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Inside Appalachia

Inside Appalachia tells the stories of our people, and how they live today. The show is an audio tour of our rich history, food, music and culture.

Listen Sundays at 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. on WVPB Radio.

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Send us an email at InsideAppalachia@wvpublic.org.

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Mason Adams

Inside Appalachia Host

mason.adams@wvpublic.org, @MasonAtoms

Folkways

The Inside Appalachia Folkways Project expands the reporting of Inside Appalachia to include more of the states in our region.

Episodes

Bill Lynch, Jan 27, 2023

A KY Comedian Ducks A Flying Bottle And A Talk With The WV Poet Laureate

For working comedians, mean-spirited hecklers are part of the job. But what happens when someone gets angry enough to throw a beer? And, West Virginia poet laureate Marc Harshman had his own experience with an intimidating gig. We also hear some advice for people caring for aging relatives. You’ll hear these stories and more this week, Inside Appalachia.

Jan 20, 2023

Morgan Wade Talks Performing At Home

This week on Inside Appalachia, we go back to school with West Virginia women who are training to fill the shortage of construction jobs. And, EMTs and first responders take care of Appalachian communities, but who’s watching out for them? We’ll also talk with country music star Morgan Wade about what it’s like to play in Nashville one week and then return to your hometown stage the next.

Jan 13, 2023

Encore: Taylor Swift’s Appalachian Millipede, Agriculture Innovations And A Mysterious Disappearance

This week on Inside Appalachia, we’ll hear about a farm in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania that can grow a lot of agriculture on one acre of a former industrial site. We’ll also hear about a podcast that remembers the back to the land movement in West Virginia during the 1970s and 1980s — as well as a mysterious disappearance.

Jan 06, 2023

Encore: From The Land Of The Luchador To East Tennessee, Chatting With Appalachians Across The United States

On this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia, we’re journeying far and wide through Appalachia and beyond. Author Mesha Maren takes us from the hills of West Virginia to the Texas/Mexico border — the land of the Luchador. We’ll also hear about what West Virginians are doing to help Ukrainian refugees. And, we’ll learn about what doctors are saying about medical cannabis in the Mountain State — where it's now available to more than 8,000 patients.

Dec 30, 2022

Appalachian-made Washboards And Talking 'Porch Beers' With Elliott Stewart, Inside Appalachia

This week on Inside Appalachia, we venture to southern Ohio to visit the last remaining washboard maker in the United States. Its washboard’s aren’t just for laundry — but for music. And people come there to jam. We also speak with Elliott Stewart, who makes the zine "Porch Beers." The zine tracks his life and travels, like his move from West Virginia and back again. And we revisit our 20th anniversary celebration with Giles Snyder and Beth Vorhees, the founders and original hosts of Inside Appalachia.

Dec 23, 2022

Coal Country Keeps Holiday Traditions Alive And A Visit To Lost Creek Farm

This week on Inside Appalachia, we talk with James Beard-nominated West Virginia chefs Mike Costello and Amy Dawson, who serve up special dishes with stories behind them. And, we’ll visit an old-fashioned toy shop whose future was uncertain after its owners died, but has a new chance at life because of a twist of fate. We’ll also be sharing a few memories of Christmas past, which may or may not resemble yours.

Dec 16, 2022

Football, Poetry And The Hazards Of Radioactive Waste, Inside Appalachia

This week, one of the NFL’s oldest franchises began right here in Appalachia — in Portsmouth, Ohio.And for some workers in the natural gas industry, unregulated, radioactive waste is part of the job.We also revisit one of our most popular stories from 2022. It’s all about Appalachia’s contribution to America’s great pizza wars.You’ll hear these stories and more this week, Inside Appalachia.

Dec 09, 2022

Encore: Moving Past Addiction And Old Friends Coming Together To Sing After Decades Apart

This week on Inside Appalachia, we’ll meet a man who has struggled with substance use disorder. Now, he’s a recovery coach. We’ll also meet a woman who started a farm and culinary training program to help people in recovery. Childhood friends who first started singing together 70 years ago show us why it’s never too late to begin again, and we learn about barn quilts in North Carolina.

Dec 02, 2022

Inside Appalachia Looks Back At 2022: From Historic Floods To Dolly Parton

This week on Inside Appalachia, we look back at some of the stories we told in 2022. We took you to the floods in eastern Kentucky, where you met people who witnessed terrible destruction. We also invited you along as we talked to Appalachians who know a little something about resilience, like Dolly Parton. Because you invited us into your homes, we invited you into ours with a special trip to Mason’s hometown — Floyd, Virginia.

Nov 25, 2022

Talking Folklife, Hotdogs And The Asian-Appalachian Experience

This week, we talk with folklorist Emily Hilliard about her new book exploring contemporary folklife and Appalachian culture. We’ll also hear about the Asian-Appalachian experience from a student filmmaker who was born in China and grew up in western Maryland, and we’ll travel back to 2016 and listen to an interview with JD Vance. Back then, he was a newly published author, promoting his book, “Hillbilly Elegy.” Now, he’s Ohio’s newly elected U.S. senator.

Nov 18, 2022

Talking 'Y’all Means All' And Visiting With A Gospel Guitar Player

This week on Inside Appalachia, we talk with contributors to a new collection of writing by LGBTQ Appalachians — about how they see themselves reflected here in the region. We also hear about the history of baseball in the coal camps of southwestern Virginia and we return to flood damaged eastern Kentucky and meet gospel musician Dean McBee.

Nov 11, 2022

Encore: True Stories Behind Folk Heroes, Runaway Trains And Murder Ballads

This week on Inside Appalachia, we’re talking about traditional ballads — how they tell stories and connect us to the past. These old tunes can mean so much. They can tap into difficult emotions and give feelings space to be heard. Some songs may even be too uncomfortable to sing.

