Clara HaizlettFolkways Reporter
Clara Haizlett of Bethany, W.Va., is a multimedia storyteller inspired by folklife, cross-cultural dialogue and the natural world. She stumbled upon the world of storytelling somewhat accidentally.
During her final year at West Virginia University, she started a podcast as a fun "side project.” But from the very beginning, it was clear that podcasting would not be a “side project.” She was hooked, entirely spellbound by the art of storytelling. Since then, she's shifted her career to journalism, producing work for outlets like PBS, Smithsonian Folklife, and Virginia Public Media.
Appalachia boasts some of the wildest rivers on the East Coast, including the Gauley, the Youghiogheny, and the New River. And though whitewater paddling is now popular in the region, it wasn’t long ago that paddlers first started exploring these rivers, designing their own gear and even building their own paddles. Inside Appalachia Folkways Corps Reporter Clara Haizlett spoke with some of these DIY paddle makers about their love for the craft and perhaps more importantly — their love for the water.
Throughout Appalachia, many communities share a common concern: As the young people leave and the older generations pass on, who will carry on the traditions?But in Wheeling, West Virginia, one young man, Dalton Haas, is determined to reverse this trend. He’s committed to bringing his community home, to the sound of church bells and the smells of homemade cooking.