Williamson Daily News
MOUNT GAY Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College will host its first-ever Appalachian Heritage Day on its Logan campus in Mount Gay this month.
The event will be Saturday, Aug. 24, and will feature a day full of activities that includes presentations, author readings, music workshops, a genealogy workshop, a writers' worshop, 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 at 6 p.m.
Numerous regional authors, award-winning old-time musicians and Appalachian scholars will be featured.
Featured musicians will include Logan native Roger Bryant; Chapmanville child violinist Liam Farley; Lincoln County multi-instrumentalist Paul Gartner; bluegrass musician and founder of Glenville State College's bluegrass music program, Buddy Griffin; multi-talented performer Bill Hairston; old-time banjo player Kim Johnson; Cody Jordan, a member of Modock Rounders, one of West Virginia's most popular old-time bands; multi-instrumentalist, old time-enthusiast and experienced festival organizer David O'Dell; Lincoln County master of labor songs and hostess of The Friendly Neighbor Radio Show, Elaine Purkey; well-known fiddler, square dance caller and flatfoot dancer, Mack Samples; and internationally known fiddler and friend to late Sen. Robert C. Byrd, Bobby Taylor.
Regional authors that will be featured at 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 SWVCTC 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. Lynn Squires, a fiction crafter, poet, blogger and magazine columnist 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 SWVCTC 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.
Appalachian Heritage Day will run from noon-8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 24. The event is free and open to the public.
For more information, or to inquire about vendor possibilities, contact Brandon Kirk at Brandon.Kirk@southernwv.edu.