The 2009 National Cowboy Poetry Gathering's Youth Education Programs
- Dear Educators:
The 2009 National Cowboy Poetry Gathering's youth education programs are ready for reservations! This year we once again have an exciting selection of artists and events for you and your students to enjoy. Space is limited so please schedule your students as early as possible.
To schedule your students to attend the Western Folklife Center's 2009 National Cowboy Poetry Gathering education programs, please contact Jan Petersen at 775-778-5668
Hundreds of poets, storytellers and musicians have walked across the stages during the last 24 years of the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. The occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Gathering gives us an opportunity to feature some of our favorite programs and artists for your students this year. We hope these programs will have special resonance with your students please feel free to call Christina Barr at the Western Folklife Center at 775-738-7508 x236 or Jan Petersen at 775-778-5478 for more information.
Programs offered for the 2009 National Cowboy Poetry Gathering include:
Student Art Show
The National Cowboy Poetry Gathering student art show features artwork from Elko County students, and will open Tuesday, January 20, 2008. Students' work might explore themes associated with Celebration! 25 Years of the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. A reception will be held March 18, 2009, from 4:30 6:00 pm, for the artists, their parents, friends and the public. All grades are welcome to enter artwork; there is no cost for participation. Due to space limitations, a maximum of 25 pieces from each school will be accepted for exhibition. Please contact Jan Petersen at 775-778-5478 for more information about the Student Art Show.
Western Folklife Center Youth Festival
The Youth Festival will once again be held at the Western Folklife Center on Tuesday, January 20, Wednesday, January 21, and Thursday, January 22. This year's program will provide students with a range of activities that will educate them about ranch life and arts, tours of the Western Folklife Center exhibition Between Grass & Sky: Trappings of a Ranch Life (see description below), leather stamping with Karla Jones, and a special activity with Deb Howard featuring a free cowboy scarf paired with a glass of sarsaparilla. The event is appropriate for grades 3 through 5. Please contact Jan Petersen at 775-778-5478 to schedule your students' visit to the Western Folklife Center. This program costs $2 per student.
This year we are offering two separate assembly options to come to your school and entertain and educate your students about traditional music at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. On-site assemblies are available for Monday, January 26, and Tuesday, January 27.
We have two performance options available each day:
Performance option #1: musician Sourdough Slim and cowboy poet Ross Knox
Performance option #2: young buckaroo songwriter and musician Adrian and Australian bush poet Milton Taylor
These programs are excellent for all grade levels. Performance times are flexible and established at booking on a first come, first served basis, depending on school locations. Costs are $300 for one assembly and $450 for two performances by the same performers at the same school. To register your school for an assembly, please contact Jan Petersen at 775-778-5478.
Rural and Home School Program
The Rural and Home School Program will be held on Wednesday, January 28, at the Flag View Intermediate School Auxiliary Gym stage from 10:00 am 11:00 am. Rural and home-schooled students are invited to experience a performance featuring award-winning musical artists Riders in the Sky. After the 45-minute concert, students will have the opportunity to meet the artists. The show is appropriate for all grades. To register your classes for this program please contact Jan Petersen at 775-778-5478. This program costs $2 per person (including students, parents, and siblings), which can be paid at the door.
Cow Kids Stampede
The Cow Kids Stampede will be held at the Elko Convention Center Auditorium on Wednesday, January 28, with two 45-minute performances held at 10:00 am and 1:00 pm. The program will feature Cowboy Celtic, a band that makes connections between traditional cowboy songs and the music of Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England and the documented Celtic origins of cowboy music. The show is appropriate for students in all grades. To register your classes for this program please contact Jan Petersen at 775-778-5478. This program costs $2 per student.
Young Buckaroo Poetry Session
The Young Buckaroo Poetry Session is an open-mic opportunity for young people under age 18 to share their creativity with our Gathering audience, and will be held from 9:00 am 11:00 am, Saturday, January 31, at the Flag View Intermediate School Auxiliary Gym stage. Students are encouraged to perform original poetry, classic recitations and western music. This event is free to all participants and attendees. Session registration begins at 8:30 am on the day of performances; spaces fill quickly, so sign up early. Hosted by Deb Howard and Valerie Aguirre-Alt.
National Cowboy Poetry Gathering Youth Workshops
Our youth workshop series provides an opportunity for young people to work closely with a master artist to learn some of the basics of a traditional art or skill. This year we have two workshops available:
Whip Out a Yodel with Wylie
Saturday, January 31
10:00 am 12:00 pm
Join Wylie Gustafson, the "Cowboy King of Yodel," for this kid-focused yodeling workshop. The singer of the world famous "Yahoo Yodel" will teach young people the ins and outs and ups and downs of vocal modulation. Participants will leave the morning with amazing new skills that will impress their friends, amuse their family and lead to a lifetime of yodeling opportunities. No previous experience necessary and no special equipment needed. Just bring your vocal chords and prepare to yodel the morning away. Kids only! Best for ages 10 18.
