Arts & Culture

Jaime Rinehart, of the WVSU EDC.

The first of Tom Toliver’s gardens is in what looks like an unlikely place—there’s a lumber mill across the street, a busy road without sidewalks, and the garden itself is nudged in between a pawn shop and a DeWalt tool center. Along 6th street, a mom and her two kids walk by carrying groceries from the nearby Family Dollar. Toliver also lives down the street. He believes that putting gardens in urban areas, like Charleston’s West Side, helps reduce crime and revitalize the neighborhood.

Seth Freeman / Contemporary American Theater Festival

Starting this weekend in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, theater lovers will be able to explore such topics of the day as: how the country treats its veterans, artificial intelligence and the ethics of assisted suicide.

The line up for the 24th season of the Contemporary American Theater Festival at
Shepherd University features a play by Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Charles Fuller that focuses on sexual assault in the U.S. military.

New Talcott Museum Honors John Henry

Jul 9, 2014
Wikimedia Commons

Talcott, West Virginia, is the home place of folklore hero John Henry. A project is underway to restore one of the town’s oldest buildings to serve as an information hub about the legend.

Dillion’s Superette, a convenience store, was housed in what was a 1890s general store before it closed its doors two years ago. The owners were very active in the community and donated the old building to the John Henry Historical Society for a promise:  to restore the building back to its 20th century look.

Boy Scouts sit under pipe at 2013 Scout Jamboree
Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

  A merger of two West Virginia-based Boy Scouts of America councils has received the national organization's approval.

The merger combines the Charleston-based Buckskin Council and the Huntington-based Tri-State Area Council. The new council serves about 7,000 scouts in 32 counties in West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia and Ohio.

Wwkayaker22 / en.wikipedia.org

  West Virginia is sharing part of more than $43 million in federal funds to help states with parks, outdoor recreation and conservation projects.

The U.S. Department of Interior said West Virginia is getting more than $463,000 from the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

The fund was established by Congress in 1964 to ensure access to outdoor recreation resources and to provide money to federal, state and local governments to purchase land, water and wetlands.

Marshall Set to Open Visual Arts Center

Jul 8, 2014
Clark Davis

Marshall University will open a new visual arts center in the fall in downtown Huntington.

Since purchasing the 112-year-old building in downtown Huntington for $750,000, the university has issued $9 million in bonds and raised more than $4 million in private money to renovate the facility. The former Anderson-Newcomb Company building that housed a department store of the same name, later becoming the Stone and Thomas building will now house students starting in August.

West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The Appalachian region has been reported on, documented and studied quite a bit in the past 50 years since President Lyndon Johnson came to the region to declare a ‘war on poverty.’

Checking In With the Humans of Fairmont

Jul 6, 2014
Sarah Lowther Hensley / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On Facebook you can find a page for just about any interest. In north central West Virginia, one photographer has created a new Facebook page to share images and short profiles of his fellow citizens.

Inspired by a project in the Big Apple, this page has captured the spirit of the Friendly City and in just one month it has attracted hundreds of followers.

Humans of Fairmont, and the Facebook page after which it’s modeled - Humans of New York - are categorized as Arts and Humanities websites.

Two regular guys take on the job of documenting Appalachia’s culture and history.

A new book explores the meaning behind the name Wheeling.

Looking at Appalachia is still looking for photographs of the region.

And a West Virginia soldier is honored to be a member of the Old Guard.

West Virginia University

  West Virginia University is elevating the status of its top diversity official.

The university said Wednesday that David M. Fryson has been promoted to vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion. He's been chief diversity officer since 2012.
 

Is Tourism the Key to Turning Matewan Around?

Jul 1, 2014
Daniel Walker

This is part of our continuing series on how the towns of Grafton and Matewan are turning themselves around through a special collaborative project between West Virginia Public Broadcasting, West Virginia Focus magazine and the West Virginia Community Development Hub. 

National Park Service

The National Park Service is offering Ranger-Guided hikes in Summers and Fayette Counties this holiday weekend. All ranger programs are free unless otherwise noted. The NPS suggests hikers wear comfortable walking shoes. Hikers might also consider bringing water, snacks, camera and binoculars Below is a list of this weekend’s featured ranger programs:

In Summers County, interested hikers should meet at the base of Pipestem Resort State Park tramway at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, July 5, 2014. From there rangers will guide two hikes:

Greenbier
Bobak Ha'Eri / Wikimedia Commons

Cole Hand and Alston Spears, two West Virginia junior golfers, will participate alongside professional golfers at this year's Greenbrier Classic, which began Monday.

Hand and Spears were invited to play in the practice rounds and Pro-Am of the PGA Tour FedEx Cup event at The Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, according to a release from the Governor's office.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Teen band The Elm Street Alleycats of Elkins lost their mentor and bass player Gene Boyer last May, but since, have been working to make the old tunes he taught them better while learning newer, contemporary music of their own.

Also, West Virginia born author Laura Long shares an excerpt from her debut novel "Out of Peel Tree," a collection of stories of family, hope and love set in Appalachia.

One Virginia man spreads the gospel of green.

There are fireflies in Pennsylvania that blink together.

More women are taking on the role of farmer.

A Tennessee writer has fond memories of hunting frogs.

New River Community and Technical College and the state Board of Education are partnering to offer students a pathway to careers in automotive technology.


