Arts

A scene from "The Big Heartless"
Anne Mason

The new play "The Big Heartless," premieres in Laramie this week. In it, playwright Dale Dunn explores the subjects of wolf reintroduction and reform boarding schools. 

UW Presents

The spring semester season of the University of Wyoming’s Cultural series gets underway next week. Janelle Fletcher is the Director of Fine Arts Outreach and Cultural programs at the University of Wyoming. The season features a wide range of programs including some amazing acrobats. She joins Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck.

Photo by Wally Gobetz via Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The Cheyenne Capital Chorale is accustomed to performing at 6,000 feet; they've been doing it for sixty years. But this winter, they'll have the benefit of a little more oxygen. On January 15, nine members of the Chorale will be performing the works of Sir Karl Jenkins at Carnegie Hall in New York City. 

Barb Boyer is a board member of the Chorale and one of the representatives headed to New York. She told Wyoming Public Radio's Annie Osburn that this performance will be a bit different for the Chorale.   

The WYO Theater Facebook page

The WYO Theater has been a mainstay of downtown Sheridan for decades, hosting live theater, music, and films. Now, after a series of renovations in neighboring buildings, the theater is part of the WYO Performing Arts and Education Center.

Sheridan College’s Whitney Center for the Arts is introducing its first jazz orchestra with a concert on Friday, November 17.

The Whitney Center Jazz Orchestra is a 19-piece big band made up of professionals and music faculty from around Wyoming. Director Eric Richards says the orchestra will serve as a house band for the Whitney Center.

Caroline Ballard

At an evening rehearsal at UW’s Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts, the cast of Fascism: The Musical started with some standard warmups, their voices flicking up and down over arpeggios. But once they dug into the meat of the show’s songs, it was clear this is not a standard musical.

There’s the “Socialism Polka,” women in American flag bikinis, and a song about trickle-down economics that likens the idea to bodily functions.

UW Presents

For the last two weeks, the Dance Theatre of Harlem Company has been rehearsing and holding classes and events at the University of Wyoming, as the eminent artists-in-residence.

H. Michael Roberts — Roberts Imaging

 

The classic 1950s musical Guys and Dolls gave us Frank Sinatra throwing dice and crooning “Luck Be A Lady Tonight” in a fedora. The comedy is a staple of community and high school theater, and has seen numerous Broadway revivals over the years. 

Playwright Mark Saltzman is now looking to add to that legacy with his companion musical Another Roll of the Dice, which premiered at the Wyoming Theater Festival this week, and has performances running through September 17.

University of Wyoming

  

With the start of school comes the start of a number of cultural programs at the University of Wyoming. Janelle Fletcher is the Director of UW Presents. She told Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck that they have tried to put together a diverse set of programs. 

University of Wyoming Art Museum Facebook Page

Contemporary art programming at the University of Wyoming Art Museum is certain to see a boost, after receiving an anonymous gift of $2.27 million. 

Bob Beck

Earlier this month, those involved with arts organizations in the state were able to exhale after a proposal to zero out funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, Humanities, and similar organizations this year was averted. The proposal was part of President Trump’s budget.

At the University of Wyoming Art Museum, Susan Moldenhauer sits at a desk of neatly stacked brochures and contracts as she prepares for another year of exhibits. She is the Director and Chief Curator at the facility. 

Melodie Edwards

The controversial play “What Would Crazyhorse Do?” recently made its national debut in Laramie, of all places. Playwright and Lakota member Larissa Fasthorse said the script is her most widely read but no other theaters have actually performed it until now. She said that had a lot to do with the play's subject matter.

Racial purity.

Early in the play, after grieving the death of their grandfather, twins Calvin and Journey got a knock on their door.

“We don’t want any more funeral food!” shouted Journey.

Rebecca Huntington

President Donald Trump’s first federal budget plan proposes a complete defunding of both the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. The potential eliminations could hurt many arts organizations across the state.

Courtesy Wyoming Humanities Council

For the past few years, the Wyoming Humanities Council has put on a series of events called “Ignite” where locals gave short multimedia presentations in a format similar to TED-talks. This year, the council is kicking off another series of presentations in Cheyenne, Casper, and Laramie with a name change and a shift in focus to storytelling. Jason Burge joined Wyoming Public Radio’s Caroline Ballard to talk about some of these changes.

