Wyoming Theater Festival

Sheridan is hosting the first ever Wyoming Theater Festival. Talent from across the country has come to develop plays. Festival Director DannyLee Hodnett says the goal is to do for theatre that what Sundance Film Festival does for film.

“We’re trying to develop a theatre tourism economy. And for the audience, we just want to entertain them, give them a chance to see some great work and to be part of the creative process of what’s going to be on the stages in the big cities next season,” he says.

Flickr Image

Cheyenne is working to beautify its downtown. The Cheyenne Mural Project is modeled on the Laramie Mural Project. Work is set to start in August and be completed in October.

“We’re really excited and thrilled to be able to introduce more arts into our community, and create some long-term community investment in the downtown,” says Cheyenne DDA/Main Street director Amy Surdam.

The project aims to complete two murals this year, with many more in the future.

Sublette County Fair Art Show

The county fair in Big Piney is different than many county fairs—it has an art show. The fair’s Lynn Thomas Memorial art show is in its second year.

“There’s considerable art talent in Sublette County. And we needed a place to showcase that,” says Charmian McLellan, the art show coordinator.

Alongside local talent, the show attracts artists from as far as Michigan and Texas. An estimated 40 artists are at the art show.

Lander LIVE Website

A new free concert series starts this week in Lander. Lander LIVE kicks off Tuesday, July 21st, with a performance by Memphis-based country-rock band Lucero. The bands Donna the Buffalo, Pimps of Joytime, and Elephant Revival are each scheduled to play later this summer.

Unlike many concerts, Lander LIVE is always on a Tuesday night. 


Coal and gas from Wyoming’s mineral-rich land powers much of the nation. Now, the state even has a power switch—the same circle and line button seen on household electronics, tilled into a field in Sublette County. The 100 foot diameter Power Switch is the creation of three artists from the Pinedale area. It’s an example of land art, which uses elements of nature to harmonize with its location. And because it’s natural, it changes with the seasons.

Adrienne Adar, "Sonic Succulents, Living Interactive Sound Objects"
Art Association of Jackson Hole

An exhibit opening at the Art Association of Jackson Hole questions the role of technology in our lives. “Physico Electro: An Exhibition of DIY and Maker Art” features work by six artists from across the country. Two Brooklyn artists, Dave Sheinkopf and Daniel Kent, are also teaching a class about DIY art in conjunction with the exhibition. Sheinkopf says DIY—or Do It Yourself—art asks viewers to look at technology from a new angle.


The Lander Art Center plans to host the first stop of a traveling art exhibition called “Give and Take.” The exhibition features the art of eleven women from Lander and Laramie. Artist Dannine Donaho says the artists all had one theme common in their work.

“The theme that we identified that we all had in common was nourishment. So we really liked sort of the reverse implication of the phrase give and take. You can take care of someone, which implies giving. Or you can give something up, which implies that something or someone has been taken away.”

Wyoming Arts Council

The Wyoming Arts Council will host public meetings around the state July 13 through July 17.

The council hosts these meetings every five years in order to work on long term plans for the arts in Wyoming.

Executive Director Michael Lange says the public meetings help make sure the Council’s plans reflect the interests of Wyoming’s people.

Andrew Cowell



The Arapaho language is one of many indigenous languages considered endangered. But a new book of bilingual Arapaho stories attempts to help the problem by collecting hundreds of songs and prayers into one place.

Governor Mead announced the state’s new official poet Thursday.  He gave the honor of poet laureate to Rose Hill of Sheridan, a local business owner and long-time writer.

Mead said Hill was chosen for the position because her poetry was “beautiful and eloquent and something I couldn’t do.”  At a ceremony, he signed an executive order naming Hill and afterward, she read a sample of her work. Hill is Wyoming’s seventh poet laureate.

Wyoming became the 44th state on July 10th, 1890. This year marks its 125th anniversary of statehood, and Wyomingites couldn’t let that go by without a little party. Milward Simpson is the Director of the Wyoming Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources. He joins Wyoming Public Radio's Caroline Ballard to talk about the celebrations that will mark the 125th anniversary of Wyoming statehood, and to reflect on the state's legacy.


Downtown Jackson will be hosting a myriad of artists Friday, July 10 through Sunday, July 12. This year, Art Fair Jackson Hole is featuring 40 new artists alongside more than 100 returning artists.

Elise LaMay is Art Fair’s new events director. She says the fair showcases regional artists and artists from around the country. "I think we just have such a long history here in our community, both in terms of the art fair and in bringing art experiences to everyone here in Jackson," she says.

A new translation is making old Viking poems accessible to general readers. The stories of gods and heroes were written down in 13th century Iceland. But for translator Jackson Crawford—who lives in Riverton—the existing English translations of the Poetic Edda were just hard to read.  

UW News Service

Bars are an important part of Wyoming culture and history. That message comes from author Julianne Couch as Wyoming celebrates its 125th anniversary of statehood. Couch and her co-author Ronald Hansen traveled across the state to research Wyoming bars for their book “Jukeboxes and Jackalopes: A Wyoming Bar Journey.”

Wyoming State Historical Society

Pioneers, dinosaurs, outlaws: Wyoming’s history includes them all. But the state’s museums are chock full of artifacts that sometimes don’t get the attention they deserve. With the 125 year celebration of statehood coming up, the Wyoming State Historical Society wants to do something about that.

Wyoming State Museum

The Wyoming State Museum is celebrating the state’s 125th anniversary of statehood with a new exhibit, which takes a look at Wyoming’s history through artifacts from each decade.

It starts with the present and works its way back. Each week a new decade is unveiled. Some of the items on display include an original state line divider on the Lincoln Highway, a football commemorating the 1968 Sugar Bowl, and a 1950s flood light from the state’s first television station KFBC.

