The Inside Appalachia Folkways Project expands the reporting of the Inside Appalachia team to include more stories from West Virginia as well as expand coverage in Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Ohio.

The project establishes the Inside Appalachia Folkways Corps, which launched with 10 specialized freelance reporters from four Appalachian states.

The Folkways initiative will include developing ongoing partnerships with folklife organizations and artisans across the region, as well as expanding WVPB’s educational components surrounding Appalachian folk life and culture, providing a tool kit for educators to incorporate “Inside Appalachia” into classrooms everywhere.

Folkways Reporters/Fellows

Rebecca Williams
Folkways Reporter

Heather Niday
Folkways Reporter

Margaret Leef
Folkways Reporter

Vanesa Peña
Folkways Fellow

Traci Phillips
Folkways Reporter

Clara Haizlett
Folkways Reporter

Mason Adams
Folkways Reporter

Liz Pahl
Folkways Reporter

Rachel Moore
Folkways Reporter

Amanda Page
Folkways Reporter

Lauren Griffin
Folkways Reporter

Nicole Musgrave
Folkways Reporter

Capri Cafaro
Folkways Reporter

Wendy Welch
Folkways Reporter

Lydia Warren
Folkways Reporter

Connie Bailey Kitts
Folkways Reporter

Zack Harold
Folkways Reporter

Will Warren
Folkways Reporter

Stefani Priskos
Folkways Reporter

Madeline Miller
Folkways Reporter

Folkways Videos

Folkways Stories

Connie Bailey Kitts,Sep. 11, 2023

Tazewell, Virginia Family Keeps Black Poetry Alive For Today’s Generation

For nearly 100 years, Jeanette Wilson’s family has used poetry to share stories of African American life in southwest Virginia. Now those poems are reaching a wider community – and a new generation.

Zack Harold,Sep. 04, 2023

A Family Heirloom, In Your Grocer’s Freezer

In a dining room in a tidy, little house in Charleston, West Virginia, Louis and Sonny Argento introduce us to the Argento family sausage — a recipe that has brought pride and acclaim to their Italian clan for nearly a century.

Mason Adams,Aug. 28, 2023

How A Legendary Virginia Recording Studio Is Changing With The Times

Flat Five Studio has frequently evolved to keep track with the rapidly changing music industry. Now, as a new owner takes the helm, the studio is trying new things while still remaining grounded in the fundamental art of expert music production.

Zack Harold,Aug. 14, 2023

‘Where We Learned About Pepperoni Rolls’ — Uncovering The Story Of the Kanawha County Schools’ Pepperoni Roll

It starts — as all pepperoni rolls do — with the dough. But not just any dough. That’s one of the secrets of Kanawha schools’ pepperoni rolls. They are made using the same recipe as the delicious, soft and sweet hot rolls that accompany every school Thanksgiving dinner and Salisbury steak.

Lauren Griffin +,Aug. 07, 2023

In W.Va., Fur Trappers Adapt To Shifting Market

The price of untanned, or green fur, has been dropping steadily as public opinion and markets have turned away from fur products. Animal welfare groups have advocated against trapping and wearing furs. Supply and demand is also impacted by pop culture and fashion trends. International politics, like the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, interrupt trade routes and impact the ability to sell fur overseas.

Connie Bailey Kitts,Jul. 31, 2023

Ballad Of Muddy Water Endures And Brings Healing

The back-to-back horrific McDowell County floods of 2001 and 2002 were widely reported by print, radio and TV, but these outlets could not tell the story and bring healing like Alan Cathead Johnston’s ballad, Muddy Water, with healing effects that still endure.

Clara Haizlett,Jul. 24, 2023

Sounds Of The Mountains Part 2: Ukrainian Folk Musician Reflects On A Year Of Change 

Last year, Folkways Reporter Clara Haizlett met with Ukrainian tsymbalist Vsevolod Sadovyj over Zoom to understand the connection between the Appalachian hammer dulcimer and a Ukrainian folk instrument called the tsymbaly. At the time they met, it was just a few months after the war in Ukraine started. Haizlett caught up with him again this year to see how he and his family are doing.

Zack Harold,Jul. 03, 2023

Bamboo Fly Rods Are A Tie To Tradition, Made With Hand Tools And Time

When Lee Orr goes fly fishing, he doesn’t haul his rod in one of those racks on the front bumper of his pickup. He doesn’t wedge it into the back seat. He doesn’t throw it in the bed to rattle around with his tackle box and cooler. Orr keeps his fishing rods in a hard plastic case.