Nov 04, 2022

Exploring Snake Handling Church Music And Going Hands On With Traditional Tanning

This week on Inside Appalachia, we talk to podcaster Abe Partridge about a uniquely Appalachian art — the religious music heard in snake handling churches. We also travel to southern West Virginia and talk real estate. The Itmann Coal Company Store building is up for sale, and the owner’s looking for a buyer who appreciates its history. And, it’s hunting season. We visit with women who tan deer hides — using animal brains.

Oct 28, 2022

Cabbagetown, Mothman Returns And Appalachian Spiritualism

This week on Inside Appalachia, we travel to Cabbagetown, an Atlanta neighborhood that was home to Appalachian workers who migrated there for textile jobs. We also tag along with Coal, a dog with a big job in a southern West Virginia elementary school. And just in time for the spooky season, we hear about Mountain Cove, a community of spiritualists who came to western Virginia in 1850.

Jun 24, 2022

Taylor Swift’s Appalachian Millipede, Agriculture Innovations And A Mysterious Disappearance

This week on Inside Appalachia, we’ll hear about a farm in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania that can grow a lot of agriculture on one acre of a former industrial site. We’ll also hear about a podcast that remembers the back to the land movement in West Virginia during the 1970s and 1980s — as well as a mysterious disappearance.

Jun 10, 2022

Children's Authors Discuss Creativity, Appalachia, Diversity

On this week’s encore episode of Inside Appalachia, we’re dedicating the show to children's authors. Hear from Cynthia Rylant, author of “When I Was Young In The Mountains,” “Messy Larry” author David J. Perri and storytelling champion Bil Lepp reading from his children's book “The Princess And The Pickup Truck.”

Mar 25, 2022

‘To Live Here You Have to Fight’ – How Appalachian Women Today Are Building On Activist Traditions Of The Past

This week on Inside Appalachia, we’ll listen back to an encore episode, all about how women in the mountains spearheaded movements to battle racial injustice, defend healthy communities, and fight for the rights of all Appalachians. We’ll talk with the author of a book called “To Live Here You Have To Fight,” hear from podcaster Anna Sale, and visit a camp that teaches young people to play rock music.

Sep 16, 2020

‘Country Roads’ Take Me Inside Appalachia

This episode of Inside Appalachia is about returning home. For some people, timing and circumstance force you back. It is only then that you realize how…

Sep 10, 2020

7 Stories About Appalachians Who Find Solutions And Rekindle Traditions

National stories about Appalachia sometimes overlook the people who are working on the ground to solve problems in their communities. This episode of…

Sep 04, 2020

When Strangers With Cameras Travel Inside Appalachia

What happens when strangers with cameras come to Appalachia? It’s a complicated topic that many Appalachians have strong feelings about. We’re taking…

Aug 28, 2020

Finding Economic Resilience In Appalachian And Western Coal Communities

In this episode of Inside Appalachia, we are listening back to a show that originally aired in 2018. It’s about poverty. Appalachia is not the only place…

Aug 21, 2020

How Appalachians Are Finding Strength, Peace, And Sobriety During A Pandemic (Hint: Community)

Human beings are social creatures, but the pandemic is making it difficult to interact with one another. It is also bringing to light just how important…

Aug 14, 2020

Forest Farming, Falcons and Frozen Fungus Ice Cream? We Got It All Inside Appalachia

The natural world can be a source of food and medicine along with a place to escape and unwind. There are people who know plants like they’re old friends,…

Aug 07, 2020

Flying High In, From, And Around Appalachia

Many of us are dreaming about the things we want to do when this pandemic is over — like traveling someplace far away. If you have wanderlust, or the itch…

Jul 31, 2020

Dollywood, Hotrods And Moonshine Getaway Cars Inside Appalachia

One could spend a lifetime learning about Appalachia, and just scratch the surface. On this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia, we’re listening back to a…

Jul 24, 2020

Addressing Racism And Passing On Traditions Inside Appalachia

Across the globe, many people are wondering how to change society to deal with structural racism. It might all depend on our youth. Today’s episode of…

Jul 17, 2020

7 Stories About Appalachia You Probably Won't See In Mainstream Media

For this episode of Inside Appalachia, we’re taking another listen to an episode we originally aired in January of this year, featuring stories about the…

Jul 10, 2020

Finding Resilience Through Song, Faith, And Storytelling

In this episode of Inside Appalachia, we hear how religious leaders are adapting to change and finding ways to continue helping people find solace and…

Jul 02, 2020

Urban Renewal Forces Black Community Out Of Triangle

The recent killing of George Floyd by a police officer in Minnesota has reignited the Black Lives Matter movement, sparking protests across this country,…

Jun 26, 2020

Culture That Connects Appalachia To The World

Culture can connect us to our kindred spirits across great distances, even during a global pandemic. It helps build bridges in other ways, too. In this…

Jun 19, 2020

‘I Hope You’re Never Afraid When I’m Around’: Dads Share Their Stories

In honor of Father’s Day, this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia is dedicated to dads. A man’s brain is rewired when he holds his newborn baby just…

Jun 12, 2020

7 Stories Of Growing Up Black In Appalachia

Protests against police killing unarmed black Americans continue across the country, including here in Appalachia. Tens of thousands of people have taken…

Jun 05, 2020

Meet The Appalachians Tapping Into The Craft Beer And Spirits Industry

People in our region have made spirits for hundreds of years. Some even say Appalachians are among the best at making whiskey and moonshine, but this…

May 29, 2020

Perseverance Through Music, Stories And Art

This week’s episode of Inside Appalachia is about perseverance through music, stories and art. We’ll introduce you to some folks from the other side of…

May 22, 2020

Hands-on Education Provides Route To Success

We’re focusing on the power of experiential learning in this episode of Inside Appalachia. We’ll look at how students learn life, academic and practical…

May 15, 2020

Exploring Unique Connections — Both To And In — Appalachia

There is a deep connection among generations that holds steady for many families across central Appalachia. Perhaps it’s a combination of shared struggles…

May 08, 2020

Maybe The Best Classroom Is Right Outside Your Door, Inside Appalachia

With kids cooped up inside their homes and classroom instruction happening remotely, we thought it would be a great time to take another listen to an…

