Arts & Culture

Cecelia Mason / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The 32nd Apple Harvest Festival took place Oct. 17-20, 2013, and featured a 5k run, pancake breakfasts, a craft fair in the historic Martinsburg, W.Va., roundhouse with entertainment, music on the town square Friday evening and a Grand Feature Parade Saturday afternoon.

The Festival usually includes agricultural tours but the web site says those were cancelled this year because of the partial shutdown of the Federal Government. But there were apple centric contests to determine who baked the best pie or grew the best fruit.

Ben Adducchio / WV Public Broadcasting

West Virginia University’s baseball team is going to have a new home in a few years. A groundbreaking on the stadium occurred Thursday.

The stadium is located in the community of Granville just west of Morgantown near I-79. That part of Monongalia County is growing by leaps and bounds. With the stadium will come a new interchange for easier access from the Interstate  to the ballpark. It’s been a lot of change for Patricia Lewis, mayor of Granville. She’s been the mayor since 1991.

The Great Textbook War

Oct 17, 2013
The West Virginia Encyclopedia

Charleston native Trey Kay examines the 1974 textbook controversy in the radio documentary, “The Great Textbook War.”

In 1974, Kanawha County was the first battleground in the American culture wars. Controversy erupted over newly-adopted school textbooks. School buildings were hit by dynamite and Molotov cocktails, buses were riddled with bullets, journalists were beaten and surrounding coal mines were shut down by protesting miners.

Textbook opponents believed the books were teaching their children to question their authority, traditional values and the existence of God.

Man strives to restore Philippi theatre

Oct 17, 2013
Russ Stover

While the International Film Festival gets underway in Charleston, in another part of the state, a man is working to bring film back to his small town.

Russ Stover is trying to restore the Grand Theatre in downtown Philippi, to make it an attraction to cinema enthusiasts in the area. Stover says in that part of the state, it’s very difficult for film lovers to go see movies.

Concord class collaboration spans 10,000+ miles

Oct 16, 2013
Concord students displayed posters during a symposium. A Concord education class is partnering with an Austsralian school to evaluate differences and similarities.
Jared Kline

Concord University is partnering with a school from the 'land down under' to learn more about Australian culture. Technology is playing a huge role to help surpass such a large geographical boundary.

This semester Concord students enrolled in Educational Psychology, Assessment (EPAT) teamed up with students from Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia. The partnership is part of an effort to compare education systems on a global level.

Billy Owens as pictured in the yearbook from 1954.
Courtesy Concord University

A campus based organization at Concord University tracked down the first African American student to attend the school. The Black Student Union invited Billy Owens to Athens earlier this month. Owens saw discrimination in his day, but not at the University.   

  It started after sophomore and Black Student Union president James Riley heard the legend of Billy Owens from faculty advisors on campus. Apparently, they had searched for Owens in the past with no luck.

Tattoo artists and ink-fanatics alike traveled from all over the country to the first ever WV Tattoo Expo in Morgantown Oct. 11-13, 2013.

by Rob Elliott / Arizona Raft Adventures

Kathy Zerkle is a river ranger for the National Park Service who works in Fayette County in New River Park, and, you guessed it, she’s out of work these days. Furloughed. And while she’s concerned about what that means for the safety and well-being of the New River Park and the public that visit, and her personal future financially, she’s also concerned about how the government shutdown impacts the Grand Canyon—or at least her ability to experience it.

West Virginia Morning - October 14, 2013

Oct 14, 2013

On this WV Morning, Ben Adducchio talks about the importance of science with David Pogue, a columnist for the New York Times who also works as the host of the PBS program Nova Science Now. Also, Grand Canyon woes and how the National Park Service is effected by the federal shutdown. Plus, take a ride on the railroad in a Traveling 219 special about a tourist train run by the Durbin & Greenbrier Railroad.

Miracle Boy, a film about a young boy who is injured in a farming accident and then bullied by other boys, took home Best Short film at the West Virginia Filmmaker’s Festival this past weekend.  Producer Jason Brown said he will always be a West Virginia filmmaker despite his Georgia address. The movie  was shot in Greenbrier County.

John Nakashima
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

For more than 30 years, John Nakashima has made documentaries at West Virginia Public Broadcasting. But he’s also done more.

He co-edited the cult classic film “Chillers,” and worked on animated films, like “The Griffin and the Minor Canon," which is based on a book of short stories penned by Frank Stockton. Nakashima is now being honored by his filmmaking colleagues with the state’s award for Filmmaker of the Year.

  Here is the 26 minute documentary, Clifftop:

State Fair was fine despite bad weather, fewer visitors

Oct 8, 2013
Evening at the State Fair of West Virginia
The State Fair of West Virginia

The State Fair of West Virginia said this year's event was a success, despite rain that reduced attendance.
 
State Fair Chief Executive Officer Marlene Joliffe said in a news release that the 89th annual event saw about 175,000 visitors, down from the decade's average of about 180,000-195,000 fairgoers.
 
Rain fell on five days during the fair's eight-day run in August in Fairlea, WV.
 

Story telling is an old art form in Appalachia. One West Virginia story teller’s newest project, a CD of music and stories entitled The Mountain Came Alive, attempts to modernize this tradition by addressing today’s concerns.

The CD combines Booth’s interest in music and storytelling with 20 tracks that follow the year in the life of a southern West Virginia mountain that is slated for strip mining.

Booth said he wanted to use traditional methods to tell a story to young people about Appalachia and events in the region that are happening now.

Oglebayfest 2013

Oct 5, 2013
Glynis Board / WVPublic

Pictures from Olgebayfest, the annual festival that began in 1978 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Oglebay.

