Arts & Culture

Submitted Photo

This week Shepherd University is hosting the 20th Annual Appalachian Heritage Festival. Many of the planned festivities surround the 17th Annual Appalachian Heritage Writer-in-Residence.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

It’s been 59 years since the Curtis Freewill Baptist Church in Harpers Ferry has been open with a regular congregation. This historical African-American church was the main building of worship during the days of Storer College, a predominantly black school that first began as a place to teach former slaves and eventually grew into a full-fledged degree-granting institution.

Andy Todd

Food deserts: it’s more than just an urban issue. Hey, we all have to eat. This week, we’re bringing you an encore presentation from the Inside Appalachia archives about Appalachian food deserts.  In Appalachia, where green forests grow abundantly, food is scarce for many. Throughout Appalachia, grocery stores are disappearing. This week on Inside Appalachia we're looking at some ways communities are resolving to take matters in their own hands.

If you’re looking for an indoor escape from the dreary weather, two film festivals are being held in different parts of the state this weekend.

Theatre West Virginia play
Theatre West Virginia Facebook

Hundreds of students in southern West Virginia will see a performance at Theatre West Virginia as part of a federal government campaign to get children to enjoy the outdoors.

The National Park Service says nearly 1,100 fourth graders from Fayette, Nicholas, Raleigh and Summers counties are signed up to attend the live show at the Cliffside Amphitheatre in Grandview on Wednesday.

Perhaps not surprisingly, West Virginia’s poet laureate, Marc Harshman, seems to thinks so.

He’s been collaborating with several organizations, including West Virginia Public Broadcasting, to conceive of new events that will bring more poetry to the daily lives of West Virginians.

Fairmont State University is planning two weeks of activities to celebrate its 150th anniversary.

The Sesquicentennial Celebration begins Oct. 11 and continues through Oct. 24.

Tamara Rodenberg Bethany College President

Bethany College's board has chosen the Rev. Dr. Tamara Rodenberg to serve as the school's 20th president.

Bethany said on Tuesday that Rodenberg's appointment is effective Jan. 1. 2016. She will replace Scott Miller, who left the private college in West Virginia's Northern Panhandle earlier this year to become president of Virginia Wesleyan College.

More than 600 people from 17 states are gathering in Charleston for a behavioral health conference.

The conference is set for Tuesday through Thursday at the Charleston Civic Center. The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources says attendees include medical professionals, substance abuse prevention specialists, educators, families and survivors.

A professional gambler named Abe Baach and his girlfriend Goldie Toothman, who owns a local brothel, are the main characters in a new novel by Glenn Taylor. The novel, called A Hanging at Cinder Bottom, is set in McDowell County’s “red light district” of Keystone during the turn of the 19th century.

courtesy Kaitlen Whitt

How do the wordsmiths of today describe Appalachians? The people who don't let a day go by without putting down on paper a song, or a rhyme, or a tale that they just had to get off their chest? What kind of worlds do they create in their writings?


Concord Football Stadium
CZmarlin / Concord Football Stadium

A year after finishing undefeated in the Mountain East Conference and advancing to the Division 2 National Semifinals, the Concord Mountain Lions were picked to repeat as conference champions this year.

All-Terrain Vehicle
Ritchyblack / wikimedia commons

A developer plans to open a welcome center in Bluewell for all-terrain vehicle riders.

Seth Peters tells the Bluefield Daily Telegraph that the welcome center will be a place for ATV riders to stop, get water and use the restroom before they continue their journey.

In this undated photo released Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015, on a social media site used by Islamic State militants, shows smoke from the detonation of the 2,000-year-old temple of Baalshamin in in Syria’s ancient caravan city of Palmyra.
Uncredited / Associated Press

The idea of preserving artwork during times of war was brought into the public consciousness by a recent movie called "The Monuments Men." The movie is based on a true story about an international team of experts who saved works of art from the Nazis during World War II. 


There is a modern-day version of that story playing out right now in the Middle East and an American cultural preservationist says everyone should be concerned about what Islamic State militants are doing to destroy the world’s common cultural heritage. 

Wood County
David Benbennick / wikimedia commons

Air Evac Lifeteam has closed its base at the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport in Wood County.

Multiple media outlets report that the medical helicopter service announced the base's closure this week. The company says the closure is part of an effort to better utilize its resources in places with less access to such service.

Buckskin Council

A West Virginia-based Boy Scouts of America council has broken ground for a new $3.7 million leadership center.

The Buckskin Council's 13,000-square-foot center in Charleston will be named in honor of H. Bernard Werhle Sr., a philanthropist recognized by the organization as "West Virginia's first Boy Scout."

Whiterwater Rafting Gauley River
AP Photo / Jeff Gentner

Whitewater outfitters are offering customers the rides of their lives during the fall rafting season on the Gauley River.

The season started Friday when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers opened the valves at Summersville Lake Dam to start lowering the lake from its summertime pool to its winter level.

The extra flows that give the Gauley its punch will continue on weekends until Oct. 18.

WVU Football Entrance
Magnus Manske / wikimedia commons

The Backyard Brawl is back on. Pittsburgh and West Virginia have agreed to renew one of the oldest rivalries in college football.

The former Big East schools separated by 80 miles will meet four times beginning in 2022, when the Mountaineers visit Heinz Field to face the Panthers.

Pitt will host West Virginia in 2022 and 2024, with the Panthers traveling south in 2023 and 2025.

mr_t_77 / Flickr

The West Virginia University football team is 1-0 after a win last week over Georgia Southern. The Mountaineers hope to turn the early win into a successful season. 

A year after finishing 7-6, including a loss to Texas A&M in the Liberty Bowl, the Mountaineers are hoping last Saturday’s 44-0 win over Georgia Southern is a sign of things to come. WVU limited Georgia Southern to 224 yards of offensive output. The Mountaineers on the other hand went for 544 total yards. Head Coach Dana Holgorsen said WVU should be even more prepared for Liberty University because both teams run a similar offense. 

Pope Francis
Alfredo Borba / wikimedia commons

Wheeling Jesuit University has scheduled a series of events this month to mark Pope Frances' first visit to the United States.

The first event is scheduled Sept. 14 with an address by the parish social ministry coordinator for Catholic Charities of West Virginia. Kate Kosydar will discuss the papal encyclical and its impact on West Virginians.