May 01, 2020

Appalachian Strength In The Face Of A Pandemic Devastating Local Economies

The coronavirus pandemic is affecting all of our lives, whether you’re working from home, worried for your health or unexpectedly out of a job. PBS’s…

Apr 24, 2020

Faith And Tradition In A Time Of Pandemic

From religious services to a renewed love of gardening, quarantine gives and takes. The global pandemic has taken things from all of us. Some more than…

Apr 17, 2020

Black Community In Charleston, Destroyed For Interstate, Not Forgotten

Why was the Triangle neighborhood, once steeped in the richness of black music and culture, demolished in 1974 in Charleston, W.Va.? Why were some…

Apr 10, 2020

Laughter Is The Best Medicine, Inside Appalachia

Can laughter be beneficial for our health? Research suggests that laughing can be therapeutic not only for our emotional well-being, but it can help heal…

Apr 03, 2020

Upper Big Branch 10 Years Later – Honoring the Miners Who Lost Their Lives

Ten years ago, on April 5, 2010, 29 men who worked at an underground coal mine in Raleigh County, West Virginia, lost their lives. The Upper Big Branch…

Mar 27, 2020

How Is Appalachia Grappling With The Coronavirus? Humor, Resilience, And Compassion

Usually this time of year marks the start of festival season. So many little communities throughout the region celebrate springtime in their own way. But…

Mar 20, 2020

A Break From Coronavirus News: Inside Appalachia Explores The Power Of Connecting With Loved Ones

On this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia, we are taking a much-needed break from the news. We’ll explore ways we can continue to stay connected with…

Mar 13, 2020

Tapping Into The Love Of Wild, Inside Appalachia

There is a lot happening in the world that is stressful. But the risk of the coronavirus doesn’t necessarily have to mean you have to barricade yourself…

Mar 06, 2020

Failure To Prioritize Worker Safety Leads To Illness, Injury And Death: Inside Appalachia

What is the human impact of a failure to prioritize workplace safety? In this episode, which we originally aired in 2019, we’ll hear how weak regulatory…

Feb 28, 2020

Appalachians Reclaiming Their Stories And Means Of Earning A Living

Most people rarely think about where food comes from. We go to the grocery store and have so much to choose from. But global experts say small and…

Feb 21, 2020

Finding Meaning And Authenticity In Hot Rods, Dollywood and Everywhere Inside Appalachia

One could spend a lifetime learning about Appalachia, and just scratch the surface. On this week’s episode, we take a deeper look at traditional cultural…

Feb 14, 2020

Love For Mountains And Each Other, Inside Appalachia

This week’s episode of Inside Appalachia is all about love. Not the florist and jewelry store version of love, but love for something deeper: love for…

Feb 07, 2020

Looking At National Stories Through An Appalachian Lens

On this episode of Inside Appalachia, we’ll hear several stories about people who are working to help address problems within their own communities. We’ll…

Jan 31, 2020

7 Important Stories About Appalachia You Probably Won't See In Mainstream Media

Stories about Appalachia tend to fall into two camps– quaint stories about cultural oddities, or reports about grim health and economic statics that our…

Jan 24, 2020

Understanding What Mountains Mean, Inside Appalachia

“Montani Semper Liberi ⁠— Mountaineers Are Always Free” is West Virginia’s state motto, but it is more than that. It is a belief system that is not just…

Jan 17, 2020

Stories Of Resilience, Self-Reliance And Survival In Appalachia

Here in central Appalachia, we have plenty of high-tech skills, and many of us can connect to orbiting satellites, and therefore people and ideas on the…

Jan 10, 2020

Politics Is A Difficult Topic, But Necessary — Inside Appalachia

In this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia, we’re doing something a bit different. We’re taking a temperature check on how people are feeling about…

Jan 03, 2020

Working The Rivers: Their Importance, Inside Appalachia

It may be winter, but work on the waterways around Appalachia never stops. In this episode of Inside Appalachia, we are listening back to an episode that…

Dec 27, 2019

Holiday Food And Music Traditions, Inside Appalachia

At Inside Appalachia, we can’t get enough of the holidays and the traditions that come out of these mountains. So for this week’s episode, we are taking…

Dec 20, 2019

Passing Down Holiday Traditions, Inside Appalachia

In this episode of Inside Appalachia we’ll hear stories about holiday traditions that have been passed down through several generations. We’ll travel to a…

Dec 13, 2019

Hound Dog Hookers, Appalachia’s Energy Drink & More, Inside Appalachia

In this episode of Inside Appalachia, we’ll take a trip across our region and meet people in Tennessee, to Kentucky, and Ohio. Each of the stories…

Dec 06, 2019

Rivers And Lakes See Heavy Recreational Use, Inside Appalachia

For many people in Appalachia, the lakes, rivers and creeks are the first places we swam, played in the water or caught crawdads. For many adults, our…

Nov 29, 2019

Reimagining A New Economic Future For Appalachia

Our region has faced major economic changes and challenges in the past decade. But if you know our region’s history, this story of boom and bust, renewal…

Nov 22, 2019

Connecting, And Reconnecting With Loved Ones — Inside Appalachia

This week on Inside Appalachia, we’ll meet several people who are making connections with each other, themselves, or a spiritual community. We’ll hear the…

Nov 15, 2019

Rediscovering The Power Of Learning Outside, Inside Appalachia

Increasingly, teachers are finding that spending time in nature with their students is essential to learning. In this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia,…

Nov 08, 2019

Working Moms Struggle To Make Breastfeeding Work, Inside Appalachia

Doctors point to overwhelming evidence that breast milk is superior to formula. But breastfeeding rates in the United States continue to be low. Reasons…

Nov 01, 2019

Promoting Tourism And Reclaiming The Hillbilly Narrative, Inside Appalachia

By branding southern West Virginia “Hatfield & McCoy” country, are we re-affirming negative stereotypes in Appalachia?In this week’s episode of Inside…

