Arts and Culture

Courtesy Photo / The Charleston Ballet

The Charleston Ballet is one of the oldest ballet companies in America.

In a new documentary directed by company member and three time Emmy Award winner, Deborah Novak, dancers, both seasoned and new, share the story of the ballet and its founder, Andre Van Damme.

U.S. National Archive Jack Corn

We all have a unique way of talking- and here in Appalachia, we have many ways of being understood, and misunderstood, because of our language.

It stretches across race lines - and the judgment of one’s language can reveal classism, racism or both. This week’s episode of Inside Appalachia explores one of the ways people are judged: language.   

Swimmerguy269 / wikimedia Commons

  West Virginia University will host a traveling exhibit of 1,100 empty backpacks to represent the number of college students who die of suicide each year.

A news release from the university said the free exhibit will be Tuesday in front of Woodburn Hall from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Melissa Stillwell

Since the show began almost two years ago, A Change of Tune has highlighted some of the best up-and-coming artists out of these West Virginia hills with podcast-y chats ranging from Bud Carroll to New God, Rozwell Kid to Coyotes in Boxes and beyond.

But those interviews have been a bit infrequent, and since West Virginia Day is coming up (not to mention A Change of Tune’s second birthday), we thought we’d do something special: 30 days, 30 brand new #WVmusic interviews that range from Morgantown alt-rockers and Parkersburg singer-songwriters to West Virginia music venues and regional artist management and beyond, all of which contribute to this state’s wild and wonderful music scene.

Hidden in one of the "Coolest Small Towns in America" (Lewisburg, WV), is a world-renowned pianist who has played with some of the world's top orchestras. Barbara Nissman moved to the Mountain State in 1989, and now she's bringing her talents up I-64 to Charleston this weekend.

Sara Mourner

This week, "A Change of Tune" host Joni Deutsch interviews The Ericksons, a Minneapolis-based indie folk band comprised of sisters Jenny Kochsiek and Bethany Valentini. After a number of family losses, the two women finally came together to channel their love and grief into achingly beautiful folk music, as seen with the band's newest release Bring Me Home. Check out the interview below to find out more about The Ericksons' history, the band's connections to folk visionaries Justin Vernon and S.

Roxy Todd

On a sultry summer evening, three women are killing harlequin beetles in an effort to save the greens at the SAGE micro-farm on Rebecca Street that they landscaped themselves.

Last year, Kathy Moore, Jenny Totten and Meg Reishman completed 18 agriculture and business classes through SAGE, which stands for Sustainable Agricultural Entrepreneurs. Kathy says she loves getting to take home an unlimited supply of fresh vegetables each week.

courtesy of C.H. James III

The Block Historical District is a section of Charleston that was once the heart of the African American community. As part of a project to resurrect some of the history of this neighborhood, the West Virginia Center for African American Art and Culture has organized a series of lectures. About 60 people attended the second of these talks last week.  

Charles James III is the fourth generation in his family to own and operate one of the oldest family-owned businesses in the United States, the James company. James said that he remembers being invited to the local country club in the late 80's. But his father in an earlier generation was not asked to join until the 80's.

Roxy Todd

Tom Toliver has seen people with children who are hungry, searching for food in dumpsters in the alleys of Charleston. And he isn’t the only one. At the Union Mission where Toliver has been donating fresh vegetables, the president and CEO Rex Whiteman says hunger is on the rise throughout the state, and in Appalachia.

Shayfan via Wikimedia Commons

It's been called the NASCAR of train races, and it takes place at an altitude of 3,853 feet in Pocahontas County.

Yesterday a crowd of 250 people gathered to watch as two massive trains, one departing from Cass and the other from Elkins, converged at the wilderness ghost town of Spruce. The two trains raced side by side for nearly a mile.

Roxy Todd

On a drizzling morning around 7:00, Sam Rivers has just lit the oak-wood fire for the meat smoker, and smoke is pouring over the sidewalk into the rain. The owner of Dem 2 Brothers and a Grill, Adrian Wright, stands behind him. Adrian oversees the entire operation, from the time when the ribs and pork begin grilling in the early dawn, until the spicy barbecue sauce is made each night.

Marshall’s Bazzie Playing Pro Football in Canada

Jun 30, 2014
Bclions.com

One Marshall University football player has found a unique route to a professional career.

Chip Hitchcock / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

There’s a new novel out from a West Virginia native about a place that’s very special to her. The book is a collection of family stories about life in Appalachia. 

Laura Long lives in Charlottesville, Virginia now but she grew up in West Virginia. She recalls going to visit her grandmother while traveling from Buckhannon to Clarksburg. Her grandmother lived near a place called Peel Tree. She says the image of that place stayed with her for years, until she was ready to write her first novel.

Vandalia Gathering
West Virginia Division of Culture and History

The Vandalia Award, West Virginia’s highest folklife honor, was presented to singer, songwriter and performer Roger Bryant last week at the 38th Annual Vandalia Gathering.

A native of Logan, Bryant is a musician whose roots are in the old-time and folk music traditions. He is the grandson of local folk legend Aunt Jennie Wilson and spent several years traveling with her, and accompanying her on his guitar.

