Foklife Apprenticeship Showcase
Photo by Michael Keller

2023 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. With support from the State of West Virginia, 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 latelyIn the last year, the West Virginia Humanities Council delivered grants and programs directly to 49 counties, and digital programming in all 55 counties. In 2023, Council grants and programs served 192,000 audience members, and an additional 284,000 e-WV users.




2023 West Virginia Humanities Council Grant Awards


Berkeley Martinsburg Berkeley County NAACP, The Sumner-Ramer Memorial School: Preserving the History of Black American Education in Martinsburg, West Virginia, documentary film


Cabell Mary Anna Ball, Giselle Our Contemporary: Reconstruction, Conservation, and Preservation, travel


Cabell Marshall University Research Corp., Amicus Curiae Lecture Series on Constitutional Democracy


Cabell Marshall University Research Corp., War Comes Home: Connecting Military Experiences across Time and Space, discussion groups and public presentation


Cabell Heritage Farm Foundation, 50 Years on The Farm, exhibit


Cabell Robin Riner, International Pragmatics Association Conference, travel


Cabell Alchemy Theatre Troupe, 7th Annual WV Shakespeare Festival


Cabell Marshall University Research Corp., Marshall University's A. E. Stringer Visiting Writers Series


Fayette Harmony for Hope, Inc., Mount Hope Historic Walking Trail


Gilmer Glenville State University Research Corp., The Glenville State Emeriti and Deans Acknowledgment Project, history project


Hampshire Capon Bridge Ruritan Club, Focus on History, Capon Bridge Founders Day Festival, history presentations


Jackson Faith Walker, American Association for State and Local History Annual Conference, travel


Jefferson Shepherd University Foundation, Appalachia and the Natural World: The Writing of Ann Pancake, Appalachian Heritage Writer's Award, Writer-in-Residence Project, and West Virginia State Common Read Program


Jefferson Contemporary American Theater Festival, Inc., 2023 Humanities at the Festival, discussions


Jefferson Shepherd University Foundation, The Art of Storytelling: Teaching and Telling in the Classroom across the Curriculum, teacher institute


Kanawha Gordon Simmons, Public Worker Organizing in West Virginia, 1969-2019, fellowship


Kanawha West Virginia Public Broadcasting Foundation, Inc., Us & Them "Diminishing Trust" Live Event Project, presentations and discussions


Kanawha Kanawha Salines Foundation Inc., Historical Archeology Field School at J.Q. Dickinson Salt Works


Kanawha Friends of Blackwater, Moonshine Memories: Law, Land, Livelihood, and the Curious Case of Ab Crossland, research and presentations


Kanawha Festiv-ALL Charleston, West Virginia, Inc., Author's Roundtable


Kanawha Hallie Chillag, Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy’s Oxford Summer Institute for Curriculum Development in Critical Contemporary Antisemitism Studies, travel


Kanawha West Virginia Public Broadcasting Foundation, Inc., Us & Them Season 10, podcast


Kanawha West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Inc., A Melding of Cultures: West Virginia Symphony Orchestra State Tour, presentations and discussions


Kanawha Step by Step, Inc., Engaging West Virginians with Our Literary Heritage, promotion


Lincoln Appalachian Arts Academy, Queer for Fear, screening and discussion


Marion Jennifer Walker, Hector Berlioz's Requiem, fellowship


Lewis The City of Weston Historic Landmark Commission, Weston African American Oral History Project


Marion Jennifer Walker, Annual Meeting of the American Musicological Society, travel grant


Marion Lydia Warren, Appalachian Studies Association Conference, travel


Marion Tiffany Martin, Appalachian Studies Association Conference, travel


Marshall Basil Stewart, Society for American Archaeology Annual Meeting, travel


Mercer Air Force Association, Chuck Yeager Chapter WV, Yeager Humanities Seminar


Mineral Friends of Ashby's Fort, Inc., Events '23 Natural Philosophy


Mineral Friends of Ashby's Fort, Inc., Jim Morris & the Critton Hollow String Band, presentation


Mingo West Virginia Mine Wars Museum, Camp Solidarity, tours and panel discussions


Mingo West Virginia Mine Wars Museum, A Window into History: Upgrading the Bloody Mingo Exhibit in the West Virginia Mine Wars Museum


Monongalia Tania de Miguel Magro, The Renaissance Society of America San Juan 2023 Conference, travel


Monongalia Sean Lawrence, Arcadia Lost: German Money and Ottoman Nature at the End of Empire (1870-1923), fellowship


Monongalia Austin McCoy, The Quest for Democracy: Black Power, the New Left, and Progressive Politics in the Post-Industrial Midwest, fellowship


Monongalia Mason Moseley, We Are the Water: Mobilizing the Masses for Environmental Justice, fellowship


Monongalia Enkeshi El-Amin, Remembering the Bottom Through The Street and Feets of The Neighborhood: How Former Residents of Knoxville's Destroyed Black Neighborhood Remember Their Place, fellowship


Monongalia Rhonda L. Reymond, Joseph E. Dodd and the state of West Virginia's participation in the American Negro Exposition of 1940 in Chicago, fellowship


Monongalia Brooke Durham, Suspicious Friendships: The 1957 Sensational Trial of Welfare and Development Workers in Revolutionary Algeria, fellowship