Oct 25, 2019

Ghosts, Monsters And Things That Go Bump In The Night — Inside Appalachia

For a few years now, an Inside Appalachia tradition is to ask listeners for a favorite ghost tale or legend. We have a lot of great storytellers here in…

Oct 18, 2019

How Scientists, Faith Leaders, And Foster Parents Are Fighting Adversity Inside Appalachia

Adversity isn’t new to Appalachia. We’ve faced boom and bust cycles for over a century. This episode of Inside Appalachia looks at some of those struggles…

Oct 11, 2019

Meet 5 People Who Complicate The Narrative About What It Means To Be Appalachian

Think back to the last time you saw an Appalachian portrayed on TV, in the national media, in a book or a cartoon. Often, when people talk about…

Oct 04, 2019

When Traditional Food Becomes Trendy, Inside Appalachia

What foods did your parents and grandparents cook when you were growing up? What memories of food do you hold onto after all these years?This week on…

Sep 27, 2019

In The Face Of Adversity, 6 Stories Of Resilience In Appalachia

Across Appalachia, there are remarkable stories of resilience in the face of adversity. This week on Inside Appalachia, we’ll meet several people who are…

Sep 20, 2019

Thousands Of Children Are Born Exposed To Opioids: These Are Some Of The People Working To Help Them

This week on Inside Appalachia, we’re dedicating our episode to all the children who are affected by substance abuse before they're even born. Neonatal…

Sep 13, 2019

Families and Caregivers Struggle to Find Resources Inside Appalachia

Today, many seniors in rural communities don’t have the support they need to live independently, safely. Who’s going to care for our elders in the years…

Sep 06, 2019

Reshaping Appalachia while Remembering the Past — from Coal Mining to Culture

This week on Inside Appalachia, we’ll look at how our history is intertwined with our future. We’ll hear from coal miners and children about how they are…

Aug 30, 2019

Inside the River Boat Industry, How Mussels Clean Our Rivers & More Inside Appalachia

In this episode of Inside Appalachia, we’re looking at how water shapes us ⁠— and how we’re impacting our waterways. Our rivers are a vital part of our…

Aug 23, 2019

Black Lung Disease Back and Worse Than Before, Inside Appalachia

Across Appalachia, thousands of coal miners have suffered from black lung disease. In the 1960s, miners organized a movement to end the chronic condition.…

Aug 16, 2019

What Happens When People Meet the Gas Industry, Inside Appalachia

The economy of central Appalachia has long revolved around extractive industries: timber, coal, oil and natural gas. The jobs associated with these…

Aug 09, 2019

What Happens When a School Closes Inside Appalachia

School is, or soon will be, back in session, so we wanted to take another listen to an episode we originally aired in May, about the devastating effects a…

Aug 02, 2019

Boom and Bust, Recession and Renewal; When Factories and Mines Close, Lives Change

Our region has faced major economic changes and challenges in the past decade. But if you know our region’s history, this story of boom and bust, renewal…

Jul 26, 2019

Paddleboats, Whitewater Rafting and Scuba Diving — in the Mountains? Yep — Inside Appalachia

For many people in Appalachia, the lakes, rivers and creeks are the first places we swam, played in the water or caught crawdads. For many adults, our…

Jul 19, 2019

Alternative Enterprises and Destinations: Inside Appalachia

On this episode of Inside Appalachia, we’re taking another listen to a show we aired in March. It’s an off-the-beaten-path tour of some of the region’s…

Jul 12, 2019

'He Died In Terror' – Thousands of U.S. Workers Die Each Year, Leaving Families With Questions

What is the human impact of a failure to prioritize workplace safety? In this episode, we’ll explore how weak regulatory laws, and a failure to prioritize…

Jul 05, 2019

How Mountains Influence Our Lives: Inside Appalachia

“Montani Semper Liberi ⁠— Mountaineers Are Always Free” is West Virginia’s state motto, but it is more than that. It is a belief system that is not just…

Jun 28, 2019

A Response to 'Hillbilly Elegy' by Appalachian Writers: Inside Appalachia

“Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis”, a personal memoir by JD Vance, was on the New York Times Bestseller list for 24 weeks.…

Jun 14, 2019

Farmers Across Appalachia Get New Customers Through Craft Beer Craze

People in Appalachia have made spirits for hundreds of years. Some people even say Appalachians are among the best at making whiskey and moonshine. But…

Jun 07, 2019

Without Enough Support, Working Moms Struggle to Make Breastfeeding Work

Doctors point to overwhelming evidence that breast milk is superior to formula. But breastfeeding rates in the United States continue to be low. Reasons…

May 31, 2019

Stories of Love, Friendship and Loss from StoryCorps: Inside Appalachia

StoryCorps producers brought their mobile recording studio to Charleston, West Virginia, in fall 2018, and recorded more than 100 stories. These recording…

May 24, 2019

Inside Appalachia Expands to Tell More Stories of Folklife, and the 'Art of Everyday Life'

In this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia, we explore how our cultural traditions change over time and evolve as they get passed from person to person.…

May 18, 2019

‘It’s Just Really Hard’- Families and Caregivers Struggle to Find Resources Inside Appalachia

Across most of central Appalachia, the population is declining as young people leave to find work. Those who stay, are rapidly aging. In West Virginia,…

May 10, 2019

‘It Was a Terrible Loss’: School Closures and Their Effect on Communities Inside Appalachia

This week on Inside Appalachia, basketball was a big deal for the small town of Northfork, in McDowell County, West Virginia. The high school team won the…

May 03, 2019

Beneath the Surface — Drinking Water Inside Appalachia

For many families in parts of eastern Kentucky and southern West Virginia, the absence of clean, reliable drinking water is part of daily life.Blaine…

Apr 26, 2019

Ground Zero for the Opioid Epidemic, How Law Enforcement is Finding New Ways to Tackle Addiction

Like a slow-motion tsunami, the opioid epidemic continues to claim the lives of our friends and neighbors. Four of the top five states with the highest…

