Festival

FESTIVALL

The event’s tagline—“A city becomes a work of art”—says it all. Charleston’s 10-day festival is an ever-changing collection of concerts, theater performances, and art exhibits. During the Capitol Street Art Fair, held on FestivALL’s second Saturday, downtown sidewalks are filled with top-notch artists selling their wares. FestivALL has become so popular that organizers have expanded the event to include a preview weekend in May and a mini-festival in October dubbed FestivALL Fall, which brings another round of concerts, theater performances, and other special events to West Virginia’s Capitol City. 304.470.0489, festivallcharleston.com, @festivallcharleston on Facebook

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BACK HOME APPALACHIAN ARTS AND MUSIC FESTIVAL
New Martinsville, backhomefestival.com, @backhomefestival on Facebook

NATIONAL TRAILFEST
Gilbert, nationaltrailfest.com, @nationaltrailfest on Facebook


Media Personality

TONY CARIDI

During his nearly three decades with West Virginia Radio Corporation, Caridi’s outgoing personality and passion—not to mention his role in some of the most memorable moments in Mountaineer athletics history—have made this radio announcer one of the most beloved media figures in our state. wvmetronews.com

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HOPPY KERCHEVAL
MetroNews Talkline, wvmetronews.com

KALLIE CART
WCHS-TV, wchstv.com


Music Venue

THE RIVER HOUSE

Although it once was a coffin storage building for the local mortician, the 100-year-old River House has recently received a new life thanks to Capon Bridge townsfolk. The River House hosts all kinds of artsy happenings, from gallery shows to workshops. Live music is a constant, with concerts, open mic nights, jam sessions, and even a new community chorus filling up the venue’s calendar of events. 24 Rickie Davy Lane, 304.856.2440, theriverhousew.org, @theriverhousewv on Facebook

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THE PURPLE FIDDLE
96 East Avenue, Thomas, 304.463.4040, purplefiddle.com, @thepurplefiddle on Facebook

123 PLEASANT STREET
123 Pleasant Street, Morgantown, 304.292.0800, 123pleasantstreet.com, @123pleasantstreet on Facebook


Artist

BOB VILLAMAGNA

Proving once and for all the old adage about trash and treasure, Wheeling artist Bob Villamagna combines scraps of metal, wire, wood, old photos, advertisements, letters, and anything else he can find to create striking works of art. robertvillamagna.com

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BRENT WOODARD
therockcriesoutstudios.com

IAN BODE
artemporium.net/ian-bode


Theater Company

GREENBRIER VALLEY THEATRE

This southern West Virginian treasure got its start back in 1966 in a tent on the banks of the Greenbrier River. Needless to say, the Greenbrier Valley Theatre has come a long way since then. The company puts on a full series of performances each year in its auditorium in downtown Lewisburg, with shows that range from popular musicals to works by William Shakespeare and even original productions. This year, the theater debuted Bricktop, a musical based on the life of Alderson native Ada “Bricktop” Smith, a singer and dancer who became a mainstay of the Paris social scene in the 1920s. In addition to its theatrical productions, this Lewisburg theater also runs a popular after-school program and a summer camp for budding thespians. 304.645.3838, gvtheatre.org, @gvtheatre on Facebook

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CHARLESTON LIGHT OPERA GUILD
411 Tennessee Avenue, Charleston, 304.343.2287, charlestonlightoperaguild.org, @charlestonlightoperaguild on Facebook

THEATER WEST VIRGINIA
4700 Grandview Road, Beaver, 304.992.9085, theatrewestvirginia.org, @theatrewv on Facebook


Museum

WEST VIRGINIA STATE MUSEUM

The West Virginia State Museum, housed in The Culture Center at the State Capitol Complex, draws visitors along a literal path through the ecology, history, and culture of the Mountain State. Exhibits wander through a prehistoric forest, the days of early western settlement and frontier life, and a series of rooms that bring West Virginia’s Civil War history to life. Other rooms detail the state’s first capital in Wheeling, life on the family farm, the changing roles of women in the state, and the railroads. Along the way, “discovery” and “connections” rooms take visitors deeper into subjects that pique their interest. 1900 Kanawha Boulevard East, Charleston, 304.558.0220, wvculture.org, @wvsme on Facebook

