2021 Activities Report

What is the Humanities Council? The West Virginia Humanities Council, an independent nonpartisan nonprofit, is the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. We fund hundreds of educational programs each year in history, law, literature and language, and other fields of the humanities. We deliver and support programs in communities throughout West Virginia at schools and colleges, libraries, museums, senior centers and other locations. The National Endowment for the Humanities is our primary partner and our largest source of funds.


What has the Humanities Council done lately? In the last year, the West Virginia Humanities Council delivered grants and programs directly in 41 counties and digital programming in all 55 counties. Our virtual Little Lecture series, West Virginia Folklife documentaries and showcases, and Mysterious Mountains podcast were enjoyed by over 3,600 viewers and listeners in and beyond West Virginia.



2021 West Virginia Humanities Council Grant Awards


Barbour Adaland Mansion Development, Inc., emergency relief grant
Berkeley Blue Ridge Community and Technical College, Ain't I a Woman: Combatting Systematic Racism and Sexism, performance and discussion
Brooke Brooke County Library Foundation, emergency relief grant
Brooke Brooke County Library Foundation, Voices from the Past, audio tour
Cabell Carter G. Woodson Memorial Foundation, Inc., emergency relief grant
Cabell Clio Foundation, emergency relief grant
Cabell Positive People Association, emergency relief grant
Cabell Huntington Museum of Art, Huntington Sesquicentennial Exhibit
Cabell Alchemy Theatre Troupe, 2021 WV Shakespeare Festival
Cabell Alchemy Theatre Troupe, On The Road With WV Shakes: The WV Shakes Educational Series
Cabell Marshall University Research Corp., Labor Film Festival
Cabell Marshall University Research Corporation, A.E. Stringer Visiting Writers Series, lecture
Cabell Marshall University Research Corp., The Dr. Carter G. Woodson Lyceum's 2022 Institute for Black History Instruction
Fayette National Coal Heritage Area Authority, Battle of Blair Mountain Centennial, humanities programming
Fayette Fayette County Historical Society, Coal Valley Hospital, documentary
Gilmer Schuyler Chapman, From Living the Good Life to Whole Living: The Neoliberal Turn and the Back-to-the-Land Movements of Appalachia, fellowship
Greenbrier Greenbrier Historical Society, emergency relief grant
Greenbrier Greenbrier Historical Society, The Wagon House Exhibit
Hampshire Fort Edwards Foundation, emergency relief grant
Hancock Weirton Area Museum & Cultural Center, emergency relief grant
Hancock Weirton Area Museum & Cultural Center, Weirton Steel Employees Bulletin Online Archive
Hardy Hardy County Tour and Crafts Association, emergency relief grant
Hardy Hardy County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Robert Higgins House Museum, Implementation of the Master Plan
Harrison Harrison County West Virginia Historical Society, emergency relief grant
Jefferson Shepherd University Foundation, 2021 Appalachian Heritage Writer's Award, Writer-in-Residence Project, "Other People’s Shoes: Fiction, Empathy, and the Writing of Marie Manilla”
Jefferson Shepherd University, Voices from the Misty Mountains, Reclaiming Our Story for a New Appalachia, teacher institute
Jefferson Shepherd University Foundation, Congress, Citizenship, and the World: Teaching about Congress and Foreign Policy in American History, teacher institute
Kanawha West Virginia Public Broadcasting Foundation, Inc., emergency relief grant
Kanawha Friends of Blackwater, emergency relief grant
Kanawha West Virginia Archeological Society, emergency relief grant
Kanawha Thanks! Plain and Simple, Inc., emergency relief grant
Kanawha West Virginia Music Hall of Fame, emergency relief grant
Kanawha Craik-Patton House, emergency relief grant
Kanawha West Virginia Music Hall of Fame, The WV Museum of Music, exhibit
Kanawha Friends of Blackwater, Davis Historic Signs
Kanawha West Virginia Public Broadcasting Foundation, Inc., Us & Them: Season 8, podcast
Kanawha West Virginia International Film Festival, The Quiet Zone, documentary
Kanawha Festiv-ALL Charleston, West Virginia, Inc., Appalachian Authors' Roundtable
Kanawha The Library Foundation of Kanawha County, Inc., Celtic Calling
Lewis The Museum of American Glass in West Virginia, emergency relief grant
Lewis The City of Weston Historic Landmark Commission, emergency relief grant
Marion Frank & Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center, emergency relief grant
Marion Pricketts Fort Memorial Foundation, emergency relief grant
Marion Pricketts Fort Memorial Foundation, Pricketts Fort's Artist in Residence Program
Marshall Marshall County Historical Society, emergency relief grant
Mason Fort Randolph Committee, emergency relief grant
McDowell Jack Caffrey Arts & Cultural Center, emergency relief grant
Mineral Friends of Ashby's Fort, Inc., emergency relief grant
Mingo West Virginia Mine Wars Museum, emergency relief grant
Mingo Big Laurel Learning Center, Solidarity Supper, Storytelling, and Songs
Monongalia West Virginia Association of Museums, emergency relief grant
Monongalia William Brustein, Phantom Enemies: Anti-Semitism Without Jews, Germany, France, and the U.S., fellowship
Monongalia Nancy Caronia, You Are My Best Maid’: Gender and Diasporic Italian Women in Denise Giardina’s “Storming Heaven,” fellowship
Monongalia Kirk Hazen Ph.D., Sociolinguistic Variation and Change in Appalachia, fellowship
Monongalia María Alejandra Pérez, Yearned Geographies: Caves, Archive, and Kin in Venezuelan Speleology, fellowship
Monongalia Erin Carlson, Place and its power: Working towards a just economic transition for rural Appalachians, fellowship
Monongalia Manal Alnatour, The Intersecting Lives and Work of Syrian Women Refugees in Connecticut, fellowship
Monongalia Amy Thompson, Attitudes toward and accessibility of languages other than English in WV, fellowship
Monongalia West Virginia University Research Corporation, The West Virginia Feminist Activist Collection
Monongalia West Virginia University Research Corporation, Indigenous Appalachia, exhibition and programming
Monongalia West Virginia Association of Museums, Museums, Labor, and Social Activism, symposium
Monongalia West Virginia University Research Corporation, Food Justice in Appalachia, exhibition and programming
Monongalia Scotts Run Museum and Trail, Inc., Preserving the Stories of Scotts Run, West Virginia, booklet
Monongalia Ching-Hsuan Wu, Association for Educational Communications and Technology, travel grant
Nicholas The Richwood Area Chamber of Commerce, History Comes Alive in Richwood, living history presentations
Nicholas The Richwood Area Chamber of Commerce, Unlocking the Stories of How the Timber Industry Helped Build Richwood, exhibits and programming
Ohio WALS Foundation, emergency relief grant
Ohio Ohio County Public Library, Lunch With Books Presents Author Silas House
Pocahontas Pocahontas County Libraries & Visitor Information Centers, Pocahontas County outdoor waysides and traveling exhibits
Pocahontas The Pocahontas County Opera House Foundation, Opera House Story Sessions, video series
Preston Arthurdale Heritage, Inc., emergency relief grant
Preston Arthurdale Heritage, Inc., New Interpretive Technologies at Arthurdale Heritage, Inc.
Randolph Historic Beverly Preservation, emergency relief grant
Randolph Randolph County Historical Society - Beverly, emergency relief grant
Randolph The Augusta Heritage Center of Davis & Elkins, emergency relief grant
Randolph Davis & Elkins College, Humanities at Augusta: Celebrating American Folklife and Folk Arts
Randolph West Virginia Railroad Museum, Oral History Program
Randolph West Virginia Railroad Museum, Coal and the Railroad, exhibit
Randolph Historic Beverly Preservation, Untold Stories: People of Color in Beverly and Randolph County, exhibit and programming
Summers Campbell Flannagan Murrell House Museum, Black History in Summers County West Virginia, traveling exhibit
Taylor Taylor County Historical & Genealogical Soc., emergency relief grant
Tucker Voices From the Earth, Inc., emergency relief grant
Tucker Snow Sports Museum of West Virginia, emergency relief grant
Wayne Heritage Farm Museum and Village, Huntington and the C&O Railroad Exhibit