Apr 19, 2019

Clock is Ticking for Thousands of Coal Miners Who Suffer From Black Lung

Across Appalachia, thousands of coal miners have suffered from black lung disease. In the 1960s, miners organized a movement to end the chronic condition.…

Apr 05, 2019

Appalachian Reckoning: Writers Respond to JD Vance’s ‘Hillbilly Elegy’

“Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis”, a personal memoir by JD Vance, was on the New York Times Bestseller list for 24 weeks.…

Mar 29, 2019

Controversy, Culture Clashes Surround Needle Exchange Programs in Appalachia

The opioid crisis is one of the biggest public health challenges in our region today. One strategy that’s been proved to help curb the epidemic’s worst…

Mar 15, 2019

From Dollywood to the Magic City: Appalachia’s Alternative Enterprises

This week on Inside Appalachia, we take off-the-beaten-path tour of some of the region’s alternative cultures and economies. We’ll visit a factory where…

Mar 08, 2019

Why We Still Need Collaboration, Compassion and Community to Thrive Inside Appalachia

In this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia, we’ll explore why communities with a culture of volunteerism, and strong support systems, are more resilient.…

Mar 01, 2019

Dear Red States and Blue States, Can We Talk?

This week on Inside Appalachia, we’re wading into the American political divide and bringing you voices with distinct points of view from opposite sides…

Feb 22, 2019

Appalachian Writers Discuss Their Work: Inside Appalachia

People who write novels, short stories and newspaper articles each tell Appalachia’s story in their own way.This is an encore airing of an Inside…

Feb 15, 2019

Appalachia’s Folkways: Handmade and Passing It On

This week on Inside Appalachia, we’ll hear from Appalachians who have a knack for making things with their hands — people who make the essentials of life…

Feb 01, 2019

Inside Appalachia: Stories of Love, Friendship and Loss from StoryCorps

StoryCorps producers brought their mobile recording studio to Charleston, West Virginia, in fall 2018, and recorded more than 100 stories. These recording…

Jan 25, 2019

Inside Appalachia: EPA May List Minden, Government Shutdown Causes Delays

Two years ago, residents of Minden, West Virginia, asked the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to do more testing and consider the town’s soil and…

Jan 18, 2019

Stirring the Waters Inside Appalachia: How Drinking Water Systems Are Failing Rural Residents

For many families in parts of eastern Kentucky and southern West Virginia, the absence of clean, reliable drinking water has become part of daily…

Jan 04, 2019

Inside Appalachia: Some of Our Favorite Stories

To begin 2019, Inside Appalachia is taking a look back at some favorite stories. Not our favorite stories, but those of the show’s friend Adam Harris.…

Dec 28, 2018

Inside Appalachia: A Look at Religion with StoryCorps

To wrap up 2018, we're re-airing stories about faith and religion and their influence in Appalachia. We’ve teamed up with StoryCorps and Georgetown…

Dec 21, 2018

Inside Appalachia: Traditions Make Holiday Season Special

This week we’ve put together a special holiday episode about seasonal traditions. Holidays in these mountains have always been meaningful. In Appalachia,…

Dec 14, 2018

Inside Appalachia: The Farmington Mine Disaster, 50 Years Later

On Nov. 20, 1968, an underground explosion ripped through a West Virginia coal mine and killed 78 miners. Fifty years later, the local community still…

Dec 07, 2018

Indie Pro-Wrestling, A Look Back: Inside Appalachia

This week on Inside Appalachia, we take another look at the world of independent pro-wrestling.While pro-wrestling is popular across the country and all…

Nov 23, 2018

A Sense of What’s Possible: A Struggle to Stay Follow-Up

This week we’ll revisit an episode that originally aired earlier this spring about two young people who are learning farming as part of a workforce…

Nov 02, 2018

Revisiting Mark Combs' Struggle to Stay: Headed Home?

On this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia, we’ll take a look back at the story of Mark Combs— a comedian, an actor and dog owner moving from West…

Oct 26, 2018

Werewolves, Panthers and Ghosts…Oh My, Appalachia!

On this special Halloween episode of Inside Appalachia, we’re doing something a little bit out of the ordinary for us—we’re suspending our…

Oct 19, 2018

Changing Coal Communities and Overcoming Poverty in Appalachia

Jeannette Walls grew up poor in America. She wrote about it in her memoir "The Glass Castle," which has remained on the New York Times bestsellers list…

Oct 15, 2018

Appalachian Food: What Happens When Local, Traditional Foods Get Trendy?

The Inside Appalachia team is hitting the road and heading to Beckley for its first LIVE Listening Party the evening of Bridge Day. Join us for an evening…

Oct 05, 2018

The Tough Landscape of Economic Development: Inside Appalachia

Since the War on Poverty in the 1960s, federal funds to help revitalize coal country have poured in from Washington, D.C. And in recent years, a new…

Sep 28, 2018

Celebrating 'Apple-Atcha', Inside Appalachia

Here in Appalachia, it’s apple season. Did you know that Golden Delicious Apples originated right here in West Virginia? In fact, apples are our state…

Sep 21, 2018

From Coal to Music: Appalachia's Connection to the United Kingdom

Coal miners and their families in Appalachia take great pride in their work and the fellowship that surrounds coal mining. As Jeremy Brock, one former…

Sep 14, 2018

Baseball as Transcendence: How Appalachia's Pastime Creates Character, Camaraderie

As we head into the final weeks of summer, this week on Inside Appalachia we explore the impact of baseball throughout the region. We’ll learn about the…

Sep 07, 2018

LGBT Issues Across Appalachia

This week on Inside Appalachia we're revisiting an episode from earlier this year, exploring issues in our region’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender…

Aug 31, 2018

Road Trip: Appalachia’s Hidden Gems

This week on Inside Appalachia, we’re going on a road trip to meet people who are working in Appalachia to preserve American culture and traditions.We’ll…

