50th Anniversary

50 Years Bridging Tradition and Tomorrow

The West Virginia Humanities Council is celebrating our 50th anniversary!



Since 1974, we’ve been committed to telling the stories that make us, as West Virginians, who we are. On top of that, we’ve worked to make the humanities accessible to as many people as possible, funding an expansive range of programs and projects, from exhibits and documentaries to books, workshops, and even archaeology digs. Much has changed since our early years, but our motivating principle—our belief in the critical importance of the humanities—has not.


These are just a few of the ways we’ve spent the past five decades bridging West Virginia’s traditions with its tomorrow:


  • In 1981, we launched our McCreight Lecture in the Humanities, a free annual event that continues bringing nationally recognized speakers to West Virginia...
  • In 1995, Council funds helped produce West Virginia: A Film History, a 6.5-hour multi-part documentary about our beloved Mountain State...
  • We released the West Virginia Encyclopedia in 2006 and took it online as e-WV in 2010...
  • And in 2015, the Council became the home of the first official West Virginia state folklorist, a full-time position dedicated to sharing our vibrant cultural history and preserving it for generations to come...


Check out our full timeline for more fun facts about The West Virginia Humanities Council’s history!


When we gather to read, watch a film, analyze a painting, or discuss our history, we make sense of what it means to be human. We connect with people whose lives and upbringings differ from our own. We face our past and leave with a better understanding of our society and ourselves. The humanities empower us with creativity, knowledge, and empathy. They enable us to dream and build brighter futures, for West Virginia and the world.


We are proud of our continued commitment to the humanities and excited to celebrate our 50th anniversary with everyone who helps contribute to our mission. This year, we’ll be traveling all over the state, hosting dozens of free events to celebrate our collective impact, share information about our work, and connect with West Virginians like you!


Learn more about our work to make the humanities accessible for every West Virginian.

Explore the timeline »

Postcard Series

In honor of our 50th Anniversary, we've created a special postcard series featuring West Virginia culture and Council history.

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Mountain State Trivia

Host a West Virginia-themed trivia night to celebrate 50 years of the West Virginia Humanities Council.

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Find out what events are happening in your part of the state.

See Events »


We need your support to fund the next 50 years.

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