Entertainment Weekly

Quentin Tarantino’s next film will have a touch of real Wyoming in it. Bounty hunter John “the Hangman” Ruth, played by Kurt Russell, will be wearing a buffalo hide coat created by tanning company Merlin’s Hide Out in Thermopolis. The coat is based on an original that can be seen in the Gene Autry Museum in Los Angeles.

“It's designed from the 1800s. It has different lengths of hair throughout—it needs to be a big, burly looking coat,” said Barb Heinze, co-owner of Merlin’s Hideout.

National Museum of Wildlife Art

Artists will gather to paint outdoors Saturday, June 20 at the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson. The annual Plein Air Festival gives artists four hours to complete a painting while mingling with spectators.

This blending of artists and spectators creates an environment very different from the typical painting studio.

“I had this one little girl come up, and she was very curious, a really cute little girl, and she touched my paint with her fingers,” recalls artist Tammy Callens.

The Wyoming Humanities Council is currently gathering data to assess the state’s cultural resources. WHC Assistant Director Jason Burge says there is a need in Wyoming for studies addressing humanities organizations. He says the survey will look at what these organizations do and how their communities support them.

“They’re getting involved- they’re volunteering their time, their economic resources because they believe it’s important in their communities. And we’ve never actually looked at what that value was for the community,” says Burge.

Rebecca Golden

The Laramie Mural Project is asking the community to get involved. The next mural in the series is paint-by-number. Senior mural artist Meghan Meier says the design won’t come into focus until painting begins on Saturday, June 20th.

“That is top secret actually,” said Meier. “We haven’t set it up yet. I’ll start lining it out and filling in what number goes where…Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, I’ll be working on that.”

Ray Parrish

Here’s the story of how a museum nearly closed but instead reinvented itself with a brand new building and a major American Indian art collection. The new incarnation of the Brinton Museum in Big Horn opens to the public on Monday, June 15.

The town of Jackson is preparing to host a major new music festival this weekend.

The first-ever Contour Music Festival features over 50 acts playing back to back at venues throughout Jackson Friday, June 12 to Sunday, June 14.

Jeff Henry

In 1988 much of Yellowstone National Park was engulfed in flames. At the time a young employee and budding photographer named Jeff Henry was asked to take photos of the fire.

Over 25 years later Henry has written a book about the fires that includes numerous photographs that he took on the front lines. The book is called The Year Yellowstone Burned: A 25 Year Perspective. Henry joins us and recalls how politicians and others were critical of the Parks approach to the fires. 


As another Marvel Comics-inspired movie dominates the box office, a Wyoming teen has tapped into the franchise’s superpowers for a triumph of her own. The team of superheroes, the Avengers, probably needs no introduction. And neither does the mastermind behind those characters—Stan Lee. For Marvel Comics fans, he’s the ultimate superhero.

“Actually, I had never really been a fan before this project,” confesses Hazel Homer-Wambeam. She’s 14, wrapping up homeschooled 8th grade, and lives in Laramie.

Buchanan Center For The Arts

Pete and Lynne Simpson have spent many years performing across Wyoming. This summer, they’re in Laramie for what they say is their own version of summer theater camp - the Snowy Range Summer Theater Festival.

The two are starring in the play “On Golden Pond,” which opens Tuesday, June 9th at the Buchanan Center For The Arts, and features an older couple dealing with family, generational divides, and the tribulations of growing older. Wyoming Public Radio’s Caroline Ballard spoke with the Simpsons, who say they suggested doing the show to director Lee Hodgson years ago. 

Buffalo Bill Center of the West

A new exhibit featuring the works of American painter John Mix Stanley will open at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody this weekend, thanks in part to a $40,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Peter Hassrick curated the exhibit. He says Stanley’s paintings of life in the American West in the 19th century are distinguished from his contemporaries.

"He approached it as fine art as opposed to documentation, as fine art as opposed to ethnographic studies," he says.

He also says a comprehensive presentation of Stanley’s work is long overdue.

National Museum of Wildlife Art

The dragon, the monkey and the tiger: Not the animals you expect to see gracing the wide-open spaces of Wyoming. But you can now see these creatures, along with other Chinese Zodiac animals perched above the National Elk Refuge. Rebecca Huntington reports on a major international exhibit on display in Jackson. 

REBECCA HUNTINGTON: Outside the National Museum of Wildlife Art, a crane lifts the bronze head of a pig up off the ground. Then workers step in to guide the giant lollypop-shaped sculpture over to the pedestal.

Cynthia Stoffers

A new mural inspired by an Australian myth is now on display at the Laramie Community Recreation Center. The colorful 5 by 18 foot mural was created by about 70 kids in the Rec Center’s School Age Child Care program.

Laramie artist and educator Paul Taylor spent a week with the kids, singing and telling the ancient Australian aboriginal story of how Rainbow Snake created the rivers. “As Rainbow made the rivers, Rainbow then went off, and he went off into a billabong. And all the children rushed over to the billabong to see the beautiful rainbow colors disappear into the water…”

Michael Berman's "Fence Line"

Coming up May 29 and 30 in Sheridan County, a pair of events will celebrate Wyoming grassland ecology. 20 artists and scientists will come together to present their work about a landscape many Wyomingites often take for granted: the prairie.

Wyoming State Historical Society


In July, Wyoming will celebrate its 125th birthday. Next month a major conference will look at the state’s top historical moments. Called Our Place In The West And Beyond: Wyoming at 125, a number of historians, experts, and citizens will come to the University of Wyoming on June 11th. Tamsen Hert is President of the State Historical Society. She says it will be a jam-packed conference.