Arts & Culture

Benny Becker/ WMMT

This is chapter two of Derek Akal’s Struggle to Stay. In the first chapter, we met a young man from Harlan County, Kentucky, who thought a college football scholarship was going to be his ticket out. But a serious neck injury led Derek to drop out and move back home. 


In 1958, voters sent Byrd to the U.S. Senate, where he would remain from 1959 until his death in 2010 at age 92.
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / Sen. Robert C. Byrd, US Senate, 1964 Civil Rights Act, Senate Appropriations Committee

Author and former speechwriter for West Virginia's late U.S. Sen. Robert Byrd plans to discuss the myths and reality of the influential Senate leader next Thursday in Charleston.

David Corbin, who worked for Byrd for 16 years and another decade for other Senate leaders, wrote "The Last Great Senator: Robert C. Byrd's Encounters with Eleven U.S. Presidents".

Benny Becker/ WMMT

Too many times, when stories of Appalachia are in the national spotlight, we hear shallow, shocking and grim stories. But they miss some of the most inspiring aspects to our realities: the struggle, the perseverance and the resilience.  On this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia we’ll meet storytellers who work to help Appalachians tell their own stories, and capture the true Appalachian spirit behind the statistics.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, this year’s West Virginia Filmmaker of the Year is a Pittsburgh native who hails these days from the Morgantown area.

Here at West Virginia Public Broadcasting, we know Larry Dowling as a production manager -- but he’s also a videographer, lighting designer, grip, gaffer, director, and just about any other role you could think of on a film set. Inside Appalachia’s host, Jessica Lilly spoke with Larry after he won the award.

Jesse Wright

This year’s West Virginia FILMmaker of the Year is a Pittsburgh native who hails from West Virginia these days. Here at West Virginia Public Broadcasting we know Larry Dowling as the Production Manager but he’s also a videographer, lighting designer, grip, gaffer, director, and just about anything else you could think of in filmmaking. This year, he can add West Virginia Filmmaker of the Year to that list.


Jessica Lilly

For communities in the rugged Appalachian Mountains - when it rains hard, water doesn't have anywhere to go but straight down into the hollers. Floods - especially flash floods - are simply a way of life. In fact, our region has experienced some of the largest measured flash flood events in the world.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we preview of our weekend radio show, Inside Appalachia. The latest episode, we visit communities impacted by the creation of flood-control lakes.

Like the Village of Lilly, where in the 1940s, about 40 families were pushed off their land along the Bluestone River in Summers County. Many of these families had lived there for more than 200 years.

courtesy Emily Hilliard

Here in Appalachia, it’s apple season. And that means apple growers are sending this year’s crop to farmers markets and grocery stores. But the majority of the apples grown here get sent to manufacturers to be used in apple sauce and apple juice. By the way, did you know that Golden Delicious Apples originated right here in West Virginia?  In fact, apples are our state fruit. 

Shepherd University

Author Wiley Cash is the 2017 Appalachian Heritage Writer-in-Residence at Shepherd University. His newest novel The Last Ballad will be released October 3. Cash sat down with reporter Liz McCormick to discuss his latest work, which centers on union leader and balladeer Ella May Wiggins, who died during the Loray Mill Strike in Gastonia, North Carolina in 1929.

Jack Corn/ U.S. National Archives

Coal mine owner Andrew Jordon and environmental attorney Joe Lovett grew up together in Charleston, but have taken two completely different, even adversarial, paths in life. On this episode of Inside Appalachia, we’ll hear “Two Tales of Coal” from the Us & Them Podcast


West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, 87-year-old Jim Shaffer has had his hands busy since 1946. He is the last commercial broom-maker left in West Virginia. On Saturday, Sept. 30, a short film about Shaffer will be screened at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. The event is free and open to the public.

State folklorist Emily Hilliard teamed up with Inside Appalachia earlier this year to produce the story, as part of a collaboration between West Virginia Public Broadcasting and the West Virginia Folklife Program.

Emily Hilliard/ WV Folklife Program

87-year-old Jim Shaffer has had his hands busy since 1946. He's the last commercial broom-maker left in West Virginia. People from all over the country have come to see and take home some of Schaffer's work. On Saturday September 30th a short film about Jim Shaffer will be screened at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C.. The event is free and open to the public. 


West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, our series featuring people who are struggling to stay or leave Appalachia continues. We’ve been following the story of Dave Hathaway, a former coal miner in Pennsylvania.

Last week, we heard about Dave’s struggle as an unemployed father of two trying to hold onto his dignity while his wife works. He and his wife are committed to staying in Greene County, even though the job choices are thin. The Allegheny Front’s Reid Frazier has our next installment of Dave’s Struggle to Stay story.

Emily Hilliard/ WV Folklife Program

Eighty-seven year-old Jim Shaffer has had his hands busy since 1946. He is the last commercial broom-maker left in West Virginia. People from all over the country have come to see, and take home, some of Shaffer’s work.

A short film about Jim Shaffer is being screened at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress later this month at an event called "Reel Folk: Cultural Explorations on Film". The video was produced earlier this year by Inside Appalachia, in collaboration with the West Virginia Folklife Program

Mark Regan Photography

Today, more than 45 million Americans live in poverty. After decades of widely publicized campaigns with names like “the War on Poverty”, living on low income often comes an extreme sense of shame and self-doubt. On this episode of Inside Appalachia, we hear different ways of reporting on financial security, or lack thereof. From a coal miner who lost his job, to a long-time welfare director, how do we talk about folks who are good at making do with what they have? How do we react when we hear these stories? 


Rural Populations Decline, Regional Patterns Shift

Sep 14, 2017

The number of people living in rural areas continues to slide, according to the latest population estimates by the U.S. Census Bureau. People have left rural America in decades past. The big difference now is that the number of births in rural areas isn't keeping pace with the number of deaths.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we’ll meet the next person we’ll be following in our ongoing series, The Struggle to Stay. Dave Hathaway is a coal miner in the very southwestern corner of Pennsylvania.

Back in 2015, he lost his job at the coal mine he’d worked in. Then, he began looking for work. But what about Dave’s family? We teamed up with The Allegheny Front's Reid Frazier for this next installment of The Struggle to Stay.

Courtesy of Netflix / by Rebecca Kiger

As most know, the heroin and opioid crisis has reached stunning and heartbreaking heights across the nation. Huntington, West Virginia’s drug overdose death rate sits at ten times the national average.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Experts and advocates gathered in Morgantown yesterday to talk about policy issues related to children’s health care. As Kara Lofton reports, most of the conversation was centered around the Children’s Health Insurance Program -- also known as CHIP.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the out-migration of people leaving Appalachia is nothing new. Folks have been heading for the cities elsewhere for generations to find work and new opportunities.

Still, there are a few here who are determined to stay. But for them, staying is also a struggle. That’s why West Virginia Public Broadcasting and our podcast Inside Appalachia have been following six people for about a year to see how they are managing to stay… and if they can find a way to support their family here in Appalachia.

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