Arts

Arts & Culture

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.

http://anneandpetesibley.com/

Wyoming Public Radio producer T.J. Snook talks with former Jackson residents Anne and Pete Sibley about their new album, Extraordinary Life.

The Shepard Symposium on Social Justice is underway at the University of Wyoming and will be featuring several spotlight events the rest of this week. Two of the events this weekend are photography sessions for The Self Evident Truths Project. iO Tillett Wright is the founder of and photographer for the project, as well as an LGBT activist. She’s attempting to photograph 10,000 people in all 50 states who identify as anything other than 100% straight in hopes of showing Americans the diverse makeup of the LGBT community.

Wyoming Festivals Summer 2015

Apr 6, 2015
Paul Montoya

This summer, take a photo of you (and your friends) at a Wyoming music festival, use the hashtag #wyofest and post it to Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. We'll collect all of the photos and feature them on our website!

June 6: 5th Annual Hiwater Hoedown at The Yard featuring Von Stomper, J Shogren Shanghai’d, Peculiar Patriots. Saratoga: facebook.com/theyardsaratoga

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.

laramiepublicart.org

The city of Laramie has been awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to help create a public art plan. Last week, member organizations hosted the first community meetings to discuss the plan. Residents can also suggest projects and locations on this online survey.

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.

UW Photo

Concert goers have their choice of two unusual concerts coming up this week at the University of Wyoming. One is a biennial concerto competition for students. The other brings together musicians from three continents for the Wyoming premier of a Brazilian piece. 

Jennifer Tennican

A new film follows the journey of a snowboarder Brolin Mawejje, on his quest to become the first African Olympic snowboarder. He was born in Uganda and only saw snow for the first time when he came to the U.S. at age 12. He eventually moved to Jackson Hole with a family that took him in as one of their own. Part of what sealed the bond with his adoptive family was a love of snowboarding, which he shared with their son, Phil Hessler.

For sixteen years, the Banff Mountain Film Festival’s World Tour has made a yearly stop in Laramie. This is the first year it will be screened at the Gryphon Theater.

The festival features 20 films shown over two days. Films focus on outdoor recreation, adventure, and environmental issues, says Dan McCoy, one of the event organizers.

“So we’re going to show films that are more high-adrenaline – films about kayaking, about rock-climbing, [and] about adventure.”

 On Monday night, 8 high school students from around Wyoming competed in ‘Poetry Out Loud,’ an annual event that aims to get students engaged with great poetry.

Students memorize and recite works of their choosing—and are judged on their performance. This year’s winner was Arvada-Clearmont High School Senior Dylan Collins. Rebecca Delaney of Sundance and Lucy Martinez of Jackson were the runners-up.

Eighteen-year-old Collins says he might not seem like the type of guy who’d typically be interested in poetry.

Album Preview: Screen Door Porch, 'Modern Settler'

Feb 2, 2015
Stephen Williams

Screen Door Porch delivers a Wyoming-grown fusion of soulful Americana, Roots-Rock and Country-Blues that has been likened to “Gillian Welch meets The Band, with Ryan Adams and Bonnie Raitt hanging out backstage” (605 Magazine). The core female/male singer-songwriter pair of Seadar Rose & Aaron Davis offer rustic harmonies, a diverse mix of acoustic & electric instrumentation, and “a sort of Lennon/McCartney arrangement and get it right every time” (Americana UK).

This week’s mild temperatures will set the stage for a night of music called the Midwinter Meltdown. Six bands (including an unannounced surprise act) will play Saturday night in the tiny town of Medicine Bow, between Laramie and Rawlins.

The event is the brainchild of Laramie musician Jeff Duloz. Last fall, he poured his energy into a day-long event with ten bands. Afterward, someone asked the exhausted Duloz, ‘When’s the next concert?’

“Immediately, my answer was never. Like, never. I’m never doing this again,” he says with a laugh.

Every ten years, the Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office develops a new plan for preserving historic sites and structures. Public input plays an important role. Through Thursday, January 15, the public can answer a survey about what priorities the new plan should highlight.

