Cultural innovation continues to grow across the state, and Wyoming Humanities is proud to announces that it has provided thousands of dollars in Spark Grants to seven organizations.
According to Shawn Reese, executive director of Wyoming Humanities, this type of funding really can provide fantastic opportunities for both the humanities and the state, “The innovation behind these projects is exactly the reason we provide Spark Grants to Wyoming communities and non-profits,” he said.
Projects are selected based on communities’ needs and programs designed to spark new insights and perspectives. Funding is provided through the Wyoming Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources. Grantees, who receive up to $2,000 with this opportunity, provide equal or greater matching funds and in-kind contributions. WYH grants generate significant social and economic impact five times greater than state funding.
The recipients from the first quarter of 2022 are:
• Albany County Public Library, “Indigenous Words: A Book Club and Creative Writing Series” – Storytelling is an important cultural element in many Indigenous communities. In this series, three different fiction works by Indigenous writers are used to traverse different worldviews and identities. Each discussion will be moderated by a University of Wyoming creative writing student and will include generative writing prompts, sharing, and discussion. The series continues through May.
• Casper Pride, “Transgender Day of Visibility” – Featured events include an evening event following two featured afternoon workshops, one specific to supporting the transgender community with some focus on youth and young adults, while the other focuses on affirming transgender medical care via a panel discussion of providers and community members. The Transgender Day of Visibility will take place March 31.
• Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra, “YES! (Youth Educational Symphony) Program” – As part of the organization’s outreach program, these free concerts introduce a range of composers and styles to 3,000 in-person students, as well as others virtually. The maestro and musicians teach about the pieces and instruments, as well as tell stories about music careers.
• Jackson Hole Public Art, “Square to Summit Connector Interpretive Signage” – To support a public art installation in Jackson Hole, between town square the base of Snow King Mountain Resort. Ski chairs donated by Snow King will be fixed throughout the route, featuring interpretive signage that highlights the 75+ year history of Snow King as well as other local ski hills and ski culture across Wyoming.
• UW’s Arabic & Middle Eastern Studies Program, “Toward Humanistic Ideals” – This project explores a variety of educational events with a prominent scholar in the field of humanism and Islamic studies, hoping to bridge the gap between identity groups and communities that may have preconceived notions of the Middle East and Islam, or limited opportunities to interact with these identity and cultural groups. The public presentation for this project is scheduled for April 5.
• Wild Excellence Films, “Golden Eagles: Witnesses to a Changing West” – Funding supports screenings of this documentary in Jackson and Cody, bringing stakeholders and communities together to discuss golden eagle conservation, examine wildlife issues, and ask questions of experts in collaborative environments.
• Wyoming State Historical Society, “Coming of Age at the Sunrise Y: Mining Town Melting Pot, 1917-1967" – This project creates an immersive, history-based Readers’ Theatre about teen and young adult experiences at Wyoming’s first YMCA in the mining town of Sunrise. Two staged readings will be presented, and audiences will then be guided through discussions that invite content and cultural input.
For more information about Wyoming Humanities and its grant programs, visit thinkwy.org/grants.