Features

courtesy of Christie Wildcat

Every year at Gathering of Nations Powwow in New Mexico, Dozens of young Indigenous women compete for the title of Miss Indian World. This year, Northern Arapaho citizen and University of Wyoming senior Christie Wildcat was among the contestants. But the powwow and the pageant were cancelled to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

As Wildcat told Wyoming Public Radio's Savannah Maher, her preparation won't go to waste, as she plans to compete again next year.

https://www.westernaf.net/

The coronavirus pandemic has put an indefinite hold on live events, and musicians are among those losing out. So performers are turning to the internet as a virtual concert venue.

Victor Llorante

Playwright Will Arbery is among ten winners of this years Whiting Award. The prestigious award is the largest literary award in the U.S and recognizes ten emerging writers each year. Arbery was the only playwright to win this year and finds the entire experience both surreal and uplifting.

Courtesy University of Wyoming Art Museum

Arts organizations throughout Wyoming are stepping up with creative online activities while the coronavirus epidemic keeps people home.

Jennifer Carrigan

The Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area announced its four artists in residence for the coming summer.

Bethann Garramon Merkle

Her Flag is a nationwide project celebrating the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave some U.S. women the right to vote. Bethann Garramon Merkle is a research scientist at the University of Wyoming and one of the women chosen to participate in the Her Flag project.

Erin Jones

As people follow recommendations to stay home in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, some folks are left totally alone. That can be disruptive to mental health—especially in a state with one of the leading suicide rates.

During the coronavirus pandemic, people are following advice to stay home. Fewer customers means less cash flow for small local businesses. That's especially true when businesses have to close altogether. And that affects the entire community, as employees are left adrift.

Justin Farrell

A book out this month takes an unusual look at the role of the rich in American West, examining it through interviews with the super wealthy living in Teton County.

Wyoming Public Radio's Melodie Edwards sat down with author and sociologist Justin Farrell to talk about what he learned while researching Billionaire Wilderness: The Ultra-Wealthy and the Remaking of the American West.

Catherine Wheeler

The auditorium at the Sheridan VA Health Care System is a space for veterans to come, shoot pool, play board games, or just hang out.

But on Tuesday, March 3, it was serving as an art gallery. The VA is hosting its annual Creative Arts Festival that allows veterans from across the state to submit a wide range of artistic creations.

Pinedale Singer-Songwriter Jared Rogerson Live On Wyoming Sounds

Mar 12, 2020
Micah Schweizer

Jared Rogerson live on Wyoming Sounds recorded 3/12/20.

Princeton University Press

Compared to elsewhere in the country, the disparity between the rich and the poor is widest in Teton County, and a new book takes a sociological look at the problem.

Taryn Bradley

Low Water String Band live on Wyoming Sounds recorded 3/06/20.

michaelgbatdorf.com

Jackson Hole based singer, songwriter and musician Michael Batdorf released his eight studio album Proving Ground in 2019. He also released a new album with his band One Ton Pig. Michael spoke with Grady Kirkpatrick about his new music, moving from the Midwest to Wyoming, Tuesday nights at the Silver Dollar and camping in a tornado.

Sunday Vinyl

The Mountain West is very well represented in this year's James Beard Awards, the semifinalists for which were announced last week.

Cristy Anspach

A Pinedale artist has a new show on display that was inspired by…roadkill. Cristy Anspach has spent the last two and a half years making ceramic jars to honor each animal killed on her route between Boulder and Pinedale. Over the course of eight months she made 110 jars. The show, titled "Unintended Consequences" will be on display at the Mystery Print Gallery until March 1.

Anspach talked to Wyoming Public Radio's Megan Feighery about finding beauty in death and how every creature deserves respect.

Robert Martinez

Governor Mark Gordon honored five Wyoming artists with the 2019 Governor's Arts Award, including visual artist and graphic designer Robert Martinez. Martinez is Northern Arapaho and Chicano, and grew up in a family of talented painters and beadworkers on the Wind River Reservation. He draws and paints portraits using bright, contrasting tones in a style intended to challenge the viewer's assumptions of what Native people and Native art should look like.

"You see many depictions of Natives as black and white or sepia toned, and that connotes to a dead culture," Martinez said. "So, one of the things I was doing with this bright paint was I wanted to show that we're not dead, we're alive and strong."

Wyoming Public Radio's Savannah Maher visited Martinez at his studio outside of Riverton and talked with him about his work and what it means to be one of only a few people of color ever awarded the state's top artistic honor.

