built.

You can also access the the file and image appendix at:

FMI: Carrie Geraci, Director of the Jackson Hole Public Art Initiative, 307-413-1474

Miss "V" celebrates women's history at Johnson County Library in Buffalo

Wyoming Arts Council roster artist Miss "V" The Gypsy Cowbelle will perform at the "Celebration of Women's History" concert on Friday, March 25, 7 p.m., at the Johnson County Public Library in Buffalo. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the library at 307-638-5546 or see the web site at

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

"Jentel Presents" April 5 in SAGE Space at the Sheridan Historic Train Depot

Jentel Artist Residency Program is pleased to present this month's residents in an event open to the public.

"Jentel Presents" will take place Tuesday, April 5, 2011, from 5:30-7 p.m. at SAGE Space, in the Historic Train Depot on 5th and Broadway, across from The Sheridan Inn in Sheridan. This month's presenters include a fiction writer, an oil painter, a sculptor, a videographer/sculptor, a novelist, and an installation artist.

"Jentel Presents" is a community outreach program that features visual presentations and readings by the visual artists and writers at the residency.

Call for artists: Medicine Hat public art project


Open to all regional, national or international artists.
Total Budget: 40,000
The City of Medicine Hat in Alberta invites artists to participate in a public art competition. The winning submission will receive a commission to create and install a public art work or related series of works to be situated on 2nd Street SE, between South Railway St. SE and 5th Avenue SE, in downtown Medicine Hat.
The winning submission will receive a commission to create and install a public art work or related series of works to be situated on 2nd Street SE, between South Railway Street SE and 5th Avenue SE, in downtown Medicine Hat.  Documents are available for download at the Alberta Purchasing Connection.
Reference #AB-2011-00324
This opportunity will only be available on this website.  If you have not already signed up, please do so – registration is free.
All inquiries regarding this RFP must be directed in writing to:
Rhonda Olson, Buyer
403.529.8237 | 403. 526.1239
rhools [at] medicinehat [dot] ca

Grant-writing workshop May 23-24 in Cheyenne

The Cheyenne Police Department and Grant Writing USA will present a two-day grants workshop in Cheyenne, May 23-24, 2011. This training is applicable to grant seekers across all disciplines. Attend this class and you'll learn how to find grants and write winning grant proposals.

Click here for full event details:

Beginning and experienced grant writers from city, county and state agencies as well as nonprofits, K-12, colleges and universities are encouraged to attend.

Multi-enrollment discounts and discounts for Grant Writing USA returning alumni are available. Tuition payment is not required at the time of enrollment.

Tuition is $425 and includes all materials: workbook and accompanying 420MB resource CD that's packed full of tools and more than 200 sample grant proposals. 

FMI: 800.814.8191 or

Casper College Multicultural Film Festival presents "The Secret of Roan Inish"

The second film of the Casper College Multicultural Film Festival, "Exploring Ireland Through Films," is "The Secret of Roan Inish," which tells the story of a young girl named Fiona, and the tales her grandfather tells of Selkies (creatures who are both woman and seal) and an Irish island called Roan Inish. The film, directed by John Sayles, will be shown on Friday, March 25 beginning at 7 p.m. in Wheeler Auditorium, located in the Wold Physical Science Center, Room 103.

In his review, published in the Chicago Sun Times, movie critic Roger Ebert said: "One can easily guess how this legend could have been simplified and jollied up in other hands, how it could have been about cute little Selkies. But legends are, after all, told by adults, not children, and usually they record something essential to the culture that produces them. What this legend says, I think, is that the people who tell it live on the land but live from the sea, so that their loyalties are forever divided."

Casper College English instructor Joseph Campbell will lead the post-film discussion.

"The Secret of Roan Inish" is free and open to all and is sponsored by the Casper College Honors Program, the Casper College International Studies Program, and Casper College.