POWELL – After a hiatus in 2021, Heart Mountain Interpretive Center will again host its annual Winter Program Series during the months of January, February, and March. Heart Mountain staff will present three programs: “In the Northern Country” on Jan. 29; “Disability and Displacement” Feb. 26; and “Faith at Heart Mountain” on March 26. All programs will begin at 1 p.m. Programs are open to the public, but space is limited and registration is required.
“In the Northern Country,” the first program in the series, will explore the relationship Japanese Americans incarcerated at the camp had with the land around them. To the incarcerees at Heart Mountain, the Big Horn Basin was an alien environment, a harsh desert far away from their homes. Attendees of this presentation will learn how incarcerees, throughout their time in camp, came to know the Wyoming landscape, and even found beauty and inspiration in their surroundings.
The February program, “Disability and Displacement,” will look into the lives of some of the disabled Japanese Americans who were incarcerated during World War II. Many thousands entered the camps with disabilities, while more became disabled during their confinement. Attendees will learn about a few of the Heart Mountain incarcerees who were physically or intellectually disabled and the support systems that existed for them within the camp.
The final program of the series, “Faith at Heart Mountain,” will discuss the many religious practices at Heart Mountain, and the faith that brought a little light into this dark period of history. Attendees will learn how Japanese Americans – whether they practiced Christianity, Buddhism, or another religion – used faith to sustain them through the struggle of incarceration. They will also discover how local religious institutions forged relationships with congregations inside the camp.
All programs are free with admission to Heart Mountain Interpretive, which is $12 for adults, $10 for students and seniors, and free for children under 12 and Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation members. After attending their first program, visitors will receive a pass waiving their admission fee for future events in the Winter Program series. Due to COVID concerns, seating capacity for each program will be limited. Seats can be reserved by calling Heart Mountain Interpretive Center or visiting its website at heartmountain.org.
Heart Mountain Interpretive Center tells the story of some 14,000 Japanese Americans 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.-5 p.m. Masks are required inside of Heart Mountain Interpretive Center, regardless of vaccination status. For more information about these events, call the interpretive center at (307) 754-8000.