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CLAY CENTER FOR THE ARTS AND SCIENCES
1 Clay Square, Charleston, 304.561.3570, theclaycenter.org, @claycenter on Facebook

HUNTINGTON MUSEUM OF ART
2033 McCoy Road, Huntington, 304.529.2701, hmoa.org, @huntingtonmuseumofart on Facebook


Charity

YWCA CHARLESTON

It’s almost hard to believe one organization does so much good. YWCA Charleston provides permanent housing for elder abuse victims and homeless disabled women and transitional housing for women and children, as well as a 75-bed shelter for homeless single women, women with children, men with custody of their children, and intact families—all while operating a crisis hotline, a year-round child development center, and a fitness center in downtown Charleston. ywcacharleston.org, @ywcacharleston on Facebook

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WARDENSVILLE GARDEN MARKET
28813 State Route 55, Wardensville, 304.897.2083, wardensvillegardenmarket.org, @wardensvillegardenmarket on Facebook

UNITED WAY OF CENTRAL WV
1 United Way Square, Charleston, 304.340.3500, unitedwaycwv.org, @unitedwayofcentralwv on Facebook


Environmental Organization

CACAPON AND LOST RIVER LAND TRUST

This group, founded in the 1980s, is committed to preserving the ecologically rich land of the Cacapon and Lost River Valley. The trust has secured more than 50 conservation easements covering more than 14,000 acres of watershed, making it the largest local land trust in the state and the seventh largest in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The trust also ranks in the top 10 percent of U.S. land trusts, in terms of acres protected. 304.856.1188, cacapon.org, @cacaponandlostriverslandtrust on Facebook

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FRIENDS OF THE CHEAT
304.329.3621, cheat.org, @friendsofthecheat on Facebook

WEST VIRGINIA RIVERS COALITION
304.637.7201, wvrivers.org, @wvrivers on Facebook


Musician/Band

THE PARACHUTE BRIGADE

This five-piece indie folk rock ensemble got its start in 2012 as a cover band, giving the songs they played unique musical twists. Members eventually started writing original material, though, and began winning fans in their hometown of Beckley. In the summer of 2017, they took their tight harmonies to a Nashville, Tennessee, recording studio. The resulting five tracks comprise the Brigade’s debut release, The Gold EP, which dropped in May 2018. Since then, the band has been touring all over West Virginia and up and down the East Coast. Find them on iTunes and Spotify or, better yet, at a music venue near you. theparachutebrigade.com

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ONA
thebandona.com

WILLIAM MATHENY
williammatheny.com


Addiction Recovery Resource

JACOB’S LADDER

This Preston County rehab farm began when Dr. Kevin Blankenship, an emergency room doctor and MedExpress co-founder, started seeing wounds he didn’t know how to heal. His brother-in-law died from alcohol and opiate abuse, and his own son was struggling with addiction. So Blankenship opened Jacob’s Ladder in 2016. It’s a six-month recovery facility with beds for 14 men. The long stay is meant to retrain patients’ brains—through therapy and the rewarding, therapeutic work of farming—to live without drugs. It’s working, and, as a result, Jacob’s Ladder is getting national attention. It’s the focus of Recovery Boys, a Netflix documentary by Emmy-winning documentarian Elaine McMillion Sheldon. 304.239.1214, jacobsladderbrookside.com, @jacobsladderbrookside on Facebook

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BRIAN’S SAFEHOUSE
304.763.7655, brianssafehouse.org, @brianssafehouse on Facebook

ASCENSION RECOVERY SERVICES
304.241.4585, ascensionrs.com, @ascensionrecoveryservices on Facebook