Shoot Out Elko!
Saturday, January 31
1:00 5:00 pm
Capture the West in a new way with digital photography. Workshop participants will help document the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering as we explore Elko with our digital cameras. Kids will have the chance to photograph Gathering performers, western garb and the hubbub of life around the old Pioneer Hotel, historic home of the Western Folklife Center, and will create a lasting body of work revolving around the western theme. Throughout the day, kids will learn the basics of digital photography and become involved in the editing process. A final show of their images will be projected for the group to discuss and admire. Instructor Cynthia Delaney has been photographing nature, wildlife and her travels for more than 20 years. Her work has been widely used in a variety of publications and exhibits, and she has received a number of prestigious awards and grants for her photographic projects. Bring your parents' point-and-shoot digital camera; we will have cameras on hand for those in need. Best for ages 10 18.
To register for these workshops please contact the Western Folklife Center ticketing office at 775-738-7508. The registration fee for each workshop includes workshop supplies.
To schedule your students to attend the Western Folklife Center's 2009 National Cowboy Poetry Gathering education programs, please contact Jan Petersen at 775-778-5478 or by e-mail at education@....
Also, please note that it costs the Western Folklife Center between $8 - $12 a child to produce and host these programs. We are able to underwrite these programs and keep costs affordable to students and schools by seeking grants and donations from a variety of federal, state, business, foundation, and individual sources. We are grateful for your continued participation and for your willingness to work with the District, parent/teacher groups, parents, and others to help finance your students' participation. Thank you!
We hope your students will be able to participate and look forward to another season of good poetry and music and enlightening educational opportunities. We'll see you there!
Christina Barr & Jan Petersen
Western Folklife Center
We'd like to thank the following organizations and people for generously providing funds that keep these programs affordable for young people and help make them possible: Barrick Gold Strike Mines, Inc., Bretzlaff Foundation, Newmont Mining, Reno Rodeo Charitable Foundation, Nevada Arts Council, Nevada Department of Cultural Affairs, National Endowment for the Arts, Wrangler, many others business and organizations, and the many generous individual donors who have contributed funds to the Western Folklife Center's Stakeholder Program for Youth Education.
Adrian is a singer-songwriter whose life and music is centered on cowboying. She starts colts, builds gear and works the ranch with her family. Her songs are about buckarooing today, the ranches and landmarks of Elko County and California, and her love of the ranching life. Adrian debuted her first CD, Highway 80, during the 2008 National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. www.buckaroogirl.com
Cowboy Celtic makes connections between traditional cowboy songs and the music of Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England and the documented Celtic origins of cowboy music. David Wilkie and Cowboy Celtic have taken many of these cowboy songs and some of David's own and recorded them in Celtic style. The Canadian-based band is David Wilkie, Denise Withnell, Keri Lynn Zwicker, Joseph Hertz and Nathan McCavana. In 1999, their Cowboy Ceilidh CD won the Wrangler Award for Outstanding Traditional Western Album at the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City. www.cowboyceltic.com
Rick "Sourdough Slim" Crowder was born in Hollywood, California, and spent much of his childhood on a cattle ranch in the Sierra foothills. He explains, "my true calling as a cowboy was not on the range but rather, on the stage." He developed his comic character, honed his musical and yodeling skills and garnered the nick name "Slim" while performing in several traveling western bands in the 1970s and 80s. Sourdough Slim intermingles vaudevillian camp with cowboy lore. He received the 2001 Will Rogers Award for Yodeler of the Year. www.sourdoughslim.com
Cynthia Delaney has been photographing nature, wildlife, and travel imagery for over twenty years. Cynthia was raised in Winnemucca, Nevada where her love of nature and western lifestyle was inspired by many years of riding horseback across country and back road journeys with her parents and two brothers. Cynthia continues to explore the great outdoors and cultural presence of the west. Her travels have taken her to the far corners of the world with recent expeditions to Ecuador, Arctic Norway, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Botswana. Cynthia's work has been widely used in a variety of publications and exhibits and she has received a number of prestigious awards and grants for her photographic work including several from Nevada Arts Council. Cynthia currently lives in Elko, Nevada. Her work can be seen at www.cynthiadelaney.com.
Ross Knox first aspired to be a cowboy when, as a little boy, he watched his father work their ranch in central Oregon. Ross quit school at 16 and moved to Nevada to buckaroo. He began writing poetry to occupy his time alone. He is known for reciting the classics, but also writes original poetry from his life experiences. Ross recently released a new CD of his poetry titled Make Me a Cowboy Again for a Day, and has more than 100 poems committed to memory.
