The West Virginia Folklife Program, a project of the West Virginia Humanities Council, will present the second of three showcases featuring its 2022-2023 Folklife Apprenticeship Program at the Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center at Fairmont State University on Saturday September 30, 2023 at 4pm. The Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center is located on Squibb Wilson Blvd.
This showcase celebrates music-related traditions in West Virginia including clawhammer banjo with Joe Herrmann and his apprentice Dakota Karper (Hampshire County), old time fiddle with Gerry Milnes (Randolph County) and his apprentice Annick Odom (Monongalia County), and fiddle repair with Chris Haddox and his apprentice Mary Linscheid (Monongalia County).
“The state apprenticeship program provides a framework for West Virginia traditions to be celebrated and passed along,” said Director of the Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center Dr. Lydia Warren. “In hosting the apprenticeship showcase at the Folklife Center, we’re inviting community members and students to learn about and engage with these traditions.”
The event is free and open to the public. At 4 p.m., the formal presentation starts, with West Virginia State Folklorist Jennie Williams leading a conversation with the pairs about their traditional art forms, apprenticeship experiences, and connections to their communities. A reception will follow with an old time music jam. The public is invited to bring acoustic instruments to play with the apprenticeship pairs.
“We love collaborating with Jennie Williams, the State Folklorist, and we are excited to introduce her and the apprenticeship pairs she has been working with to our students and the greater Fairmont community,” said Warren.”Folks will have the chance to ask Jennie about the program and how they could become part of an apprenticeship pair.”
The West Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship Program offers a stipend to West Virginia traditional artists or tradition bearers working with qualified apprentices on a year-long in-depth apprenticeship in their cultural expression or traditional art form. These apprenticeships encourage experts in their respective art forms to share their techniques and artistry, as well as the histories and traditions of these folklife practices. This marks the third year of the biennial Folklife Apprenticeship Program.
To RSVP for these free public events, please go to wvfolklife.org and see “Save the Dates for the WV Folklife Apprenticeship Showcases.” For more information on the Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center, please call 304-367-4286.
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 (NEA) 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.