Aug 17, 2018

Drama, Mayhem and Trust: Indie Pro-Wrestling in Appalachia

This week on Inside Appalachia, we explore the world of independent pro-wrestling.While pro-wrestling is popular across the country and all around the…

Aug 10, 2018

Farming, Race, Poverty, and the Media Inside Appalachia

Being a farmer isn’t easy. One woman in Georgia found that getting assistance as a black farmer can be especially tough.Shirley Sherrod said she found…

Aug 03, 2018

Inside Appalachia Features the Pope’s Long Con

This week on Inside Appalachia, we’ll learn about the life of Kentucky politician and pastor Danny Johnson, and the investigation that exposed a long line…

Jul 20, 2018

This One Sentence Helped Purdue Pharma Sell Billions of Dollars Worth of Opioids

Between 1999 and 2015, roughly 300,000 people in the United States died from opioid overdoses. And of the five states with the highest rates of drug…

Jul 14, 2018

Pipelines, Birds and Coal Ash: A Look at Environmental Coverage Inside Appalachia

Coal has dominated Appalachia’s energy economy for more than a century. But natural gas is emerging as a new economic force, bringing with it jobs,…

Jul 06, 2018

The Struggle Continues: Iraq War Vet Focused on Path out of Appalachia

A comedian, an actor and dog move from West Virginia across the country chasing big dreams. What could possibly go wrong?A little over a year ago, we…

Jun 29, 2018

How Jell-O Marked a New Era in Rural Appalachia & the History of the Hip & Trendy Mason Jar

On this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia, we’re talking about two things you’re likely to find on a supper table in Appalachia: Jell-O and mason…

Jun 22, 2018

Inside Appalachia: LGBT Issues in Our Region

On this week’s show, we’re exploring issues in our region’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. We’ll hear from a teenager getting ready for…

Jun 15, 2018

3 Men, 3 Lives, 3 Wishes for a Better Economic Future in Appalachia

Can Trump bring coal jobs back to Appalachia? We’re a year-and-a-half into his presidency, and some people, like coal operator Barry Estep, are…

Jun 08, 2018

From Flaming Bicycles to a Chicken Man- Three Tall Tales From W.Va. Award Winning Storytellers

This week, we’re listening back to a popular show we did back in 2016, featuring award winning storytellers— telling some whopping tale and lies.We’ll be…

Jun 01, 2018

Town Reckons With its Toxic Past, While Looking to the EPA for Help

On this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia, we’ll visit Minden, West Virginia, where residents are asking the federal government to consider adding their…

May 25, 2018

In Appalachia, Some Combat Veterans are Turning to Farming After War: Here's Why

This week on Inside Appalachia we’re going to listen back to an episode we originally aired in 2017, about veterans who are turning to traditional…

May 18, 2018

Appalachia Has Highest Risk of HIV & Hepatitis in Nation. The Proposed Solutions Are Controversial

The 10 counties in the United States most at risk for an HIV outbreak are all in Central Appalachia, according to a 2016 report by the Centers for Disease…

May 11, 2018

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren: Across Appalachia, 'Grandfamilies' Face Increasing Challenges

Last year on Inside Appalachia we aired an episode about Grandparents raising grandchildren. Our newsroom just won a Regional Edward R. Murrow Award for…

Apr 28, 2018

Giving Appalachians a Sense of What’s Possible

Several federally funded job-training programs have emerged in recent years designed to help revitalize coal country. In 2017 alone, the Appalachian…

Apr 20, 2018

Revisiting the ‘Struggle to Stay’

It’s been a year since we started following six Appalachians as they grappled with whether to stay in their home state or leave for better opportunities.…

Apr 13, 2018

Controversy and Mystery Still Surround Lakes Built by the Army Corps of Engineers

In this week's episode of Inside Appalachia, we visit communities impacted by creation of flood-control lakes. In one, the Village of Lilly, about 40…

Mar 30, 2018

Charlie McCoy, 'Amazing Grace,' and How Gospel Music Inspired Rock ’n Roll

In this episode of Inside Appalachia, we’ll talk about faith and music. We learn about Sister Rosetta Tharpe, one of the first great recording stars of…

Mar 23, 2018

Sugar Shacks and Maple–Glazed Rabbit: Appalachian Cuisine Beyond the Stereotypes

In this episode of Inside Appalachia, we’ll travel to the sugar shacks of Appalachian maple producers, and we’ll learn how to use syrup in everything from…

Mar 16, 2018

Could the West Virginia Teacher Strike Spark a Labor Movement?

Now that thousands of striking teachers across West Virginia have returned to work with a pay raise and a promise to fix their health care plan, how might…

Mar 09, 2018

Inside Appalachia's Labor History: Do You Know Where the Word 'Redneck' Comes From?

After a nine-day statewide strike, West Virginia teachers and school service employees are back to work with a hard-won commitment from lawmakers of a 5…

Mar 02, 2018

Economic Diversity: 8 Ideas with Momentum Inside Appalachia

It isn’t news that Appalachia is struggling economically. If you’ve followed the boom-bust cycle of the coal industry, you know that we’ve been here…

Feb 23, 2018

Football as a Catalyst for Change in Mount Hope, West Virginia

Acts of violence and protests resisting racial integration were features in many American communities in the 1950s and 60s. A tiny town in the coalfields…

Feb 16, 2018

The New Generation of Black Lung

For many years we thought that black lung was a disease of the past. But it has actually stricken a whole new generation of miners, and in some ways, it’s…

Feb 02, 2018

Four Trailblazing Women in Appalachia Who Helped Pave the Way

This week on Inside Appalachia, we'll hear stories of women whose grit and determination changed their own lives – and changed other people's lives, too.…

Jan 26, 2018

How One Sentence Helped Purdue Pharma Sell Billions of Dollars Worth of Opioids

Between 1999 and 2015, roughly 300,000 people in the United States died from opioid overdoses. And of the five states with the highest rates of drug…

Jan 19, 2018

Across Appalachia, Thousands of Children are Affected by Opioid Addiction: Who’s Helping Them?

