Brooms

Broom Maker Wanda Hott (center) with her granddaughters Shelby (left) and Kierra (right).
Daniel Walker / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

In 2017, West Virginia Public Broadcasting featured one of West Virginia’s last remaining broom makers; Kanawha County resident Jim Shaffer. The story ended with a question: would this dwindling art continue once Shaffer retired? Well, it turns out, a whole family in Hampshire County makes brooms together, and they were inspired by Shaffer himself.

Emily Hilliard/ WV Folklife Program

In this episode of Inside Appalachia, we take a road trip to explore stories of people who are reviving Appalachian traditions, like baking salt rising bread or making sorghum sweeteners.

Some folklorists, artists and educators are wondering what the future of traditional arts in the country will look like. On Friday, the West Virginia House of Delegates approved a bill that would eliminate the state's Secretary of Education and the Arts and reorganize several of the departments the position oversees. Most of those departments oversee cultural and arts programs like the state archives, the state museum, the annual Vandalia music gathering and West Virginia Public Broadcasting. The bill still needs to be approved by the state Senate to take effect.