Introducing Jennie Williams, the State Folklorist of West Virginia

A version of this piece will be published in the Summer 2022 issue of Goldenseal, a print magazine produced by the WV Department of Arts, Culture and History. My name is Jennie Williams, and I’m thrilled to join the West Virginia Humanities Council and direct the West Virginia Folklife Program as the new state folklorist….

West Virginia Folklife Presents Virtual Apprenticeship Showcase: Old-Time Fiddle & Banjo

Please join us on Thursday, September 23 at noon for a virtual showcase featuring apprenticeship pair in old-time banjo of Central West Virginia, Kim Johnson & Cody Jordan of Kanawha County, and old-time fiddle apprenticeship pair Joe Herrmann & Dakota Karper of Hampshire County. The pairs will perform a concert and host a Q&A. The event is free and open to the public, but attendees should register here.

West Virginia Folklife Presents Virtual Apprenticeship Showcase: Forest Farming

Please join us on Wednesday, September 22 at noon for a virtual apprenticeship showcase featuring forest farmers Ed & Carole Daniels of Randolph County and apprentice Clara Haizlett of Brooke County. The team, who recently completed their 2020-2021 West Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship year, will present on their apprenticeship cultivating American ginseng and other forest botanicals, and hold a Q&A.

New Film Series with the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress Explores Food Traditions in West Virginia

In partnership with the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, West Virginia Folklife is excited to launch the new Homegrown Foodways in West Virginia film series, presenting four short films that explore a range of food traditions in the state. The series will be produced by West Virginia farmers, chefs, and foodways storytellers Mike Costello and Amy Dawson of Lost Creek Farm in Harrison County.

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.