Carnegie Hall’s Appalachian Heritage Series is designed to introduce new students to old traditions by experiencing a hands-on opportunity to learn about Appalachian arts and crafts. Students learn to keep Appalachian roots alive by learning through the arts with Carnegie Hall. The inaugural spring semester offered a widerange of classes and workshops that enlightened and inspired learners of all ages.
The Appalachian Heritage Series had something for everybody with classes including Woodturning 101 with West Virginia Woodworking Association, Soap Making with Tommye Rafes, From British Isle Ballad to Appalachian Folk Song with Mary Dailey, Leather Working with Luke Davis, Needle Felting the Farm Family with Karen Leland, Weave a Footed Basket and Quilting a Table Runner with Kathy Talley, Quilting A Table Runner with Kathy Talley, Making Appalachian Medicinals with Jan Darrah, From Field to Table: Traditional Sausage Making with Lost Creek Farm (two-day workshop), Salt Rising Bread with Genevieve Bardwell and Susan Ray Brown, Preserving the Harvest: Canning and Drying Apples with Kathy Tally, and Hand Building Clay Traditional Face Jugs with Sean O’Connell.
arnegie Hall Education Director Harmony Flora is excited about the future of the series. “Many of our traditional crafts, such as basket weaving, leather working, quilting and sausage making were not only essential skills for country living, but provided opportunity for artistic expression and creativity,” she explained. “It is important that we continue to teach and learn these valuable skills in order not only to carry them forward to the next generation of West Virginians, but also as an artistic investment in ourselves.”
Students from eight West Virginia counties and five states attended classes, and Carnegie Hall partnered with the West Virginia Woodworking Association and Lost Creek Farm to bring their crafts to the Greenbrier Valley. Mike Costello and Amy Dawson of Lost Creek Farm have been named 2022 James Beard Award semifinalists in the category of Best Chef, Southeast. Also, Jennie Williams, the Director of the WV Folklife Program for the WV Humanities Council attended the Salt Rising Bread Workshop in January.
Due to the success, the series will continue for the 2023 spring session with new additions. Carnegie Hall is looking for new teaching artist in traditional crafts and folkways. If interested, visit carnegiehallwv.org/classes-and-workshops and complete and submit the Carnegie Hall Teaching Artist Proposal Form.
Carnegie Hall is a nonprofit organization supported by individual contributions, grants, and fundraising efforts such as TOOT and The Carnegie Hall Gala.The Hall is located at 611 Church Street, Lewisburg. For more information, please call 304-645-7917 or visit www.carnegiehallwv.org.