Features

WYO Film Festival

As statewide public health orders aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus are being lifted over time, more public events are resuming. Many film festivals around the world have had to cancel or change their formats to limit risks. But for the WYO Film Festival in Sheridan, the shows will go on in-person, with some modifications. Wyoming Public Radio's Catherine Wheeler spoke with the festival's director Justin Stroup.

Shirley Ann Higuchi

Nestled in between Cody and Powell in northwest Wyoming, the Heart Mountain Interpretive Center tells the story of over 10,000 Japanese-Americans who were held in the internment camp against their will during World War II. It turns out, the museum wouldn't exist if it weren't for the formerly incarcerated and their children's' dedication.

Chair of the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation Shirley Ann Higuchi just released her new book Setsuko's Secret, which tells these stories. To start, Wyoming Public Radio's Kamila Kudelska asked Higuchi how she learned about her parents' time at Heart Mountain.

University of Wyoming

The coronavirus pandemic has been particularly disruptive for musicians. Some solo performers and small ensembles have figured out creative ways to keep performing, but for symphony orchestras, which can have upwards of 80 players on stage, the problem of safe performances is especially complex. As he explained to Wyoming Public Radio's Micah Schweizer, figuring out a way forward has been occupying University of Wyoming Symphony Orchestra conductor Michael Griffith's time. The Symphony has its first fall concert scheduled for October 1.

Shirley Ann Higuchi

A new book focuses on the importance of having a memorial at Heart Mountain, where Japanese-Americans were imprisoned during World War II. 

Shirley Ann Higuchi is the daughter of former incarcerees at Heart Mountain. In her new book, Setsuko’s Secret, Higuchi tells the story of her parents and many others whose lives were touched by the Japanese-American concentration camp. 

Tommy Clark via Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Wyoming Public Media's podcast The Modern West has been gearing up for a new season. They're doing something quite different this time around. Instead of a lot of separate stories, they're going to tell one big story over the course of eleven episodes. Bob Beck sat down with the podcast's host Melodie Edwards to hear what's coming down the pipe.

If this was a normal year, right now, thousands of people would be flocking to the middle of the northern Nevada desert to watch “The Man” burn. But it’s not a normal year, and this year’s Burning Man counterculture outdoor festival has been canceled along with many, many live events across the region. That’s taking its toll on the arts, the community and the economy. 

Brinton Museum

The Brinton Museum sits on the historic Circle A Ranch at the base of the Bighorn Mountains. Named after the ranch owner, Bradford Brinton, the museum prides itself on an extensive collection of Western and American Indian art. Recently, the magazine True West announced it as the top western art museum of 2020. Ken Schuster, the Brinton's director and chief curator, spoke with Catherine Wheeler about what the honor means for the museum. 

Tate McKinney

In his teens, Tate McKinney started coming to terms with his sexual orientation and gender identity. Like many LGBTQ kids in small towns, that led to hard conversations with his family, but then he found out he was related to Aaron McKinney, one of Matthew Shepard's murderers.

Wyoming Public Radio's Melodie Edwards sat down with Tate to hear his uniquely Wyoming story. Tate came forward to share his story after hearing the episode "The Small Town Drag Queen" on The Modern West podcast about the hardship of growing up LGBTQ in the rural West.

Jackson Hole Center for the Arts

The Jackson Hole Center for the Arts has announced a new executive director. A native of Buffalo, Wyo., Marty Camino joined the Center in 2018 as events services director and has served as chief operations officer over the past year.

He spoke with Wyoming Public Radio's Micah Schweizer about stepping into the executive director role when much of the organization's programming has been rearranged by the pandemic.

facebook.com/DuaneBettsBand

Grady Kirkpatrick talked with guitarist, singer and songwriter Duane Betts of the Allman Betts Band about the new album Bless Your Heart, playing concerts again, riding horses and recently moving to the Jackson Hole area.

Grand Teton Music Festival

The Grand Teton Music Festival has picked its new executive director. Emma Kail will lead the organization, which holds a world class orchestra during the summer months and offers other classical music events year round. Kail has a background in music performance and as an administrative leader in classical music organizations across the U.S. Wyoming Public Radio's Kamila Kudelska spoke with her about her vision and hopes for the festival.

Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Foundation

On Wednesday, August 12, a virtual reading will feature authors of the new book, Voices of Yellowstone's Capstone: A Narrative Atlas of the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness

The book includes stories of the wilderness area just north of Yellowstone National Park. It compiles stories from 30 authors and as many artists. 

Concerts and music festivals around the Mountain West have been canceled due to COVID-19, but not all of them.