Marie Foster Gnage / West Virginia University Parkersburg

  The West Virginia University at Parkersburg Board of Governors has named Dr. Marie Foster Gnage president emeritus. Gnage is the sixth president of WVU Parkersburg and the college’s second president, after Dr. Eldon Miller, to receive this designation.

A news release issued Thursday says a resolution was presented to Gnage at the June 2014 board meeting.

The board recognized Gnage’s leadership in many non-profit organizations and local, state and national higher education initiatives.

Glynis Board / WVPublic

The name Wheeling is a very old word. While there’s some dispute, it’s most commonly translated from the indigenous Delaware language to mean “Place of the Skull.” That’s the name and subject of a recently published book written by Ohio Valley resident Alan Fitzpatrick.

FloNight

A West Virginia town is being recognized for its efforts and accomplishments to improve health. Williamson has implemented several programs over the past several years.

A freelance journalist is looking for folks to share stories about the heydays of downtown Princeton in Mercer County. The project launches during an annual street festival meant to “Celebrate Princeton”.

Organizers of the 9th Annual Celebrate Princeton street fair are hoping to mark a turning point for this year’s festival.

After hosting the Mercer County event for years, the Princeton Public Library reached out to volunteers with The Princeton Renaissance Project, which is working to revitalize downtown by restoring a theatre, and hosting events on Mercer Street.

Fond Memories of a Mountain Childhood in Appalachia

Jun 24, 2014
Submitted Photo / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

I want to invite you to walk with me through the woods and around the rugged hills of my home.

Our house was situated beside the community water tank, with a rock cliff behind it, and the mountains that rose high above the cliff…well, they were my mountains.  

We made a path around the side of the hill that led us to a garden spot which we tended annually, It was an open plot of ground, with good sun exposure and a natural spring flowed nearby. It was the perfect place for a fresh drink of water.

Cecelia Mason / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

One day you might be able to buy even more styles of 100 percent West Virginia-made beer. That is, if a current study shows the state is a good place to grow hops. 

Since the craft beer industry has taken off, West Virginia State University decided to study whether local farmers can benefit from the burgeoning beer industry by growing hops for the brewers to use.

West Virginia State extension agent Brad Cochran says the state agriculture department awarded a $23,000 grant for the project, which seem to be popular. He received 70 applications from folks wanting to participate.

CBS Television / wikimedia Commons

A campaign to erect a statue in Morgantown honoring the late Don Knotts has topped its goal to raise private funds for the project.

Beth Fuller tells The Dominion Post any additional funds will be used to maintain the statue and surrounding grounds.

Knotts grew up in Morgantown and graduated from Morgantown High School and West Virginia University. The actor died in 2006.

Moving Around, But Keeping Those Appalachian Connections

Jun 21, 2014
Sarah Lowther Hensley / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

 

When people ask me where I’m from – I tell them “West Virginia."

When they ask, “where in West Virginia exactly?...Where’s ‘home’?”…

Well…that’s a little tougher to answer.

You see, I’m a “PK”.

For those who don’t know, that’s a “Preacher’s Kid.”

Specifically, I’m a United Methodist PK.

United Methodist pastors are itinerant.

Meaning…they move from place to place.

Heroin could be replacing prescription pills as Appalachia’s biggest drug problem.

West Virginia is 151 years old and we look at the African American contribution to its culsture.

Efforts are underway to encourage farmers across the region to grow hops to support the brewing industry.

And we visit with Bridget Lancaster from America’s Test Kitchen.

West Virginia Music Hall of Fame

  Longtime "Hollywood Squares" host Peter Marshall is returning to his home state for a West Virginia version of the TV game show.

The Huntington native will tape four episodes of "West Virginia Squares" at the Clay Center on Monday and Tuesday as part of Charleston's FestivALL celebration.

The game show will feature questions about state music and history. West Virginia Public Broadcasting will film and distribute the shows to state schools.

Nyttend / wikimedia Commons

  The West Virginia Division of Culture and History is commemorating West Virginia Day with festivities in Charleston and Wheeling.

Officials say the free, public events on Friday will take place at the Culture Center in Charleston and Independence Hall in Wheeling.

The Culture Center will host a birthday celebration that includes educational activities, a speech on historic Charleston and cutting of the state's birthday cake.

Cecelia Mason

  A traveling exhibit on the role of sports in American culture is making its way across West Virginia.

The West Virginia Humanities Council is sponsoring a state tour of the new Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibit "Hometown Teams."

Officials selected six museums and cultural and community organizations to host the exhibit and provide public programs about their local sports culture.

M0nster0 / en.wikipedia.org

  West Virginia's 1972 Buffalo Creek disaster is being remembered in a mural.

Canadian artist Kevin Ledo began work on the mural Tuesday. His canvas is the outside brick wall of one of the few buildings in the Logan County community of Man still standing from before the flood that killed 125 people, injured 1,100 and left 4,000 homeless.

The flood occurred when an earthen dam along Buffalo Creek collapsed after heavy rain, sending 132 million gallons of coal waste into the community.

Capitol
Kristi George / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

    

Almost every year since 1936, a select group of high schools boys have attended Mountaineer Boys State, and since 1941 girls have attended Rhododendron Girls State. The week long camps, sponsored by the American Legion, focus on citizenship, leadership and patriotism. This year, Boys State focused on the nonpartisan, statewide initiative, What’s Next, West Virginia?  The young men at Boys State had a great deal to add to a conversation on positive change in West Virginia during a 45 minute discussion in Charleston.

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