Arts & Culture

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

After the 2014 Elk River chemical spill in the Kanawha Valley, the West Virginia Rivers Coalition created the Safe Water WV initiative. The idea is simple: to strengthen a community’s connection to their drinking water and encourage them to work together to better protect it.

A couple years ago, Jefferson and Berkeley Counties decided to build off that initiative in a unique way – using the conservation of farmland and Civil War battlefields as a model for drinking water protection.

Courtesy Photo: Sheila Redling

Best-selling author Sheila Redling, from Huntington, West Virginia, has written nine books under the pen name SG Redling. After losing her will to write, she is back on track and more books are on the way. In this interview she talks about the importance of protecting your ability to write and gives advice to writers.

Redling explained that after a fast start, writing several books, she burned out. 

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, best-selling author Sheila Redling from Huntington has written nine books. After losing her will to write for a time, she is back on track and more books are on the way. Inside Appalachia associate producer Eric Douglas spoke with her about the importance of protecting your ability to write. And she has some advice for other writers.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, website, on average, about 14 people a day in the United States are killed while working. This weekend’s episode of Inside Appalachia explores how weak regulatory laws, and a failure to prioritize worker safety, may be contributing to more deaths, and a higher risk of workplace accidents. This morning, we’ll hear a preview of the episode.

Roxy Todd talks with investigative reporter Howard Berkes, who recently retired from NPR after working for nearly four decades reporting on worker safety.

Living in the mountains of Appalachia, the nature that surrounds us often becomes a mere backdrop. We expect it to be there, so we forget about it. 

In the new book Mountains Piled Upon Mountains: Appalachian Nature Writing in the Anthropocene, nearly 50 writers focused on the natural world of Appalachia using place-based fiction, literary nonfiction, and poetry. 


West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, living in the Appalachian mountains, the nature that surrounds us often becomes a mere backdrop. We expect it to be there, so we forget about it. 

In the new book “Mountains Piled upon Mountains: Appalachian Nature Writing in the Anthropocene”, nearly 50 writers focused on the natural world of Appalachia using place-based fiction, literary nonfiction, and poetry. Glynis Board has more.

The U.S. women's soccer team is still the world's best after dominating the Netherlands in the Women's World Cup final and winning 2-0. Throughout the tournament, the U.S. brushed aside criticism, complaints of arrogance and calls for the team to tone down their goal celebrations. All the team did was win. All seven World Cup games, in fact.

Dolly Sods, spruce trees, landscape of valley below
Chad Matlick / WVPB

“Montani Semper Liberi ⁠— Mountaineers Are Always Free” is West Virginia’s state motto, but it is more than that. It is a belief system that is not just true about the Mountain State. It rings true throughout Appalachia and even mountains on other continents. 

On this episode of Inside Appalachia, we'll take a look at how the natural environment has influenced our lives. 


West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, in nearly one third of Ohio Valley counties, low-income residents are paying 20 percent or more of their income in utility bills. Energy costs are making housing harder to afford in some rural places where incomes are not keeping pace with rising costs. As part of a series on rural housing, Ohio Valley ReSource reporter Sydney Boles takes us to eastern Kentucky, where the cost burden is among the highest. She found a community working to keep their old Kentucky homes affordable.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we have a story from our occasional series showcasing some of our youth writers. Elliot Jackson was a winner among fourth-graders in West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s 2019 writers contest. We’ll hear from more winners here on West Virginia Morning.

West Virginia's now-defunct film tax credit was around for ten years before being eliminated by the West Virginia Legislature in 2018. A legislative audit report found it provided "minimal economic impact" to the state.
Daniel Walker

West Virginia’s film tax credit was eliminated by the West Virginia Legislature in 2018 after a legislative audit report deemed the credit as providing only “minimal economic impact.” But people who work in the film industry don’t agree. An attempt to resurrect the credit failed this past session, but supporters are hopeful it will make it through the next legislative session.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, June is Gay Pride month across the U.S. and around the world. It’s a celebration of increased social acceptance and expanded legal rights for LGBTQ people. But Trey Kay, host of West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s show Us & Them, has learned that, despite all the change, there are still attitudes and even words that continue to cause pain.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, our most recent Wild, Wondering West Virginia question came from Wheeling resident Brian Joseph. He wanted to know about the Appalachian Mountains and their sister mountains, and how they shape who we are.

“Sometimes we forget. We think we are who we are, but remember even our state motto: Montani Sempre Liberi -- which is, Mountaineers will always be free,” he said.

Dolly Sods, spruce trees, landscape of valley below
Chad Matlick / WVPB

Our most recent Wild Wondering West Virginia question came from Wheeling resident Brian Joseph. He wanted to know about the Appalachian Mountains and their sister mountains, and how they shape who we are.

“Sometimes we forget. We think we are who we are, but remember even our state motto: Montani Semper Liberi - which is, mountaineers will always be free.”

