Arts & Culture

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, three years ago, a Kentucky writer named Robert Gipe debuted his first novel, “Trampoline”, about a young girl growing up in Appalachia. Authors and literary fans across the region hailed it as one of the most important books to come out of our region in recent years. But the topics Gipe writes about aren’t easy -- a parent’s drug addiction and the environmental wreckage left behind by strip mining.

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, in a recent episode of WVPB’s Us & Them podcast, host Trey Kay revisits a conversation between a liberal college professor and his student, a conservative Republican and Iraqi War veteran.

Ken Sullivan
Michael Keller / via West Virginia Division of Culture and History

The executive director of the West Virginia Humanities Council has announced his retirement.

Ken Sullivan has led the council since 1997. His retirement takes effect Oct. 12.

West Virginia University

Between 1999 and 2015, roughly 300,000 people in the United States died from opioid overdoses. And of the five states with the highest rates of drug overdose deaths in 2016, four were in Appalachia. 

In this week's episode of Inside Appalachia, we'll hear a special report from The Uncertain Hour, a podcast from American Public Media's Marketplace. Their investigation, which first aired in December, centered on a lesser-known but significant aspect of the opioid crisis: how Purdue Pharma marketed OxyContin, its highly addictive pain medication.

Clio App Maps History in West Virginia, U.S.

Jul 20, 2018
WVPB

You know those historic metal plaques that sit along West Virginia roadways and describe historic events or the stories behind small towns? Imagine the same idea -- but in a digital version.

Five years ago, David Trowbridge, a history professor at Marshall University, created Clio, a digital history guide with more than 30,000 original entries from sites across the country. The app and website were recently honored by the National Humanities Alliance in Washington D.C.

Thoroughbred horses participating in a race at the Hollywood Casino in Charles Town, W.Va.
Courtesy Photo / Coady Photography

The dog and horse racing industries have played a major role in West Virginia’s economy since the mid-1930s. But in recent years, lawmakers at the statehouse have debated whether these industries fit into the state’s economic future. Those who support the racing industry are fighting to see it survive, while others say it doesn’t bring in revenue like it once did.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Monring, the dog and horse racing industries have played a major role in West Virginia’s economy since the mid-1930s. But in recent years, whether these industries fit into the state’s economic future is something that’s been debated at the statehouse. As Liz McCormick reports, those who support the racing industry are fighting to see it survive, while others say it doesn’t bring in the revenue it once did.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the Trump administration escalated its trade dispute with China last week, threatening to impose tariffs on an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese products. China has already retaliated against an earlier round of tariffs, and U.S. agriculture is feeling the pinch. Nicole Erwin spoke with Ohio Valley soybean and hog farmers who fear their buyers are disappearing.

Charles Kleine

A comedian, an actor and dog move from West Virginia across the country chasing big dreams. What could possibly go wrong?

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, this weekend’s Inside Appalachia episode features the extended story of Iraq War veteran and aspiring comedian Mark Combs. It’s part of our national award-winning series, The Struggle to Stay. Inside Appalachia host Jessica Lilly sat down with producer Glynis Board to talk about the story, and the struggle to stay or leave Appalachia.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, there’s a Farm Bill being passed around Capitol Hill. It has big implications for environmental stewardship. We’ll hear more about that bill as well as a report from Huntington on its LGBT-inclusion initiative.

Anthony Kinzer, executive director of the West Virginia Center for African-American Art & Culture, and Anna Gilmer, co-author of the 1989 book Black Past celebrate the reprinting of the historic book about Charleston's African American history.
Roxy Todd / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A rare book that explores the story of Charleston’s African-American history has been reprinted. The release was announced at an event Monday, hosted by the West Virginia Center for African American Art and Culture. 


On this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia, we’re talking about two things you’re likely to find on a supper table in Appalachia: Jell-O and mason jars.

Screenshot from the "Recovery Boys" trailer.
Elaine McMillion Sheldon / Netflix

Academy Award-nominated director Elaine McMillion Sheldon’s newest film “Recovery Boys” is now available on Netflix. The film is a companion to Sheldon’s first film “Heroin(e).”

W.Va. First Lady Cathy Justice unveils a doll in her likeness on June 27, 2018.
WV Governor's Office

West Virginia first lady Cathy Justice has unveiled a doll in her likeness.

