Wyoming Humanities awards more Spark Grants across the state for fall

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 four organizations for autumn of 2022.

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.

This fall’s recipients are:

Burning Torch Productions, Dear Sirs Add-on Screening with Q&A with Score Composers

“Dear Sirs” tells the story of a Wyoming Veteran who was a Prisoner of War during WWII. The aim of the program is to share this inspiring story of resilience and create a conversation around the importance of preserving the folk history of our state through storytelling. In addition to the Q&A discussion following the film. The film’s composer and his wife will perform an excerpt from the film and speak about the power of music in storytelling. This event combines the art of storytelling with a conversation about exploring difficult moments in history such as war.

American Heritage Center, Reading and Q&A for “Out Here on Our Own: An Oral History of an American Boomtown”

Author J.J. Anselmi and photographer Jordan Utley will provide public talks to describe the creative process behind their book “Out Here on Our Own: An Oral History of an American Boomtown.” Through oral histories, Anselmi tells the story of the boom-and-bust town of Rock Springs, a place of widespread addiction, prostitution, and a staggeringly high per-capita suicide rate—yet a place of remarkable resiliency. His work, along with Utley’s starkly powerful black-and-white photography, offers searing personal accounts of a community in crisis, whose problems are fanned by severely limited mental health resources, dying industries, and the pervasive idea that people should work out their troubles alone.

Relative Theatrics, Read, Rant, Relate: Igniting Conversation through Theatre

This free play-reading series will consist of two public play readings. The program uses actors to activate text by reading a play aloud. Following each play a humanities scholar leads a discussion with actor panelists and the audience on the themes of the play and how they relate to our Wyoming communities. The works are “The Thanksgiving Play” by Larissa FastHorse (Nov. 17) and “Fade” by Tanya Saracho (Feb. 9). The plays tackle topics such as race, class, diversity, feminism, culture, and, ultimately, voices that often go unheard. Some featured Humanities disciplines that will be used to explore the plays’ topics are history, anthropology, and literature.

Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra, “YES!” (Youth Educational Symphony) Program

These concerts are the largest piece of CSO’s educational outreach under the Giving the Gift of Music umbrella. Before the event, music teachers are provided with a video curriculum created by CSO to prepare their students for this educational experience. The free annual concerts serve nearly 3,000 students. “YES!” concerts focus on creating valuable connections between history, cultural literacy and music appreciation, as well as introduce the basics about symphony orchestras and concert etiquette. During the concert the Maestro and musicians teach about the music, instruments, and tell stories about careers in music. The event is scheduled for Jan. 19.

For more information about Wyoming Humanities and its grant programs, visit thinkwy.org/grants.