Friday, April 1, 2011

Attention artists and artisans -- check out the Wyoming Made program

You may have seen Annie Wood of the Wyoming Business Council on Channel 5's early morning show. She promotes the Wyoming Made program. Her office annually issues a spiffy full-color Wyoming Made Product Catalog. In it, you'll find well-known homegrown companies such as Chugwater Chili Corp., Coal Creek Coffee in Laramie, High Plains Press in Glendo and Roy Pilcher's Bears and Company in Devils Tower. There are makers of soy candles, bison jerky, natural soaps, furniture, clothes, etc. Many of those featured in the catalog are artists and artisans.

Here's some background info:
The Wyoming First Program is a way to identify and showcase great products made in Wyoming. All of the companies call Wyoming home and are proud of the quality they represent. All of the Wyoming First products are unique and made in Wyoming.

The Wyoming First Program is designed to assist Wyoming companies with the identification and promotion of their Wyoming Made products or substantially enhanced products and services. Membership allows Wyoming First participants to use the familiar "Bucking Horse and Rider" design stickers and hang tags on their products.

Wyoming First is a program of the Wyoming Business Council. The opportunities for Wyoming First Members include: the ability to use the Wyoming First Bucking Horse and Rider stickers and tags, notification of marketing opportunities, listing on this Web site, one free roll of 250 stickers with the option to purchase additional rolls, eligibility for Trade Show Incentive Grants, Wyoming First posters, and more!
FMI: Annie Wood, Senior Marketing & Attraction Specialist, Wyoming First Program Manager, Wyoming Business Council. Direct: 307.777.2844  Cell: 307.275.5298

On the web at or

Wyomingarts encourages the state's artists to contact Annie about becoming a member. There is a small fee but you get a lot for your money.

Wyomingarts met with Annie from Wyoming First and Anne Dramko of the Arts Alliance of Cheyenne on Wednesday morning. We talked about ways we can work together to promote creative work by Wyoming residents. The Arts Alliance of Cheyenne works with arts organizations and individual artists in Laramie County. The Arts Alliance's user-friendly web site features a calendar of events and a directory of links to local arts and cultural resources.

Anne is interested in working with the Wyoming Arts Council in promoting artists. The WAC is in the process of putting its Artist Image Registry on its web site. It's been a long process but we at the WAC plan to have the AIR up and running in June. It will be a database searchable by artist's name, medium(s) and location. The AIR will show up to five images from each visual artist along with web site and/or blog addresses and other contact info. This will be one more way that the WAC supports the state's individual artists.

Anne at the Arts Alliance of Cheyenne already is planning to link up with the AIR. Down the road, the WAC will encourage its arts partners around Wyoming to provide links to AIR and encourage their local artists to register with it.

Both the WAC and Wyoming First have a statewide mission but both know that arts happen at the local level. More and more communities are forging local partnerships among artists, arts organizations, arts councils, retail businesses, farmers' markets, local governments, civic and church organizations, etc. The WAC even has Community Arts Partnership (CAP) grants that provides funding and technical assistance for these community-based arts initiatives. Get more info from the WAC's Randy Oestman at 307-777-7742.

Wyomingarts will keep you posted on the progress of the AIR project. Meanwhile, we'll see you at your local arts events this summer.

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