Youth Programs at the Gathering
For over 30 years, the Western Folklife Center, local educators and National Cowboy Poetry Gathering artists have been “gathering the next generation” by offering high-quality education programs that explore the living artistic traditions of the rural West and beyond.
These educational programs have become a tradition in their own right, now having served multiple generations of community members. Every year, these programs engage over 7000 students in a two-week educational extravaganza that reaches youngsters from schools throughout rural northeastern Nevada. Third and fourth graders immerse themselves in the hands-on Youth Festival, learning about cowboy gear, “carving” their initials into leather and touring the latest gallery exhibition. All ages delight in interactive performances of music and poetry ̶ all the way from elementary school kids enjoying the Cow Kids Stampede on the mainstage, middle schoolers learning to square dance, to devoted high school honing their literary prowess through up-close-and-personal workshops with renowned cowboy poets, receiving feedback on works-in-progress and sage counsel on poetry selection and recitation. Educators, see more information, below.
And, the talented Elko County youth take their place among these living artistic traditions by showcasing their own talents for Gathering audiences in the Student Art Show displayed in the Western Folklife Center's G Three Bar Theater and elevator lobby with this year's theme "Pictures From Poems."
We offer several youth-oriented sessions at the Gathering, listed below.
NOTE: This list is past information.
Events listed took place Monday, January 28 - Sunday, February 3, 2019.
The list will update when our full daily schedule for the 2020 Gathering has been completed.
Youth are welcome to sign up for any open mics during the Gathering, and at our 35th Gathering (January 28-February 2, 2019), there were two featured events specifically for our younger poets and musicians:
Teen Poetry & Music Open Mic
Wednesday, January 30, 2019 * Western Folklife Center
FREE - Signups at 4:00 pm, Slam 5:00-6:30 pm
Calling all teens interested in presenting poetry, spoken word, short prose, and songs in a fun, friendly environment! Meet master poets and help us kick off the Gathering by sharing your skill onstage! Material can be original, classic, contemporary, or cowboy. Please limit presentations to 5-8 minutes.
Young Buckaroo Open Mic & Talent Showcase
Thursday, January 31, 2019 * Elko Convention Center Turquoise Room
FREE, All Ages - Registration at 5:30 pm, Showcase 6:15-7:30 pm.
Young folks are encouraged to perform original poetry, classic recitations, western music and dance in this safe, welcoming public atmosphere. This showcase, hosted by Deb Howard, is a highlight for participants and for our Gathering audience!
We’re proud to engage the next generation with the art of expression, the honor of carrying tradition into the future, and the breadth of cultural knowledge to be found in all corners of the world, including right here at home. And, we’re proud of the inspired works they’re turning out!
Our youth education programs are sponsored by many businesses and organizations, individual donors through our Stakeholder program, and major donors including The Bretzlaff Foundation, Terry Wells Foundation and:
Banner image: Charlie Ekburg
Slideshow images: Meg Glaser/Tamara Kubacki, jessica Brandi Lifland, Devon Blunden, Charlie Ekburg, Carly Giesen