Riders in the Sky are preserving the traditional genre of western cowboy music, music that was kindled by such singing cowboys as Gene Aurty and the Sons of the Pioneers. They have incorporated into the genre their own personal style with a well-balanced mix of classic and original western songs that feature "smooth yodelin' harmony, hot licks and zany comedy." Since their beginning in 1977, the Riders have given over 5,000 performances, been awarded the Grammy for Best Musical Album for Children in 2001 and 2003, starred in their own Saturday morning Children's TV series on CBS, and made several other TV appearances. Riders in the Sky are guitarist Ranger Doug, upright bassist Too Slim, fiddler and vocalist Woody Paul, and accordionist Joey, the Cowpolka King. They are celebrating their 30th Anniversary.
Milton Taylor has spent his life working in the sheep-shearing industry in Australia. During his childhood, poetry and yarn-spinning were considered important social skills, and he learned many poems and stories from his father. Milton actively preserves poetry of the traditional Australian poets, such as Banjo Patterson and Henry Lawson, and feels that by teaching traditional poetry to the younger generation they can gain a greater appreciation for history. Milton is the five-time winner of the Australian Bush Poetry Competition and has also won the prestigious Waltzing Matilda award on five occasions. Milton currently lives and works on a sheep operation in New South Wales, Australia.
Wylie & The Wild West are self-described as "a good-time cowboy band," and nothing could be closer to the truth. Wylie Gustafson and his band play a blend of western swing, traditional country, cowboy and folk music that makes the audience want to get up and dance. A prolific songwriter, Wylie lends a fresh and honest perspective to the story of the west. Wylie is the youngest son of Montana rancher, veterinarian, and writer Rib Gustafson. Wylie and his wife Kimberley raise and train cow horses on their ranch in the Palouse hills of eastern Washington. Guitarist Ray Doyle was raised in Dublin, Ireland. He also plays mandolin and harmony vocals. T. Scot Wilburn plays guitar, fiddle and steel guitar. His father played in the 40s & 50s with the famous Northwest combo, The Snake River Outlaws, the feature of the Western Folklife Center's latest CD release. Drummer Rick Bryceon resides in Spokane. www.wylieww.com
2009 Exhibits in the Wiegand Gallery
The Western Folklife Center produces educational exhibitions based on original fieldwork with traditional artists. These exhibits are installed in the Wiegand Gallery at the Pioneer Hotel in Elko, and often travel to other sites around the West. Past exhibits have featured subjects such as Latino traditions of Christmas and cowboying, Native American arts and crafts, documentary photography, the legacy of cowboy poetry and music, the renaissance of contemporary handcrafted cowboy gear, and the history and contemporary life of the buckaroo of the Great Basin.
During the 2009 National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, the Wiegand Gallery will feature:
Between Grass and Sky: A Collaborative Exhibitions Program
Western Folklife Center, Elko and the Nevada Museum of Art, Reno
Major support for this exhibition is provided by the E.L. Wiegand Foundation
In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, the Western Folklife Center and the Nevada Museum of Art have partnered in producing linked exhibitions in Elko and Reno entitled Between Grass and Sky. Central to both institutions is an appreciation for the rich cultural heritage of the American West. In an effort to appeal to both traditional and contemporary audiences, the Nevada Museum of Art and the Western Folklife Center will celebrate this unique sense of place by exhibiting a broad range of artworks from paintings and sculptures to intricately crafted gear. A collaborative project, Between Grass and Sky illustrates a shared appreciation for the experience of life in the American West. The design of both exhibitions is provided by Nik Hafermaas, Principal of UeBERSEE Design and Dean of Communication Design at the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles.
Between Grass & Sky: Trappings of a Ranch Life
Western Folklife Center, Wiegand Gallery
January 20 August 29, 2009
Hours: 9:00 am to 10:00 pm during the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering
Opening reception: Thursday, January 29, 3:30 to 4:30 pm (members, stakeholders, sponsors); 4:30 to 5:30 pm (general public)
In honor of the 25th anniversary of the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, the Western Folklife Center will bring together the work of some of the region's finest contemporary gearmakers, poets and artists to illustrate the connection between artistry and our sense of place in the West. The poignancy of language and the richness of finely crafted leather saddles and silver engraved bits outfitted with rawhide reins and romels are the palette for this exhibition. Saddles and bits will be featured in the Wiegand Gallery and on the Western Folklife Center website and Best of Show awards will be announced during the exhibition's opening reception on Thursday, January 29. Much of the gear will be for sale throughout the duration of the exhibit.