Originally from California, author Leslie Patten fell in love with Wyoming almost fifteen years ago and eventually made it her permanent home. The naturalist moved to a rustic cabin near Cody and became fascinated with the wildlife she saw right outside her door. Leslie Patten discusses writing, dogs, mountain lions, and moving from the most populated state to the least.

Her latest book Koda and the Wolves: Tales of a Red Dog is out now.

Regal House Publishing

Even though there's a pandemic happening, life must go on—and that includes publishing books. After being delayed from a June publication, a new novel from a Wyoming author has just been published.

Deborah Lopez

Limitations on in-person gatherings because of the pandemic has led to theatres closing-or rethinking how the show can go on.

Some theatres have, for the time being, moved productions from the stage to the internet. That's the case for Laramie-based Relative Theatrics, and the transition has led the company to hire a Director of Virtual Events. Noelia Berkes spoke with Wyoming Public Radio's Micah Schweizer about her new role and how theatre can benefit from a challenging time.

Jeffrey Denis

Many places around the world have towns with predominantly white populations living in close proximity or directly on tribal land. Dr. Jeffrey Denis is an Associate professor at McMaster University in Canada wanted to see how small border towns like this talk about race. Wyoming Public Radio’s Taylar Stagner talked with Denis about his new book and the connections he made in Northwest Ontario.

Kamila Kudelska

On an overcast morning, the former owners walked through the gate of what was their home for 20 years.

Heather Ray

Ken Keffer grew up exploring the outdoors around his childhood home in Buffalo. The Wyomingite eventually turned his passion for nature into a career as an educator and author. Wyoming Public Radio's Megan Feighery spoke to him about his new book, Earth Almanac, birding, and his fondness for a unique creature.

Sally Biegert

July 19, 2020 marks the 110th anniversary of the Cathedral Home for Children, a youth residential treatment center in Laramie. A new book, Keeping the Promise: Cathedral Home for Children, tells the organization's history through interviews, photographs, and archival materials.

Former board member Sally Biegert and former executive director Robin Haas spent three years researching, writing, and designing the book. As they told Wyoming Public Radio's Micah Schweizer, the Cathedral Home's origin dates back to an unexpected encounter at the Lander train station in 1910.

A new documentary revealing one Marine's experience of the Vietnam War is screening in Cheyenne at the Terry Bison Ranch Drive-In on Sunday, July 19 at 9 p.m.

West Edge Collective

Downtown Cheyenne will host the fifth annual Paint Slingers street festival on July 18 and 19. Attendees are invited to celebrate urban art culture and watch regional artists in action. Desiree Brothe is one of the event organizers and said there’s something for everyone.

Kamila Kudelska

In mid-March, right before the COVID-19 pandemic fully hit the United States, professional bullfighter Dusty Tuckness was at Rodeo Houston in Texas. He said it was going well, until soon, it got shut down.

Maggie Mullen


The first time Mark Ritchie and Leah Hardy laid eyes on their new camper, it was after they'd bought it.

"It was like, 'Oh my God, it's tiny.' Which was great," Ritchie said recently while standing outside their home in Laramie, Wyo. "It made me feel actually more confident dragging it around. Because when I see people with giant trailers, I go, 'Thank God that's not me.'"

Amazon.com

Even before the pandemic struck, rural American communities were suffering, and the blow from this new downturn could hurt even more. But a new book is optimistic that small towns can thrive, if they learn to embrace the innovations of the future.

Dearfield, Colorado, is one of the last standing towns started by Black homesteaders in the Great Plains. Now, property in the ghost town has changed hands, ensuring that key sites will be protected.

Caldera Productions

Two documentaries from Caldera Productions, a film company out of Lander, are up for three regional Emmy Awards this year. The Heartland Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) nominated "The State of Equality" for best historical documentary and best musical composition and arrangement, and "Ferret Town" for best feature among environmental subjects.

Live From Wyoming 4th Of July

Jun 22, 2020
City of Laramie

Wyoming Public Media, the City of Laramie Parks and Recreation, Wyoming Community Foundation and Wyoming Humanities are collaborating on a statewide event for this 4th of July.

Nimi McConigley

Even though women in Wyoming were allowed to vote, run for office and get involved in politics back in 1870, it took much longer after that for women of color to get elected.

The first Black woman to get elected to office in Wyoming was Elizabeth Byrd. She started out in the Wyoming House of Representatives, in 1981. That's close to a century later after women were first granted the right to vote and run for office.

What took so long?

Wally Gobetz Flickr

For over a decade, thousands have flocked to the Rocky Mountains in search of a supposed treasure worth at least $2 million. But that treasure hunt is over now.

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