Clark Davis

A new playground at Harris Riverfront Park in Huntington could serve as the beginning of a revitalized riverfront.

Huntington Mayor Steve Williams along with Greater Huntington Park and Recreation District officials opened the new playground yesterday morning. The $50,000 playground was paid for by the Greater Huntington Park and Recreation District. The playground is just one step among many that Huntington Mayor Steve Williams hopes revitalizes the park.

International students at Marshall are taking advantage of a new partnership that helps them better learn the English language.

Akira Uchida is an international student at Marshall from Japan. He’s taking advantage of dialect lessons in the Marshall University Speech and Hearing Center.

“One class we do is, we go into a classroom and we learn some slangs, not bad slangs, but what American students use to communicate and how to take an order to a restaurant when you go to a restaurant and those kinds of basic things,” Uchida said.

One professor at Marshall University has a story to tell you….and an award winning story at that. Dan Hollis- a professor in the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications has started a tradition, for producing award winning videos.

Marshall University’s Athletic Director Mike Hamrick introduced Dan D’Antoni as the new basketball coach at a press conference Friday on Marshall’s campus.

Marshall University’s men’s basketball program finally has a new

   leader, in Dan D’Antoni. The Los Angeles Lakers’s assistant coach will lead the school that he once played for from 1966 to 1970.  Dan is the younger brother of Mike, the Head Coach of the Lakers.

Dan D’Antoni says he’s ready for the opportunity.

Dan D'Antoni the Right D'Antoni for Herd?

Apr 24, 2014
lakernation.com

Marshall Athletic Director Mike Hamrick announced this afternoon a Dan D’Antoni will be the new head coach for Herd Men’s Basketball.

Marshall University has announced that Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach Dan D’Antoni is the new head basketball coach at Marshall. Dan is the younger brother of Mike, the Head Coach of the Lakers.

Two Men Indicted for Museum Break-in

Apr 24, 2014
wvencyclopedia.org

A Cabell County grand jury has indicted two Beckley men on charges stemming from a 2012 break-in at the Huntington Museum of Art.

25-year-old Remington Wright and 26-year-old Deon Staunton are each charged with destruction of property, attempt to commit grand larceny, conspiracy and entering a building other than a dwelling.

The men are accused of breaking into the museum on April 14, 2012, and attempting to take silver antiquities.

Police disrupted the break-in after an alarm company notified the museum's director.

Can Social Media be the Key to an Investigation?

Apr 23, 2014
appyaide.org

The Appalachian Institute of Digital Evidence is holding its 5th annual conference this week in Huntington and Charleston.

A man wanted for questioning in relation to three unsolved slayings in Alexandria, Va., over the last decade has been ordered extradited to Virginia on an unrelated weapons charge. 

A West Virginia judge on Wednesday ordered 53-year-old Charles Severance extradited to Loudoun County, where a warrant has been issued on a firearms charge.

Flying High!

Apr 17, 2014

Milwaukee Public Television's production of the Milwaukee Ballet's wildly popular production of Peter Pan will play to a national primetime television audience in spring 2014.

The original adaptation of J. M Barrie's classic story is scheduled to premiere on MPTV Friday, April 18, 2014 at 9 p.m.

WVNS-TV

Theatre West Virginia is preparing to return for its 54th season following a shutdown caused by financial problems.

This winter has brought a lot of snow, and snowy owls.

Some southern West Virginia residents almost always have unusable water.

We visit an old general store with a new purpose.

And learn more about the world of crayfish research.

The Harlem Globetrotters will crowds Tuesday night in Charleston and Wednesday night they will do the same in Huntington.

Cabell County School officials are excited about a new school they hope will set an example for schools around the state. Cabell will develop the incubator school through a waiver they attained with an innovation zone grant.  

Herd Tennis Player Grew Up in Sochi

Feb 11, 2014
Braxton Crisp

One Marshall University athlete has a unique perspective on the home of the 2014 Winter Olympics.

When Anna Pomyatinskaya talks about Sochi, Russia she reflecting on a place she calls home. The freshman Marshall University tennis player just arrived on campus in January after spending the last few years at IMG Academy in Florida. She says she’s not been back to Sochi since winter break of the 2012-2013 school year. She said her home looks completely different.

Wild Ramp Continues to Succeed in Huntington

Jan 31, 2014

Since opening in July 2012 the farmers market in downtown Huntington has injected nearly $350,000 back into the Huntington community.

Charles Barton sells organic lamb meat at the Wild Ramp local foods market in downtown Huntington. The farmer from Bakerton, West Virginia in the Eastern Panhandle is the perfect example of why the small market has succeeded.

“They were looking for people to join in and I was looking for a market I could be comfortable with and besides it gets me home more, Huntington is my home,” Barton said.

Can Marshall be a Top 25 Team in 2014?

Jan 17, 2014
Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

A 31-20 victory over the University of Maryland in the Military Bowl has many around the Marshall Football program excited about next season.

With much of the team returning for the 2014 season after finishing 10-3, expectations are high for Thundering Herd Football. Many have predicted top 25 rankings for the squad. Others have predicted they’ll win the conference. Marshall Head Coach Doc Holliday said high expectations are good for his team.

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