Best Of Wyoming

Explore innovation throughout the state of Wyoming!

WPM’s ‘Best of Wyoming’ offers snapshots of creative and inspirational ventures in communities across the state. If you have recommendations for this page, please e-mail Best of Wyoming’s curator ( or post upcoming events in the Wyoming Public Media calendar.

Each month a different community is featured. The pages below feature Artists, Performers, Wyoming Heritage and the Great Outdoors in each community. For other nonprofits in the state, visit the Wyoming Nonprofit & Charitable Organizations page. Listen to local history on the WPM Wyoming Stories page, and view the Best of Wyoming Listener Favorites & Photo Contests Pages.

Celebrating the Plains Indian Museum Powwow - Cody

Jun 15, 2012
Buffalo Bill Historical Center

Periodically, the Plains Indian Museum staff fields the question “What makes your powwow unique and special compared to other powwows?” Typically, the question is asked by those who have never attended this powwow. However, once they do, the answer unfolds before them. The Plains Indian Museum Powwow has been celebrated for 31 years each summer in Cody, Wyoming, and now attracts 300 dancers from all over the United States, nearly 5,000 visitors, and is the largest, longest running public program at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center.

Cody Country Art League

Jun 13, 2012
Cody Country Art League

Established in 1964, the Cody Country Art League is located in the original Buffalo Bill Museum.  The fine art gallery offers unique, original, and one-of-a-kind collectibles created by local artists. Paintings, jewelry, and bronzes are displayed within walking distance of the Buffalo Bill Historical Center.

Monday – Friday
9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Monday – Saturday
9:00 am – 5:00 pm
10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Free admission

Wyoming Public Media

I’m delighted to welcome Cody to the “Best of Wyoming” roster of cities.  We often imagine the history of Buffalo Bill when we think of Cody, and there certainly is a wonderful historical center commemorating his life located in the city.  But there’s so much more in Cody that waits to be explored, like the Yellowstone Jazz Festival and the Cody Country Art League.  “Best of Wyoming” is dedicated to just this kind of exploration that highlights the people and history of a city.  We hope that our focus on

Yellowstone Jazz Festival - Cody

Jun 7, 2012

The Yellowstone Jazz Festival is celebrating over 25 years of presenting live jazz to audiences in the Cody City Park and the “Jazz on the Lawn” outdoor jazz event at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center outdoor stage in Cody. Audience members are able to hear everything from big band jazz to contemporary smooth jazz or to hear a great jazz vocalist.

For more information, visit the festival website.

Buffalo Bill Historical Center - Cody

Jun 1, 2012
Buffalo Bill Historical Center

CODY, Wyo. – After six months and millions of dollars in major renovations, the Buffalo Bill Museum—one of five museums within the Buffalo Bill Historical Center located in Cody, Wyoming—will officially re-open just in time for the 2012 summer vacation season. And even as the final pieces are put into place, the venue is already receiving buzz as one of the country’s hottest new tourist attractions. The Center is a short drive from the east gate of Yellowstone National Park.

Wyoming Wilderness Association – Sheridan

May 31, 2012
Wyoming Wilderness Association

The Wyoming Wilderness Association (WWA) is a non-governmental, not-for-profit organization first created in 1979 by a group of wilderness advocates and outdoors people who envisioned the Wyoming Wilderness Act.  Headquartered in Sheridan, WWA has offices in Jackson, Dubois and Lander as well.

In 1984, the passage of the Wyoming Wilderness Act brought to all Americans the permanent protection of an additional 1.1 million acres of ecologically diverse, wild country.

“Best of Wyoming” welcomes Sheridan to our roster of cities.

Big West Arts Festival – Sheridan NWCCD

May 21, 2012
Big West Art Festival

The Big West Arts Festival is a large cultural event at the Sheridan College campus in Sheridan, Wyoming.  Its site is nestled in the valley with the dramatic Big Horn Mountains to the west and the spacious, wide-open plains to the east.  Sheridan lies midway between the Black Hills of South Dakota and Yellowstone National Park.

Located in the shadow of the Bighorn Mountains, the Sheridan County Museum interprets a regional perspective on the history of the American West. The Museum’s exhibits investigate the culture, industry, communities, agriculture, and geography that shaped the region’s rich historic and cultural heritage. Throughout the Museum’s exhibit gallery, visitors have the opportunity to experience history through artifacts, historic photographs, maps, and interactive exhibits.

