Invest in Your Favorite Programs: Become a Stakeholder

Ana of Grupo Cimarron

The Stakeholder Program is a way for you to directly support the Western Folklife Center programs and projects that are the most  meaningful to you. Please note, this is different from our membership program.

More than your financial interest, your involvement also expresses your personal interest in our mission to ensure that western culture and traditions continue and thrive.

Your initial or ongoing contribution of $250 or more to the program of your choice demonstrates that you value the rural American West and its expressive arts.

You have the opportunity to determine where your contributions are directed. Our current priorities are: 

  • Unrestricted General Operating Funds
  • National Cowboy Poetry Gathering
  • Western Folklife Center Exhibitions
  • Western Folklife Center Media Projects
  • Western Folklife Center Archives

By allowing you to focus your gift on the programs you care about, the Stakeholder Program is fundamentally different from our Membership Program, which provides benefits such as early access to National Cowboy Poetry Gathering tickets. The Stakeholder Program is an individual giving program. Becoming a stakeholder does not make you a member, but most stakeholders choose to also become members. Please do include the word "Stakeholder" in your contribution.

In return for your investment, you will be invited to the exclusive Stakeholder Breakfast at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. You will also receive invitations to events in Elko and around the region. For more information about the Stakeholder Program or to become a stakeholder, click here to contribute, or contact us at 888-880-5885, extension 222, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

The Western Folklife Center is a non-profit 501c(3) organization. All donations go to support the mission of the Western Folklife Center. Your contribution may be tax deductible. Please consult your tax advisor for more information.

Following is more information about our list of priorities for contributions to the Stakeholder Program. This list is not inclusive of everything we do, but it does represent programs that are not only priorities for us, but those that you have told us you want to support. If you are interested in contributing to an activity that is not on this list, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and let us know. Everything we do can be supported via the Stakeholder Program, and the priorities we choose to promote may change.

National Cowboy Poetry Gathering poets and musicians

With between 70 and 100 artists represented at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering each year, the costs for travel, lodging and honorarium really add up. As a stakeholder you can contribute to the cost of bringing poets and musicians to the Gathering or you can opt to sponsor a particular artist. Depending on the size of your gift, we may give you credit at the show and other special benefits. Click here to donate now, or for more information about sponsoring a poet or musician, contact David Roche toll-free at (888) 880-5885 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Media Programs

The Media Department celebrates stories of culture and community from the rural West through radio features for NPR, television documentaries for PBS, and multimedia content for the Web. We also empower rural westerners to tell their own stories with our Deep West Video program. All of our programming is labor-intensive and requires extensive fieldwork and research in addition to careful production. Donations of $1000 or more to Media Programs make you an Associate Producer on a current production. Click here to donate now.


Hank herding new shorn ewes, Photo by Linda DufurrenaThe Western Folklife Center produces and hosts exhibitions in its Wiegand Gallery in Elko, as well as online and traveling exhibitions that grow out of original fieldwork and research as well as collaborative work with artists, cultural specialists and other museums. Producing an exhibition from the ground up requires research, curation, production, shipping, installation, insurance and maintenance. Your stakeholder contribution can help ensure that our unique exhibits continue to be of the highest quality. Click here to donate now.


The Western Folklife Center Archives collects and preserves materials in all formats that document expressive arts, traditional lifeways, and the evolving cultural landscape in the Great Basin region and throughout the American West. The Archives is also responsible for documenting the programs and administrative history of the Western Folklife Center. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for our Archives Brochure for more details if you are interested in giving to this important aspect of our work. 

General operations

Keeping the doors open and the lights on at the Pioneer Hotel, and paying the dedicated and talented staff is critical to the ability of the Western Folklife Center to function. Without this infrastructure, we would be unable to present the educational programs and entertainment that you value. While an unrestricted donation to our general operations many not be the splashiest choice for your support, it will help us maintain our beautiful historic building and continue to support the high-quality programs that you love. Click here to donate now.

Educational programs for children/youth

The Western Folklife center provides workshops, tours and performances for youth during the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering and throughout the year in Elko. Roughly 7,000 schoolchildren participate in programs during the Gathering, including home-schooled and rural children. This is a wonderful way to provide young people with information and perspective on western culture. Click here to donate now. Kids learn how to rope at a Gathering workshop