On this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia, we’ll learn more about how children are being affected by the opioid epidemic and what’s being done to help…

Jan 12, 2018

In Appalachia, As Mining Companies Close, Water Systems Fail

This week on Inside Appalachia, we discuss one part of coal's legacy: as mining companies have closed, the water companies they built and helped maintain…

Jan 05, 2018

In Appalachia, Elusive Mountain Lion Myths Abound & Hope Surrounds Tiny Homes Project in Schools

This week on Inside Appalachia: wildlife experts agree the Eastern Mountain Lion is extinct. So why do so many people across Appalachia swear they’ve seen…

Dec 27, 2017

Appalachian Religion, StoryCorps Special Year End Episode

We’ve teamed up with StoryCorps and Georgetown University’s American Pilgrimage Project for this episode about faith in Appalachia.We hear a 91-year-old…

Dec 22, 2017

Christmas with a Jewish Touch, and a Radio Show Connects Inmates with Their Families

This week's Inside Appalachia is a special holiday edition. We hear stories of Christmas past, present and hope for the future. We’ll check in with West…

Dec 15, 2017

Homesickness, and the Struggle to Come Home to Appalachia

This week on Inside Appalachia, we talk about what brings people back home to the mountains of Appalachia. And we’ll hear about what happens when people…

Dec 01, 2017

What's Appalachian Twang?

So how do you say Appalachia? This week, our episode is about the many different accents, and pronunciations, of Appalachia. Many of those interviewed for…

Nov 21, 2017

4 Surprising Ways Appalachians are Changing Their Economy

Much of Appalachia’s economy has rested on the boom and bust cycles of industries like coal and manufacturing for decades. It’s true that these industries…

Nov 17, 2017

The History of Wild Turkeys, Hunter's Stew & More – Inside Appalachia

In this episode of Inside Appalachia, we're taking a look at the myths and truths of the wild turkey. We’ll find out if turkeys really can fly. We'll find…

Nov 10, 2017

Grappling with Equality in one of W.Va.'s Poorest Communities

High-profile confrontations between African-Americans and police officers have fueled racial tensions across the country. How do we in Appalachia talk…

Nov 03, 2017

Unsettling Memories – How Vietnam Changed the Lives of Five Appalachian Soldiers

The Vietnam War is often called America’s most controversial war. Many servicemen from Appalachia were pushed toward the front lines. More West…

Oct 27, 2017

Over 2 Million Children Being Raised by Grandparents- Opioid Crisis Puts New Strain on Grandfamilies

About 2.5 million children in the U.S. are being raised by grandparents or relatives other than their birth parents.This week on Inside Appalachia, we…

Oct 20, 2017

Beyond Statistics: Appalachia's Stories Reveal Resilience & Perseverance

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…

Oct 13, 2017

In Appalachia, Controversy and Mystery Still Surround Lakes Built by the Army Corps of Engineers

In this week's episode of Inside Appalachia, we visit communities impacted by creation of flood-control lakes. Like the Village of Lilly, where back in…

Oct 06, 2017

Apple Pies, Apple Cider: Could a Return to Apple Farming Help Revive Appalachia's Economy?

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…

Sep 29, 2017

Three Tales of Coal: A Miner, a Mine Owner and an Environmentalist Walk Onto a Podcast

Coal mine owner Andrew Jordon and environmental attorney Joe Lovett grew up together in Charleston, but have taken two completely different, even…

Sep 22, 2017

Inside Appalachia's Broommaker Film Will Be Screened at Library of Congress

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…

Sep 15, 2017

3 Ways to Talk About Money & Poverty in Appalachia

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…

Sep 08, 2017

Appalachians Blaze Music Trails at Home & Nashville

There’s no place in America that’s gained a bigger reputation for country and rock and roll music than Nashville, Tennessee. So what does it take to make…

Sep 02, 2017

In Appalachia, Going Back to School Reveals New Realities

The start of a new school year can be a stressful time, but it’s also a season of transition, and of new beginnings. In this episode of Inside Appalachia,…

Aug 25, 2017

Hidden Gems Inside Appalachia

On this episode of Inside Appalachia, we go on a road trip along the backroads of Appalachia. We discover a rare orchid, a natural icebox and even get the…

Aug 03, 2017

Jobs for the New Appalachian Economy

The Appalachian economy is changing. In this episode of Inside Appalachia, hear from people who are switching careers, including former coal miners who…

Jul 28, 2017

Black Lung Still Ravages Appalachia

Back in March, Inside Appalachia aired a report about a rise in the number of chronic black lung cases. Since then, NPR’s ongoing investigation uncovered…

Jul 14, 2017

Inside Appalachia Wins National Award for Homebirth and Midwifery Episode: Listen

It used to be that women typically gave birth in home-like environments. Today most women head to the hospital and the Centers for Disease Control and…

Jul 07, 2017

Two Appalachian Summertime Stories

This week time travel back to your own childhood summer memories with the Appalachian storytellers. CrackerjackStoryteller Adam Booth takes us back to the…

Jun 30, 2017

Do Poetry & Theater Give Voice to Appalachia's 'Invisible' Populations?

Ever hear the word 'Affrilachian'? In the 1990s, a poet in Kentucky named Frank X Walker came up with the term. It refers to African Americans living in…

Jun 23, 2017

Rebuilding the Mountain State: 2016 Flood One Year Later

This week on Inside Appalachia, we are revisiting some of the people whose lives were changed forever after the flooding of 2016. This episode was part of…

Jun 09, 2017

Summer Roadtrip Listening: Our Favorite Stories from June Inside Appalachia

Summer is often a time for road trips, so we put together a few stories that made us think of summer break. And our Struggle to Stay series continues as…

May 26, 2017

How Do We Tell Appalachia’s Story?

