A Futuristic Library, Re-enacting the Matewan Massacres, Documenting W.Va. Art and More



A new school library in Wheeling, West Virginia, looks to the future.

Also in West Virginia town of Matewan revisits its violent history.

And an Appalachian couple gives us an inside look at artists and their work.

Library of the Future. As the school year draws to a close, many schools take advantage of the summer weeks to make changes to everything from curriculum, to grounds maintenance, and increasingly, schools are faced with the dilemma of what to do with their aging libraries. As West Virginia Public Radio’s Glynis Board reports Wheeling Catholic Central High School is making bold moves.

Matewan Massacre Re-enactment: Last Monday, marked the 94th anniversary of the Battle of Matewan; a showdown between the United Mine Workers of America and Baldwin Felts detectives hired by coal operators.  The town sponsored a re-enactment of the event for tourist. As West Virginia Public Radio’s Jessica Lilly reports, organizers of the re-enactment are hoping events like this and some other improvements will help the small Mingo County town revitalize itself and bring in even more visitors.

What’s Next- not Only for Matewan- But for West Virginia? That’s a question that will be posed to community members at meetings across the state in the coming months.  The West Virginia Center for Civic Life promotes local dialogue to challenge us to talk about problems and find solutions to better the quality of life here.  The center is holding its 18th annual Civic Life Institute at the University of Charleston on June 4 and 5.  The institute will train citizens from across the state to hold and facilitate local meetings to find out what’s next for West Virginia.   Center director Betty Knighton and Catherine Moore, an Appalachian Transition Fellow assigned to the project, stopped by to talk with West Virginia Public Radio’s Beth Vorhees about the initiative.

Change is on the Horizon. Coal has long been a key player in Appalachia’s economy but the industry faces challenges in the form of new Environmental Protection Agency carbon emission rules.  It’s an issue of great concern for many who rely on coal for work.  But as West Virginia Public Radio’s Ben Adducchio reports, some also see it as an opportunity.

Documenting Local Art. Many artists, crafts people and musicians have made Appalachia their home, contributing to the culture and economy. A Morgan County couple is working to document the local arts scene through an online video project called Art Voice West Virginia. West Virginia Public Radio’s Cecelia Mason has more.

Drawing and Painting Birds. Art has also served as a way to identify what’s found in nature. For instance, in the 1930’s, Roger Tory Peterson’s detailed drawings and paintings set the standard for how people identify birds by sight today.  His passion for birds of all kinds, and his keen eye are evident at the institute named for him in Jamestown, New York.  The Allegheny Front’s Kara Holsopple got a private tour.