Center of the West and Wyoming Public Media Launch Innovative Collaboration

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Buffalo Bill Center of the West & Wyoming Public Media

The Partners

This partnership gives us a voice and a way to share our unique stories [about the West].

The Buffalo Bill Center of the West and Wyoming Public Media (WPM) recently launched their journalism and production collaboration with the hiring of Kamila Kudelska, a graduate of the Columbia School of Broadcasting, as their first multi-media journalist. Based in Cody at the Center of the West, Kudelska will report on northwest Wyoming for WPM and produce multi-media content for the Center. Both organizations are set to make the content available on their respective websites, including those heard on Wyoming Public Radio and distributed regionally and nationally. The Center provides a sound booth in the museum that is equipped for recording and is visible to the public.

Kudelska joined WPM on November 6, arriving at the organization’s headquarters at the University of Wyoming in Laramie. After orientation and training, she traveled to Cody on November 14 to wrap up equipment set-up and experience a second round of briefings at the Center of the West. On November 20, she filed her first story on grizzly bear management in the area.

“This collaboration between the Center and WPM is an amazing opportunity for any journalist,” Kudelska says. “I’m thrilled to be part of it and look forward to sharing the stories of northwest Wyoming, as well as the stories of the many treasures within the Center.”

The partnership between the two groups took shape two years ago when Center Trustee Naoma Tate and WPM’s General Managers met at a public radio function. Through their conversation, it soon became apparent that the two organizations complemented each other in both mission to tell Wyoming’s story, and their desire to raise awareness for Wyoming and American West-centric content.

“Quite often, the West’s perspective isn’t necessarily heard nationally,” Tate says. “This partnership gives us a voice and a way to share our unique stories, perspective, and culture throughout Wyoming and beyond.”

According to General Manager Christina Kuzmych, the collaboration allows WPM to solidify its statewide presence and generate high-quality content for distribution. “The Center is a treasure chest of material for radio and digital production to share through media,” Kuzmych says. “Its broad approach to American Western history and culture, coupled with the world-renowned caliber of its curators, make it a strong partner.”

“Having a reporter based in Wyoming’s northwest quadrant is critical for us,” WPM News Director, Bob Beck, explains. “In the past, there were many stories we simply couldn’t cover because of the time and resources required to get a person from Laramie to the Cody area, some 400 miles away. With a reporter onsite, we’ll especially have greater access to important stories originating from the Greater Yellowstone region. Collaborating with the Center of the West is truly a win/win for both our organizations—and more importantly, for our respective constituents.”

Speaking on behalf of the Center’s curatorial staff, Dr. Jeremy Johnston, Curator of Western American History, adds, “We look forward to working with Kamila to not only provide our insight on current news stories related to our respective fields of study, but to also generate multimedia content that can be incorporated into our current and future exhibitions. Kamila’s multimedia products will greatly enhance the experiences of our guests visiting the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.”

The collaboration is made possible through the generosity of the Hal R. and Naoma J. Tate Foundation. “We’re excited about this unique collaboration and grateful to the Tate family for making this pilot program possible,” notes Bruce Eldredge, the Center’s executive director and CEO. “Both organizations have countless stories to tell; our partnership ensures that each one reaches the broadest possible audience.”

Learn more at the Center’s website and Wyoming Public Media’s website.

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Since 1917, the award-winning Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming, has devoted itself to sharing the story of the authentic American West. The Center, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, is now in its winter schedule, open Thursday – Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., closed Monday – Wednesday. For additional information, visit the Center’s websites or its pages on Facebook and Google+.

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