Volunteers at the Gathering, photo by Jessica Brandi LiflandThe National Cowboy Poetry Gathering would not take place every year without the dedication of more than 400 volunteers. We literally could not get everything done without this passionate community of supporters. We hope you will join the team!

During the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, volunteers help visitors, take tickets, tend bar, drive shuttles, work in the gift shop, assist in youth programs, log program information, serve as docents in the Wiegand Gallery, and much more.

It's not all work!
Volunteers have great fun meeting people from around the country, getting to know the performers, and watching performances when not working. As a volunteer, you will also be contributing directly to the Western Folklife Center's mission to document and preserve the cultural traditions of the American West.

When is it?
The 32nd National Cowboy Poetry Gathering will be January 25-30, 2016, with educational programs for Elko County school children scheduled the week prior, January 19-21. In three days, the Youth Festival at the Western Folklife Center hosts over 300 students who learn about cowboy life, have some hands-on educational fun, and are the first visitors to our latest exhibit.

How do I sign up?
Please click here to register online.You may also sign up to volunteer with us at other times of the year, using the same form. Applications for the Gathering are reviewed in the autumn, and work assignments are set during December and January.

Please contact us at 775-738-7508; beginning in November, you may also contact us by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..