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Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College Hosting First-Ever Appalachian Heritage Day

Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College will be hosting its first-ever Appalachian Heritage Day on the Logan Campus Saturday, August 24. The event will run from 12:00 – 8:00 p.m. with regional authors, award-winning old-time musicians, and Appalachian scholars featured. The event is free and open to the public.

The day’s activities will include presentations, author readings, music workshops, a genealogy workshop, a writers’ workshop, and information tables promoting history, culture, tourism, and economic development. The day will culminate with the gathered musicians joining for a concert in the Savas-Kostas Performing Arts Center beginning at 6:00 p.m.

Featured musicians include Roger Bryant, a well-known Logan native and Vandalia Award-winner; Liam Farley, a child prodigy fiddling talent from Chapmanville; Paul Gartner, a Lincoln County multi-instrumentalist familiar to the West Virginia old-time scene; Buddy Griffin, a seasoned bluegrass musician, founder of Glenville State College’s bluegrass music program, and a Vandalia Award-winner; Bill Hairston, a multi-talented performer and emcee for numerous events; Kim Johnson, a popular old-time banjo player; Cody Jordan, a member of Modock Rounders, one of West Virginia’s most popular old-time bands; David O’Dell, a multi-instrumentalist, old-time enthusiast, and experienced festival organizer; Elaine Purkey, a Lincoln County master of labor songs and hostess of The Friendly Neighbor Radio Show; Mack Samples, a well-known fiddler, square dance caller, and flatfoot dancer, and a Vandalia Award-winner; and Bobby Taylor, an internationally known fiddler, Vandalia Award-winner, and friend to the late West Virginia Senator Robert C. Byrd.

Regional authors featured during the event include Laura Treacy Bentley, a poet and novelist featured on A Prairie Home Companion, and recipient of a Fellowship Award for Literature from the WV Commission on the Arts; Brandon Kirk, a history professor at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, whose life and work has been featured in Smithsonian Magazine and The New Yorker; Cat Pleska, an award-winning author, editor, educator, publisher, and storyteller; Carter Taylor Seaton, author of two novels including Hippie Homesteaders, as well as a biography of the late Ken Hechler; and M. Lynne Squires, a fiction crafter, poet, blogger and magazine columnist who is regularly featured in Charleston Home and Living Magazine.

Featured scholars include Dr. Chris Green, Director of the Loyal Jones Appalachian Center at Berea College and a poet; Dr. Charles Keeney, history professor at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, and labor expert; and Dr. Brian McKnight, Founding Director of the Center for Appalachian Studies at UVA-Wise and expert on the Civil War in Appalachia.

Numerous other musicians, authors, and scholars, as well as agencies relating to history, culture, tourism, and economic development, will be on hand for the day. Free workshops will be offered to the public. There will be food vendors on site, as well, featuring popular local food attractions.

For more information, or to inquire about vendor possibilities, please contact Brandon Kirk at