Rt 219 Project

One of the most immediate effects of the federal government shutdown hits tourists.

A record number of raptors flew over an observation point in West Virginia recently.

A story teller puts a new twist on old Appalachian traditions.

And a Kentucky school program helps who want to children learn music.

Jessica Lilly

A pink scarf that stretches more than 6,060 feet is draped across the inside of Tamarack and anyone is welcome to add a few more knitted feet. Knitters that contribute then fill out a card with a message.

“This is in memory of Telo of Richmond Hill, Georgia who passed away at a young age of 47 from cancer,” Deaner Will said. “Telo know I’m always thinking of you with much love and blessings; Linda Crawford from Middleburg Florida.”

States are getting ready for Obamacare.

One of this year’s Inspiring West Virginians is a businesswoman from Morgantown.

Kentucky’s Poet Laureate talks about his work and diversity in Appalachia.

And we visit a school in North Carolina where the Cherokee language is taught.

Marshall Men's basketball began practice this week for the 2013-2014 season.

  After finishing last season with a 13-19 record, there were not many positives to look forward to this season for Marshall Basketball. But the Herd is a team of newcomers mixed with just a few returnees. Counting graduations and departures Marshall only returns six players from last season and mixes them with nine newcomers. Marshall Head Coach Tom Herrion said he likes the mix of guys he has.

  Civil Rights Activist Joan C. Browning visited Marshall this week as part of constitution week. The Freedom Rider told her story on the 50th anniversary of the rides.

Joan C. Browning was a Freedom Rider. The Riders were a group of men and women who boarded buses and trains headed for the Deep South in 1961 to test the 1960 Supreme Court ruling outlawing segregation in interstate public facilities. What makes Browning’s perspective different though is that she’s Caucasian.

Journalist and author Wil Haygood
Courtesy Photo

In most cases, a novel or biography inspires a film. But for journalist and author Wil Haygood, the sequence has been dramatically different.  A November 7th, 2008 article by Haygood in The Washington Post inspired the Lee Daniels film The Butler and then Haygood went back to write the book, The Butler: A Witness to History.            

Beth Vorhees / WV Public Radio

June 20, 2013 · West Virginia is the only state in the Union that was created as a direct result of the Civil War. When war broke out in 1861 and Virginia seceded from the Union, some living in that state’s western regions saw it as an opportunity to break away and create a new state.

 

Tim O'Brien and Larry Groce
Dave Mistich

West Virginia Public Broadcasting's Mountain Stage celebrated 30 years of live performance radio at the Americana Music Association's Conference in Nashville last week. Host Larry Groce and Producer Adam Harris were joined by singer-songwriters Tim O'Brien, Kim Richey and Chip Taylor for a special panel to discuss the show's history and its impact on American music and culture.

Here are a few images taken during the hour-long panel, which featured discussion and performances: 

Theater fans statewide mourn loss of Theatre WV

Sep 20, 2013

Some fans of the stage are already feeling the loss of one of the state's largest theaters.

West Virginia Morning - Sept. 19, 2013

Sep 19, 2013

On this WV Morning, learn about the music scene in the state, hear from a law professor about new threats to the coal industry, and hear the history of famous Omie Wise ballad.

A TRIBUTE: Celebrating Irene McKinney

Sep 16, 2013

Irene McKinney, poet, editor, and teacher, published seven collections of poetry, six during her lifetime including Vivid Companion and Six O’Clock Mine Report, and the most recent, published posthumously, Have You Had Enough Darkness Yet? The recipient of numerous awards, she served as WV’s Poet Laureate from 1994 until her death early last year.

WV Native becoming game show historian

Sep 13, 2013
Bill Cullen hosts "Bank on the Stars" 1954
Courtesy Adam Nedeff

A West Virginia native is finding success as a game show historian.  Adam Nedeff grew up in Vienna and graduated from Marshall University in 2005.  His first book has just been published.  It's called "Quizmaster: The Life and Times and Fun and Games of Bill Cullen." Cullen was a popular game show host, first on radio beginning in the 1940's and ending his career on television in the 1980's.

   Here's Bill Cullen hosting the comedy quiz show "Walk a Mile" in 1952. A contestant named Greta is trying to explain how to make couscous.

Square dancing, once a pillar of small-town life, is making a comeback in West Virginia. A statewide project is trying to help communities preserve and promote this part of their cultural heritage.

Marlinton, W.Va., is one of the towns taking up the cause. Its square dances can gather a crowd, but residents still worry about attracting the attention of the next generation.

If you go to a square dance in Marlinton, there are some rules to follow. First of all, leave your stereotypes at the door, says Becky Hill, who works on The Mountain Dance Trail initiative.

poet Crystal Good
Courtesy Photo

West Virginia, its culture and people are in a state of superposition, says writer poet and Kanawha Valley native Crystal Good.

Charged by her Affrilachian poet peers to combine her thoughts and observations of West Virginia with principles of Quantum Physics, Good delivered a lecture at a TedxTalks event in Lewisburg in July. 

State Civil War era newspapers going digital

Aug 20, 2013

Several hundred issues of state newspapers from the Civil War era are going to be digitized.

Several hundred issues of newspapers from Wheeling, Morgantown, Charleston and other state towns are being digitized.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Photographs depicting life in West Virginia and other parts of Appalachia have long been the subject of controversy. One documentary photographer with roots in the state’s southern coal fields is seeking to change that through his work but also has motives far more personal.

“The pictures have this visual context of Appalachia, or at least the mountains. Even if you don’t even know what Appalachia is, you can see this rural, country, mountain way of life,” said documentary photographer Roger May as he spoke about his project Testify.

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