Mountain Stage with Larry Groce, the long-running live event and radio program produced by West Virginia Public Broadcasting and distributed by NPR Music, was recognized with the Governor’s Arts Award for Lifetime Achievement at a ceremony held at the Culture Center Theater Wednesday, March 7.
Founded in 1983 by Groce, producer Andy Ridenour and engineer Francis Fisher, Mountain Stage is currently in its 35th season of live performance radio. The show is heard on over 240 public radio stations across the country each week and is also a popular podcast.
Chief of Staff for Governor Jim Justice, Mike Hall, presented the award which was accepted on behalf of Mountain Stage by the program's Executive Producer Adam Harris, who came into his current role when co-founder Ridenour retired in August 2012. The awards were hosted by Commissioner of the WV Division of Culture and History Randall Reid-Smith.
“Mountain Stage has worked under eight Governors since 1983, and many Arts Commissioners since Arch Moore,” said the program’s host and artistic director Larry Groce, who was visiting family in Texas on the day of the ceremony. “We appreciate the support and are grateful to the legislature for continuing to be a part of the funding equation for Mountain Stage. I want to thank West Virginia Public Broadcasting and its members, anyone who has ever picked up a ticket, our many underwriters and supporters. Most of all we thank our radio listeners, for always having the desire to hear a show like ours. It’s a wonderful honor to receive the Lifetime Achievement recognition, and I share it with the folks who have helped us make the show and those who continue to work to keep it going.”
Mountain Stage is the longest running radio program of its kind. Each week nearly 200,000 listeners tune in for the show on public radio stations across the country. In 2017 Larry Groce was named a Southerner of the Year by Southern Living Magazine and in January 2018 Mountain Stage was named a Best WV Attraction in the 10Best Readers' Choice Awards from USA Today.