Think back to the last time you saw an Appalachian portrayed on TV, in the national media, in a book or a cartoon. Often, when people talk about Appalachians, they portray us as white, or poor, or ignorant — or all three. But when you dig beneath the surface, and challenge the stereotypes that are often used to misrepresent people who live in our region, the story becomes much more honest, and interesting…
BY EMMA PEPPER, DIRECTOR OF STRATEGIC NETWORK COMMUNICATIONS, THE HUB
At The Hub, it’s my job to help West Virginians see that change is possible, and that it is happening today. One of the ways that I tackle that is by offering trainings to support people – change-makers like you – to better tell the story of their work.
I led a training at Coalfield Development’s Social Enterprise Summit and asked the attendees – what’s keeping you up at night? When it comes to the world of promoting your work, what are your greatest challenges?
This January, I’m leading two -free- webinars that address the top needs that came out of that conversation.
I want to open up the invitation to attend to all of you – a rising tide lifts all boats, right? Let’s work together to tell a new story about West Virginia.
- Get Noticed by the Media (January 15, 12-1pm) – Connecting with journalists at traditional media outlets is a key method to launch the message of your work out into the world. Learn how to identify stories about your business or organization that will interest the media – and the steps to connect with journalists to get your story told.
Find details + register here »
- The 30-Minute Promotional Strategy (January 23, 12-1pm) – Website, email, social media, press outreach, flyers, brochures… With so many avenues to get your message out into the world, how do you choose what will work best? Learn a method to build out a strategy to grow visibility for your work in 30 minutes or less.
Find details + register here »
If these dates don’t work for you, go ahead and register anyway. I’ll send out a recording of the training to everyone who registered to attend.
I also want to hear from you – what’s keeping you up at night?
I have a 3 question survey set up, and the results will be shared with groups across the state who are leading these kinds of trainings, so we can offer up more of what you need to address the challenges you’re facing.
BY EMILY HILLIARD, STATE FOLKLORIST, WV FOLKLIFE PROGRAM
At this year’s New Story, the team at The Hub is partnering with the West Virginia Folklife Program to put a spotlight on the inaugural Folklife Apprenticeship Program. Masters and apprentices will take part in New Story sessions at the Lewisburg State Fairgrounds and at the Alderson Night Out bonus event.
Our state’s Folklife Program was founded in November 2015 at the West Virginia Humanities Council. The program documents, preserves, presents, and supports the Mountain State’s vibrant cultural heritage and living traditions. That means everything from gospel music to memes, ramps to zines.
The Apprenticeship Program offers up to a $3,000 stipend to West Virginian master traditional artists and tradition bearers to work with qualified apprentices on a year-long, in-depth apprenticeship in their cultural expression or traditional art form.
These apprenticeships pair up with masters of traditional music, dance, craft, foodways, storytelling, and more to help facilitate the passing on of techniques and artistry as well as histories and traditions.
The program supports the master artists for their expertise and contribution, and also supports the preservation, value, and sharing of important historical traditions with the next generation of West Virginians.
In a state with an array of traditional artists and cultural communities, the Apprenticeship Program – and the work of West Virginia Folklife – celebrates and supports the creative contributions and practices of all West Virginians, whether they consider themselves artists or not.
The 2017-2018 Folklife Apprenticeship pairs are:
- Genevieve Bardwell & West Virginia native Susan Ray Brown, both residents of Mount Morris, PA, with apprentice Amy Dawson of Lost Creek (salt rising bread)
- Lady D (Doris Fields) of Beckley with apprentice Xavier C. Oglesby of Huntington (black gospel/blues)
- Marion Harless of Kerens with apprentice Kara Vaneck of Weston (green traditions/herbalism)
- John D. Morris of Ivydale with apprentice Jen Iskow of Thomas (Clay County old-time fiddle)
- Doug Van Gundy of Elkins with apprentice Annie Stroud of Morgantown (old-time fiddle)
We will learn more and see performances and demonstrations by these master artists and apprenticeships at New Story’s West Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship Narrative Stage Showcase, May 31 from 1:30-3pm. At 3:30pm that afternoon, master herbalist Marion Harless will lead an optional Herb Walk at the Fairgrounds, and that evening, fiddle apprentice Annie Stroud and friends will play live music during Alderson Night Out.
The following day, apprentices Amy Dawson, Jen Iskow, and Annie Stroud will participate in the roundtable Experiences from the Field: Making the Most of Fellowships in WV from 11:00am-12:30pm.
To learn more about West Virginia Folklife and the Apprenticeship Program, visit wvfolklife.org.
BY KATELYN CAMPBELL, APC VISTA, THE HUB
What do youth leadership, journalism, community fundraising, and community-based policy have in common? Each of them (and more) will be showcased at New Story!
