The Western Folklife Center uses story and cultural expression to connect the American West to the world.

Our exhibitions, educational programs, national radio and television programs, research and preservation projects, and our premier event, the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, explore and give voice to traditional and dynamic cultures of the American West.

Located in the historic Pioneer Building in downtown Elko, Nevada, the Western Folklife Center is both a local and a regional nonprofit cultural center with an exhibition gallery, 300-seat theater, 20-seat black box theater, historic saloon and gift shop. Founded in 1980, it is governed by a Board of Trustees along with a National Advisory Council made up of leaders in Western cultural life. In addition to its full- and part-time staff, a cadre of members, stakeholders and volunteers help the Folklife Center succeed in its mission. Operating support comes from a combination of earned and contributed income from ticketed events, public sources, private foundations, individual donors and businesses.



Banner image by Jessica Brandi Lifland.