The West Virginia Folklife Program, a project of the West Virginia Humanities Council, is dedicated to the documentation, preservation, presentation, and support of West Virginia’s vibrant cultural heritage and living traditions. West Virginia Folklife is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Folk & Traditional Arts Program. The West Virginia Folklife Program employs West Virginia’s first state folklorist to carry out this work.
Often defined as the “art of everyday life,” folklife refers to art and culture that is based in and reflective of traditional knowledge and connection to community.
The mission of the West Virginia Folklife Program is to document the diverse folklife traditions of West Virginia and advance understanding and appreciation of traditional culture through the development of public programs, publications, and other media.
West Virginia Folklife also seeks to reinforce cultural heritage and living traditions by supporting and expanding opportunities for traditional artists, performers, and tradition bearers; assisting communities and community scholars throughout the state in the development of plans and projects to strengthen their own cultural traditions; and contributing and facilitating collaboration among those individuals, organizations, colleges and universities, and state government programs engaged in folklife activities.