Other Council-Funded Activities


In addition, the Council sponsored the Smithsonian exhibit Crossroads: Change in Rural America from October 2021 through July 2022.

The Council expanded its 2020 audiobook series, “Mysterious Mondays,” into the first season of Mysterious Mountains, a podcast that explores the “West Virginia of the imagination” through discussions of literature, folktales, and local legend.  The podcast’s first season features interviews with experts and scholars for a selection of annotated readings of the Uncle Abner detective stories by West Virginia author Melville Davisson Post.


e-WV, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online, added 21 new entries, was accessed by over 170,000 users, and recorded 702,648 million page views in FY2021.


The Council completed its first “institutional intern” sponsorship through a collaboration with West Virginia University.  Stone Schaldenbrand, our 2021 intern, developed content for our legacy programs including Mysterious Mountains and e-WV.  The Council welcomes inquiries regarding for-credit internships from any higher education institution’s intern placement program.


The Council awarded over $550,000 in ARP Act emergency relief funding to 34 cultural organizations and institutions in 22 counties.


Nine fellowships were awarded to scholars at West Virginia University and Glenville State College.


The Council launched a new bi-monthly publication, The Broad Side, which features personal stories, book and podcast recommendations, and short dispatches from around the state.


The second class of master-apprentice pairs from the NEA-funded West Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship Program marked the completion of their program activities through a series of Virtual Apprenticeship Showcases, available to view on the West Virginia Folklife Program’s dedicated YouTube channel.


In 2021 the Humanities Council awarded 44 grants throughout the state to support humanities programming.


In partnership with The William G. Pomeroy Foundation, the Council supported ongoing installation of new Legends & Lore Roadside Markers bringing the total number of markers in West Virginia to 14.


Council grants supported humanities programming throughout the state celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Blair Mountain.


The Council’s original direct programing series Little Lectures was presented virtually again this year. The 2021 season reached over 2,000 viewers across social media platforms.


With the help from the Council’s ARP Act emergency relief grants, organizations and institutions such as the Museum of American Glass, Fort Edwards, and the Taylor County Historical and Genealogical Society were able to continue operations despite revenue loss due to the pandemic.


The Council awarded funding for new museum exhibits at the Greenbrier Historical Society, Huntington Museum of Art, Heritage Farm Museum, Richwood Heritage Center, and WVU Libraries.


The West Virginia Folklife Program’s digital archives, “The West Virginia Folklife Collection”, is now accessible online through the West Virginia and Regional History Center at West Virginia University Libraries. The goal of The West Virginia Folklife Collection is to create a publicly accessible archive of past, current, and future West Virginia folklife, folk and traditional arts, and cultural heritage.


Visit e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia



View our 2020 Activities Report here.

2021 American Rescue Plan (ARP) Relief Grants

In 2021, the West Virginia Humanities Council awarded more than $550,000 in American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act Emergency Relief Grants to West Virginia cultural institutions to help ensure staff retention and program delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic.

List of Recipients »

Board of Directors

The Council's board of directors is drawn from all parts of West Virginia. 


Click to see a list of our board members and their locations »