WV Folklife Program

Are you a traditional musician? Gospel singer? Bluegrass picker? Maybe your neighbor makes traditional stuffed grape leaves, the best beans and cornbread, or roti from their grandparents’ recipe. Perhaps you know of a community elder whose stories should be documented. The West Virginia Folklife Program’s new hotline, reached toll free at 1(844)618-3747, is an outlet where West Virginians can share information about local traditional artists, craftspeople, musicians, cooks, or elders, or contribute a traditional song, story, or other piece of folklore or community tradition.

In this first year of the West Virginia Folklife Program, a project of the West Virginia Humanities Council, state folklorist Emily Hilliard is conducting oral histories and fieldwork across the state in order to assess and document current folklife activity in West Virginia. Ms. Hilliard said (quote)“Folklife traditions are community-based creative expressions “Those can include traditional music and dance, foodways, material culture, faith-based expressions, occupational lore, and more.” (unquote) This folklife survey relies heavily on community input and the folklife hotline is one way that residents can easily share the traditions that are meaningful to them. Callers may simply leave a brief message with the information they would like to share, and if necessary, Hilliard will follow-up for more details.

The West Virginia Folklife Program is a project of the West Virginia Humanities Council and is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts Folk & Traditional Arts Program. West Virginia Folklife is dedicated to the documentation, preservation, presentation, and support of West Virginia’s vibrant cultural heritage and living traditions.

The West Virginia Folklife Hotline may be reached toll free at 1(844)618-3747. Contact Emily Hilliard at (304)346-8500 or hilliard@wvhumanities.org.


Story By

Scott Smith

Scott Smith is the General Manager for Allegheny Mountain Radio and Station Coordinator and News Reporter for WVLS. Scott’s family has deep roots in Highland County. While he did not grow up here, he spent as much time as possible on the family farm, and eventually moved to Highland to continue the tradition, which he still pursues with his cousin. Unfortunately, farming doesn’t pay all the bills, so he has previously taken other jobs to support his farming hobby, including pressman/writer for The Recorder, and Ag Projects Coordinator for The Highland Center. He lives in Hightown with wife Michelle and son Ethan. In his spare time, he wishes he had more spare time, especially to ride his prized Harley-Davidson motorcycle. scott@amrmail.org

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