The Western Folklife Center uses story and cultural expression to connect the American West to the world.

Our exhibitions, educational programs, national radio and television programs, research and preservation projects, and our premier event, the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, explore and give voice to traditional and dynamic cultures of the American West.

Located in the historic Pioneer Building in downtown Elko, Nevada, the Western Folklife Center is both a local and a regional nonprofit cultural center for northeast Nevada, with an exhibition gallery, 300-seat theater, 20-seat black box theater, historic saloon and gift shop. Founded in 1980, it is governed by a Board of Trustees along with a National Advisory Council made up of leaders in Western cultural life. In addition to its full- and part-time staff, a cadre of members, stakeholders and volunteers help the Folklife Center succeed in its mission. Operating support comes from a combination of earned and contributed income from ticketed events, public sources, private foundations, individual donors and businesses.

Pioneer Hotel Building

The Western Folklife Center business offices, Pioneer Saloon, G Three Bar Theater and lower level restrooms are closed at this time due to the COVID-19 crisis. The Western Folklife Center Gift Shop and Wiegand Gallery are open for business!

Forgot your mask? We’ve got plenty of bandanas and are happy to share!

Western Folklife Center
501 Railroad Street                            Hours of operation:
Elko, Nevada 89801                           9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Ph: 775-738-7508                                Tuesday through Friday,
Fax: 775-738-2900                              Closed on holidays.

Gift Shop and Wiegand Gallery
Ph: 775-738-7508, ext. 234 or 888-880-5885

10:00 am – 5:30 pm, Monday through Friday
10:00 am – 5:00 pm Saturday
Closed Sundays and holidays  (Hours may change during special events.)

2 responses to “About

  1. Anthony (Tony) Millard

    My name is Dipak Shah, now from Mumbai, India, and I was a young student in the US in the 1950s and sang in a group with Barre Toelken and his wife, call the World Wide Singers.
    I am now visiting the US and would like to contact Barre. Please send me his contact or ask him to call me at my friend’s home, 708-445-0233. I am hoping to hear from him.

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