SAVE THE DATE
by Rachel Barrett
Familiar faces and new came together in July to blaze exciting fresh trails for a new Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Alpine. With the wonderful tradition of the Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering event in our hearts and minds, a new gathering is born: the Lone Star Cowboy Poetry Gathering. Many of Alpine's own, together with supporters from far and wide, began laying the groundwork for a new legacy, with much gratitude for those who have paved the way for the past 33 years.
The work and the plans
Up for discussion were plans for building solid leadership and strong focused committees, reaching out to sponsors within the community and beyond, and garnering volunteer support. Above all, unanimous agreement was that the vision of Lone Star Cowboy Poetry must stay true to the authentic spirit of Texas cowboy history that has made the Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering known throughout the U.S. and across our beautiful globe.
We are working on building involvement in Alpine and surrounding areas. This community support, the lifeblood of our gathering, will allow us to reach out worldwide to share the rich cowboy culture and lore that many of us have personally lived, and many others wish to learn about. Working with our beloved community means seeking ways in which we can give something in return and think outside the corral to overcome bumps in the road.
What will be new
Yes, the weekend has changed to the 3rd weekend of February. This works better for Sul Ross State University, our host. We will strive to minimally inconvenience the university and students on campus, while addressing challenges of parking, meals, and the other needs of performers and attendees.
We plan to build an online social media presence, allowing us to connect with younger generations and with folks at a distance. Vaqueros on Twitter? Instagram Cowboys? You bet! We're no dying breed – we're adapting with the times! We will also sell tickets online for the main shows, as well as build a base of supportive members and donors.
Publishing a regular newsletter – online, in print, or both – will allow artists, performers, supporters, and those working behind the scenes to keep a finger on the pulse of the organization, stay informed about scheduled events, and find ways to help keep the group thriving.
We hope to sponsor smaller, one-night poetry events throughout the Big Bend region several times during the year, in addition to our main February gathering. This will allow greater opportunities for local and nonlocal performers to share the art they love, in addition to fostering donor and volunteer support.
What will continue
Thoughtful poetry, great music, and good company will continue, of course! We intend to continue cowboy poetry contests in our area school systems, as well as performers hosting programs at the various school sites. Fostering appreciation for cowboy history will help build another generation inspired to carry forward that life and legacy.
How you can help
Putting together a fantastic gathering of artists is a Texas-sized job, but teamwork and dedication will bring us to great new places as we break ground this year. So, pull your hat down tight and hang on for an exciting ride! We'd love for you to join in! To learn how you can be a part of bringing the Lone Star Cowboy Poetry Gathering to life, drop in and visit us at LoneStarCowboyPoetry.com. Till then, happy trails!
Lone Star Cowboy Poetry Gathering
Rachel Barrett, Alpine
Robbie Burns, Alpine
Randy Cowell, Alpine
Jim Goodnight, Dallas
Karen McGuire, Alpine
Sylvia Nelson, Alpine
Kay Nowell, Alpine
Gene Nowell, Alpine
Jim Street, Alpine
Julie Stovell, Alpine
Gilbert Valenzuela, Alpine
Bob Saul, Fort Worth
Lone Star Cowboy Poetry Gathering
P.O. Box 1076
Alpine, TX 79831