Features

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.

There's an ongoing debate in the American West about which state granted women the right to vote first. Wyoming ratified the decision first in 1869 but didn't vote until the fall of the next year; but Utah women actually went to the polls seven months earlier than that.

Either way, it was Western states that made the leap, and a new book called No Place For A Woman: The Struggle for Suffrage in the Wild West explores what it was about Western women that made them such suffragists.

Wyoming Public Radio's Melodie Edwards interviewed author Chris Enss.

Courtesy


The University of Wyoming's student government, also known as ASUW, has historically been male-dominated. This year, two women were elected to President and Vice President. That may be for the first time ever. But there's no way to know, since ASUW records don't always account for gender. Wyoming Public Radio's Maggie Mullen spoke with President Riley Talamantes and Vice President Courtney Titus about what it was like to be one of the few, if only, two-women tickets to win the election.

Bob Beck


In Wyoming history, only 119 women have won legislative races. Since about half of the state is made up of women, it means they seriously lack representation. It's an issue that has been discussed for years, though little gets done.

Buffalo Bill Center of the West

As we focus on suffrage in Wyoming, we are taking this opportunity to preview a new podcast that Wyoming Public Media and the Buffalo Bill Center of the West are in the process of creating. The KidsAskWhy podcast amplifies the voices of kids who want to ask questions. And it turns out Wyoming kids want to know about women's suffrage as well. Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck spoke to producer Kamila Kudelska.

Wyoming Newspapers (newspapers.wyo.gov)

In 1869, journalism looked very different than it does today. There weren't the quotes or perspectives from both sides. Wyoming Public Radio's Cooper McKim dug into the archives to try and use journalism to learn more about women's suffrage. What he found wasn't much, but found out it was critical. Jennifer Helton, a Wyoming native and expert in the state's suffrage history, gives some background to the state was like in 1869 and how she used journalism to learn more about it.

Susan Simpson

The legal right to vote doesn't always translate to the ability to vote. 

There can be barriers to the polls, says Susan Simpson, the president of the League of Women Voters of Wyoming. That's a nonpartisan organization that provides information on political candidates and works for higher participation in the political process. Simpson talked with Wyoming Public Radio's Erin Jones about how Wyoming measures up when it comes to voting access.

Julie Greer

When Kristen Czaban started at the Sheridan Press in June 2008 as a new reporter, she thought she'd stay for a year, get experience and move on.

Collection of the Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum

Early May, the Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum hosted virtual beers and banter over Zoom.

"I'm excited that we're able to come together and celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the first all women council," said Morgan Jaouen, the executive director of the Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum.

Warner Brothers

As major summer events throughout the state get canceled, one more has been added to the list. The Longmire Days festival in Buffalo has called off its in-person activities this year.

The annual festival celebrates the books and subsequent television show about the fictional Wyoming sheriff Walt Longmire. The books' author Craig Johnson based the town of Durant, Wyoming on Buffalo.

Candace Christofferson

The Riven Country of Senga Munro tells the story of Senga Munro, an herbal simpler or healer, who tragically loses her daughter. Most of the story is set in contemporary Northeast Wyoming, where the book's author, Renee Carrier, has lived for more than 32 years. Her novel takes on themes of place, grief and magic realism. Wyoming Public Radio's Catherine Wheeler spoke with Carrier about the importance of the story's setting.

Angus Thuermer


Being gay in Wyoming can be challenging, but LGBTQ activist, and performing artist, Andrew Munz has decided to stay and try to make things better. Wyoming Public Radio's Megan Feighery spoke to Munz about art, activism, and growing up in the cowboy state.

Šarūnas Burdulis via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

The news can tend to focus on everything that's going wrong. So Wyoming Public Radio's Erin Jones wanted to know about Wyomingites' pandemic silver linings. Here are some of the voicemails you left.

courtesy of Laura Huckin

Even as businesses and public areas begin to re-open, the threat of a serious outbreak in Wyoming remains. In response, a choral festival out of Jackson is taking its event online, keeping attendees - and singers - safe.

Ben Markley

As people stay at home due to COVID-19, it's harder for musicians to play music together. And a lot of them miss it. So one Wyoming artist came up with a creative way to collaborate.


Sound Wave Events in Boise, Idaho, is usually busy with weddings and graduation parties this time of year. But with most gatherings now canceled, the business has pivoted to block parties.

"If you told me a month ago that we would be DJing out of the back of a truck I would not have believed you," said Sound Wave owner Kristin Cole.

Looking for a pandemic read? Craig Johnson, Nina McConigley, and others have plenty of recommendations.

Courtesy of Wyoming AIDS Assistance

If not for the coronavirus, this month would have seen the return of Drag Queen Bingo to Laramie. The fundraiser, which draws hundreds of people each year, was rescheduled for October. The bingo is hosted by the Stilettos, and raises money to help Wyomingites living with HIV and AIDS. Wyoming Public Radio's Jeff Victor spoke with Jim Osborn, who performs with the Stilettos as Martina, or Marti Gras.

AP Photo, Sarah Voegele

By some accounts, Shakespeare wrote King Lear while he was physical distancing during the plague. But that puts a lot of pressure on anyone trying to do creative work while life is in limbo. So how are Wyoming writers coping with quarantine in 2020? And what can we learn from them about creativity in times of stress?

Liz Putnam

Susie Pouliot recently got engaged and she and her fiancé wanted to have the ceremony as soon as possible. That's because her dad is terminally ill.

"So our thought was all about, 'what can we do in this shorter time frame to include my dad,' knowing that when we have our actual wedding he likely will not be able to be there" she said.

benyaro.com

Grady Kirkpatrick spoke with Wilson, Wyoming based musician Ben Musser aka Benyaro about his latest project the Searching for Fortune original score and soundtrack. You'll hear songs from the soundtrack including "Scotch," and "Lemonade," and "Wyoming."

Watch Wyoming's Entries For NPR's 2020 Tiny Desk Contest

Apr 29, 2020
npr.org

As you may know, NPR put out another call for undiscovered bands to enter a contest to play a Tiny Desk Concert in Washington, D.C. A number of Wyoming musicians filmed themselves behind-and in front of-their own 'desks'.

Check out all of the entries here. Watch the Cowboy State's contest entries below.

If we're missing your video, let us know and we'll add it to our YouTube playlist.

wyomingworkforce.org

The Wyoming Department of Workforces Services reports that workers have received more than $42 million in unemployment insurance benefits since the pandemic began in the state.

Neal Herbert / NPS


You might have seen it on social media - Italians on lockdown stepping out onto their balconies to sing together, or New Yorkers applauding health care workers at the same time each night.

Grand Teton via Flikr.com

With widespread layoffs and public closures still in effect until April 30, many Wyoming artists are finding it difficult to support themselves. Michael Lange, Executive director for the Wyoming Arts Council, said he knew he had to find a way to offer support.

Public Domain

So many of the things we had all hoped to do this spring are canceled. And we grieve those things, big and small. But grief can fester, or it can air.

So Wyoming Public Radio set up a voicemail for you to give air to your grief. And you answered—with dozens of replies, messages, and voicemails. Listen to the voices of Wyoming residents reflecting on what they've lost due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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