Happy West Virginia Day 2020, from the West Virginia Humanities Council!
June 20 is always a lively day at the Council. We open our doors to the general public for live music and storytelling, living history performances, informal conversation, local refreshments, and personal tours of our headquarters, Charleston’s historic MacFarland-Hubbard House.
Even in such an abnormal year, we couldn’t imagine not hosting an event in honor of the Mountain State’s 157th birthday. And so we’re very pleased to host, for the first time in our history, a “Virtual West Virginia Day” celebration for our friends and members around the state.
Begin by taking a tour of our historic headquarters through our new online exhibit, “The MacFarland-Hubbard House: Its History and Renovation.” Below that link, you’ll find some examples of the good work the Council produces and supports, in the form of documentary films free to view online, digital humanities projects to explore, and more.
As for folklife content, below we’re sharing performances by our West Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship pairs, featuring West Virginia old-time music, as well as a pepperoni roll-making tutorial—all recorded especially for the Council’s virtual West Virginia Day 2020 celebration.
Find the Virtual West Virginia Day homepage and follow us on the Humanities Council (@wvhumanities) and Folklife Program’s (@wvfolklife) Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram throughout the weekend for all of this content, “test your WV knowledge” quizzes drawn from e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia, and much, much more.
Master fiddler Joe Herrmann and apprentice Dakota Karper are participants in the 2020-2021 West Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship Program. Joe Herrmann of Paw Paw, West Virginia in Hampshire County is a founding member of the Critton Hollow String Band and has taught old-time fiddle to many private students and at the Augusta Heritage Center. Dakota Karper, a Hampshire County native and resident of Capon Bridge, West Virginia, has been playing old-time fiddle for 20 years and runs The Cat and the Fiddle Music School. Herrmann and Karper apprenticed together previously in 2004 (when Karper was 11) through Augusta Heritage Center’s former Apprenticeship Program. In this video, they play “Rocky Mountain Goat,” a tune from Greenbrier County fiddler Mose Coffman.
Ever wanted to learn how to make pepperoni rolls? Mike Costello & Amy Dawson of Lost Creek Farm teach us how in this tutorial video. Originating with Italian miner families in northern West Virginia in the 1920s, pepperoni rolls are now a beloved West Virginia food, popular across the state.
Doug Van Gundy, of Elkins, is an eighth-generation West Virginian who learned old-time fiddle from Greenbrier County fiddler Mose Coffman through the 1993 Augusta Heritage Folk Arts Apprenticeship Program. Van Gundy was a master artist in the 2018 West Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship Program, leading an apprenticeship with Annie Stroud in old-time fiddle of the Greenbrier Valley. In this video, he plays “Turkey Creek,” a tune he learned from Mose Coffman.
Master banjo player Kim Johnson of Dunbar and apprentice Cody Jordan of Charleston are participants in the 2020-2021 West Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship Program. Banjo player Johnson began playing with fiddler Wilson Douglas in 1979 and has played with and learned from many acclaimed West Virginia old-time musicians including Frank George and Lester McCumbers. In this video, they play “Jordan is a Hard Road to Travel,” learned from Frank George.