University of Wyoming Cultural Programs

  

As the University of Wyoming begins another semester, a new line-up of cultural programming at the school is on the horizon. Janelle Fletcher is the director of Fine Arts Outreach and Cultural Programs at the University of Wyoming, and she joined Wyoming Public Radio’s Caroline Ballard to talk about what Spring 2017 has in store for students and the public.

 

arts.gov

  

The Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, Jane Chu, was recently in Laramie. The visit was one of hundreds of trips Chu has made to communities around the country to see first-hand the role the arts are playing. Chairman Chu stopped by our studios to talk with Wyoming Public Radio’s Micah Schweizer.

Brian Scott Gamroth's facebook

Longtime Casper radio morning announcer, Brian Scott Gamroth, known as Brian Scott on the air, died in a motorcycle accident in Montana on Sunday. Gamroth was known for his support of a number of causes including the arts.

Gamroth served on the boards for the Casper College Theatre Program, the Nicolaysen Art Museum, and the Wyoming Symphony Orchestra.

University of Wyoming

 

The University of Wyoming is beginning another school year, and with it comes a new season of visiting performers through the school’s Cultural Programs. Janelle Fletcher is the Director of Fine Arts Outreach & Cultural Programs, and she joined Wyoming Public Radio’s Caroline Ballard to preview some of the fall season acts.

Casper College

A new musical premieres this month at Casper College. “Mulberry” is set in the late 1990s, and focuses on the patriarch of a family in a small town in Wisconsin. James Olm is a voice and musical theatre instructor at Casper College, and is the writer and composer of the musical.

He tells Wyoming Public Radio’s Caroline Ballard that the inspiration to write the show actually came from a difficult time in his own life.

Studio WYO

  

The Wyoming Arts Council is launching several new programs to grow the state’s independent music scene.

uwyo.edu

 

When the chair of University of Wyoming’s music department, Theresa Bogard, interviewed for a position at the university 24 years ago, she was told the department would be getting a new building “soon”. Now, nearly a quarter of a century later, the newly renovated performing arts center is finally here. But before the renovations, conditions were bleak.

Wyoming Arts Council

A national arts education organization has selected Wyoming to be part of a three-year program to strengthen the arts in schools. Americans for the Arts has awarded grants to ten states for pilot programs to improve arts education policies.

The Wyoming Arts Council’s Michael Shay says the first step is a survey to evaluate what resources art educators have and need.

Wyoming Humanities Council

The National Endowment for the Humanities turns 50 this year. 45 years ago, Wyoming was one of the first states with its own humanities council. Shortly after creating the national organization, Congress called on the NEH to expand at the state level.

Jenny Booth Art

Fashion shows in major cities aren’t the only places that define style. Right now, the 23rd annual Western Design Conference is in full swing in Jackson. The juried show features the work of more than 100 artists from around the country—including many from Wyoming. Director Allison Merritt spoke to Wyoming Public Radio’s Micah Schweizer about what the event brings to the world of design.

University of Wyoming Cultural Programs

 

Late next month the fall 2015 season of Cultural Programs at the University of Wyoming will get underway with a September 29th performance of Huun Huur Tu, Tuvan throat singers. It’s an extremely diverse schedule that wraps up in April. University of Wyoming Director of Cultural Programs and Director of Fine Arts Outreach Janelle Fletcher told Bob Beck that they are doing some new things.  

Wikipedia Commons

The Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company is in Jackson this week, holding master classes and performing the new work “Analogy/Dora: Tramontane” this weekend.

The piece combines spoken word and modern dance and meditates on memory and duty. It’s based on the stories of Dora Amelan , a French-Jewish nurse who survived World War Two. Bill T. Jones, a two-time tony winner and former Macarthur Genius grant recipient, is the choreographer and artistic director. He joined Wyoming Public Radio’s Caroline Ballard from Jackson.

Paul B. Goode / newyorklivearts.org

The Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company is in residence with the Dancer's Workshop at the Jackson Hole Center for the Arts this week, holding master classes and performing its new work “Analogy/Dora: Tramontane.”

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.

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.

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.

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