During the week of their annual Heart Mountain Pilgrimage, the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation is inviting the local community to take part in a number of special events happening at Heart Mountain Interpretive Center and at various locations in Cody. All events are free of charge, but seating will be limited at many of the venues. Attendees are encouraged to arrive early.
On Monday, July 22, at 7 p.m., Heart Mountain Interpretive Center will host a gallery talk for the special exhibit, “Songs on the Wind.” The exhibit, which opened in May, explores the musical history of the Heart Mountain camp. Curator Erin Aoyama will discuss what drew her to this subject and highlight some of her favorite stories from the exhibit. Aoyama will also screen “For Joy,” the exhibit’s companion film. “Songs on the Wind” is supported in part by a grant from thinkWY/Wyoming Humanities.
On Thursday, July 25, at 10 a.m., former Heart Mountain incarceree and children’s author Shig Yabu will host a story time event at the Park County Library in Cody. The event will feature a reading of Yabu’s autobiographical picture book, Hello, Maggie! The book tells the story of a magpie that Yabu adopted while at Heart Mountain, and the close friendship they shared. After the reading, Yabu and the book’s illustrator, veteran Disney animator Willie Ito, will answer questions about their lives and experiences growing up inside the camps.
Also on Thursday, at 5:30 p.m., the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody will host a screening of Sharon Yamato’s short documentary, “Moving Walls.” The film explores the journey of the Heart Mountain barracks. First built as makeshift housing for incarcerees at Heart Mountain, many barracks took on second lives at they spread across the Bighorn Basin during the post-war homesteading era. Featuring interviews with former incarcerees and homesteaders, “Moving Walls” shows how these dual stories are intertwined in Wyoming history. After the film, historian Arthur A. Hansen will lead a discussion panel featuring Yamato, historian Mike Mackey, and former incarcerees Takashi Hoshizaki and Raymond S. Uno. A reception with light refreshments will follow the program.
On Friday, July 26, at 10 a.m., a screening of the new documentary “Norman Mineta and His Legacy: An American Story” will take place at the Wynona Thompson Auditorium in Cody. The screening will be followed by a discussion with the filmmakers, Mineta, and former senator Alan Simpson. Lifelong friends Simspon and Mineta first met as boys at Heart Mountain.
On Friday evening, at 7 p.m. at the Holiday Inn in Cody, another film, “Return to Foretop’s Father,” will be shown. This short documentary follows Apsáalooke (Crow) elder Grant Bulltail on his quest to reclaim a powerful energy that was lost to his tribe when the United States government removed them from sacred spaces like Heart Mountain, and sent them to a reservation in Montana. Bulltail and filmmaker Preston Randolph will hold a question and answer session following the film.
Heart Mountain Interpretive Center tells the story of some 14,000 Japanese Americans unjustly incarcerated in Wyoming from 1942 through 1945. The center, which is managed by the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation, is located between Cody and Powell on Highway 14A. Each year, the Foundation holds a Pilgrimage event, providing an opportunity for former incarcerees, their families, and other friends and supporters to revisit the site for reflection and education. For more information about the Heart Mountain Pilgrimage or any of these events, call the interpretive center at (307) 754-8000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.