Sheridan College students have an exciting opportunity to study sustainable food systems.  This program and several new courses were developed by Connie Fisk, a new faculty member at Sheridan College.  The Sheridan College Ag Department programs fall into three categories: transfer programs that will prepare students to successfully pursue bachelor’s degrees, two-year applied degrees that prepare them for careers in agriculture, and certificates that can enhance any of the college’s degree programs or be used to provide a job-advantage in the agriculture and science fields.  Visit

Hang Gliders Fly-In

May 3, 2012
Sheridan, WY Travel and Tourism

Dubbed hang gliding “heaven,” the little town of Dayton, west of Sheridan, Wyo., and on the eastern edge of the Bighorn Mountains is home to some of the best thermals in the northern Rockies. The conditions here allow hang gliders to stay airborne longer and go higher.

The new Hang Glider Fly-In Festivals events are scheduled Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend.

Photos provided by Sheridan, WY Travel and Tourism

WYO Theater - Sheridan

May 2, 2012


Sheridan Artists’ Guild, Et Al.

May 1, 2012

History of SAGE

The original Sheridan Artists’ Guild (SAG) was established over 30 years ago as a small organization for Sheridan area artists. This guild served mainly as a social venue for the members and was loosely organized. In 2003 the guild had dwindled to less than 20 members. In July, 2005 the guild reorganized and was renamed the Sheridan Artists’ Guild, et al (SAGE). The organization has also received federal non-profit status and has grown to over 150 members.

Mission / Vision

Gillette’s Avenues of Art

Apr 30, 2012

The City of Gillette created the Mayor's Art Council in 2003 to oversee and implement a program for the development and placement of public art within the Gillette community. Its mission is "to create a more visually pleasing environment and expand the opportunities for residents and visitors to experience quality works of art in public places."

Campbell County Rec Center Climbing Tower

Apr 23, 2012

Built by Eldorado Wall Company of Boulder, Colorado the tower has a circumference of 74 feet and a height of 42 feet, replicating Wyoming's famous Devil's Tower National Monument. The Climbing Tower is the focal point for the entrance of the Recreation Center Lobby. Climbers of all ages and skill levels enjoy top rope climbing, lead climbing, bouldering and the use of the Trueblue auto belay system. To date, over 3,500 individuals have climbed the tower at least once with over 400 individuals becoming belay certified.

Donkey Creek Jazz Festival - Gillette

Apr 19, 2012

In August, 2006, Gillette College began an annual summer tradition when they hosted the first Donkey Creek Concert. Held on the College lawn near the banks of Donkey Creek that first concert included only one band and an audience of about 50 people. By 2010 that single concert had grown into a two day festival featuring two full days of music. The music, food vendors, artist booths, and other activities are enjoyed by thousands over the weekend.

This month, ‘Best of Wyoming’ looks at Gillette and the area up in northeast Wyoming.  All through April our curator, Diana Denison, will feature organizations and events that make Gillette one of the fastest-growing and exciting communities in Wyoming.  We also plan to visit Gillette for a meet-and-greet event in a local establishment – date and location still in the planning.  For me and for our WPM Director of Engineering, meeting our listeners and hearing their compliments, complaints, questions, and suggestions is a true highlight of working for public radio.  Sometimes, it’s just bein

Prairie Wind Culture Festival - Gillette

Apr 9, 2012

The Prairie Wind Culture Festival (PWCF) was started in 2004.  It is an all volunteer, non-profit, secular organization with one goal: to celebrate the rich cultural diversity that exists in northeastern Wyoming.

The PWCF is an annual Festival that is free and open to the public.  As with any culture, the three main elements of the Festival are food, music and art!  This unique event brings people together to celebrate their differences while discovering the many ways in which we are all related.

Campbell County Rockpile Museum - Gillette

Apr 4, 2012

The Campbell County Rockpile Museum opened its doors to the public on July 21, 1974. Ralph A. Kintz was the driving force behind the establishment of the museum, purchasing the land where the famous rockpile sits and then donating this property to the county in 1970.