Clara Haizlett,Jun. 05, 2023

Tree Syrup Producers Experiment With Techniques And Traditions Amidst A Warming Winter

In late winter in Highland County, Virginia, maple syrup production is a visible part of the landscape. There are maple trees everywhere, adorned with metal buckets and laced with blue tubing.

Margaret McLeod Leef,May. 29, 2023

North Carolina’s Amy Ritchie Shares Her Love For The Art Of Taxidermy

For some people, taxidermy – preserving and mounting dead animals – can seem a little bit creepy. But for others, taxidermy is a serious art form that’s growing in popularity. One expert practitioner in Yadkin County, North Carolina enjoys sharing her work with others.

Zack Harold,May. 22, 2023

Making Faces: Behind A Face Jug’s Grin Lies A Long, Dark History

Folkways Reporter Zack Harold traced the story of Face Jugs. Examples of this type of art turn up everywhere, but some of them are connected to African Face Jugs, an art enslaved people brought with them to America.

Capri Cafaro,Mar. 27, 2023

Potato Candy: Chasing A Taste Memory In West Virginia

Lots of recipes get passed down and shared in Appalachia through handwritten note cards. Sometimes they’re stuffed in little tin boxes, others in loose leaf cookbooks. For the recipient of such a family heirloom, the recipes can be a way to connect with the past. But some of those old recipes don’t use exact measurements. So how do you know you’re getting it right? For Brenda Sandoval in Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia, it involved some trial and error, and a little help from a cousin.

Zack Harold,Mar. 20, 2023

Charleston’s Hottest Lunch Is A Spicy Eastern European Stew

General Steak and Seafood’s Yugoslavian stew has been a local favorite for 40 years.

Nicole Musgrave,Mar. 06, 2023

In Millstone, KY, Gospel Singers Save The Family Guitar And Find Comfort In Music After The Flood

On July 28, 2022 — the day of the flood — James and Ruby Boggs had about four and a half feet of water rushing through their two-story house. They live in an old coal camp called Millstone. It sits on the North Fork of the Kentucky River, and it was one of the communities hit hard by the flood.

Nicole Musgrave,Feb. 24, 2023

Juan Ríos Serves Up Frijoles Charros In Wellston, Ohio

Juan Ríos grew up in Mexico City where frijoles charros are ubiquitous. Frijoles charros — or charro beans — is a dish that originated in the ranching communities of rural northern Mexico. Growing up, it’s a dish that Ríos ate regularly. Yet when he opened a Mexican restaurant in Wellston over a decade ago, Ríos didn’t include frijoles charros on the menu. But recently, he’s started offering it.

Zack Harold,Feb. 17, 2023

Celebrating W.Va.’s Rail History On A One-87th Scale

Sometime in the 1970s, a group of model railroad enthusiasts in Charleston, West Virginia started getting together at the local Presbyterian Church to talk trains. As the club grew they found a bigger space where they could set up little dioramas for their engines and cars to traverse.

Zack Harold,Jan. 03, 2023

Toy Story Gets A Much Anticipated Sequel

With new owners, the Mountain Craft Shop Co. will bring traditional folk toys to a new generation of kids.

Capri Cafaro,Dec. 30, 2022

Columbus Washboard Company Produces Instruments Aimed To Meet Musicians’ Needs

The Columbus Washboard Company in Logan, Ohio is the last and only washboard factory in the United States. Founded in 1895, the company has more recently adapted its product to meet the varied needs of its customers, many of whom are musicians.

Margaret McLeod Leef,Dec. 23, 2022

Communion Wafers And Apple Butter Inspire Chefs’ Work At Lost Creek Farm

At Lost Creek Farm in Harrison County, West Virginia, husband-and-wife duo Mike Costello and Amy Dawson hone in on the stories behind recipes served at their famed farm-to-table dinners. Including a curious appetizer that's a mashup of two unassuming food traditions from their childhoods.

Connie Bailey Kitts,Dec. 23, 2022

Cookies For A Nativity Fast: Recipe With Ancient History Makes Annual Appearance In Appalachia

To prepare for Christmas, many Orthodox Christians fast for 40 days from eggs, meat and dairy. But that doesn’t mean they don’t enjoy something a little sweet. Ginny Chryssikos’ melomakarona fasting cookie brings a bit of ancient history to Appalachia.