Square dance calling — the spoken instructions said over the music — makes participation easy. But there are other aspects — like the prevalence of gendered language such as “ladies and gents” — that can make square dancing an unwelcoming or confusing space. One group of friends in the Appalachian square dance scene are taking action to make the tradition more welcoming for all participants.Continue Reading Take Me to More News
The pandemic has taught us the value of the internet; for work, school, even to order the essentials of life. The past year has also exposed the brutal realities of the digital divide. Access to reliable, fast internet is essential for city and country dwellers. In this episode of Us & Them, we’ll hear about the internet challenges from residents of rural Pocahontas County, West Virginia. Its stunning rolling farmland is home to the Green Bank Observatory, a high tech facility that can communicate with distant planets. Despite more than a decade of federal initiatives across the country, internet service in this isolated area cannot match speed with grazing cows or is nonexistent. One customer there calls it “dependably unreliable.”
After more than 10 years of federal money and a lot of inaction, we look at why high-speed internet service hasn’t found its way into more rural West Virginia homes.
This episode of Us & Them is presented with support from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation and the West Virginia Humanities Council.
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