Colt Blankman, a 12-year-old from Avon, Utah, will be performing his own original cowboy poetry and the work of other cowboy poets at 7 p.m. CDT on Thursday, Sept. 13, at the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre.
The program featuring the young cowboy poet will kick off the Dakota Western Heritage Festival, which runs Sept. 14-16 at the Expo Center in Fort Pierre.
“The Dakota Western Heritage Festival is a celebration of Western traditions and lifestyle through music and song. Those traditions run deep in South Dakota’s history, and are in keeping with the South Dakota Historical Society Foundation’s mission of keeping South Dakota history alive,” said foundation president Catherine Forsch. “We’re pleased to have Colt at the Cultural Heritage Center.”
The foundation is the nonprofit fundraising partner of the South Dakota State Historical Society.
Colt started performing cowboy poetry at the age of 8 at the Cache Valley Cowboy Rendezvous kids’ poetry contest. The next year he won that contest with an original poem and was hooked. He has performed at schools, community events, talent shows and cowboy poetry gatherings. He has been invited to perform at the National Cowboy Poet Gathering in Elko, Nev., in 2019.
“Colt has become an effective ambassador to youth and has graciously agreed to spend time in the Dakotas, helping the Dakota Western Heritage Festival promote its goal of involving youth in celebrating our heritage,” said Gary Heintz, one of the organizers of the Dakota Western Heritage Festival.
About the South Dakota State Historical Society
The South Dakota State Historical Society is a division of the Department of Education. The State Historical Society, an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, is headquartered at the South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre. The center houses the society’s world-class museum, the archives, and the historic preservation, publishing and administrative/development offices. Call (605) 773-3458 or visit www.history.sd.gov for more information. The society also has an archaeology office in Rapid City; call (605) 394-1936 for more information.
About the South Dakota Historical Society Foundation
The South Dakota Historical Society Foundation is a private charitable nonprofit that seeks funding to assist the South Dakota State Historical Society in programming and projects to preserve South Dakota’s history and heritage for future generations.