Through grants, partnerships, programs and unique opportunities, the Wyoming Arts Council provides funding and support statewide for projects big and small. The WAC plays an important role in the economic and social development of every community by investing in the arts. It awards almost 150 grants and fellowships each year, funding programs and projects from every county, thereby serving more than a million participants, including 1.1m adults, 200k youth, 10k artists, and 1.3m people total. For every $1 of Arts Council funding, local communities provided another $35 worth of arts programming in FY16, with an estimated project value of $32,167,251.
The Wyoming Arts Council is funded through State of Wyoming General Funds, National Endowment for the Arts Federal Funds, endowments and private donations, sponsorships and registrations for events such as the annual Governor’s Arts Awards.
Current State statutes defining the role of the WAC Board in working with the Department of State Parks & Cultural Resources are 9-2-901 through 9-2-904. Other statutes defining WAC programs are in 16-6-801 through 16-6-805 for Works of Art in Public Buildings.
Established under State Statutes in 1967 during the term of Governor Stanley Hathaway, the Wyoming Arts Council (WAC) celebrated its 45th birthday in 2012. In 1989 the State reorganized, placing the WAC in the Department of Commerce. This department later reorganized, and the WAC was placed in the Department of State Parks & Cultural Resources, where it remains today within the Division of Cultural Resources.
For two decades, WAC offices were located in downtown Cheyenne in the historic Kendrick Building across from the State Capitol. In January 2015, we moved two blocks away to the Barrett Building, home of the Wyoming State Museum.