Wyoming Humanities awards thousands in grants dollars to organizations across the state

Nine non-profit organizations across the state recently received significant grants from Wyoming Humanities.

Wyoming Crossroads Grants are part of an initiative to apply humanities perspectives locally, helping to realize growth through change.  Since the program’s inception, Wyoming Humanities has awarded hundreds of thousands in Wyoming Crossroads grants.

This cycle of grants is designed to support public humanities projects related to either digital media or preservation.

The organizations who received these grants—as well as the amount and the project title—are:

  • American Heritage Center at the University of Wyoming – $10,000: Voices of Pride, an oral history project
  • Casper Pride – $7,400: Save Casper’s Queer History, a digital archive to help document diversity
  • Jackson Hole Public Art – $4,000: Never Forget Our Language, a Shoshone language short video made for mobile devices
  • Laramie Public Art Coalition – $10,000: High Iron, collecting and travelling stories of ancestors who built the Transcontinental Railroad
  • Sinks Canyon State Park – $5,700: Recreating Respectfully, helping to tell all stories of the Canyon, especially the overlooked Native American stories
  • Wyoming PBS Foundation – $10,000: A Life Outside: The Legacy of American Mountaineering, a documentary commemorating Wyoming mountaineering heritage
  • Wyoming State Archives – $9,976: Archival photo nitrate negative work, helping to allow unlimited access to previously unavailable photos to preserve the images for the long-term
  • Wyoming Symphony Orchestra – $10,000: 75 Years of Harmony, a documentary exploring the stories and histories of the organization
  • Wyoming Wilderness Association – $10,000: Home for All, an interactive mural project that weaves artwork, tribal stories, and western science resources

In this competitive grant cycle, applications were reviewed by a panel of humanities experts, including members of the organization’s board of directors.

For more information about these and other grant programs available from Wyoming Humanities, visit thinkwy.org/grants.

Wyoming Humanities takes part in the 2024 Wyoming Road Trip Playlist

It’s an annual tradition: each summer, the Wyoming Arts Council releases its annual road trip playlist. Now that June is here, the talents across the Cowboy State provide the perfect soundtrack for any adventure across Wyoming’s beautiful landscape.

And it’s not just music. For the first time in this project’s history, podcast episodes were included in the playlist. As with the musical artists, all of the podcasters are in Wyoming, and all of the episodes chosen are based on stories around the state.

Emy diGrappa, executive producer for Wyoming Humanities, served as the judge of the podcast episodes submitted, ultimately choosing four to add to the mix.

“The ones that were selected are ones we think people will keep people listening,” she said. “They’re entertaining, offer some different perspectives, and really do featuring some engaging Wyoming-centric topics.”

The podcast episodes selected for this year’s playlist are:

  • The Library Built on a Cemetery and What Got Left Behind (That Doesn’t Happen Every Day)
  • The Lost Owl Creek Colony (Pioneers of Outlaw Country)
  • On the Trail to Porcupine Falls (Wyoming Pathway to Adventure)
  • Sasquatch in Wyoming (Strange Nature)

The Summer Road Trip Playlist is an annual release hosted on Spotify and promoted at high tourism areas across the state, such as at state parks, historic sites and trails, Wyoming visitor centers, museums and festivals. You can find the Road Trip Playlist on Spotify by searching ‘2024 Wyoming Road Trip Playlist’ or by going to https://spoti.fi/456GTdF.

Additionally, Wyoming Humanities also offers two currently running podcast series, both produced by diGrappa: What’s Your Why? and Winds of Change. Details and episodes can be found here.

Video discussion exploring Gov. Lester Hunt’s life now available through Wyoming Humanities

Lester Hunt, the late Wyoming governor and senator, was an important figure in the state and nationally, and he’s even responsible for the state’s iconic license plate featuring the cowboy and bucking bronc. However, his story is also a chilling reminder of a time when fear and blackmail led to one of the most tragic incidents at the United States Senate.

The Lander Pioneer Museum recently presented an event featuring author Rodger McDaniel (“Dying for Joe McCarthy’s Sins: The Suicide of Wyoming Senator Lester Hunt”) and State Senator Cale Case who each spoke about Hunt’s life and legacy.

That live-streamed program is now available for public viewing on Wyoming Humanities’ YouTube channel.