Monongalia West Virginia University Research Corp., That Dark and Vast Sea: A Clandestine History of Race, Capitalism and Rebel Sailors in the Afro-European Maritime World, presenatation and discussion


Monongalia West Virginia University Research Corp., This Land was Already Loved: Native Leaders discuss their Nation's Connection to Place, public forum


Monongalia Emily Morrell, Appalachian Studies Association Conference, travel


Monongalia Montana Williamson, John Nau Conference on Texas History, travel


Monongalia Nancy Caronia, American Archives: Virtuality, Memory, Media Archaeology, V Crisa International Conference, travel


Monongalia Crystal Wimer, Truth Builds Community, travel


Ohio Grow Ohio Valley, Wheeling Community Cookbook Project, folklife book


Pocahontas West Virginia Foreign Language Teachers Association, Interculturality: The Heart of Language Learning, conference


Preston Arthurdale Heritage, Inc., Agriculture and Industry Exhibition


Preston Elizabeth Satterfield, AASLH 2023 Annual Conference 'I, too, am America', travel


Preston Katharine Donnelly, American Association for State and Local History, travel


Randolph Kump Education Center, Wild, Wonderful Woods: Celebrating our Forest Heritage, exhibit


Randolph Preservation Alliance of West Virginia, Inc., West Virginia Cemetery Preservation Workshop Series


Randolph Appalachian Forest Heritage Area, Discover the Appalachian Forest, exhibit plan


Summers Rae Garringer, Country Queers: The Story of a DIY Rural Queer Oral History Project, fellowship


Wayne Marie Cummings, Archaeological Institute of America Annual Meeting, travel


Wood Civil War Roundtable of the Mid-Ohio Valley, Unthinkable Outcomes From the Battle of Port Royal, presentation



Other Council-Funded Programs




Council grants funded the Indigenous Appalachia exhibit at WVU Libraries and a seminar featuring native leaders discussing their Nations' connection to place.


With a grant to Marshall University, the Council supported veteran discussion groups at veteran centers throughout West Virginia.


Council grants supported lectures by authors John Stauffer, Ann Pancake, Neema Avashia, Sonali Chakravarti, and others.


The Council awarded 15 travel grants to representatives at Arthurdale, the Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center, the Great Bend Museum, Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex, and elsewhere to attend conferences and seminars.


Council grants supported humanities programming throughout the state at venues including the Yew Mountain Center in Hillsboro, Wayne High School, Canaan Valley State Park, the Kump Education Center in Elkins, Ashby’s Fort Museum, Blennerhassett Museum, and elsewhere.




The Council concluded the second year of our West Virginia National Cemeteries Project by developing a curriculum guide (available on our website).


Our annual McCreight Lecture in the Humanities featured author, journalist, and tech humanist Cory Doctorow.


The Council added three new characters to the History Alive! roster: frontiersman Thomas Ingles, workers’ rights advocate and the first woman presidential cabinet member Frances Perkins, and Minnie Reed, a “composite” of several 20th-century West Virginia folk singers.


The Council’s revised and redesigned Born of Rebellion: West Virginia Statehood and the Civil War traveling exhibit debuted at West Virginia Wesleyan as part of a statewide tour.


Our Little Lectures series featured presenters Ilene Evans, Rose Agnes Rolls Cousins: Black Dreams in Blue Skies; Scott MacKenzie, The Fifth Border State: Slavery, Emancipation, and the Formation of West Virginia; Mary Beth Brown, Creating a Path towards Equal Education: The Role of Border States in Desegregation; and Steven Cody Straley, A Union State’s Confederate Idol: Stonewall Jackson, Confederate Monuments, and the Lost Cause in West Virginia.


West Virginia Folklife Program


The Council maintained its partnership with the Mid Atlantic Arts’ Central Appalachian Living Traditions program to help promote grant opportunities and to help facilitate the CALT Folk Arts and Culture Community Anchors Initiative in Scotts Run, WV. This included interviews with community members through the Scotts Run Resonance Project.


The Council supported seven pairs of the 2022-2023 West Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship Program, including well-attended showcases in Elkins, Fairmont, and Clarksburg.


Vanessa Peña served as our AmeriCorps member to support the Council and the West Virginia Folklife Program.


Current staff conducted interviews with previous staff for the Council’s 50th oral history project, coordinated by AmeriCorps members.


The staff documented the dedication of a William G. Pomeroy Foundation Legends and Lore roadside marker at Chief Logan State Park celebrating banjo player Aunt Jennie Wilson (1900-1992).


The State Folklorist participated in the panel “Call Your Local Folklorist” at the National Humanities Conference; served as a consulting scholar on A Little of This, A Little of That: A Wheeling Community Cookbook; and co-wrote, with Emily Hilliard, “Connecting Themes and Stories: How to Use the West Virginia Folklife Collection in the Classroom,” in the Journal of Folklore and Education:


Visit e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia



View our 2022 Activities Report here.


Grant recipient Us & Them "Diminishing Trust" event at Marshall University (photo by Julie Blackwood)

Click here for larger image »

Direct Programs

Born of Rebellion exhibit on display in Morgantown (photo by Kyle Warmack)

Click here for larger image »

West Virginia Folklife Program

Fiddle repair folklife apprentice Mary Linscheid and her mentor Chris Haddox (photo by Jennie Williams)

Click here for larger image »