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Caitlin Tan

Inside Appalachia Co-Host and Reporter

Caitlin Tan is working as Inside Appalachia’s folklife reporter, as part of a Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies grant. The goal of her reporting is to help engage a new generation in Appalachian folklife and culture.  

Caitlin comes from a rural mountain town in Western Wyoming. She grew up ski racing, showing her horses in 4-H and moving cows in the high mountain deserts. It was in this town she discovered her love for journalism. Caitlin’s career began in print, interning for the local newspaper. She went on to write and eventually worked as news editor at the Branding Iron newspaper, part of the University of Wyoming, where she later graduated with a B.A. in journalism.

Although she was always an avid listener to NPR, she found her love for public radio journalism as an intern with Wyoming Public Media. After, Caitlin spent a whirlwind summer as a fisheries reporter in Bristol Bay, Alaska - international sockeye salmon capital - working for KDLG, the local NPR affiliate station. She was a solo-correspondent based in Naknek - a Native village of 500 people - where she climbed on commercial fishing boats and trudged the rainy, muddy beaches to find the fishing scoop.

This job helped her land a producing internship, and later a job as news assistant for NPR’s All Things Considered in D.C. She worked closely with the entire team - helping to produce everything from a manicly decorated Christmas house to live interviews with U.S. senators to an exclusive interview with fashion designer Alexander Wang.

All along, Caitlin always knew she wanted to return to feature reporting in a rural area. As shown from her fisheries reporting, she loves to immerse herself in new cultures. So when the Inside Appalachia folklife position opened up she jumped at the opportunity. Caitlin and her Border Collie up and moved to Morgantown, WV. As someone who grew up in a rural area, Caitlin understands the value and heritage of tradition and craftsmanship in a culture. She’s very eager to further her knowledge, as well as engage and report on folklife in Appalachia.

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  • This week, we’ve pulled a few gems from our archive. We’re listening back to some of our favorite Inside Appalachia stories from the past year.
  • The Grammy-winning singer-songwriter will take over hosting duties from Larry Groce. Groce is not leaving entirely. He will retain his other duties with the show, which he co-founded.
  • This week's episode of Inside Appalachia is an encore episode filled with rich storytelling and cross-cultural collaborations. What happens when a musician from Belarus gets together with Appalachian folk musicians? And we’ll talk with Affrilachian writer Crystal Wilkinson, who has been named this year’s Kentucky Poet Laureate. You'll hear these stories and more in this episode.
  • This week’s episode of Inside Appalachia is all about how we interact with water and our rivers. We’ll hear from people who make their living on the water -- like Marvin L. Wooten, a longtime river boat captain. He started working in the riverboat industry in 1979. “I got two job offers the same day, and I took this job,” Wooten said. “My dad always said the river will always be there. So that’s what I’ve chosen to make my living at.”
  • This week on Inside Appalachia, co-host Mason Adams sits down with Elizabeth LaPrelle, who grew up in Rural Retreat, Virginia. She and her husband Brian Dolphin moved from Brooklyn back to southwestern Virginia just before the pandemic hit. As longtime performers and new parents they took to Facebook Live, posting weekly livestreams of lullabies and stories. We’ll also hear about a song called “Tom Dooley,” which was first released shortly after the Civil War. It resurfaced 60 years ago, when it topped the Billboard charts.
  • This week on Inside Appalachia, we’ll learn about people who are digging beneath the surface, telling authentic stories about life in Appalachia. In this episode we’ll hear from writers, playwrights, filmmakers and storytellers who confront the complexities of life here in Appalachia. They share why we should be proud of these complexities, and be willing to learn something new about Appalachia — even those of us who live here.
  • In the latest episode of Inside Appalachia, we’ll meet a man who makes wooden turkey calls. However, these aren’t ordinary turkey calls — they’re hand-crafted and feature intricate paintings. We’ll also travel to some of the most beautiful spots in Appalachia to find wildflowers — Dolly Sods and the Canaan Valley of West Virginia. But are these places becoming too popular?
  • When people talk about Appalachian music, banjos and fiddles are often the first things to come to mind. But what about hip-hop? Hip-hop lives all over, including in small towns and hollers across Appalachia. In this episode of Inside Appalachia, we’ll meet hip hop artists in southwest Virginia. And we’ll hear why herbal remedies are experiencing a renaissance. But those remedies have been a tradition in Appalachia for centuries. We’ll also learn how Blenko Glass, a historic West Virginia artisan business, based in Milton, West Virginia, managed to stay open during the pandemic by retooling a mythical monster into art.
  • The pandemic continues to inspire more people to go outside. One result? They’ve found more baby animals. This week on Inside Appalachia, we’ll hear how everyday folks have helped rescue a record number of baby owls. And June is Pride month. We’ll listen back to a fabulous story from 2019 as With Good Reason producer Cass Adair takes us on an audio tour through the history of Roanoke’s Queer scene with those who lived it.
  • Our Inside Appalachia team recently won several awards for our reporting. This week, we’re listening back to some of these stories, including one about the John Denver classic, “Take Me Home Country Roads,” which was first recorded 50 years ago in 1971. And we’ll learn how indie pro-wrestling in Southern West Virginia was able to keep going through the pandemic — with drive-in shows. We’ll also hear about two Welsh storytellers and their fascination with Appalachia.