Visions of wildlife-safe roads

Whisper Camel-Means knows how disruptive highways can be to animal habitats. The tribal wildlife biologist has dedicated her career to learning the ins and outs of highway reconstruction and to implementing safety measures that allow animals to safely cross them.

Tonight, Camel-Means presents “Protecting Spirit of Place: Reconstructing Highways, Maintaining Habitat Connectivity and Respecting Tribal Culture,” an hourlong webinar from the National Museum of Wildlife Art and Yellowstone to Yukon. She will speak about her work and share her vision of how to protect a community’s natural habitats and respect tribal culture, while also building new transportation routes.

Camel-Means has an impressive portfolio in the field, including implementing an animal crossing structure on a major U.S. highway — Highway 93 — which runs through the heart of the Flathead Reservation in western Montana. The project was one of the most extensive wildlife-sensitive design efforts on record in North America.

She monitors construction on under- and overpasses, works with federal and state agencies on highway-related issues, and champions the future of road ecology both on the Flathead Reservation and across the country.

The webinar starts at 5 p.m. Register at WildlifeArt.org/events.

— Caroline Kucera

A paying gig for students

The application period has opened for the 2021 Donald Runnicles Musical Arts Scholarship Competition.

Funded by anonymous patrons of the Grand Teton Music Festival to honor the 60-year-old classical music nonprofit’s music director, Sir Donald Runnicles, the fourth annual competition offers a total of $50,000 for graduating high school seniors from Wyoming, Idaho and Montana who are planning to pursue music (classical, jazz or other) at an accredited four-year college.

The first round of the competition calls for a 10- to 15-minute solo audition video and a completed application form. The deadline to get them to the Music Festival office is April 30.

A panel of three judges will review all auditions and pick six semifinalist, who will be invited to Walk Festival Hall for the second, live round of tryouts, followed by the naming of three finalists on July 19.

The first-prize winner gets $25,000 to spend on tuition, books or other school-related expenses. Second prize is $15,000 and third prize $10,000.

For complete audition video guidelines and the official application form, go to GTMF.org/communityengagement.

In press material, the festival states that the Donald Runnicles Musical Arts Scholarship Competition is one important way the Music Festival fulfills its mission to provide exhilarating musical experiences, not just by presenting concerts but by offering interactive programs to reach people of all ages.

— Richard Anderson

Arachnid art wanted

Calling all artists: The National Museum of Wildlife Art is looking for professional artists living in Wyoming, Idaho or Montana to submit spider-related art to its “Woven Together: Art and Arachnids” exhibit.

Entries will be accepted through April 30. The show is scheduled to hang from June 26 to Oct. 16.

Two-dimensional artwork or sculptures of various mediums such as fiber art or collage are welcome, but photography is not being accepted for this exhibit.

Submissions must highlight the beauty of spiders and demonstrate their importance to the ecosystem. Other requirements include submitting only completed artworks. Each artist can submit only one piece for consideration.

Submissions will be reviewed by a jury of National Museum of Wildlife Art staff members, with input from art students at Teton County high schools. Decisions on which pieces were selected will be released in mid-May.

Pieces that are scientifically accurate or informed by nature — as indicated in the artist statement — will be given priority in the exhibit.

For additional information on submission requirements and to access the application form, visit WildlifeArt.org/exhibits/woven-together-art-arachnids. Email questions to Sari Ann Platt at splatt@wildlifeart.org.

— Caroline Kucera

Wild films wanted

Early-bird entries to the Jackson Wild Media Awards, the Oscars of outdoor filmmaking, will be accepted until May 1 and final entries until June 1.

Films finished after June 1, 2020, are eligible for awards this year. Jackson Wild is especially interested in nominations for its Special Jury Recognition for the first time ever.

Award category descriptions as well as entry terms and conditions, and information about nominating films, can be found on the Jackson Wild Media Awards’ website: JacksonWild. org.

Also at Jackson Wild, aspiring filmmakers have until May 3 to apply to the Jackson Wild Media Lab, a science filmmaking workshop centered on conversations about the natural world.

The Jackson Wild Media Lab is set for Sept. 21-Oct. 1. It will feature filmmaking trailblazers in an immersive nine-day workshop.

Applicants must reside in North America or the Caribbean Islands. Find information and application instructions at JacksonWild.org.

— Julia Hornstein

Grants for folk artists

The Folk & Traditional Arts Mentoring Program began in 2005 in an effort to bolster support for Wyoming’s “rich cultural arts and traditions,” a press release from the Wyoming Arts Council states. Mentoring Project Grants are offered by the countic to help mentor-mentee apprenticeships get off the ground.

Funding is allocated through the Folk Arts Partnership grant under the National Endowment for the Arts.

Four projects will be chosen to receive $3,000 grants to be put toward mentoring starting in late June and early July for a minimum of six months.

Application need to be submitted before May 1 to be considered. Visit Wyoming Arts Council’s website for information as well as application instructions and requirements.

— Julia Hornstein

Free tax prep service

If you have yet to file your taxes, good news. The IRS extended its tax deadline to May 17. With the extension, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance has extended its tax prep program, too.

Since January, VITA has provided free, car-side tax service at Teton County Library. The team is made up of over 20 volunteers and Spanish-speaking translators.

Local site coordinator Grace Robertson said VITA has “made every effort” to create a safe process for clients and volunteers and keep tax software up to date to reflect the most recent tax law changes.

“Our goal is to prepare as many low- and moderate-income returns and support seniors and Latinos and others who have been hardest hit by this challenging year,” Robertson said.

Those who qualify for the program can find tax prep packets in the Teton County Library lobby. The packets contain important instructions on forms that need to be completed and documents that should be gathered before making an appointment with VITA. The packets can also be downloaded electronically at TCLib.org/tax, or in Spanish at TCLib.org/impueso.

Clients may make appointments through May 1. Drop-off and review/sign appointments take place on Wednesdays from 2:30 to 7:15 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. Spanish translators are available from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays and 10 a.m. to noon Saturdays.

With questions regarding the tax prep process, call 264-5777 or email tetonVITA@gmail.com.

— Caroline Kucera

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