The Powder River Symphony - Gillette

Apr 4, 2012

"Music can change the world."  ~Ludwig van Beethoven

The Powder River Symphony had its beginnings as the Gillette Community Orchestra on November 23rd, 1986.  The orchestra, consisting of band and orchestra students from local schools and other community residents, was formed in September to give members a chance to play in a full orchestra.  Susan Barry (the first strings instructor in the Campbell County School District) was the first conductor of the 25-member orchestra.

AVA Community Art Center - Gillette

Mar 28, 2012

The Advocacy for Visual Arts, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of the visual arts in Gillette, Wyoming by working in partnership with the community to support a place for inspiration, expression, and education.

AVA offers exhibition space, art classes for all ages, summer youth programs, and a gift shop featuring local and regional artists.

"Building a better community by enriching lives through art."

Stage III Community Theater - Casper

Mar 20, 2012

THE LIGHTS FADE TO BLACK...the music dies away. For a moment, the audience feels that anything could happen.

The lights come up and the show begins. This is live, community theater at Stage III, and you never know what to expect.

The intimate theater-in-the-round stage and the 100 percent volunteer cast and crew can transport audiences to Victorian England, a Manhattan apartment, or a Tennessee courtroom. Wherever the plays take you, you'll meet unforgettable characters and carry home a wealth of memories.

Between 1840 and 1869, approximately 500,000 emigrants traveled through the Casper area on three National Historic Trails:  The Oregon Trail, the Mormon Trail and the California Trail. They migrated for different reasons:  They sought free land in the Oregon Territory, religious freedom in the Great Salt Lake Valley, and free gold in California. These pioneers left behind not only trails, but important stories as well, stories that are significant to U.S. history.

Fort Caspar

Mar 9, 2012
Fort Caspar

Fort Caspar is a reconstructed 1865 military post located at a major river crossing on the Oregon, Mormon Pioneer, California, Pony Express, and transcontinental telegraph trail corridor. 

This Central Wyoming regional history museum features exhibits on prehistoric peoples, Plains Indians, ranching, the energy industry, and the City of Casper as well as the western emigrant trails and frontier army.


March 19 and 20, 2012 are Casper Days!  Groundbreaking for the Student Union and UW/CC Center takes place on Monday March 19, at 2:30, and I hope to be there to cheer the progress.

Wyoming Blues and Jazz Society - Casper

Mar 5, 2012

The Wyoming Blues and Jazz Society was created to promote and perpetuate blues and jazz music across the state of Wyoming. The Society recognizes blues and jazz as being a true American heritage and seeks to educate and encourage, young and old to play and listen to blues and jazz. Members are primarily in the Casper area with a few spread across the state and fewer yet elsewhere in the U.S. The society hopes to grow its membership elsewhere across the state while encouraging and enjoying shared events in many towns across Wyoming.

During the 2011-12 winter break 16 students and faculty from UW, Casper College and Laramie County Community College travelled to Ecuador to spend 8 days/7 nights touring by yacht the Galapagos Islands with author and Charles Darwin scholar Greg Estes. Days were spent hiking trails and snorkeling to observe the unique flora and fauna of these islands that are a natural laboratory for the study of Evolution. Following the Galapagos expedition the group spent 3 days hiking and birding in the Bellavista Cloud Forest Preserve in the Andes Mountains near Quito.

The Tate Geological Museum - Casper

Mar 2, 2012
Tate Geological Museum

The Tate Geological Museum was founded in 1980 through a gift from Marion and Inez Tate. It was originally designated as the Tate Earth Science Center and Mineralogical Museum. Because ‘geological' encompasses earth science, mineralogy and paleontology, the name was changed to the Tate Geological Museum in 2001.

Located on the Casper College campus, the museum is a great resource for the community. Many local schools and groups come to the museum to add to their students’ learning experience.

Wyoming Symphony Orchestra - Casper

Mar 1, 2012

The Wyoming Symphony Orchestra began in 1920 but did not incorporate until the 1940’s. “Musicians always find other musicians to play, and back in the 20’s they traveled long distances on dirt roads to play together” according to WSO Executive Director, Kate Tiernan.

Nicolaysen Art Museum - Casper

Mar 1, 2012

The Nicolaysen Art Museum programs are designed to stimulate, encourage and advance self-expression and knowledge of the arts.

The Landscapes of Conrad Schwiering exhibition explored the personal creative artistic process of Wyoming landscape painter Conrad Schwiering (1916-1986) through pencil sketches, oil studies on masonite, and finished paintings.