City of Ravenswood, "The Forgotten War"

2019 Activities Report

What is the Humanities Council? The West Virginia Humanities Council is the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. We fund hundreds of programs each year in history and other fields of the humanities in communities across West Virginia at schools and colleges, libraries, museums, senior centers and other locations statewide.


In the last year we were awarded 52 grants and nine fellowships, and supported nearly 400 programs and events in 49 counties across the Mountain State.  Our 2019 McCreight Lecturer in the Humanities Denise Kiernan delivered one of the series’ most enthusiastically received talks, speaking from her book The Girls Of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II.  And the Council’s West Virginia Folklife Program mounted several “Folklife Apprenticeship” showcases at which audiences were treated to discussions and performances of traditional old-time fiddling and blues/black gospel song by our Master-Apprentice pairs.


Humanities Council grants and programs served tens of thousands of West Virginians through lectures, programs and events, the West Virginia Book Festival, scholarly research and travel, documentaries, publications and our online encyclopedia e-WV.


Grant Awards Statewide



Berkeley The West Virginia Council of Teachers of English, WVELA20: Identity, Voice & Community: Responsive Teaching In & Out of Schools
Berkeley Blue Ridge Community and Technical College, Booker T. Washington Trip to D.C.
Berkeley Karla  Hilliard, Appalachian Studies Conference
Boone Rev-Up Madison, Honoring Our Hidden Figures
Cabell Marshall University Research Corporation, Amicus Curiae Lecture Series on Constitutional Democracy
Cabell Marshall University Research Corporation, Native American Heritage Month Reading
Cabell Marshall University Research Corporation, Documentary Film-Making and Social Justice
Cabell Marshall University Research Corporation, The Dr. Carter G. Woodson Lyceum 2020 Institute for Black History Instruction
Cabell Vicki Stroeher, Benjamin Britten and the Art of Song
Cabell Michael Woods, The Business of Bigotry: John Van Evrie and the Rise of a Racist Publishing Empire
Cabell Laura Michele Diener, Seeress of the North: A biography of Sigrid Undset
Cabell Zelideth Rivas, Hawai‘i as Haven: Healing Peruvian Double Displacement
Fayette National Coal Heritage Area Authority, Coal Mining Heritage Festival
Fayette Catherine Moore, Union: An Appalachian Revolution
Greenbrier Greenbrier Historical Society, Mothers of Material: Women and Textile Production in Greenbrier Valley
Greenbrier Carnegie Hall, Inc., Appalachian Culture and Cuisine: Salt Rising Bread
Greenbrier Nora Venezky, Small Museum Association Conference
Hampshire Capon Bridge Ruritan Club, Focus on History, Capon Bridge Founders Day
Harrison Harrison County West Virginia Historical Society, Revealed: A Glimpse Behind the Curtain of Harrison County's Women
Jackson City of Ravenswood, "The Forgotten War"
Jefferson Shepherd University Foundation, 2019 Appalachian Heritage Writer's Award and Writer-in-Residence -  Everybody’s Street and Being Black in Appalachia: The Prose and Poetry of Crystal Wilkinson
Jefferson Contemporary American Theater Festival, Inc., 2019 Humanities at the Festival
Jefferson SAIL (Shepherdstown Area Independent Living), Sharing Stories Across Generations
Jefferson Shepherd University Foundation, Teaching About Congress and the Constitution in Critical Moments of U.S. History
Kanawha Friends of Blackwater, Tucker County Industrial History Project
Kanawha Kanawha Valley National Organization for Women, Centennial Celebration and Education on Women's Right to Vote
Kanawha Festiv-ALL Charleston, West Virginia, Inc., LGBTQ Appalachian Authors' Roundtable
Kanawha WV Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, WV Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Oral History Archives Project
Kanawha South Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau, Chemical Valley: Union Carbide and the Shaping of the Kanawha
Kanawha West Virginia Music Hall of Fame, WVMHoF 2020 Inductee multi-media vignettes
Kanawha West Virginia Public Broadcasting Foundation, Inc., Us & Them: Season 6
Kanawha West Virginia International Film Festival, King Coal
Kanawha Nathan Tauger, Residential Segregation in West Virginia, 1900-1968
Kanawha Renee Margocee, Craft and Legacy: Writing a History, Preserving a Field
Lewis Joseph Obidzinski, Tried and True: Reviewing~~Refining~~Improving
Logan Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, Sticks literary arts magazine publication, published author events, and magazine release events.
Marion Fairmont State University, The Dust We Leave Behind: Stories, Games, and Songs from another Time
Marion Tiffany Martin, Small Museum Association 2019 Conference
Mineral Friends of Ashby's Fort, Inc., Archaeological Exploration and Interpretation of Ashby’s Fort, 2019 season
Mingo The West Virginia Mine Wars Museum, Bridging the Generation Gap in Mine Wars History
Monongalia West Virginia University Research Corporation, Tree-Ring Dating of Historic Log Buildings in Monroe County, West Virginia
Monongalia West Virginia University Research Corporation, Presenting Eastern Woodland Indian Traditions to 4H Summer Campers
Monongalia West Virginia University Research Corporation, Seedy Talks: Morgantown Seed Preservation Library Speaker Series
Monongalia West Virginia Public Theatre, Post-show discussion for Storming Heaven: The Musical
Monongalia Morgantown Chapter of the National Organization for Women, Women's Suffrage and Voting Rights Commemoration
Monongalia Charlotte Hoelke, On Queer Happiness: Delight, Disgust, Doing, and Undoing
Monongalia Evan A. MacCarthy, The Voyage through Montaigne's Ears
Monongalia Alexander Burns, Consortium on the Revolutionary Era
Monongalia Charlotte Hoelke, Appalachian Studies Association Conference
Monongalia Paolo Davide Farah, American Society of International Law (ASIL) Annual Conference in Washington DC
Monongalia Ellen Rodrigues, 2019 National Women's Studies Association Annual Conference
Monroe Monroe County Historical Society, Interpreting the History of the African American Community of Monroe County, WV
Ohio Friends of Wheeling, Inc., Wheeling Civil War Symposium
Pocahontas Preservation Alliance of West Virginia, West Virginia Historic New Deal Trail Promotion
Preston Arthurdale Heritage, Inc., 1934 Administration Building Museum Exhibits
Randolph Davis & Elkins College, Humanities at Augusta: Celebrating Traditional Artists and Makers
Randolph West Virginia Railroad Museum, 100 Years of West Virginia Railroading: Then and Now - A Comparative Exhibit
Tucker Master Naturalists of West Virginia, A day with the original master naturalists.
Upshur West Virginia Wesleyan College, West Virginia Wesleyan MFA Visiting Writers Series
Wood Christopher Shrock, Epistemic Freedom: A Reidian Social Epistemology
Wood Christopher Shrock, Institute for the Study of Scottish Philosophy 2019 Conference: Tolerance, Sociability and Solidarity in Scottish Philosophy