New intern joins the Wyoming Humanities team

Jazmine Wildcat is our new Native Narrative Student Research Intern, working to create a public database of Native American scholars and experts in Indigenous storytelling, history, civics, language, literature, arts and crafts, and other humanities disciplines.
 
She is an enrolled member of the Northern Arapaho tribe from the Wind River Reservation, currently in her last year at the University of Wyoming where she is triple majoring in Psychology, Native American and Indigenous Studies, and Political Science. She is passionate about the mental health of Indigenous youth and wants to make change through policy.
 
Excited about her role, she had this to say about the internship: “I believe my work building an Indigenous database that works towards preserving our culture and traditions is critical. We need to make sure the knowledge and expertise that our elders and community members hold continues on for future generations to use and thrive with. This internship is an opportunity for a database to be built by an Indigenous person, for Indigenous people.”

Wyoming Humanities announces its selections for the 2024 National Book Festival

Following an extensive review process, Wyoming Humanities has announced its choices for the 2024 National Book Festival: The Wolves of Yellowstone: A Rewilding Story by Catherine Barr and Ridgeline by Michael Punke.

Selection of these books was coordinated through the Wyoming Center for the Book, which is part of Wyoming Humanities. A panel — which included Terri Lesley, the former director of the Campbell County Library, and Christine Braddy, the director of the Goshen County Library — was chosen to read and consider several Wyoming-related books for this year’s event.

The children’s book The Wolves of Yellowstone is a fascinating true story of the wolves who restored the ecosystem at Yellowstone National Park, written by Barr and illustrated by Jenni Desmond. The work has been called “engaging, informative, and hopeful” and strives to show the role each creature plays in sustaining a thriving ecosystem.

Barr is fascinated by nature and the power of words. A writer of 35 books, she hopes to encourage children to get involved in protecting our natural world while embracing the collaborative journey of working with scientists and other experts.


“Wolves are an integral part of Wyoming’s history, in and around Yellowstone National Park. When selecting a youth title, the selection committee wanted a book that was both informative and engaging, The Wolves of Yellowstone, meets both qualifications,” said Lucas Fralick, who serves as the coordinator for the Wyoming Center for the Book. “It excites the reader into wanting more, making the park come to life through deep research and beautifully illustrated images.”


Ridgeline is this year’s selection for adult readers. Wyoming author Michael Punke, best known for his novel The Revenant, won multiple awards for this thrilling historical fiction novel.

Throughout this taut saga―based on real people and events― Punke brings the same immersive, vivid storytelling and historical insight that made his breakthrough debut so memorable. As Ridgeline builds to its epic conclusion, it grapples with essential questions of conquest and justice that still echo today.

“The selection committee agreed that this book draws attention to a lesser-known aspect of the Wyoming story,” Fralick shared. “It leads us to consider the very real impacts of settler and business on Native American lands during a crucial period in the region’s history. Beyond that, Punke wrote an engaging novel that keeps readers in suspense throughout.”


The writings will be Wyoming’s “Great Reads from Great Places” selections at the annual festival, which highlights youth and adult books representing all 50 states. This literary event – which takes place Aug. 24 in Washington, D.C. – brings together best-selling authors and thousands of book fans for author talks, panel discussions, book signings and more.

The National Book Festival Roadmap to Reading is made possible by the generous support of the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the National Endowment for the Humanities with additional support from Chief Officers of State Library Agencies.

Wyoming Humanities announces student winners of the 2024 Letters About Literature contest  

The Wyoming Center for the Book, which operates under the Wyoming Humanities umbrella, announced this year’s winners of the annual Letters About Literature contest for the state’s youth. 

In this national program, students in grades 4-12 are invited to read, be inspired, and write back to the author of a book that changed their lives. This year’s Wyoming winners and their chosen books are: 

  • Grades 4-6:  
  • 1st Place: Hannah Persson, LanderMy Survival: A Girl on Schindler’s List by Rena Finder 
  • 2nd Place: Chelsea Colson, CheyenneRuth’s Ducks by Michele Garza  
  • Grades 7-8
  • 1st Place: Delaney Edwards, PinedaleStar of Light, by Patricia St. John  
  • 2nd Place: Evangeline Schon, Cheyenne Coraline by Neil Gaiman 
  • 3rd Place: Maile Lovato, CheyenneThe Babysitter’s Club by Ann M. Martin 
  • Grades 9-12:   
  • 1st Place: Claire Hicks, Buffalo – The Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordan 
  • 2nd Place: Eli Patterson, BuffaloLord of the Flies by William Golding 
  • 3rd Place: Kevin Sullivan, BuffaloThe Cosmere by Brandon Sanderson 

Winners received Bookshop.org gift cards worth $150 for first place, $100 for second, and $50 for third.  