New Story is a summit where innovators, makers, dreamers, and doers can come together to share ideas and make connections with the goal of building a brighter future for West Virginia. We’ll convene at the State Fairgrounds in Lewisburg May 31 – June 1 for two days jam-packed full of stories worth telling.
In light of the full list of New Story sessions being released today, we wanted to highlight just a few of the many people who will be sharing the story of their work in West Virginia during the event.
Next Generation Problem Solving
Young people from around the state are actively working to address West Virginia’s challenges head-on. In this session, we’ll hear from the young people themselves, as well as the adults who support them in making their good work happen.
The State of the State of WV Journalism
The panel will focus on the current and future state of journalism in West Virginia and how ownership and format (paper, online and audio) affect the delivery of news and features and how people are innovating to meet the challenges of a constantly changing media environment.
How to Run a Successful Crowd-Sourced Fundraising Campaign for your Community Project
In the spring of 2015, Matewan’s West Virginia Mine Wars Museum launched its first crowd-sourced fundraising campaign. In just two months, 344 individuals donated a total $21,210 in the lead up to the museum’s Grand Opening. Not only did this successful fundraising campaign provide general operating support to the Museum, but the overall effort built local, statewide and national interest in the project. Join the organizers of the Mine Wars Museum to learn the ins and outs of running a successful crowd-sourced fundraising campaign for your community project.
Policy of the People: Strategies for Action
How do you take your great idea for a solution to a community problem from a conversation at the dinner table to the next level? It starts with building your team. In this session, The Hub’s policy team and partners will showcase how their community groups and organizations have made real change through bringing people together. Whether you’re already a policy wonk or just getting your start in community action, this session is for you.
The deadline to register for New Story is May 18.
BY JENNY TOTTEN, COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PROJECT COORDINATOR, THE HUB
The Hub is in the final planning of what feels like a marathon for New Story 2018 and we are incredibly excited! New space, new town, fresh ideas, and hopefully new people to share and learn with all abound and we can’t wait!
This year – among the dozens of other themes – we’re featuring local food and the intersection of community + economic development, include a host of ways to mull on this topic that is such a crucial part of West Virginia’s diversification strategy in a more experiential way.
We are fortunate to have snagged chefs Mike Costello and Amy Dawson of Lost Creek Farm to serve a farm-to-table dinner outdoors on the historic Alderson Memorial Pedestrian Bridge on Thursday, May 31, 6pm.
Mike and Amy were recently featured on Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown West Virginia episode because of their outstanding and unique approach to Appalachian cuisine. Mike is known for his interest in preserving traditional Appalachian dishes, and as a resident of West Virginia, for his particular interest in our state. Each of his recipes has a story behind it, and the folks who join us will hear them while eating a delicious meal.
The meal will be served outdoors on the historic Alderson Pedestrian Bridge featuring gorgeous views of the Greenbrier River, and the menu will be defined by seasonally available fresh ingredients and a strong sense of place-based pride.
This dinner is part of the Hub’s way to give back to a town that’s been a part of our programming, and a portion of the proceeds from the meal will go to Alderson’s community development efforts.
Registration is separate from New Story – you do not have to attend the conference to take part in the dinner, but we hope you will want to come to both!
More Food + More Fun at New Story
We will also have two sessions on Friday, June 1 focused on utilizing local food in your community. The first, which concentrates on utilizing local food for economic development, will share stories from the field of farmers, market growers, and towns who have placed food at the forefront of building a new economy in West Virginia. The second, which focuses on placemaking, will include presenters from farmers markets, community gardens, and others who have utilized local food as a strategy to build place in their communities.
Check out our New Story site for more on all of the happenings and to register to join us for the conference.
BY KAYCIE STUSHEK, COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT NETWORK COORDINATOR, THE HUB
A wise woman once told me: The ability to make decisions as a team is key to the success of any group hoping to reach its goals.
It sounds simple, but sometimes we find ourselves participating in meetings where the group keeps getting stuck. Whether it is talking in circles, working with dominating participants, avoiding personality conflicts, or repeating negative narratives, these can all keep us from reaching, or even setting, our team goals. Sound familiar?
If you are a group leader who faces some of these roadblocks and you want to grow your ability to overcome challenges and drive your team towards success, we have an opportunity for you!
As a kickoff to New Story 2018, The Hub is partnering with facilitator-extraordinaire Katey Lauer, who will be leading a workshop titled Getting Unstuck: a workshop for meeting facilitators who want to grow their skills in helping their groups make decisions.
- Identify common challenges that arise in group decision-making
- Explore key agenda and meeting design considerations that support effective meetings
- Grow our facilitation tool boxes
The workshop will be held May 31st at the Lewisburg Fairgrounds from 9:30am-12:30pm.