Other Council-Funded Programs


The Council funded a Civil War symposium at Independence Hall in Wheeling as part of the city’s Sestercentennial celebration.


The West Virginia Folklife Program launched the Legends and Lore Roadside Marker Program in partnership with The William G. Pomeroy Foundation, awarding first round grants for roadside markers commemorating local folklore in Summers County and Greenbrier County.


Council board and staff “visited” Germany, Gaza, and Afghanistan via Hardy County’s Shared Studies Portal, a shipping container outfitted with immersive audiovisual technology.


Authors James Patterson, Salina Yoon, Anthony Harkins, and others appeared at the Humanities Council-sponsored West Virginia Book Festival.


Our annual McCreight Lecture in the Humanities featured Denise Kiernan, New York Times Bestselling author of The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II.


A minigrant brought the traveling Korean War Memorial to Ravenswood’s Washington Riverfront Park.


The 75th anniversary celebration of Harpers Ferry National Historical Park took place with support from the Humanities Council.


In 2019 the Humanities Council awarded 52 grants in 24 counties throughout the state.


A Council grant supported an archaeological dig at the French and Indian War site Ashby’s Fort in Mineral County.


Council folklorist Emily Hilliard contributed to the collection The Food We Eat, The Stories We Tell: Contemporary Appalachian Tables, published by Ohio University Press in October 2019.


Our Folklife program recorded interviews with 25 traditional artists, tradition bearers, and elders, in nine counties.


Our popular Little Lecture series included talks on contemporary literature from West Virginia, Philippi’s Adaland Mansion, controversies in modern art, and the ratification of the 19th amendment.


We presented 150 History Alive! programs in 43 counties with portrayals of historical figures such as Benjamin Franklin and Harriet Tubman.


Nine fellowships were awarded to scholars in locations around the state, including Ansted, Huntington Parkersburg, and elsewhere.


Council staff attended Friendraisers in conjunction with community events in Capon Bridge, Charleston, Huntington, and Lewisburg.


e-WV staff gave a tutorial to Cabell County West Virginia Studies teachers in Huntington, demonstrating the features of the website, its connected lesson plans, and how they can be used in the classroom.


The Council partnered with West Virginia Public Broadcasting on their new Inside Appalachia folkways reporting project.


With support from a Humanities Council major grant, the Amicus Curiae Lecture Series on Constitutional Democracy continued at Marshall University with presentations by historian Heather Cox Richardson, U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Robert L. Wilkins, former White House Director of Global Engagement Brett Bruen, and others.


We wrapped the first year of our Folklife Apprenticeship Program with two free public showcases at the Humanities Council’s MacFarland-Hubbard House.


“This Week in West Virginia History,” originating from e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia, airs twice daily on West Virginia Public Radio and appears as a weekly column in many newspapers.


The West Virginia Humanities Council board of directors is drawn from all parts of West Virginia. Click to see our list of board members and their locations.


Visit e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia


View our 2018 Activities Report here.