Graduation Weekend at the Western Folklife Center

Looking for something to do with the family during Graduation Weekend? The Western Folklife Center has several activities for the whole family to enjoy. Whether it’s taking in some great cowboy poetry and music in a concert Saturday night, finding something special in our Gift Shop, enjoying the You’ve Got Spurs exhibition in the Wiegand Gallery, or doing the Portraits of the Gathering walking tour around downtown Elko, the historic Pioneer Hotel is the place to be in the heart of old Elko.

Western Folklife Center photo by Hal Cannon.

Western Folklife Center photo by Hal Cannon.

At the Western Folklife Center, take in the amazing Portraits of the Gathering and You’ve Got Spurs exhibitions in the Wiegand Gallery, watch "Why the Cowboy Sings" in the Black Box Theater, and find a last-minute graduation present in our Gift Shop, which has a little bit of everything, including: jewelry; wallets & purses; soaps & lotions; pottery and fine art from note card size to wall hangings, watercolor to metal; books and music – many items from local artists.

While in the Gift Shop, pick up a walking tour map for our Portraits of the Gathering storefront exhibition —featuring 24 cowboy poets who took the stage in the early years of the Cowboy Poetry Gathering—then use your cell phone to scan QR codes for a full audio experience.

Pipp Gillette and Waddie Mitchell getting ready, photo by Jessica Brandi Lifland.

Pipp Gillette and Waddie Mitchell getting ready, photo by Jessica Brandi Lifland.

And on Saturday night, get ready as the Western Folklife Center presents a very special evening featuring Texas-based cowboy music historian & musician Pipp Gillette, and Elko’s own cowboy poet, Waddie Mitchell. These two friends will provide an evening of entertainment for the whole family with their mix of classic and contemporary cowboy poetry and music. Waddie Mitchell brings the cowboy's West to the stage through classic tales and original verse, while musician Pipp Gillette shares favorite songs on guitar, banjo, harmonica, bones and more. Opening the evening will be a performance by young Tuscarora singer/songwriter Marinna Mori.

Poster artwork by Teresa Jordan.

Poster artwork by Teresa Jordan.

About Pipp & Waddie

Pipp Gillette raises cattle on the family ranch near Lovelady, Texas, where his grandfather started raising cattle and cotton in 1912. Drawing on a lifelong interest in Western history and music, Pipp plays traditional cowboy music on guitar, banjo, harmonica and bones. His historic Camp Street Café & Store in Crockett, Texas, is a live music venue featuring performers from around the world. Pipp and his late brother Guy Gillette recorded eight albums of cowboy music and were recipients of three Western Heritage Wrangler Awards for their work.  Pipp's latest CD is Pipp Gillette with Lloyd Wright.

Waddie Mitchell was immersed in the cowboy way of entertaining as a boy on the Nevada ranches where his father worked. In 1985, Waddie helped organize Elko’s first Cowboy Poetry Gathering. Since then, he has kept busy writing, publishing and recording. In 1994, Waddie helped found the Working Ranch Cowboys Association (WRCA); it's continuing mission is creating scholarships and crisis funding for working cowboys and their families. Inducted into the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame in 2011, Waddie was honored in 2012 with the Nevada Heritage Award from the Nevada Arts Council. In 2017, he released Cohorts & Collaborators, an album featuring top Western artists with whom he has co-written songs.

Waddie Mitchell and Pipp Gillette at the National lCowboy and Western Heritage   Museum 2016 Wrangler Awards, photo courtesy of Pipp Gillette.

Waddie Mitchell and Pipp Gillette at the National lCowboy and Western Heritage
Museum 2016 Wrangler Awards, photo courtesy of Pipp Gillette.

The ongoing collaboration of Waddie and Pipp has resulted – so far – in two Western Heritage Wrangler Awards from the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma:

2016 Music – Outstanding Traditional Western Album
Pipp Gillette & Waddie Mitchell
"Singing Songs by Waddie & Pipp" 

Wrangler Award

Wrangler Award

2013 Music – Outstanding Original Western Composition
Song by Pipp & Guy Gillette for "Trade Off,"
Written by Waddie Mitchell

For more information, contact Brad McMullen at bmcmullen@westernfolklife.org or (775)738-7508x 223.

The mission of the Western Folklife Center is to use story and cultural expression to connect the American West to the world.