Wyoming Arts Council

Wyoming Arts Council Folk Masters Tent Added to Big Horn Basin Folk Festival

For more than a decade, the Wyoming Arts Council has provided grants to skilled folk and traditional artists to teach an apprentice specific skills through the Mentoring Project Grants program.

The program is designed to help preserve the masters’ skills and to pass them on to the next generation. This summer, travelers on their way to the Big Horn Basin Folk Festival in Thermopolis can meet some of these talented folk artists in person.

Bit & spur maker / western silversmith Ernie Marsh shows his work.

Set to take place this year from August 5-6, the Big Horn Basin Folk Festival has become a fixture of summer in Hot Springs State Park. Featuring the best of Wyoming artists, artisans, skilled crafts persons, musicians, and storytellers, it is the only festival of its kind in Wyoming.

New this year, the Wyoming Arts Council is gathering a group of master artists and their apprentices to demonstrate their craft or to perform at the festival.

Demonstrators will be in the large Folk Masters tent on the grounds and  the performers will be on the Pavilion and Story Circle stages. Festival goers can visit with them, listen to their stories, and see them at work. Mentoring Project Grant master/apprentice teams slated to demonstrate or perform as part of Folk Masters include:

  • Steve Dabbs, Sheridan, saddles/trees
  • Marcus Dewey, Arapahoe, Northern Arapaho Beadwork
  • Gloria Goggles and Jennifer Runs through Lodge, Fort Washakie, parfleche
  • Leanne Linnell, Riverton, and Brook Miller, Shoshoni, horsehair hitching
  • Darrell and Tyson Lone Bear, Wind River Reservation, making and performing Arapaho hand drums
  • Tom Lucas, Lander, Bighorn sheep horn bows
  • Ernie Marsh, Lovell, and James Guyllon, Jeffrey City, silversmithing
  • Jack Mease, Lander, and Mila Ready, Hudson, rawhide braiding
  • Von Ringler and Alex Whisler, Powell, leatherwork
  • Mt. Sinai Jewish Dancers, Cheyenne

For more information, email Wyoming Arts Council Folk and Tradition Arts Specialist, Anne Hatch atanne.hatch@wyo.gov or call 307-777-7721.

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