CASPER — As winter settles into communities throughout Wyoming, ending a year that has brought challenges like no other, it’s the arts and humanities programs that continue to provide needed connection and healing.
Local organizations that deliver art, music, theater, learning resources and connection to local history and place have had to pivot during 2020 in ways never imagined. Many have moved to virtual programming to connect with families and students at home while also working behind-the-scenes to preserve cherished in-person programs so that they can return in the future.
To support these programs’ ongoing efforts, PacifiCorp Foundation, a nonprofit arm for Rocky Mountain Power, is donating more than $200,000 in new funding across the six states it serves to support the arts and humanities – along with continued needs by organizations on the frontlines of the COVID-19 response.
“Local programs like these are the heartbeat of Wyoming, providing connection, education and tradition and helping to heal and strengthen our communities,” said Sharon Fain, Rocky Mountain Power vice president for Wyoming. “Rocky Mountain Power is honored to continue our support of these vital organizations, and we encourage others who have the means to support them as well, so their programming can continue long into the future.”
A total of 58 Foundation grants were given to non-profit organizations across Rocky Mountain Power’s service area, ranging between $1,000 and $7,500. In Wyoming, seven additional Community Giving grants totally $45,000 were provided to help meet additional critical needs tied to the pandemic. Together, these grants reflect the diversity of the communities Rocky Mountain Power serves, and the diverse needs of these communities during this time.
The following Foundation and Community Giving grants were given to Wyoming organizations providing vital arts and education programs as well as organizations providing additional community support during the pandemic:
- WTI Foundation to support their scholarship program aimed at people who have lost their jobs due to COVID and who wish to transition into the automotive, diesel or collision industry;
- Artcore, Inc. for supporting artists through ARTCORE Outreach, which brings artists to schools and students and teachers to venues for music, dance and theater performances;
- Casper Theater Company to provide energy-efficient LED house lighting for the theater, which provides entertainment education and quality theater to the Casper community;
- Food for Thought Project to fund a commercial refrigerator, stove, vent and hood to help them deliver on their mission to end hunger and alleviate poverty in the Casper community;
- Mimi’s House to support housing and transition programs for homeless teens;
- Nicolaysen Art Museum to support therapeutic art programs through a variety of regional nonprofit organizations, which help children through adults cope with life’s challenges and connect with the larger community;
- Nicolaysen Art Museum for the Tomorrow the Sun Will Rise Again, a monumental sculpture to be constructed by repurposing nine obsolete wind turbine blades;
- Converse Hope Center to support the mission of serving victims of crime, including domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and child, adult and elder abuse, which is especially critical now as reports of domestic violence and abuse have risen during the pandemic;
- Solutions for Life to support the purchase of a new water heater and chairs for their transitional group home for mental health patients;
- Roundhouse Restoration Incorporated to support The Music in the Air at Depot Square, a live concert series scheduled for summer, 2021, in conjunction with the local farmer’s market;
- Uinta County Museum Foundation to digitally catalog artifacts at the Joss House museum and purchase archival materials to help exhibit and preserve museum artifacts;
- Boys and Girls Club to support their Feed the Kids on Friday program to support children who no longer have access to school nutrition programs on Fridays because of the four-day school week;
- The Shack to provide food through their Life Intervention Initiative that targets at-risk middle and high school students, and provides a safe, constant place to go in a community impacted by the pandemic.;
- Original Oystergrass Inc. to support sound engineering for the Oyster Ridge Music Festival, a cornerstone event for the community;
- Albany County Public Library Foundation to support essential work and material delivery to meet community needs during the COVID pandemic;
- Alliance for Historic Wyoming to support the Historic Preservation Month 2021 program, which helps the nonprofit connect with organizations and businesses across the state to promote economic development and growth through preservation;
- Laramie Free Clinic to support their mission of offering healthcare to low-income, uninsured residents of Albany County, which is especially important now since unemployment has increased during the pandemic;
- Laramie Public Art Coalition to fund artist workshops and meet-ups and for engaging with the public through education about public art;
- University of Wyoming to support the Malcom Wallop Civic Engagement program, which supplies free, virtual social studies curriculum resources to Wyoming teachers and students;
- Green River Valley Health Foundation to purchase needed equipment for local medical clinics in Sublette County, the only county in Wyoming without a hospital or trauma center;
- Pinedale Fine Arts Council to support their COVID response, reworking school arts programs to include social distancing and moving the Senior Center Dementia Care classes into a virtual environment;
- Rendezvous Point to fund Wyoming Home Services that provides vulnerable, home-bound seniors with housekeeping, personal care, respite and other services that allow them to age safely at home and stay out of nursing facilities, which have been hit particularly hard by COVID;
- Carbon County Library, to support increased services during the pandemic as families turn to the library for online-learning support, educational materials and free wi-fi;
- The Actors Mission Inc. to help construct the Black Box Theater in donated buildings in downtown Rock Springs, as the theater company continues with its mission to “Feed the body, nourish the mind” by providing free admission and a meal to anyone wishing to attend a show.
In all, more than $2.3 million has been prioritized in 2020 for organizations across the six states PacifiCorp serves, dedicated to helping communities with the greatest needs. Prioritization will continue through 2021 for grants that support needs around the COVID-19 pandemic. The next grant cycle is now open through March 15; organizations may apply online here.
Rocky Mountain Power also recognizes the ongoing support needed by customers, especially with the arrival of cooler weather. Customer care staff are available by phone to walk through account options and plans to alleviate financial burdens during this time. They can be reached at 1-888-221-7070 around the clock. For tools to help manage energy use this season, visit www.rockymountainpower.net.
About the Rocky Mountain Power Foundation
The Rocky Mountain Power Foundation is a subsidiary of the PacifiCorp Foundation, one of the largest utility-endowed foundations in the United States. The foundation was created in 1988 by PacifiCorp, an electric utility serving 1.9 million customers in six Western states as Rocky Mountain Power (Utah, Wyoming and Idaho) and Pacific Power (Oregon, Washington and California). The foundation’s mission, through charitable investments, is to support the growth and vitality of the communities served by Rocky Mountain Power. For more information, visit www.rockymountainpower.net/foundation.