You can secure your spot for this workshop when you register for New Story by clicking here. Sign up under the Bonus Events “Getting Unstuck facilitation workshop”. There are only 25 spots, so register soon! The cost is $50 for the workshop. Materials and snacks will be provided.
How do we change history? Find us at New Story in Lewisburg on May 31 – June 1 to find out.
Details at https://wvhubnewstory.com/
BY: STEPHANIE TYREE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, THE HUB
Every year, The Hub invites West Virginia’s doers, dreamers, and schemers to come to the table with changemakers, future-creators, and innovators.
These are the people who are rebuilding and renewing communities across the state through project after project, and who are changing the narrative about what West Virginia is, what it does, and what the future holds for it. These are our people.
This year we will be together in a new space to share ideas, innovations, dreams, schemes and stories of what’s working – and of what’s possible – to keep telling the new story of West Virginia.
Please join us at New Story in Lewisburg – and Alderson – on May 31-June 1, 2018. We’ll learn and share in Lewisburg, then feast and celebrate in Alderson.
There will be music, and amazing food, great ideas, and all of you who are at the forefront of envisioning and building a brighter future for our state.
New Story is about the West Virginia we know and see every day, and the West Virginians who are using creativity, persistence, and optimism to change the narrative of what our state is and could be.
Come to share, learn, and plot new ideas. If you care about building a better future for West Virginia or are just plain curious – New Story is for you.
Want to join us? Check out the official New Story website. You can also sign up for The Hub’s email list to get updates on registration, speakers and more right in your inbox.
Know someone who is doing amazing work here? We’re pulling together dozens of roundtables, shared work sessions, and presentations led by innovative leaders we see around the state. Point us their way so we can plug them in by emailing The Hub’s Kaycie Stushek at firstname.lastname@example.org.
After the 2016 election, the calls and emails rolled into West Virginia, as the press scrambled to make sense of a place that hadn’t occupied this much space on the national political stage since John F. Kennedy’s 1960 primary.
“We’re looking for a family in a trailer park.”
“We’re looking for a holler. How do we get there?”
“I need a Trump-supporting son of a coal miner who doesn’t think coal is coming back. Do you know one?”
Even before Donald Trump’s election, Appalachia was treated as a kind of Rosetta stone for deciphering rural white poverty in America. In its aftermath, media inquiries like these confirmed many residents’ deep-seated fear that the national press only shows up when the news is bad, or to make them look like fools or freaks. Instead of inviting input on how to frame their stories, reporters seemed to be looking for people to fit a frame they already had in mind.
As the communications director for the nonprofit West Virginia Community Development Hub, Jake Lynch fielded a lot of these questions, and grew increasingly frustrated with the journalists asking them.
So when he began to prepare for New Story 2017—the organization’s yearly gathering for people trying to drive the story and the future economy of the state—Lynch invited members of the national media for a two-way dialogue about covering the region…
We’re less than 24 hours away from the kick off to New Story 17, and so we wanted to keep you up-to-date about the key things you’ll need to know to roll up, get stuck in and have good time.
The coffee places that are usually open in the Evansdale Crossings building are closed for the summer holidays.
But never fear. The good people at Tutto Gelato Cafe over on Chestnut Ridge Rd. have come to the rescue and will be selling 12 & 16 oz cups of hot coffee (no decaf I’m afraid) at the entrance to the Media Innovation Center on Friday and Saturday morning.
They’ll be able to take credit cards, but cash is appreciated to keep things moving.
At New Story, we don’t take a break for lunch like most conferences. So please go and grab some food whenever you’d like – or bring some with you – and get back to the action.
On Friday, there will be two restaurants open on the ground floor of the Evansdale Crossings building – Tazikis and Two Birds Chicken – from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. And the Juice Bar will be open on the top floor from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
In order to provide you with as many options as possible we’ve brought a couple of local food trucks in for later in the day.
On Saturday, there won’t be any restaurants open in the center. With sessions starting at 9 a.m., you’re advised to grab some breakfast before you come.
In the area.
From the Media Innovation Center at Evansdale Crossings, you are a short walk from a number of options to get food. If you need to, please take a moment to look at a map of the area and make your tucker strategy.
See you tomorrow! Here’s the schedule – be there and ready to roll at 9:30!
This guy forgot to register for New Story last year. Don’t be this guy.
With sessions planned this Friday and Saturday around tech and media innovation, film and photography, creative place-making, rabble-rousing, upsetting the apple cart and generally having a good time, New Story has been specially designed to bring together hundreds of the region’s most creative, hardworking and dynamic people to Morgantown to share ideas, network, celebrate and hatch new plans.
It’s free and it’s a blast. Here’s where you can learn more about what’s going on: newstory17.splashthat.com
We’ve had more than 300 people register, and so we’re going to have to shut the doors soon.
Registration will close at midnight tonight. Register now. Get involved.
(The other option is sad and lonely. Just ask our mate up there.)