Innovation in cultural and humanities-based programming continues to grow across the state, and Wyoming Humanities is proud to announce that it has provided thousands of dollars in Spark Grants and general sponsorships to several organizations across the state during the past three months.
Projects are selected based on communities’ needs and programs designed to spark new insights and perspectives. Funding is provided by the state of Wyoming 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 latest Spark Grant recipients are:
• Cheyenne Frontier Days Old West Museum, Come Spring Again, The Alan Kirkbride Memorial Poetry Gathering: This inaugural event is inspired by a Wyoming rancher whose love for the state and beauty around him directed a vast love and authorship of poetry. Celebrating legacy of Alan Kirkbride, poets of varied styles gather to bring their art as inspiration to the community. The poets cover topics relating to the human experience of exploration, survival, grief, humor, the joy of spring, and new life.
• Grace United Methodist Church, Exploring Our Implicit Bias with Native Americans: This program uses the Native American Experience to help participants explore cultural and racial biases affecting our community's interactions. Through introducing concepts, the project fosters dialogue to help participants explore their own biases around race, culture, and privilege. The goal is to practice dialogue around difficult topics so participants are better equipped for civic engagement.
• St. John’s Episcopal Church, Sacred Earth Conversations: Sacred Earth Conversations gathers people to deepen their relationship with nature and build a community of advocates. The conversations envision a world in which care for the places and people make for lasting beauty in culture, nature, and community. The conversations blend environmental history and eco-philosophy with literature and comparative spiritual practice to guide participants toward more ethical interactions that support enlivened natural and cultural systems.
• UW Department of Modern Languages, World Languages Day: This is Wyoming’s high school state championship of world language study. Students participate in cultural events and community-building activities, all while celebrating their accomplishments in multiple languages, including Chinese, French, German, Russian and Spanish, as well as a Linguistics Olympiad where teams solve linguistic puzzles. The event brings linguistic diversity to campus and supports language and cultural learning across Wyoming.
• Wyoming Mustang Institute, Wild Horses & Wild Places: A Public Exhibit & Conversation: This combines the arts, literature, history, and jurisprudence, beginning with an exhibit of equine photographs. The project’s director, Chad Hanson, will lead a discussion on the cultural history of wild horses in Wyoming. The conversation will also focus on the Wild and Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act, the federal law that protects the wild equines of the West.
Additionally, three organization received sponsorships from Wyoming Humanities. Through a competitive application process, those recipients are:
• Alliance for Historic Wyoming, Historic Preservation Month: The Alliance works with communities and organizations at local, regional, and state levels to engage with their communities to offer in-person events, volunteer opportunities, and webinars that showcase historic preservation in Wyoming throughout the month of May. Most events are free and open to the public, including open houses and seasonal opening days at historic sites, a historic building bar crawl, local and state proclamation signings, and community awards, among other events.
• Central Wyoming College, Tribal Talks: Breaking Boundaries: Tribal Talks provide three separate events focusing on the educational, inspirational knowledge and experiences of Indigenous people from the Wind River Reservation. Topics include the reintroduction of the bison, carrying indigenous wisdom into the future, and the challenges faced from one of the first indigenous people to climb to Mount Everest and bike the Great Divide.
• Wyoming Arts Alliance, Telling our Story: Cultural Recognition & Legislative Appreciation Receptions: These events provide opportunities to explore and celebrate the impact of the arts on the identities and development of our local communities and state. The events function through the lens of raising cultural awareness among key decision makers and community leaders in a way that demonstrates how enhancing the creative industries can drive economic growth, engage communities to improve their quality of life, foster critical thinking and lifelong learning, and promote civics and democracy.
For more information about Wyoming Humanities and its grants or sponsorship opportunities, visit thinkwy.org/grants.