West Virginia Humanities Council

It was Arts Day at the Capitol. We spotlight the activities from the day, and we bring you a special report on an educational effort by the West Virginia Humanities Council.

Caitlin Tan / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Old-time music is a large part of West Virginia’s heritage – it is the folk music of the state. And although it has now gained the popularity of people from all over the world, hundreds of years ago it was isolated within Appalachian communities. However, as it gains traction, some people think the uniqueness is lost. 

In a special report exploring folkways traditions, as part of the Inside Appalachia Folkways Project, Caitlin Tan explores the master-apprentice relationship in the old-time music community.


West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we’ll explore some old fiddling traditions unique to very specific geographic locations.

Weirton’s Serbian Heritage Is A Chicken Blast

Jan 21, 2020
Emily Hilliard / West Virginia Humanities Council

Every summer Wednesday since 1969, members of the Serbian Eastern Orthodox Church Men’s Club have gathered at the Serbian Picnic Grounds along King’s Creek outside of Weirton, West Virginia. In a long, cement block building, they mill about in the dawn light, eating donuts, drinking coffee, and reading the morning paper. They’re here for a weekly fundraiser they call a “Chicken Blast,” for which they roast 300-400 chickens and sell them to the Weirton community.


Emily Allen / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

When civil rights attorney-turned-filmmaker Jon Matthews agreed to start a film festival with his friend Tim Ward, Matthews said the title alone was the selling point. 

“He's like, ‘It's Appalachian Queer Film Festival,’” Matthews said. “I'm, like, ‘Done. You've got me. Sold.’ ... I never heard anything like those two words in the same sentence before, ‘Appalachian and queer.’”

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.

WV Culture Center
wvculture.org

West Virginia’s arts and culture just got a boost through a federal grant.

The National Endowment for the Arts, or NEA, awarded West Virginia nearly $800,000 this week to support programs that aim to preserve the state’s cultural history and promote arts education.

Charleston Gazette-Mail

This week, Rick and Laurie are speaking with state folklorist Emily Hilliard from the West Virginia Humanities Council.

They discuss the definition of folklore, the importance and process of collecting it, and the benefits it can provide to the state.

If you have a tip for Emily, call the West Virginia Folklife Program's Hotline at 1(844)618-3747

The West Virginia Humanities Council website is
http://wvhumanities.org/

Shepherd University

Poet and activist Nikki Giovanni  loves several things about Appalachia: its defense of freedom, and how the people here know when enough is enough in regards to material wealth.

Little Free Libraries Popular in Huntington

Sep 29, 2015
Matt Lockhart Little Free Library
Clark Davis / WV Public Broadcasting

Huntington is just the latest city in the state to catch on to the Little Free Library Trend. It’s a new fad that’s changing communities and reading habits.

Matt Lockhart is a lawyer in Huntington who decided in late spring and early summer he wanted to put a Little Free Library in his yard.

Jessica Lilly

The town of Athens has made it easier for folks to access books in town. The town was one of thousands across the country to open an official Little Library.

There are three “Little Libraries” throughout the town of Athens made possible by the Little Free Library Organization.  Essentially, it’s a box full of books that sits on a pole about 5 feet tall.  

The libraries are intended for residents and students to give a book and/or take a book from the boxes. So far book traffic out of the Little Libraries in Athens has been steady.