Arts

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.

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. 

This weekend and next, Laramie-based theater company Relative Theatrics is debuting seven new plays by Western playwrights. Earlier this year, director Anne Mason requested submissions, expecting to receive only a handful of applicants. Instead, she was sent over 20 scripts. Seven made the cut.

Robert Earl Keen is one of Americana's biggest stars. His music career spans three decades, he has released 18 albums, and he even strummed and sang his way into the Texas Heritage Songwriters Hall of Fame. He'll be playing in the Town Square of Jackson Hole on Friday for the Jackson Hole Rendezvous Music Festival. Keen's love of music all started in bars in Houston. But as he told Wyoming Public Radio's Caroline Ballard, he wasn't there for the bands - he was there for foosball.

Asher Jay

A wildlife advocacy group in Jackson wants to convince the public that the use of traps for hunting is inhumane, and they’re using art to convey their message.

The group, Wyoming Untrapped, has commissioned an internationally renowned environmental artist to show the value of free-roaming wild animals such as bob cats and coyotes that traditionally are some of trapper’s favorite targets.

This Saturday, February 28th, Trampled By Turtles will be playing at the Arts and Science auditorium on the University of Wyoming campus. The band has been one of the hottest bluegrass acts in the last decade. Their most recent album, "Wild Animals," was released last July. Mandolin player Erik Berry spoke with Wyoming Public Radio’s Ryan Oberhelman about "Wild Animals" and how the band and its sound has grown over the last decade.

uwyo.edu

Four Shakespeare plays open next week in Laramie as part of the University of Wyoming's Shakespeare Project. Then, they’ll all fan out across the state on tour. (See below for locations.) The plays are staged in the signature style of Actors From The London Stage—just five actors and minimal props. One of the plays coming to Wyoming is a professional production. The other three are University of Wyoming student productions, directed by Actors From The London Stage.

  

A new film follows the journey of a snowboarder Brolin Mawejje on his quest to become the first African Olympic snowboarder. Born in Uganda, he saw snow for the first time when he came to the U.S. at age 12. Snowboarding helped Mawejje escape a difficult home life and bond with a family who brought him to Jackson Hole.

Wyoming Arts Council

Winners of the Governor’s Arts Awards were announced this week. For the first time in many years, the winners are all visual artists.

Governor Matt Mead made the final selections based on recommendations from the Wyoming Arts Council board. In a news release, Governor Mead said “These three artists...are representative of the many wonderful artists we have in Wyoming who contribute to a thriving arts economy.”

Every four years, the University of Wyoming stages the classic holiday ballet, The Nutcracker. It’s a major undertaking involving the Department of Theatre and Dance, the UW Symphony Orchestra, and the Lab School Treble Choir, as well as numerous community members. In all, it takes 200 people to put on the show. Director Marsha Knight says the production is set at the Ivinson Mansion, in Old West Laramie, as it has been since 2006.

Jonas Slonaker

The holidays are approaching and with them, high hopes for the perfect present. So here’s a story about a kid who dreamed of his perfect Christmas gift... but it was only decades later that he actually got it.

Relative Theatrics

In the year since its founding, Laramie-based theatre company Relative Theatrics has made a name for itself with numerous Wyoming premieres. For its size, Laramie has plenty of theatre offerings, thanks in large part to the University of Wyoming. But Relative Theatrics founder and director Anne Mason says her company's growing success comes partly from its commitment to contemporary plays.

Wyoming Arts Council

In September, Michael Lange was selected to lead the Wyoming Arts Council. Lange was promoted from within the organization, following the retirement of the previous manager, Rita Basom. Lange stopped by our studios to discuss his vision for the organization and to play some music that’s shaped his own development as an artist and administrator. He spoke with Wyoming Public Radio’s Micah Schweizer.

Caroline Ballard

For the last two weeks, Moscow Ballet soloist Olga Aru has been teaching ballet master classes at studios in Gillette and Casper. She now lives in Italy, but Aru was born in Donetsk, Ukraine – a disputed part of the country that has seen intense fighting. Her international touring has brought her close to conflict, as well. She was performing in Cairo when the 2011 Egyptian Revolution erupted. She sat down with Wyoming Public Radio’s Caroline Ballard to talk about her experiences.

NPR CEO Jarl Mohn is visiting NPR member stations across the country and recently stopped by Wyoming Public Media. Mohn took over his position July first. He has worked in commercial broadcasting in both radio and television and has experience with MTV, the E television network, and even XM. He tells Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck how that background will help him guide NPR.

A New Perspective: Courage And Passion In Photography

Jul 23, 2014

Community And Camaraderie: Tap Dancing Your Way To Happiness

Jul 16, 2014

"Into the Arts: A Personal Journey" shares stories of adults in Jackson Hole who are discovering, rediscovering or furthering their artistic talents. In this vignette, we meet Debbie Schlinger who brings her "sassy self" to Amelia Terrapin's adult tap class at Dancers' Workshop. The mental and physical challenges along with the comaraderie are why Debbie shows up each week.

Learning To Play: Musical Pursuits And A Childhood Wish

Jul 2, 2014

Worlds of Music brings international musical styles to rural Wyoming. That includes a Balkan-style brass band this weekend in Buffalo. The Seattle-based 15-piece Orkestar Zirkonium will work with local schools and put on a series of free shows and workshops for the public. Worlds of Music organizer David Romtvedt says the group even plans a friendly takeover of downtown Buffalo.

WPM Strengthens Cultural Affairs Reporting

Feb 5, 2014
Micah Schweizer

Micah Schweizer, an award winning radio producer from Indiana, joined the staff as the WPM Cultural Affairs and Production Director. 

Schweizer’s task is a broad one—he reports on anything and everything cultural, and includes orchestras, ensembles, bands, museums, artists, writers, among others.  Online programs, such as Single Shot Live, are part of his beat.   As an introduction to Wyoming, he was assigned the task of driving through the state and recording people for the Wyoming Stories series.

Classic dances like the Jitterbug, the Charleston, and the Lindy Hop are being revived at a community swing dance series in Laramie. Swingin’ Around Town started this summer as a way to rekindle social dance.

It now happens on the first and third Friday of every month at Blossom Yoga in downtown Laramie, and Lindy Hop lessons start in January at the Laramie Recreation Center. Wyoming Public Radio’s Micah Schweizer spoke with Swingin’ Around Town co-founders Kevin Bretting and Charles Fournier.

Anna Rader

On a snowy and cold Thursday morning, the British a cappella vocal ensemble the King's Singer's warmed up the Morning Music studio. The King's Singers are on tour of festive performances across the United States. One of their stops includes a performance in Laramie at the University of Wyoming's Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts Concert Hall

Anna Rader

Music is just the thing to perk up your day! Single Shot Live will bring you one song recorded live at the WPM studios and the artist’s comments about the song, plus a slide-show of the performance. If you know a musician or group that you’d like to hear (and see), let us know. And if you’re a musician or group that would like to be featured, that’s right, let us know.

Laramie Mural Project

The city of Laramie has just received a 25-thousand-dollar grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to help bring more public art to the area.

The grants are designed to improve the quality of life in communities by encouraging creative activities and beautification projects.

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