Preview Party for the 29th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering

Western Folklife Center logo                  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 12, 2012

Contact: Darcy Minter, 775.340.4240
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Preview Party for the 29th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering
at the Eldorado Hotel Casino November 15


Elko, Nevada
— Italian-American ranching has a long tradition in Nevada, and this coming January, the 29th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering will celebrate that tradition as it also hosts butteri, Italian cowboys coming all the way from Italy to share their ancient culture. To support this quintessential Nevada event and celebrate the state’s Italian heritage, the Eldorado Hotel Casino is partnering with the Western Folklife Center (which produces the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering) and its board members and supporters to throw a party, Thursday, November 15, 2012.

Participants will be treated to a performance by Waddie Mitchell, Nevada cowboy poet and one of the original founders of the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. Waddie is also the 2012 recipient of the Nevada Arts Council’s Nevada Heritage Award and was inducted into the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame in 2011. Attendees will also view a multi-media presentation about the butteri tradition in Italy and will learn about the exciting program at the 2013 National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, January 28 to February 2. In addition, The Eldorado will provide Italian appetizers including antipasto stations, mushroom ravioli and an Italian dessert.

The benefit is being underwritten by the Carano family, oners of the Eldorado Hotel Casino. The Italian cultural exchange at the 29th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering is exclusively sponsored by the E. L. Wiegand Foundation.

The National Cowboy Poetry Gathering —the nation’s greatest celebration of the American West, its people, culture and traditions—has a long legacy of hosting ranch people and cowboys from around the globe. Past participants have hailed from Mongolia, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, France, Hungary, Australia and the British Isles.

In addition to welcoming butteri to the Gathering, the Western Folklife Center will mount an exhibition of buttero gear, tools and clothing, as well as contemporary and historic photographs, artwork and video depicting life herding cattle in the Maremma. Italian Buckaroos: Old World & New World will also feature the rich legacy of Italian-American ranching in the American West. The exhibition will open at the Wiegand Gallery of the Western Folklife Center during the 29th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering and will travel to arte italia, Nevada’s premier Italian cultural arts center in Reno, Nevada, in September 2013. The portion of the exhibition dedicated to the Italian butteri is exclusively sponsored by the E. L. Wiegand Foundation. The portion of the exhibition dedicated to Italian-American ranching traditions is supported by Reds Ranch and others.

The National Cowboy Poetry Gathering features performances of poetry and music from the cowboy and ranching occupation, but also presents exhibitions, films, workshops, dances and discussions—all centered on land-based culture in the American West, its traditional arts and the challenges it faces in the 21st century. The 29th Gathering will present more than 50 poets, musicians and musical groups from the U.S., Canada and Italy, performing on seven stages at four different venues. The line-up includes cowboy poets Baxter Black, Wally McRae, Paul Zarzyski, Waddie Mitchell, Yvonne Hollenbeck, Joel Nelson, Elizabeth Ebert and many others. Music is as integral to the Gathering as poetry; the musical line-up includes Don Edwards, Tom Russell, The Quebe Sisters Band, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Brenn Hill, Wylie & The Wild West, Dave Stamey, Corb Lund & The Hurtin’ Albertans, Max Baca & Los Texmaniacs, Cowboy Celtic, The Saddle Cats and more. Visit www.westernfolklife.org for a full list of performers and their bios.

Tickets to the 29th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering can be purchased atwww.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. Press passes are available to members of the media. Applications are available online.

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.

Photos available on request.