The Future of Rural Communities at Center of
30th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering Programs
Elko, NV — The 30th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering takes place January 27 to February 1, 2014 in Elko, Nevada. Drawing on three decades of presenting the artistic traditions of ranching and cowboy culture in the American West, the Western Folklife Center will celebrate the 30th Gathering by focusing on the future of rural agricultural communities and the next generation of people who will carry on their artistic traditions and ensure the health and vitality of these communities.
The theme of the 30th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering is Expressing the Rural West—Into the Future! Through performances of poetry and music, thought-provoking films and fruitful discourse, artists and audiences of all ages will share their art and their opinions on meeting the challenges of rural life in the modern West. The next generation of cowboy artists will present their work and discuss their brand of ranch life—with one hand on the reins and the other on the cell phone.
A new gallery exhibition brings together more than 50 talented young leather carvers, rawhide braiders, metal workers and more, all under the age of 40. Several young musicians will take the stage for the first time at the Gathering, including Jessie Veeder, who writes and sings about life on the family ranch in North Dakota, and Caleb Klauder, who taps into his family’s Tennessee roots to create music both bittersweet and irresistible.
In addition to poetry, music, handcrafted gear, hands-on workshops and films, the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering always offers conversations about issues affecting ranching culture and rural agricultural communities. This year, discussions will include how to keep young people working on the ranch and how those who have stayed are making ends meet; how electronic communications and social media are helping young ranchers stay in touch and share their experiences with others; how ranchers are finding balance between traditional methods and new ideas so they can be good stewards of the natural environment and keep the ranch running; and how western ranchers are meeting the needs of a growing population by producing food in a renewable and sustainable way.
Tickets to the 30th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering can be purchased at www.westernfolklife.org, by calling 775-738-7508, toll-free 888-880-5885, or by stopping in to the Western Folklife Center’s ticket office, 501 Railroad Street, Elko.
The 30th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering is supported by NV Energy, Barrick Gold of North America, Anna and Susannah Ball, Denise and Tim Cashman, T.J. and Debbie Day, Interculture Foundation/Larry & Maggie Biehl, Newmont Mining Corporation, Blach Distributing Company, Red Lion Hotel & Casino, KNPB Channel 5 Public Broadcasting, Nevada Humanities, Nevada Arts Council, National Endowment for the Arts, Elko Convention and Visitors Authority, the City of Elko, and many more foundations, businesses and individuals.
The Western Folklife Center is dedicated to exploring, presenting and preserving the diverse and dynamic cultural heritage of the American West. We celebrate the wisdom, artistry and ingenuity of western folkways through exhibitions, educational programs, national radio and television programs, research and preservation projects, our website, and our premier event, the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. We nurture connections among rural and ranching cultures globally, exploring universal themes in working traditions and artistic expression, which we believe are vital links to the past, present and future of the American West.