BY LORI MCKINNEY, CREATE YOUR STATE
Five WV Communities have been selected to host the Create Your State Tour (CYS) in May. CYS is a multi-media music performance, educational presentation and workshop that inspires and empowers creative community revitalization and development through the arts. The towns were selected based on their interest, capacity, drive, and need for this type of development.
Anyone from around the state and region is welcome to attend the shows and workshops in Moorefield, Philippi, Kingwood, New Martinsville and West Huntington May 13-17 from 6:30-9:30pm, which will provide a full program of immersive experiential learning and planning for leaders, entrepreneurs, artists, students and other involved citizens.
The events are free of charge and open to the public. More details are at the end of this story.
The presentation tells the inspiring story of arts-driven community transformation in Princeton, West Virginia through the eyes of artists and cultural entrepreneurs LoriMcKinney and Robert Blankenship. The arts are reigniting their once abandoned downtown with creative capital, reclaiming it as a cultural district that is increasingly drawing new business and tourism. Participants will gain skills, tools, and on-the-ground contacts to spark positive change and cultivate a similar scene in these communities and they will be invited to take advantage of ongoing support—resources, contacts, mentorship—after the workshop as they carry out arts-based community development projects.
The workshop features original music, visual projections and a compelling exchange about how the arts, creativity and an out-of-the-box approach can establish a creative scene that redefines and reinvigorates a community. Participants will have access to a web portal with step-by-step instructional toolkits, video shorts, and more. And they will receive ongoing guidance from the Create Your State (CYS) founders to execute community projects and plant new creative capital in their communities.
Anyone from around the state and region is welcome to attend and become a part of the conversation. All events are from 6:30 – 9:30 p.m., and the programs will take place at:
- Moorefield High School on Monday, May 13th
- Wanderlust Coffeehouse and Wine Lounge in Philippi on Tuesday, May 14th
- Preston Community Arts Center in Kingwood on Wednesday, May 15th
- Lincoln Theater in New Martinsville on Thursday, May 16th, and
- Alias14W in West Huntington on Friday, May 17th
Call 304-320-8833 with questions. The program is free and open to the public.