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 to 41 counties, and digital programming in all 55 counties. Our virtual Little Lectures, West Virginia Folklife documentaries and showcases, and Mysterious Mountains podcast were enjoyed by over 2,100 viewers and listeners in and beyond West Virginia. All told, Council grants and programs served 374,000 audience members in 2022—a number equal to one in every five West Virginians.
|Berkeley County Board of Education, Discovering and Sharing the Greatest Stories Never Told, interactive play, discussions, and curriculum
|Blue Ridge Community and Technical College, Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, bus trip and lecture
|Brooke County Library Foundaton, Through the Eye of Those Who Lived Through It, lecture, reading, and discussion program
|Stefan Schoeberlein, C19: Reconstructions, travel grant
|Marshall University Research Corp., Testament: Recovering Identity after War, discussion groups and public presentations
|Stefan Schoeberlein, Translating Tom Kromer’s “Waiting for Nothing” (1935) into German, fellowship
|Alchemy Theatre Troupe, On The Road With WV Shakes, Shakespeare festival and school programming
|Marshall University Research Corp., The A.E. Stringer Visiting Writers Series, author presentations
|Glenville State University Research Corporation, Documenting West Virginia Traditional Music Through Tintype Photography, exhibit and lectures
|Historic Shepherdstown Commission, Separate but Equal?, exhibit
|Shepherd University Foundation, 2022 Appalachian Heritage Writer's Award and Writer-in-Residence Project
|Contemporary American Theater Festival, Inc., 2022 Humanities at the Festival, discussions
|David B. Gordon, Fall 2022 Seminar Series, travel grant
|Friends of Happy Retreat, The Enslaved Community at Happy Retreat, 1799-1837, research and public programming
|Shepherd University Foundation, Voices from the Misty Mountains Teacher Institute
|Jefferson County Historic Landmarks Commission, Heritage Tourism Brochures
|West Virginia Music Hall of Fame, The Skyline Bluegrass Festival: Peace, Love and Bluegrass Music 1976-1985, exhibit
|Festiv-ALL Charleston, West Virginia, Inc., Authors' Roundtable
|Thanks! Plain and Simple, Inc., West Virginia Children Prepare, presentations and in-school humanities activities
|Supreme Court of Appeals of WV, West Virginia Courts Learning Center, interactive learning exhibit
|Crystal Good, Annual Meeting of the American Folklore Society, travel grant
|West Virginia Public Broadcasting Foundation, Inc., Us & Them: Season 9, podcast
|Step by Step, Inc., In Their Own Country Online, website
|West Virginia Music Hall of Fame, 2023 Inductee Multi-Media Vignettes, media project
|Tamarack Foundation, Inc., WV Literary Hall of Recognition Exhibit Planning Project
|Fiona Taylor, Society for American Archaeology 87th Annual Meeting, travel grant
|The City of Weston Historic Landmark Commission, Weston African American Oral History Project
|Jennifer Walker, Annual Meeting of the American Musicological Society, travel grant
|Marshall County Historical Society, World War II Exhibit at Cockayne Farmstead, exhibit
|West Virginia Mine Wars Museum, Courage in the Hollers: Mapping the Miners' Struggle for a Union, planning project
|West Virginia Mine Wars Museum, 2022-23 Solidarity Gallery Exhibit
|West Virginia Mine Wars Museum, Commemorating the 5th Anniversary of the WV Teachers' Strike, archives, exhibit, and oral history collection
|Sheena Harris, A Journey to Justice: Olivia America Davidson Washington's Story, fellowship
|Jay Krehbiel, Public Support for the Rule of Law: Personal Convictions and Institutional Constraints, fellowship
|Janet Snyder, Wall-painting and stone sculpture in Medieval Normandy, fellowship
|James F. Siekmeier, A History of the U.S. "War on Drugs" in the Andes in the Late 20th Century, fellowship
|Christina Fattore, Happily Ever After? Investigating The Political Actions of The Romancelandia Community, 2016-2020, fellowship
|West Virginia University Research Corporation, Historicizing Heritage, website and documentation
|West Virginia University Research Corporation, Callahan Lecture 2022: Dr. Jason Coy
|Elizabeth James, Katharine Pearson Woods, “Metzerott, Shoemaker”, and Her Baltimore Literary Community, fellowship
|Sonia Zarco-Real, Neo-coloniality and Resistance Across the Hispanic Atlantic, fellowship
|West Virginia University Research Corporation, Rebuilding Confidence in Elections through Non-Partisan Community Dialogue, presentations and discussions
|West Virginia University Research Corporation, Creating a Digital Collection for the Chappell Collection of Folk Music
|The Pocahontas County Opera House Foundation, Story Sessions Phase III, podcast and archiving project
|Yew Mountain Center, Forest Listening Rooms Workshop at the Yew Mountain Center
|The Augusta Heritage Center of Davis & Elkins, Humanities at Augusta: Celebrating American Folklife and Folk Arts
|Kump Education Center, Kump House at the Crossroads, exhibit
|Summers County Historic Landmark Commission, Civic Engagement on the Revolutionary Frontier, booklet and discussions
|Friends of Blackwater, Henry Gassaway Davis and the WV Central & Pittsburg Railroad, Phase One, documentation and interpretation
|RenewAll, Inc., Stories of Central City: Oral History Project
Other Council-Funded Programs
A $137,385 grant from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs allowed the Council to extend the West Virginia National Cemeteries Project with funding for Grafton High School students to write biographies of veterans interred at our state’s two National Cemeteries. A newly developed curriculum will be available for classrooms statewide.
The West Virginia Folklife Collection, housed at West Virginia University Libraries, received the Brenda McCallum Prize, sponsored by the Archives and Libraries Section of the American Folklore Society to recognize innovative works that further the preservation and use of folklife archival collections.
The Council awarded 42 grants and seven fellowships throughout the state to support humanities programming.
Sponsored by the Council, the Smithsonian exhibit Crossroads: Change in Rural America concluded its tour of the state, reaching more than 15,000 visitors at seven sites in rural areas.
The Council’s 2022 McCreight Lecture in the Humanities brought award-winning journalists and best-selling authors James and Deborah Fallows to the University of Charleston.
Through the NEH initiative “A More Perfect Union,” the Council curated a special civics-themed Little Lectures series, developed a “Civics Toolkit” resource for K-12 teachers and students, updated its popular “Born of Rebellion: West Virginia Statehood” traveling exhibit, and provided nearly $25,000 in grants for projects in civics education.
e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia online added 11 new entries, was accessed by 262,436 users, and recorded 588,085 page views.
The West Virginia Shakespeare Festival, based at Shepherd University, expanded into schools and community centers with funding from a Council major grant.
In-person Little Lectures returned to the historic MacFarland-Hubbard House in Charleston. The presentations were also filmed for online audiences.
The Council hosted an event with Monongalia County native William Brewer at Taylor Books in Charleston for the release of his novel The Red Arrow.
Making Our Future: Visionary Folklore and Everyday Culture, written by former State Folklorist Emily Hilliard, was published by the University of North Carolina Press.
Council grants funded new museum exhibits in Moundsville, Matewan, and Elkins; programming at the Brooke County Public Library, Glenville State University, the Tucker County Courthouse, and the West Virginia Folklife Center in Fairmont; and oral histories documenting stories from Central City in Huntington and the Weston Colored School.
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.
View our 2021 Activities Report here .