The Western Museums Association (WMA) is proud to announce Hal Cannon as the keynote speaker for the 2013 Annual Meeting. The conference will be held in partnership with the Utah Museums Association from October 9-12, 2013 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Hal Cannon is a folklorist, radio producer, and musician. As the founding Director of the Western Folklife Center and the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada, he has published dozens of books and recordings on the folk arts of the West. Many have credited the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada with triggering a revival of cowboy culture. He has received three Wrangler Awards from the Cowboy Hall of Fame, the 1998 Will Rogers Lifetime Achievement Award, the American Folklore Society’s Botkin Award, and the Utah Governor’s Awards in both the arts and humanities, among many others.
Although Cannon recently retired from the Western Folklife Center, he continues to focus on his specialty of studying the music of the pioneering West both as a performer and scholar. Along with producer Taki Telonidis, Cannon produces features for NPR news shows including their radio series, What's in a Song airing on Weekend Edition. They also produced two Emmy Award winning TV documentaries, Why the Cowboy Sings and Red Rock Rondo: A Zion Canyon Song Cycle, both airing on PBS.
Watch and interview with Hal Cannon:
Sarah George, Executive Director of the Natural History Museum of Utah, commented about the recently-retired ‘Renaissance man.’ She explained, “He is wise, vastly entertaining, and completely understands the role of museums and cultural institutions in the life of communities.” Jason B. Jones, Executive Director of the WMA, stated, “We are very excited to include Hal in our 2013 program. His unique and valuable insights about museums and the West will be interesting for all attendees.”