Appalachian Artisans On Creating During A Pandemic


On this West Virginia Morning, we hear from artists working hard every day to bring us beauty and perspective here in Appalachia.

When the pandemic first hit West Virginia, we checked in with several artists and craftsmen throughout Appalachia who we’ve been following for some time through our folkways project. Art shows and festivals have since been cancelled, galleries are closed, and sales are almost exclusively online. The business of being an artist has completely changed for the time being.

We checked in with a new group of artists to see how the past several months have been. Our folkways reporter Caitlin Tan produced the piece.

David Joy is an award-winning author from the Appalachian mountains of North Carolina. His latest novel, “When These Mountains Burn” is set against the backdrop of the 2016 forest fires that tore through the region as well as the opioid epidemic that is still destroying communities around him. 

In the story, Joy looks at how different communities are responding to the epidemic, from the white mountain community where his characters live, to the nearby Eastern Band of Cherokee that takes a more supportive approach. 

Joy spoke with Eric Douglas by Zoom about the new book. 

West Virginia Morning is a production of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, which is solely responsible for its content.

Support for our news bureaus comes from West Virginia University, Concord University, and Shepherd University.

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