has been invited to participate in the 33rd National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, January 30-February 4, 2017, in Elko, Nevada. [Your name] is appearing for the XX time at the Elko Gathering. The National Cowboy Poetry Gathering is an international festival that honors the arts, culture and traditions of the rural West, with poetry, music, storytelling, dancing, workshops, exhibitions, discussions, food and fellowship. The 33rd Gathering will celebrate the art and tradition of storytelling in the rural West, presenting first-hand narratives wrought from personal experience and told in verse, song, film, visual art, new media and prose.


[add a paragraph or two of biographical information about yourself]


[your name] will join nearly 50 other poets, musicians and musical groups from the U.S., Canada and Australia who will perform on seven stages at four different venues in Elko. A full list of artists and their hometowns is listed below. For artist bios and audio samples, visit www.nationalcowboypoetrygathering.org. The National Cowboy Poetry Gathering also features hands-on workshops in traditional Western arts including rawhide braiding and horsehair hitching, foodways, dancing, songwriting, and how to play the bones. A special exhibition will present an artful view of the horse in the American West and will display contemporary gear from the Western Folklife Center’s collection. Tickets to the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering can be purchased at www.nationalcowboypoetrygathering.org, or by calling 888-880-5885.


The 33rd National Cowboy Poetry Gathering is supported by ArtPlace, NV Energy, Newmont Gold Corporation, Barrick Gold of North America, Frontier Communications, Nevada Humanities, Nevada Arts Council, National Endowment for the Arts, Elko Convention and Visitors Authority, the City of Elko, the Elko County Recreation Board and many more foundations, businesses and individuals.


The mission of the Western Folklife Center is to use story and cultural expression to connect the American West to the world.


“Dom Flemons Presents Black Cowboys” sheds a light on the music, culture, and the complex history of the golden era of the Wild West. In this single volume of music, the first of its kind, Dom Flemons explores and reanalyzes this important part of our American identity. The songs and poems featured on the album are meant to take the listener on an illuminating journey from the trails to the rails of the old west. This is a century old story that follows the footsteps of the thousands of African American pioneers that helped build the United States of America.”


In early spring of 2018, Flemons will release his first solo album on GRAMMY Award winning record label Smithsonian Folkways, titled “Dom Flemons Presents Black Cowboys”. This recording is part of the African American Legacy Recordings series, co-produced with the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.

00061803.JPGArtists say the setting couldn’t get much better. “The natural environment has a transportive element, the way that you want music to be,” says Chris Ousley, guitarist and banjoist for the Sligo Creek Stompers. “It takes you someplace else.”

This year’s headliners are the high-energy Asheville, N.C., string band Town Mountain, D.C.-area powerhouse quartet Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen, Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Don Flemons, and Walter Martin, formerly of The Walkmen and now fresh off his third solo studio release. An array of mostly local performers will join them, from soloists like Julie Outrage and Sarah Cortana to ensembles like the Stompers, The Woodshedders and Moose Jaw.

The festival will have five stages: Two main ones, respectively, for bluegrass and more Americana sets, a third called the Fraser Stage, another dubbed the Half-Shell Stage on a dock (think oysters) and a singer-songwriter stage a short walk away to connecting Heritage Island.

Read more here.

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For more than 50 years, Jerry Pinkney’s illustrations have lured children into reading. He is the celebrated illustrator of more than 100 children’s books, including The Lion and the Mouse, a wordless depiction of Aesop’s fable, for which he won the 2010 Randolph Caldecott Medal. The Germantown-born artist, a 2012 inductee into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, is the subject of the Woodmere Art Museum’s new exhibition, The Storybook Magic of Jerry Pinkney.

‘It was Time,’ 1997, by Jerry Pinkney. (Image courtesy of the artist)

The show explores Pinkney’s art through two collaborations. Black Cowboy, Wild Horses: A True Story (1998), is the tenth book he created with his friend, the author Julius Lester. In Sweethearts of Rhythm: The Story of the Greatest All-Girl Swing Band in the World (2009), he illustrated a series of poems by Marilyn Nelson.

Pinkney works in watercolor, and this exhibition provides an in-depth companion to the wide-ranging survey of the medium currently on view at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Read more here.



Photo credit: Vania Marie Kinard
People: Dom Flemons and Michael Kiwanuka at the Dranouter Festival in Belgium, 2016

Michael Kiwanuka & Inflo were presented the Song of the Year Award for “Black Man in a White World” at Folk Alliance International Conference in Kansas City, MO, 2017. 
The halls, hotel lobby, and hotel rooms are alive with the sound of music here at the 29th annual Folk Alliance International Conference at the Westin Hotel in Kansas City from early every morning to early the following day. Nearly everyone in the elevators, strolling the walkways between hotels, carries a guitar or banjo strapped to his or her back, or carries along a ukulele, fiddle, mandolin, an upright bass, an autoharp, or rolls a small harp. At any moment you can find musicians gathered around in a circle calling out a tune and jamming. In an American culture quickly going to hell in a handbasket, these enduring strains of music foster unity and harmony, offering solace and reminding us that well-played tunes and passionately written lyric continue to tell a story that touches our human spirit. From out of the cacophony of voices in every hall emerges a sweet chorus lifting to the heavens to wonder at the vagaries of love, to ponder the abysmal vagaries of the human character, and to praise the resilience of human nature. This music is all about community, and it’s nowhere more apparent than at this year’s Folk Alliance International.
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