Exploring Culture

Residents enjoy access to cultural assets like the “Smithsonian of the West” - the Buffalo Bill Historical Center and the Heart Mountain Interpretive Center, formerly home to more than 10,000 Japanese Americans interned during WWII. Homesteaders are the foundation of the Powell Valley, and their innovative ways are on display at the Homesteader Museum. People from across the globe participate in tours and marvel at how hard-working farmers turned a desert into the garden spot of Wyoming. The community also celebrates the arts through the Northwest College Nelson Performing Arts Center, the community arts center, Plaza Diane, and the soon to be opened NWC Intercultural Center, a space to allow for cross-cultural learning and immersion.
The Homesteader Museum

Celebrating one of the largest homesteading efforts in the history of the United States, the Homesteader Museum tells the story of the Bureau of Reclamation’s Shoshone Irrigation Project. This federally funded homesteading project was one of the first of its kind, as well as one of the longest, running from 1904 to 1950. Housed in an original log building that was once used as a banquet hall, the Museum provides visitors with a unique perspective on the settling of the wild west.

The Heart Mountain Interpretive Center

During World War II, Japanese Americans were interned in relocation centers around the country, including in a camp just outside of Powell. Many of the camp structures remained on site following the war. Recently, volunteers completed a massive effort to rehabilitate the structures into one of the most impressive interpretive centers of its kind. The Heart Mountain Interpretive Center opened in 2011, painting a vivid picture of the life of Japanese and Japanese Americans during the war. The award-winning work that went into the site was completed with incredible attention to detail. As a result, the Center is a powerful reminder of a vitally important period in American history.
The Arts

There is a considerable movement to expand the arts in Powell. Northwest College has musical and theater programs, like the Northwest Civic Orchestra and Chorale. Plaza Diane in downtown Powell adds an element of sophistication and culture to the community as well. Local and regional artists have a chance to show off their creations to the public. Musical artists also hold performances to the delight of small, intimate crowds year-round.


Downtown Powell The City has made investments in sidewalks and street lighting that gives the downtown instant recognition. Downtown Powell was just recognized as a Main Street Wyoming Community. Downtown Powell is seeing new life as a center for arts, dining and entertainment including the openings of several new restaurants in 2014 and the projected opening of Powell’s first Microbrewery and eatery in 2015.