This week on Inside Appalachia, we talk with Marcus Murrow, a West Virginia native who’s telling the story of southern West Virginia, and the surprising…

May 12, 2017

Amazing Grace, Pentecostal Revivals, and How Gospel Music Inspired Rock ’n Roll

In this episode of Inside Appalachia, we talk about faith and music. We learn about Sister Rosetta Tharpe, one of the first great recording stars of…

May 05, 2017

Inside Appalachian Storytelling: What is Your Struggle to Stay Story?

Here in Appalachia, thousands of young people are leaving each year, moving from their hometowns to find opportunities elsewhere. In this episode, you…

Apr 28, 2017

Inside the Appalachian Opioid Epidemic Part 2: Veterans, Chronic Pain & Alternative Treatment

It’s been about 20 years since the opioid epidemic started. Appalachia has been called ground zero for this crisis, and the Mountain State leads the…

Apr 21, 2017

Treatment & Mistreatment, Our Complicated Relationship with Pain: Inside Appalachia

It’s been about 20 years since the opioid epidemic first exploded across Appalachia, and now doctors are shifting away from prescribing opioids for…

Mar 31, 2017

Inside an Appalachian Coal Legacy: Black Lung

Coal mining has touched so many aspects of life in Appalachia. The coal industry has provided more than just jobs — it’s helped build towns, bridges and…

Mar 24, 2017

Does Holding on to Appalachian Traditions Matter?

In this episode of Inside Appalachia, we take a road trip to explore stories of people who are reviving Appalachian traditions, like baking salt rising…

Mar 17, 2017

Is Appalachia Trump Country?

Why is Donald Trump so popular in Appalachia? And how confident are Appalachians that Trump will change the economy and bring back thousands of coal…

Mar 10, 2017

Inside Appalachia, W.Va. Mine Wars History

Not many Americans know the story of the Mine Wars that were fought between workers, labor unions and mine company guards during the early 1900s. In this…

Mar 03, 2017

Farming Gives Hope to Some Veterans with PTSD: 'I Found a New Normal in My Life'

This week on Inside Appalachia, we’ll travel to Sugar Bottom Farm in Clay County West Virginia to meet Veteran Eric Grandon, the first veteran to go…

Feb 24, 2017

What the History of Salt, Slaves & Coal Can Teach us about Appalachia's Future

This week on Inside Appalachia, we travel to Cedar Grove, West Virginia, home of renowned novelist Mary Lee Settle. On this episode, we explore…

Feb 17, 2017

Coal’s Legacy in Appalachia: As Mining Companies Close, Water Systems Fail

The coal industry has done a lot for central Appalachia. It’s created jobs, and it’s helped many families afford college. Coal has also created a very…

Feb 10, 2017

Our Valentine For Appalachia

On this episode of Inside Appalachia, in honor of Valentine’s Day, we wanted to bring you voices from people who’ve written love letters for Appalachia,…

Feb 03, 2017

Three Inspiring Appalachians Who Save Lives and Defy Stereotypes

Since 2010, West Virginia Public Broadcasting has produced a series called Inspiring West Virginians, highlighting 29 leaders in health, business and…

Jan 27, 2017

Exploring The Mighty Ohio River Inside Appalachia

It’s easy to take the water coming out of your faucet for granted, but tragedies like the Elk River Chemical spill that left thousands of residents in…

Jan 20, 2017

3 Things About Appalachia’s Signature Foods That You May Not Know

If you didn’t grow up in West Virginia, you may have no idea what a pepperoni roll is. But those who grew up eating them in school cafeterias or buying…

Jan 13, 2017

Hope Battles Fear in Appalachia as Trump Takes Office

Why is Donald Trump so popular in Appalachia? And how confident are Appalachians that Trump will change the economy and bring back thousands of coal…

Jan 06, 2017

For a Generation of Appalachians, Growing Up With a Parent Addicted to Drugs is a Way of Life

While millions of addictive pain pills flooded West Virginia, a generation of Appalachians grew up with a parent addicted or abusing drugs. Hear some of…

Dec 30, 2016

Religion in Appalachia, StoryCorps Special Year End Episode

We’ve teamed up with StoryCorps and Georgetown University’s American Pilgrimage Project for this episode about faith in Appalachia.We hear a 91-year-old…

Dec 23, 2016

Joy Amidst Loss: Christmas Inside Appalachia

This week's Inside Appalachia is a special holiday edition. We hear stories of Christmas past, present and hope for the future. We’ll check in with West…

Dec 16, 2016

Inside Affrilachia

Ever hear the word 'Affrilachian'? In the 1990s, a poet in Kentucky named Frank X Walker came up with the term. It refers to African Americans living in…

Dec 09, 2016

First Generation Appalachian College Students: Only the Tough Survive

In this week’s Inside Appalachia, we take a look at first generation college students. We’ll hear about challenges that first generation college students…

Dec 02, 2016

Ever Been Judged Because of Your Accent?

We all have a unique way of talking- and here in Appalachia, we have many ways of being understood, and misunderstood, because of our language.It…

Nov 23, 2016

Talking Turkey, Inside Appalachia

In this episode of Inside Appalachia, we're taking a look at the myths and truths of the wild turkey, thanks to the folks at the podcast With Good Reason.…

Nov 18, 2016

The Mountain Music Trail: Then and Now

Music has traditionally played a big role in the culture of Appalachia, and it seems that other countries are taking notice of the region’s rich musical…

Nov 11, 2016

From Flaming Bicycles to a Chicken Man- Decompress This Weekend With Some Non-Political Tall Tales

The election is over. So this week, we thought it was only fitting to share a few stories, tall tales, and flat out lies— without the political…

Nov 04, 2016

A Generation of Addiction Inside Appalachia

For a generation of Appalachians, growing up with a parent addicted or abusing drugs is a way of life. On this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia, we…

Oct 28, 2016

Spooky Scary Tales: Inside Haunted Appalachia

Appalachia has some of the best settings for scary stories, including dark underground coal mines and remote forests. There are hundreds of remarkably…

Oct 14, 2016

The Leftovers in a Coal Miner’s Bucket

If your father worked in the coal mines, chances are you remember his lunch or dinner bucket and the food that he brought to work. For many families, the…