For more information, visit the Wyoming Center for the Book’s webpage.

Bestselling author Aiden Thomas to present webinar with Wyoming Humanities

Wyoming Humanities is honored to present New York Times-bestselling author Aiden Thomas (“Cemetery Boys”) in conversation with Emy diGrappa, exploring life, writing, and so much more.

This free live event takes place at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 16. Registration is required. Registration is required and can be done at https://webinar-portal.net/webinars/wyh/registration_240416.php

Aiden Thomas is a trans, Latinx, New York Times bestselling author of young adult novels. They received an MFA in Creative Writing from Mills College. Originally from Oakland, California, they now make their home in Portland, Oregon.

As shared in their biography, “Aiden is notorious for not being able to guess the endings of books and movies, and organizes their bookshelves by color.”

“Books tell us stories that we may find relatable, to help us reach an understanding with each other – and Aiden’s books are no exception,” said Lucas Fralick, program coordinator for Wyoming Humanities. “We’re excited to hear Aiden share their thoughts on the writing process, Cemetery Boys and what books mean to them.”

This event is made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities: United We Stand. Support is also provided by the Wyoming Center for the Book, now housed with Wyoming Humanities.

For more information, contact Lucas Fralick at lucas@thinkwy.org.

Wyoming Humanities Opens New Round of Crossroads Grants for Non-Profit Organizations

Non-profit organizations across the state can apply for a new round of grants of up to $10,000 through Wyoming Humanities.

Wyoming Crossroads Grants are part of an initiative to apply humanities perspectives locally to help the state realize growth out of change. Wyoming Humanities has taken the lead in this multi-faceted statewide campaign to dig deep into the themes of Wyoming’s identity, sense of community, connection to the land, persistence, and ability to manage change. 

These grants will support various public humanities projects related to either digital media or preservation. Applications are due April 15.

Wyoming Humanities has awarded hundreds of thousands in Wyoming Crossroads grants since its inception.

“I’ve heard from people asking whether they should apply or whether they fit the criteria,” said Chloe Flagg, the director of grants and programming with Wyoming Humanities. “The quick answer is often a resounding ‘yes’ – and if they have any questions, they should absolutely speak with us about these opportunities.”

Applicants will have the opportunity to expand on proposed projects during a conversation with the Wyoming Humanities team. These conversations will help supplement applications and be used to strengthen evaluations.

To apply for the grant or to get more details, visit thinkwy.org/grants or email chloe@thinkwy.org.

Wyoming Humanities accepting applications for new internship opportunity

Thanks to a grant from the Wyoming Workforce Services’ Workforce Development Training Fund, Wyoming Humanities is excited to seek applicants for a Native Narrative Student Research Internship.

“There is so much Tribal wisdom around language, history, storytelling, the environment, arts and culture,” Wyoming Humanities Executive Director Shawn Reese said. “Wyoming Humanities would like to highlight the scholars and experts willing to share this knowledge in culturally appropriate ways.”

The new six-month internship begins in April, with the primary goal of creating a public database of Native American scholars and experts in Indigenous storytelling, history, civics, language, literature, arts and crafts, and other humanities disciplines. Ultimately, the database will include representatives of the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho Tribal Nations, willing to serve as consultants, advisors, program evaluators and/or speakers.

“A database like this just doesn’t exist,” Reese said. “Once in place, it has the significant potential to benefit Wyoming Humanities and other organizations by increasing collaboration, visibility and recognition of Tribal experts and scholars.”

Qualifying applicants should be familiar with regional and Tribal representatives, policies, and cultures and have one to two years’ experience working or living in Tribal communities.  Native American students are encouraged to apply. Candidates should be enrolled in a Wyoming higher education setting (university or college), ideally studying a humanities field.  

Travel may be required during the internship.

This opportunity is supported by the Institute for Tribal Learning at Central Wyoming College; the Native American Education, Resource and Cultural Center at the University of Wyoming; and Native American Jump Start.