For the second year in a row, there’s a Wyoming connection at the Grammy Awards. Last year, it was bluegrass band Della Mae, whose bassist is from Laramie. This year, it’s Laramie-based blues band Blinddog Smokin’. The band was formed more than two decades ago and has logged over a million miles on the road. Band leader Carl Gustafson says the Grammy nomination is already opening doors.

wuis.org

The Best Music Of 2014

We received a record amount of votes this year! Thanks to everyone who voted and thank you for listening to Morning Music. Here are WPR's Top 20 CD's of 2014 from listener votes:

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.”

Diana Denison

Laramie-based jazz guitarist and vocalist Peter Queal visited on November 19th with Grady Kirkpatrick on Morning Music. They talked about the Queal’s new CD Humility and played a few tracks.

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.

Thanks for voting for the Best Music Of 2014

We added up listener picks, compiled the Top 20, and played all the tunes on Morning Music during December 31st and January 1st.

See the results!

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.

The Laramie Artists Project’s biennial group exhibition is this weekend. Touchstone 2014 features work by 39 professional artists from Albany County.

Every two years, since 2006, local artists have been renting a block of hotel rooms to create small galleries.

“We have a crew that moves out all the beds, and we rent extra rooms to store them in,” says Linda Lillegraven, co-chair of the Laramie Artists Project, the group organizing the exhibition.

www.uwyo.edu

On November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall was opened, paving the way for the reunification of East and West Germany. The University of Wyoming continues its commemoration of the event with a faculty recital on Sunday, November 9, the 25th anniversary of the fall of the wall. Wyoming Public Radio’s Micah Schweizer spoke with violinist John Fadial.

An opening reception on Friday at 6 p.m. at the Lander Art Center will launch a new exhibit of Native American art work. It’s the show’s second year in a row and comes in honor of National Native American Heritage Month. The exhibit will showcase over 50 artists, mostly from Wind River Indian Reservation. Director Lisa Hueneke says, this year, about half the artists are students from reservation high schools. She says the exhibit demonstrates a wide diversity of artistic styles. One of the artists on display is Al Hubbard, a Northern Arapaho and Navajo artist.

Caroline Ballard

If you’re handing out candy to trick-or-treaters tonight, you might see a lot of little girls in the same costume.

Since it came out last December, the Disney movie Frozen has been catching the attention of girls everywhere. It’s ice-queen princess Elsa is a favorite among them, especially for her number one anthem “Let it Go” The song has been everywhere. 

uwyo.edu

The University of Wyoming Symphony Orchestra performs its second concert of the season this week. Music Director Michael Griffith says the concert challenges some common assumptions about classical music. “We’re starting the concert with a Mozart Concerto for Flute and Harp, which is really unusual. You don’t think of harp as a soloist and you certainly don’t think of harp and a flute together as dual soloists.”

karenabbott.net

The book “Liar Temptress Soldier Spy” was released last month by Harper Collins. It follows four Civil War spies – and all of them are women. Karen Abbott, the book’s author and historian, spoke yesterday at the Teton County Public Library and will be leading a workshop in Nonfiction writing today. Wyoming Public Radio's Caroline Ballard spoke with Abbott about her book, and how she discovered the lives of these women.

John D. Lukacs

Nearly 70 years after World War II, a little known story of war-time heroism is surfacing. The book “Escape from Davao: The Forgotten Story of the Most Daring Prison Break of the Pacific War” and the documentary film “4-4-43” tell the story of ten American soldiers and two Filipino convicts who escaped a Japanese prison camp in the Philippines.

The University of Wyoming’s annual contemporary music festival begins Monday, Oct. 4. New Frontiers: The Laramie Contemporary Music Project is a week long celebration of modern classical music and living composers. Festival director Anne Guzzo says it’s about celebrating the integrity of classical music while introducing new sounds.

The University of Wyoming Symphony Orchestra’s 2014-15 season will see many soloists joining the orchestra on stage. Opening Night, Thursday, Oct. 2, features a pianist and a singer--and some little-known portions of a well-known work. Conductor Michael Griffith stopped by to chat with Wyoming Public Radio’s Micah Schweizer.

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