Catherine Wheeler

On a cloudless February morning, Sheridan residents and visitors packed onto Broadway Street's sidewalks behind bright orange barricades that blocked a long ice path down the street. Skijoring Horses, riders and skiers, lined up around the start line at the north end of the road.

The Cody Country Chamber of Commerce

February marks the 100th anniversary of the Cody Country Chamber of Commerce or the Cody Club as it was known until 1970. Wyoming Public Radio's Kamila Kudelska spoke with Jeremy Johnston, historian at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, and Tina Hoebelhenrich, the president and CEO of the Cody Country Chamber of Commerce, on how the club began. Johnston said it started with the towns founders George Beck and Buffalo Bill Cody trying to attract people to the area.

Wyoming Symphony Orchestra

The Wyoming Symphony Orchestra in Casper celebrates its 70th anniversary this season. The orchestra is also marking Beethoven's 250th birthday and the 150th anniversary of women's suffrage in Wyoming.

Zack DeZon

An off Broadway play made waves last year for being about the most unlikely of subjects…young, intellectual Catholic conservatives. Set in Wyoming, Will Arbery's play Heroes of the Fourth Turning does not reject or promote right wing values.

Instead it lets the viewer interpret the meaning entirely for themselves. The play completed its run at Playwrights Horizons theater in New York last fall, but he hopes to eventually bring the play to Wyoming.

Arbery told Wyoming Public Radio's Megan Feighery that when he began writing, he couldn’t have imagined setting the play anywhere else.

Kamila Kudelska

On an unusually warm Saturday at the Antelope Butte Mountain Recreation Area, I'm on top of the ski hill located in the middle of the Bighorn Mountain Range between Greybull and Sheridan, where the elevation is 9,400 feet. An avid skier, I start down a powdery run with evergreens and big boulders surrounding me.

A new survey by the philanthropic arm of the Outdoor Industry Association shows that more people are recreating outdoors, but fewer are doing so regularly. And nearly half of Americans surveyed didn’t participate in outdoor recreation at all in 2018.

 


WYDOT

Wyoming Indian High School's team colors are red, white and blue. But at Monday's basketball practice, there was a lot of purple and gold on the court. The Chiefs and Lady Chiefs - who swept last year's 2A boys and girls state championships - wore the LA Lakers' team colors to honor the late NBA legend Kobe Bryant. Wyoming Public Radio's Savannah Maher stopped by practice to talk with the players and their coaches about what Bryant meant to them.

Laramie County Library Source

The Wyoming State Museum's traveling exhibit on black homesteaders, "Empire: A Community of African-Americans on the Wyoming Plains" is on display now at the Laramie County Library in Cheyenne. Founded in 1908, Empire was a black community about ten miles northeast of Torrington, and about a mile past the Nebraskan border. 

Public Domain

The spring season of the Northwest Wyoming Film Series begins the week of January 27. The film series is entering its eighth season of showing signature films for people in the northwest region. Harriet Bloom-Wilson, a board member of the series, said it allows residents of the Bighorn Basin the opportunity to see more than just Hollywood films.

Catherine Wheeler / Wyoming Public Media

The Sheridan VA Health System is looking for veterans across the state to submit their art to its Creative Arts Festival for Veterans.

Catherine Wheeler

The Ucross Artist Residency is receiving a $30,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in support of its Native American artist fellowship program.

Melodie Edwards

It isn't easy keeping America's folk arts alive, but the Wyoming Arts Council has been doing their best to preserve Wyoming's. Each year, they give out grants to folk artists who pass on their knowledge to the next generation.

Jack Mease braids rawhide to create beautiful horse tack like reins and hackamores, and now has taught numerous students, including Soliana Abernathy. Mease and Abernathy were among last year's recipients of the Wyoming Arts Council's Folk and Traditional Art Mentoring grant. You can see Mease's work at the State Museum in Cheyenne.

Wyoming Public Radio's Melodie Edwards visited Mease's workshop in Lander.

Wyoming Humanities

Wyoming has been working towards economic diversification and one way to do that is to make Wyoming's culture, arts and humanities programs a bigger part of the effort. Recently the former CEO of the Wyoming Business Council, Shawn Reese, joined Wyoming Humanities to further this effort. The Director of Wyoming Humanities is Shannon Smith and she and Reese explain the idea to Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck.

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