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, homelessness is often considered an urban problem. But a recent NPR survey found a third of rural Americans say homelessness is a problem in the communities. In the first in a series of reports from the Ohio Valley ReSource Mary Meehan explores rural homelessness. Those working on the issues say it remains largely hidden, even as the region's opioid crisis pushes more people into need.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, mead is often associated with Vikings and medieval feasts. In the 1960s, it made a brief resurgence thanks to renaissance festivals. But in the last couple of years, there’s been a new revival in mead. According to the American Mead Makers Association, it’s the fastest-growing alcoholic beverage in the country. Brittany Patterson spent some time with some West Virginia mead makers and learned how the Mountain State’s unique charm is influencing their craft.

courtesy Still Hollow

Still Hollow Distillery isn’t close to any interstate exit. It’s in Randolph County, West Virginia, not far from the Pendleton County line, and it’s nestled in the high Allegheny mountains. You can only get there by driving curvy two-lane roads.  


Caitlin Tan / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Not everyone looks at the increased availability of alcoholic beverages quite the same way. Some people struggle with it. Alcohol is, after all, a socially acceptable, legal drug.

This story ran on Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

Gloria Vanderbilt was an artist, heiress, designer and philanthropist who, for many Americans, may be best remembered for her blue jeans. She died at the age of 95.

Vanderbilt's son, Anderson Cooper, announced her death Monday, airing an obituary for her on CNN. Vanderbilt had cancer, he said.

Truth, Imagination, and Vulnerability: The All-American Town Photobook

Jun 5, 2019

“We can concern ourselves with presence rather than with phantom, image rather than with conjure. Bad as it is, the world is potentially full of good photographs. But to be good, photographs have to be full of the world.” — Dorothea Lange and Daniel Dixon, Photographing the Familiar: A Statement of Position, Aperture, 1952.

The closing statement of The All-American Town: A Photography Project by The Rural Arts Collaborative, Bellaire High School, a 60-page photobook (some may call it a zine), reads: “These photographs and statements are a sharing of our collective truth and imagination.” And it is striking.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, data on the Ohio Valley’s addiction crisis show that the problem is often more profound and persistent in communities that are economically distressed. As part of the Ohio Valley ReSource series, “Working Toward Recovery,” Aaron Payne visited an Ohio community tackling both problems.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, Jeremy Farley is a self-taught expert on Appalachian storytelling.  He grew up in Wythe County, Virginia, and is the founder of Appalachian Magazine. Jeremy is also one of 10 new reporters with the Folkways Reporting Corps. Inside Appalachia host, Jessica Lilly, recently sat down with Jeremy to talk about Appalachian Magazine, and his new position on the team. We hear part of that conversation.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, after almost 15 years, the West Virginia Legislature came through on a promise made to the state’s horse and dog racing industries. As Liz McCormick reports, revenues that had been allocated elsewhere is flowing back to those industries. As part of our occasional series, “Effective from Passage,” we explore Senate Bill 13, which officially went into effect late last week.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

After almost 15 years doing without, revenue dollars are flowing back into West Virginia’s horse and dog racing industries. The legislature came through on a promise made more than a decade ago, and men and women within the racing industry are excited at the possibility of a boom in business. As part of our occasional series, “Effective from Passage,” we explore the potential effects of Senate Bill 13 (SB 13), which went into effect last week.

Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia University will host an NCAA Baseball Regional tournament this weekend for the first time in 64 years.

The 15th-seeded WVU Mountaineers (37-20) earned a spot in the NCAA Championship this past weekend. That’s despite losing, 5-2, to Oklahoma State in the Big 12 Championship final on Sunday.

Glynis Board / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

As public schools adjourn for summer, an art residency program that places professional artists in classrooms just wrapped up its second year in northern West Virginia. Students, community members and teachers gathered for an in-school reception at John Marshall High School, in Marshall County, to celebrate.


West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, Inside Appalachia host Jessica Lilly is directing a new initiative to expand our arts and cultural reporting throughout central Appalachia, and helping her is our new reporter, Caitlin Tan. The two sat down to talk about what Caitlin has discovered during her first few months of living here and reporting on folklife for Inside Appalachia.

Emily Hilliard / West Virginia Folklife Program

Doris Fields, an R&B, soul, and blues musician and songwriter, also known as Lady D, is the daughter of a coal miner. Her dad moved to West Virginia from Alabama at 10 years old and spent 50 years in the mines. She currently lives in Beckley.

Fields explained that music has been in her blood since she was a young girl, growing up in Cabin Creek, West Virginia.

Caitlin Tan

Greasy pepperoni rolls, pungent ramps, sweet apple butter, shaggy Big Foot, scruffy Mothman – these are all symbols that represent West Virginia. Local treasures that began from traditions and legends from long ago that are getting a modern flare, thanks to a graphic design artist in Morgantown.

Liz Pavlovic’s business “Liz Pavlovic Design and Illustrations” recreates West Virginia’s mementos with an endearing modern, cartoonish flare.


U.S. Department of State

On Monday, Americans will celebrate Memorial Day. The holiday came to represent the unofficial start to summer. But for many, the day also reminds us to take a few moments to stop and remember a loved one who fought and died for our country on the battlefield. The holiday is steeped in rich history dating back to the American Civil War.

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