Western Folklife Center Participates in 12th Annual Trailing of the Sheep Festival


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 7, 2008
Contact: Darcy Minter, 775.340.4240
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Western Folklife Center Participates in 12th Annual
Trailing of the Sheep Festival in Ketchum, Idaho

Ketchum - The Western Folklife Center of Elko, Nevada, has been invited to participate in the 12th annual Trailing of the Sheep Festival in Ketchum, Idaho, October 10-12, 2008. Programs will include the traveling exhibition, Trailing the Year: The Human Landscape of Sheep Ranching in the American West; workshops on fiber arts and documenting legacies, and performances and concerts focusing on the legacy of sheep ranching in the West.

Trailing the Year: The Human Landscape of Sheep Ranching in the American West will be on display at the Ketchum-Sun Valley Heritage & Ski Museum, 180 E. 1st Street in Ketchum, October 9 - 12. Working with sheep is one of the last handcrafted occupations with ancient roots and traditions. While the business of sheep ranching has evolved, the fundamentals of raising sheep have remained much the same for thousands of years. This largely invisible occupation is quickly disappearing as the number of sheep operations in the American West diminishes. In this atmosphere of necessary change, contemporary sheep raising continues to draw upon generations of knowledge, skills, and traditions. These cultural threads - emphasized in the exhibition Trailing the Year - strengthen the industry and provide a legacy of work that paints a rich picture of an occupation at risk. You can join the exhibition curators from the Western Folklife Center for an informal talk about Trailing the Year and a coffee reception Sunday, October 12, 2008, from 1:00 - 2:00 pm at the Ketchum-Sun Valley Heritage & Ski Museum immediately following the Trailing of the Sheep parade. Trailing the Year is produced by the Western Folklife Center with generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Simmons Family Foundation, the R. Harold Burton Foundation, and Anne Pattee.

Western Folklife Center staff will record personal stories in a sheep camp lent by Cotton Riley. at the Trailing of the Sheep Folklife Fair, which takes place on Saturday, October 11, in Roberta McKercher Park, Highway 75, in Hailey, Idaho, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Stop by the sheep camp to tell your story between 11:00 am and 4:00 pm.

The Western Folklife Center will also host a fiber arts workshop between 1:00 and 4:00 pm on Friday, October 10 at the Ketchum-Sun Valley Heritage & Ski Museum, 180 E. 1st Street in Ketchum. When knitters and other fiber artists get together, the stories start flying as fast as the needles are clacking and the spindles are spinning. Bring your knitting, or any fiber art handwork, to work on while Tamara Kubacki, a folklorist and knitter from the Western Folklife Center, records conversations and stories.

In addition to these programs, the Western Folklife Center is involved in several activities produced by the Trailing of the Sheep Festival. On Friday, October 10, Folklife Center founding director Hal Cannon will present an evening of music, poetry and storytelling featuring Idaho singer/songwriter Rosalie Sorrels, Navajo storyteller and weaver Roy Kady, Irish musician and storyteller Mick Lucey, and Wyoming poet and writer Sharon O'Toole. The performance will take place at the nexStage Theatre, 120 S. Main Street in Ketchum.

Hal Cannon will also host the Trailing of the Sheep's Saturday night concert, "Our Story Continues." The event focuses on contemporary sheep ranching and features songwriter Brenn Hill, Francisco Colqui, and Linda and Carolyn Dufurrena. The performance will take place on Saturday, October 11 at the nexStage Theatre, 120 S. Main Street in Ketchum.

Also on October 11, Hal Cannon and Western Folklife Center staff will lead a workshop on how to preserve aspects of family and community legacies - from how to conduct good interviews to how to document stories.. Each workshop participant should bring a single and specific aspect of a legacy that needs to be documented and preserved - such as a grandmother's recipes or an uncle's stories, or the process for making something by hand. The workshop will take place at The Center in Hailey, at the corner of 2nd and Pine, from 9:00 - 10:30 am.

For ticket information about these and other activities at the Trailing of the Sheep Festival, visit www.trailingofthesheep.org

The mission of the Western Folklife Center is to enhance the vitality of American life through the experience, understanding, and appreciation of the diverse cultural heritage of the American West.