West Virginians’ Creative Responses to COVID-19: A Digital Exhibit

In April 2020, in the midst of West Virginia’s Stay at Home Order, the West Virginia Folklife Program issued a call for West Virginians to share documentation of how they were creatively responding to the COVID-19 crisis, through music, stories, writing, craft, art, memes, mask making, and more.

Over the next year, we received documents, photos, and videos featuring homemade masks, quilts, doll clothes, and hooked rugs, original poems and compositions, parody songs, paintings, home herbal apothecaries, and even the Mothman statue. These submissions demonstrated the various ways Mountain State residents were processing, documenting, and occupying their time during the COVID-19 pandemic.

West Virginia Folklife Presents Virtual Apprenticeship Showcase: “Sheep-to-Shawl”- The Art of Raising Sheep & Creating Fiber Arts

Please join us on Thursday, June 17th at noon, for a virtual apprenticeship showcase featuring sheep farmer and textile artist Kathy Evans of Preston County and apprentice Margaret Bruning of Randolph County. The pair, who recently completed their 2020-2021 West Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship year, will screen a video about their apprenticeship in sheep husbandry and fiber arts and hold a Q&A.

West Virginia Folklife Presents Virtual Apprenticeship Showcase: Traditional Appalachian Herbalism

Please join us on Wednesday, June 9th at noon, for a virtual apprenticeship showcase featuring herbalist Leenie Hobbie of Hampshire County and apprentice Jon Falcone of Hardy County. The pair, who recently completed their 2020-2021 West Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship year, will screen their slideshow “Traditional Appalachian Herbalism in the Time of COVID,” lead a guided indoor wild herb walk, and hold a Q&A.

2020 Folklife Apprenticeship Feature: Ed Daniels & Clara Haizlett, Agroforestry/ Forest Farming

Ed Daniels of Mill Creek is leading an apprenticeship in agroforestry/forest farming with Clara Haizlett of Wellsburg. A ginseng digger and cultivator since he was young, Daniels and his wife Carole own and operate Shady Grove Farm in Randolph County where they grow ginseng, goldenseal, ramps, cohosh, and industrial hemp, among other plants. Haizlett, who was an intern in The Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage’s “American Ginseng: Local Knowledge, Global Roots” project, plans to start a forest farm on her family’s land in Brooke County.

Field Notes: An Interview with Rev. Ronald English

Rev. Ronald English of Charleston, West Virginia was born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1944. He grew up in the community surrounding the Ebenezer Baptist Church of Atlanta and his family was close with the family of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. English is a graduate of Morehouse College and served as ministerial assistant to Drs. Martin Luther King Jr. and Sr. He delivered a prayer at the funeral of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.