The doll introduced at a ceremony Wednesday will become part of the First Ladies of West Virginia Collection at the state Culture Center in Charleston. It was made by Washington D.C.-based artist Ping Lau and features Justice in her inaugural ball gown.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we take a sneak peek at a new West Virginia musical written by Mountain Stage host Larry Groce. One song features a governor working hard to please constituents. Hear about it on this West Virginia Morning.

Courtesy

Theatre West Virginia in Raleigh County was founded as a way to preserve and share West Virginia’s unique culture. Some long running plays include "Honey in the Rock" and "Hatfields and McCoys." This year, the organization added "Paradise Park The Musical" to the list.

Corinne Segal/ PBS Newshour

Marshall’s LGBTQ+ office is located in a central campus building, down in the small corner of the basement. There’s a comfy lounge area, with couches, books and a TV. The students meet here for occasional support group meetings, or just to watch movies and unwind. In a back room, there’s a walk-in closet with hundreds of dresses, suits, pants and shoes arranged on hangers and shelves. A full-length mirror hangs on the door. 


Luke Mitchem

Ten folklore students from George Mason University in Virginia recently spent a week visiting central and southern West Virginia. They traveled to five counties to learn more about the culture, stories and history found throughout our area and how traditions have impacted the personal lives of several West Virginians. 


West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we’ll hear from students, like Alex Bridges, who helped record 25 oral histories with people across West Virginia, as part of a summer folklore class. We’ll also hear the latest from the statehouse after Gov. Jim Justice issued a special session of the W.Va. Legislature on possible Supreme Court impeachments.

A group of teens walks on the campus of West Virginia State University to the Rainbow Formal, the state's first LGBTQ prom.
Molly Born / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this week’s show, we’re exploring issues in our region’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. We’ll hear from a teenager getting ready for an LGBT formal. We’ll learn how difficult it can be to access healthcare in eastern Kentucky for one gender nonconforming Appalachian. We’ll also take a look at efforts in West Virginia to provide legal protection to people regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Happy Retreat mansion in Charles Town, W.Va. Formerly the home of Charles Washington, founder of Charles Town and brother to President George Washington.
Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Happy Retreat is a historic mansion in Charles Town that was once the home of Charles Washington – founder of Charles Town and brother to the nation’s first president. Today, the house is becoming a hub for public events, community outreach, history and tourism.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, hazardous chemicals left over from coal-fired power plants are leaching into groundwater across Kentucky. This new look at coal ash pollution comes from the power plants themselves -- they were recently required to make public the data from groundwater monitoring. WFPL’s Ryan Van Velzer has the second story in the series, Coal Ash, Uncovered.

Carol Guzy/ NPR

Can Trump bring coal jobs back to Appalachia? We’re a year-and-a-half into his presidency, and some people, like coal operator Barry Estep, are hopeful.

“Maybe this is a light at the end of the tunnel we’ve all been hoping for, to get things turned around and changed some.”

But others are not so sure that coal has a long-term future. 


West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, NPR reporter and host Kelly McEvers and her colleague Chris Benderev spent more than a year exploring coal counties across Appalachia -- trying to understand our people and our history with coal.

The series, which recently aired on a podcast called Embedded, follows several people in central Appalachia, to find out how their lives changed during the first year-and-a-half of the Trump presidency. McEvers recently spoke with Roxy Todd. We'll hear part of that conversation and travel with McEvers as she goes a mile underground inside a coal mine.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

About 50 years ago, Martin Luther King Jr. began a movement to unite people of all colors and creeds in what was called the Poor People's Campaign. We’ll hear the latest in how that movement is being revived today.

We’ll also hear about experiments in Pennsylvania that are trying to bring back bats populations that have been plagued by a deadly fungus.

And the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee has passed its version of the Farm Bill with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s provisions to remove hemp from a list of Schedule 1 controlled substances.

When Bourdain visited Lost Creek Farm, I knew who he was. It took his tragic death for me to understand why he truly mattered.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this episode of West Virginia Morning, we’ll learn how a theater company in Morgantown is looking to contribute to community conversations about substance abuse issues ravaging the region. 


Glynis Board / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A theater company in Morgantown is producing a play that grapples with trauma, addiction and love as part of its 2018 summer season.

Playing off of the drama and emotion evoked on the stage, and in combination with community experts, West Virginia Public Theater hopes to add to the community conversation about the substance abuse issues ravaging the region.


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