Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation Awarded Two ThinkWY Grants

Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation Awarded Two ThinkWY Grants

Written by on February 8, 2022

Two separate grants from ThinkWY will help the Heart Mountain Interpretive Center continue its mission to ensure the camp and its history are never forgotten.

The Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation celebrates two grants awarded by ThinkWY, the Wyoming Humanities Council. Both an operating support and a programming grant were awarded as part of the American Rescue Plan Act, which was created to help humanities organizations recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Foundation will use the grant funds to continue publishing its successful quarterly magazine and offer professional development opportunities for Wyoming educators.

Kokoro Kara is the foundation’s quarterly magazine, which regularly circulates to 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 some issues were only available in an online format due to revenue shortfalls. The operating grant from ThinkWY will allow the foundation to publish all four issues planned 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 at www.heartmountain.org.

The Heart Mountain Interpretive Learning Center outside of Cody, Wyoming. From 1942 to 1945, nearly 14,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry were imprisoned at the Heart Mountain Relocation Center – one of 10 War Relocation Authority (WRA) concentration camps. Photo by Kevin J. Miyazaki

A second grant received from ThinkWY for programming will fund a free educator’s workshop on Saturday, Feb. 19, at Heart Mountain Interpretive Center.

The workshop will take place on the 80th anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 9066, issued by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. This order allowed for the removal and incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II.

The workshop will feature several 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 workshops like this would be impossible without the support of ThinkWY.

“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.”

Heart Mountain Interpretive Center tells the story of some 14,000 Japanese Americans unjustly incarcerated in Wyoming from 1942 to 1945. The center is located between Cody and Powell on Highway 14A and is currently open Wednesday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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