Wyoming Humanities’ Native Narratives Initiative has allowed the organization to work closely with the tribal communities to help provide relevant programming, exhibitions, resources, and other opportunities across the state.

The full job description and details about applying can be found here. Other questions can be directed to Emy diGrappa at emy@thinkwy.org or 307.699.2680

Wyoming Humanities awards thousands in grant dollars to organizations across the state

Seven non-profit organizations throughout the state received significant grants from Wyoming Humanities.

Wyoming Crossroads Grants are part of an initiative to apply humanities perspectives locally, helping to realize growth through change.  Since the program’s inception, Wyoming Humanities has awarded hundreds of thousands in Wyoming Crossroads grants.

This cycle of grants is designed to support public humanities projects related to either programming or publications.

The organizations who received these grants—as well as the amount and the project title—are:

Buffalo Bill Memorial Association – $10,000: Art and Advertising in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West

Fort Phil Kearny & Bozeman Trail Association – $8,800: American Indian Interpretive Ranger Program

Jackson Hole Historical Society & Museum – $5,200: How Violent was the ‘Wild West’? A Series of History Programming Featuring Dr. Elliott West  

Jackson Hole Trout Unlimited – $10,000: Mountains of Color Film Festival 2024

Relative Theatrics – $5,000: Exploring Identity, Community, Connection, Persistence, and Change through Theatre

Wind River Community Alliance – $10,000: Community Connections Program in the Greater Wind River Area

Wyoming National Guard Historical Society – $10,000: “Telling Our Story”: Wyoming National Guard History Book Project, 1870–2020

In this competitive grant cycle, applications were reviewed by a panel of humanities experts, including members of the organization’s board of directors.

Wyoming Humanities has taken the lead in this multi-faceted statewide campaign to dig deep into the themes of Wyoming’s identity, sense of community, connection to the land, persistence, and ability to manage change. 

For more information about these and other grant programs available from Wyoming Humanities, visit thinkwy.org/grants.

Wyoming Humanities launches new statewide program, Pronghorn Reads

If you made a resolution this year to try something new or to expand your horizons or even just to work on reading a bit more in 2024, then Wyoming Humanities has a new program for you.

Free and open to adults and students, Pronghorn Reads encourages all Wyomingites to read one book each month. Prizes will be awarded during the year, and anyone who completes all twelve months of reading will be entered into a drawing for a grand prize.  

Additionally, every Pronghorn Reads participant will receive a small gift from Wyoming Humanities.

“Reading is one of those activities we can do almost any time and having a challenge every month takes us on a reading journey,” said Lucas Fralick, program coordinator for Wyoming Humanities. “The prizes along the way add something extra to the joy of finding a new book to savor.”

Each month will provide a different theme or challenge. In January, participants are asked to read a book borrowed from your local library. Books can be print, digital, or even an audiobook. After finishing a book, readers add the details to a simple list of their yearly books.

To sign up for Pronghorn Reads, simply complete the brief form at https://www.thinkwy.org/initiatives/pronghorn-reads. There, readers will receive additional information about monthly themes, program information, as well as a chance to share their thoughts about the works that they’ve read.

This program is presented as part of the Wyoming Center for the Book, a part of Wyoming Humanities.

NEH Announces $33.8 Million for 260 Humanities Projects Nationwide

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) today announced $33.8 million in grants for 260 humanities projects across the country. Among these are grants to support research for a cultural, political, and legal history of cancer in America that focuses on the Ames test for carcinogens; create a baccalaureate degree program in Native American studies at Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College; and expand the North American Climate History Project, a digital resource of weather and climate records from the colonial and early American Republic period.

“It is my great pleasure to announce NEH grant awards to support 260 exemplary humanities projects undertaken by scholars, higher education institutions, and organizations of every size,” said NEH Chair Shelly C. Lowe (Navajo).  “This funding will help preserve and expand access to community histories, strengthen the ability of small museums and archives to serve the public, and provide resources and educational opportunities for students to engage with history, literature, languages, and cultures.”

This funding cycle includes the first round of awards made under NEH’s new Public Impact Projects at Smaller Organizations grant program. Developed as part of the agency’s American Tapestry: Weaving Together Past, Present, and Future initiative, these grants assist small and mid-sized cultural organizations—particularly those in underserved communities—in strengthening public humanities programming. Twenty-eight new Public Impact Projects grants will support a range of capacity-building projects at small museums, historical societies, and heritage sites, including development of a new museum interpretive plan on the history of Arthurdale, West Virginia, the nation’s first New Deal community; expansion of the “Invisible Ground” series of heritage markers and audiovisual materials exploring marginalized community histories in southeast Ohio; and an initiative to assist 20 small museums in Oklahoma located along Route 66 in improving their interpretive capacities.

