The Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation recently received both an operating support grant and a programming grant from ThinkWY, the Wyoming Humanities Council. These grants, part of the American Rescue Plan Act, were created to help humanities organizations respond to and recover from the COVID-19 Pandemic. The Foundation will use the grant funds to continue publication of its successful quarterly magazine and to offer professional development opportunities for Wyoming educators.
The Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation’s quarterly magazine, Kokoro Kara, has a regular circulation of approximately 2,000 readers nationwide. The magazine contains historical articles about the Japanese Americans incarcerated at Heart Mountain during World War II, news about activities and exhibits at Heart Mountain Interpretive Center, and a regular feature highlighting items from the Foundation’s artifact and archival collections.
Publication of Kokoro Kara continued throughout the pandemic, but due to revenue shortfalls, some issues were only available in an online format. The operating grant from ThinkWY will allow the Foundation to publish all four planned issues for 2022. A subscription to Kokoro Kara is free with membership to the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation. Past issues are also available at Heart Mountain Interpretive Center and online HERE.
The second grant received from ThinkWY, for programming, will fund an educators workshop on Saturday, February 19 at Heart Mountain Interpretive Center. The workshop, which is free for educators, will take place on the 80th anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 9066. This order, issued by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, allowed for the removal and incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II. The workshop will feature a number of speakers, including former Heart Mountain incarceree Sam Mihara. A limited number of spaces for the workshop are still available, and teachers can register by visiting the Heart Mountain website.
Dakota Russell, executive director of the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation, said that a workshop like this would be impossible without the support of ThinkWY and these recovery grants. “The past two years have been difficult for small museums like ours,” Russell said. “Grants like these are critical in helping us to resume normal operations.”