This e-newsletter is designed to provide a brief update on the Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund and the happenings of its grant recipients.
It is our promise that this e-newsletter be brief, interesting and hopefully something that will provide you with ideas and contacts with other organizations around the state. If you wish to have your activity highlighted in this e-newsletter, please contact Renée Bovée, WCTF Program Coordinator.
Cultural Trust Board Meeting: Casper, November 13-14
The Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund board will meet in Casper, November 13-14, at The Lyric, Small Theater, 230 West Yellowstone.
The board meeting will focus on review and award of October 2019 grant applications.
The meeting on Wednesday, November 13 will begin at 8 a.m. and conclude by 5 p.m. The meeting on Thursday, November 14 will begin at 8:30 a.m. and conclude by approximately noon. An executive session may be held if necessary.
The Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund meetings are open to the public. Grant applicants are encouraged to attend any grant review meeting, but cannot participate in the proceedings unless addressed by the board. The WCTF program coordinator and board cannot confirm exactly when a grant application will be reviewed, but the board does have the option of reviewing an application “out of order” if an applicant is present at the meeting for a limited time.
The board meeting agenda is available on the WCTF website. Please feel free to contact the WCTF program coordinator, Renée Bovée at firstname.lastname@example.org or 307-777-6312 with any questions.
Lander Art Center: Art of Home Exhibition through October 26
Lander Art Center, 224 Main Street, Lander, has the honor of hosting the annual Art of Home exhibition featuring the work of artists and artisans from the Wind River Indian Reservation. This show has the greatest community-building impact of all our exhibitions and features 50+ Native American artists. The opening reception attracted community members from both Lander and the Wind River Reservation who came to enjoy the artwork, indulge in Indian tacos, and listen to the Big Wind Singers drum group. The Big Wind Singers were lead by Shoshone elder, Wayland Bonatsie, with the support of his grandson Quinlin Hernandez, as well as four additional singers/drummers. The group officially opened the show following a prayer offered by elder Raphaelita Pocatello Stump.
With funding from the Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund, this year Lander Art Center enlisted the help of a professional curator for the show. Jordan Dresser of the Northern Arapaho tribe, alongside Lorre Hoffman from Maker’s Space 307, worked to produce the current exhibition, which closes on October 26. Together they solicited artists to submit works for the exhibition, collected pieces, and arranged the final display. Jordan is the producer of Wyoming PBS’s “Art of Home”, a film detailing the experience of two Native American artists from Wind River. In previous years Art Center staff have assembled the exhibition (formerly titled “Around Town”), but three years ago we decided it was important to hire a Native American curator to direct the show and supervise the handling of potentially culturally sensitive materials.
The Art of Home show features a breadth of work including traditional beadwork, War Bonnets, photography, pottery, watercolor paintings, buckskin dolls, and powwow Regalia.
This year, Lander Art Center received ten garment submissions including elk ivory dresses, Fancy Dance shawls, skirts, and other Regalia.
Jordan arranged the exhibition to symbolize a Native woman’s lifetime as she grows in and out of the dresses in clockwork fashion around the gallery. Each piece of art is thoughtfully placed in order to advance this particular storyline.
Jordan’s attention to cultural intricacies is what makes him such an effective and inspiring curator, rendering this show engaging to Native and non-Native audiences alike.
—Stacy Stebner, Executive Director, Lander Art Center
Wyoming Public Media: Wind River Reservation Reporter
The Wind River Indian Reservation is as beautiful as its melodic name. It’s one of the largest Reservations in the United States, spanning over 2.2 million acres and contained within the boundaries of the state. Its scenery ranges from high grassland to some of the most majestic and least populated mountain ranges. The Wind River Range is a renowned destination for historians, climbers, hikers, and visitors who come to absorb the culture.
Wyoming Public Media serves the Greater Wind River Reservation, Ft. Washakie, Lander, Riverton, Shoshone, Dubois, and Thermopolis on 90.9, 90.5, and 91.3. WPM reporters tell the stories of the Reservation, focusing on issues that affect the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho Tribes. WPM also takes stories from Mountain West News Bureau reporters who tell the stories of Native Americans beyond Wyoming’s borders. This reporting reflects the lives of people on the Reservation and beyond, their issues, history, hopes, and ambitions.
In June of 2019 Wyoming Public Media was able to significantly advance reporting on the Wind River Reservation. Through collaboration with the Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund, Report for America, and the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole Edelweiss Endowment, Wyoming Public Media hired Savannah Maher as a full-time reporter based near the Wind River Reservation and covering the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho populations.
Savannah came to Wyoming Public Media from NPR’s midday show Here & Now, where her work explored everything from Native peoples’ fraught relationship with American elections to the erosion of press freedoms for tribal media outlets. A proud citizen of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe, she’s excited to get to know the people of the Wind River reservation and dig into the stories that matter to them.
Savannah got her start in journalism reporting for her hometown’s local newspaper (The Mashpee Enterprise) and public radio station (WCAI), and has since contributed to New Hampshire Public Radio, High Country News, and NPR’s Code Switch blog. She graduated from Dartmouth College in 2018.
Savannah Maher was awarded Report for America support to cover the Wind River area beginning June 2019. Report for America is a national service program that places talented emerging journalists into local news organizations to report for one to two years on community critical issues. Report for America leverages a unique funding match model, paying a portion of a corps member’s salary, and encouraging matching support from local news partners and foundations as well as dedicated donors.
Wyoming Public Media’s General Manager Christina Kuzmych emphasized the value of Savanna Maher’s reporting. “WPM produces strong stories and features from the Wind River Reservation, but not with a consistency and depth we would like. (This) reporter position lets us focus on central Wyoming with an emphasis on the Wind River Reservation and its rich culture. It complements UW’s American Indian Studies Program as well as the work our Wyoming media colleagues are doing in their coverage.”
Examples of Savannah’s reporting on the Wind River Reservation include: Lander Art Center Celebrates Wind River Artists, Central Wyoming College Students Host Powwow In Jackson, Northern Arapaho Tribe Commemorates Victory At Little Bighorn, among others.
Looking to the future, Wyoming Public Media seeks to solidify funding for year two of the position and then move the Wind River Reservation Reporter into a permanent sustainable position through support from a variety of individual donors, foundations, and businesses.