Eighteen new awards under the American Tapestry program, Cultural and Community Resilience grants, will support community-based efforts to preserve cultural heritage in the wake of climate change and COVID-19. Awards in this category include a project to collect oral histories on the impact of the pandemic in Spanish-speaking and Indigenous communities in Kansas; the documentation of Gullah Geechee cultural heritage sites and their histories; the collection and curation of oral histories from Apsáalooke (Crow) elders about the coal economy and Montana’s Crow Indian Reservation over the past fifty years; and documentation of the cultural heritage of Islote, Puerto Rico, a small, historical fishing village endangered by climate change.

Grants awarded today also make significant investments in the fields of conservation science research and training to help find better ways to preserve materials and collections of critical importance to the nation’s cultural heritage. A project at the Northeast Document Conservation Center will develop open-source software and workflows to preserve recordings stored on Digital Audio Tape (DAT), an especially at-risk format widely used by oral historians, journalists, local radio stations, and other broadcast environments between 1987 and 2005. Additional grants will underwrite a survey of the capacity and unique heritage needs of archives and libraries of over 500 minority-serving institutions across the United States, and a convening of museum professionals and scholars to create data standards and protocols for provenance research on art and artifacts from the ancient Mediterranean to help curb the trade in illegal antiquities.

Several projects apply new technologies and digital methods to innovative humanities public programs and research, such as an interactive documentary website about the 1951 student movement to desegregate Moton High School in Farmville, Virginia, led by the sixteen-year-old civil rights activist Barbara Johns, and the development of machine learning techniques to enhance access to large newspaper photograph collections, using the Boston Globe’s historic photo morgue as a test case. Other grants will enable production of a curated narrative website of postcards published and mailed during the Nazis’ Siege of Leningrad and help researchers refine large-scale text analysis tools to distinguish paratext from main text in books digitized by the HathiTrust Digital Library.

Thirty new NEH Infrastructure and Capacity Building Challenge Grants, which leverage federal funds to spur nonfederal support for cultural institutions, will support ADA-compliant improvements to facilities at the Ford Piquette Plant Museum, a National Historic Landmark in Detroit at Henry Ford’s first purpose-built factory, and enable construction of a new learning center to support revitalization of the Keres language and cultural heritage on the Pueblo de Cochiti in New Mexico. Additional funding will help underwrite the new Memphis Brooks Museum of Art in downtown Memphis, support a new museum at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh to increase understanding of anti-Semitism, and provide for the replacement of a damaged roof and installation of solar panels at the Meeteetse Museum in Meeteetse, Wyoming.

NEH Humanities Initiatives grants will fund educational resources, programs, curricula, and other projects that enhance teaching and learning in the humanities at 28 two- and four-year colleges and universities. These awards will support: the creation of a cross-disciplinary undergraduate minor in book studies—which encompasses fields such as manuscript studies, book history, design, and the fabrication and conservation of books—at Indiana University Bloomington; a new curriculum at Morgan State University on the history of Black education; a community-based pedagogical project at California State University, Northridge, to transcribe and update materials in the university’s archive documenting the experiences of underrepresented people of color from the eighteenth to twentieth centuries; and development of a digital map and course module at Delaware County Community College examining global resistance of Africans and African descendants to segregation and colonialism from 1945 to 1990.

Newly awarded NEH Fellowships and Awards for Faculty will support advanced research and writing projects by humanities scholars on a wide range of subjects. Funded projects include a biography of Oscar Adams Jr., Alabama’s first African American state supreme court justice; an investigation of how misattributed early modern English texts influenced readers’ tastes and the literary canon; a study of the mining of silver, mercury, and gold in the American West and its connection to the development of American photography; and a digital publication analyzing the architecture, material culture, and social history of the Ponte residential complex in Johannesburg, South Africa, during and after apartheid.

A full list of grants by geographic location is available here.

In addition to these direct grant awards, NEH provides operating support to the agency’s humanities council partners, which make NEH-funded grants throughout the year in every U.S. state and territory.

More information is available here.