Cultivate WV

The Cultivate WV program supports community capacity building through leadership
development, team development, and small-scale community projects. Our goal is to help your community create long-term engagement from residents and new opportunities for community
leadership, all while building positive momentum for your area. We offer community coaching;
workshops; funding for community projects; and leadership development opportunities.

Cultivate communities commit to a year-long entry-level community engagement process
where they participate in monthly workshops focused on different subjects such as community
engagement, team building and dynamics, project identification, prioritization and planning,
grant writing, leadership development and communications.

A time to celebrate

The residents of Montgomery and Smithers started the Cultivate West Virginia program during one of the most challenging times in the history of our great state. Through it all, residents have shown perseverance and resilience as they gave it their all to make positive change in their communities. 

We have witnessed triumphs and challenges together, but most of all, we have seen the pride-in-place and love that residents have for these communities.

We are honored to graduate these two communities from the Cultivate West Virginia program and look forward to continuing to walk alongside residents as they make transformational changes in their towns.

How This Program Makes a Difference

As a result of this program, participants experience a greater sense of connection to their community, a sense of positive momentum happening in their neighborhoods and towns, and increased pride in place. Residents participate in facilitated community-wide discussions where they have an opportunity to talk about what they love about their communities, why they choose to live in their communities, and why others should want to live in their community. They also have the opportunity to talk about the challenges they are facing and solutions to address them.

Workshops and facilitated discussions are paired with seed funding to implement small-scale community projects. Communities are expected to develop at least two dozen separate project teams, engaging multiple new leaders and helping to break down traditional silos.

Community coaching and support is offered to community teams to ensure that projects are carried out successfully. Participating communities have been successful in building teams, prioritizing projects, writing and submitting grant applications, and implementing 69 community projects. Examples of projects include art murals, flowers along main street, farmers markets, First Friday events, business after hours, community gardens, youth engagement events, and more.

Cultivate WV supports community members coming together to make a difference in their towns while providing the resources and training needed to help residents build their individual leadership skills and keep the work going into the future.

For more wins and milestones coming out of the Cultivate WV program, see our “Stories” section below.

This Program is Ideal for…

The Cultivate WV Program is ideal for communities who are interested in making a change, but are unsure how to get started. The program helps community members learn how to work together, how to engage others in the work, how to build a vision for their community, how to identify, prioritize and implement projects and how to make it all sustainable.

Cultivate WV is an entry level community engagement program. The community should have some key community leaders identified to help start the process, but the community coach will help recruit other people to engage in the process and support the community with building out the teams to move the work forward. The community coach will also work with the community members to identify specific workshops or trainings that would be beneficial for the community to participate in.

Get Involved

If you are a member of a Cultivate Community and want to get involved, if you are interested in
becoming a Cultivate Community, or if you are funder that is interested in learning more about
the program, contact program lead Amanda Workman Scott at a.workman@wvhub.org.

Current Participating Communities

Past Participating Communities

*Program was previously called Turn This Town Around

Cultivate WV Stories

Resources & How-To

How to Host First Friday Events in Your Community

Are you working to bring energy into your community? Do you want to see more people in your downtown spaces? Are there a number of local craftspeople, artists, farmers, and other entrepreneurs in your region that you’d like to bring together?

Read More »

Systemic Change

2021 became a time period of catalytic potential as we saw years of investment into our core strategies to enact systemic change yield new results. Our strategic focus areas include policy, communications, and supporting the community economic development system in leveraging unique financing opportunities such as the Appalachian Regional Commission’s POWER Initiative and Opportunity Zones.

In addition, through our strategic policy support role within the Abandoned Properties Coalition, The Hub successfully advanced two key objectives: a statewide land bank and extension of the state’s Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit. 

Through the Opportunity Appalachia program, 6 catalytic community projects located in WV-based Opportunity Zones received $250,000 for pre-development technical assistance. Three projects received additional private funding as a result of program participation.

Cowen

Residents participated in round 4 of The Hub’s capstone Communities of Achievement program with a focus on building local recreational economies. Read their community case study.

Montgomery

Residents participated in the Cultivate WV program to kickstart community and economy building. Read their community case study.

Smithers

Residents participated in the Cultivate WV program to kickstart community and economy building. Read their community case study.

Kingwood

Residents participated in the Blueprint Communities* program to engage their neighbors and co-create strategic plans for their future.

Lewis County

Residents participated in the Blueprint Communities* program to engage their neighbors and co-create strategic plans for their future.

Meadow River Valley Region

Residents participated in the Blueprint Communities* program to engage their neighbors and co-create strategic plans for their future. Read their community case study.

Monticello Neighborhood of Clarksburg

Residents participated in the Blueprint Communities* program to engage their neighbors and co-create strategic plans for their future. Watch their community documentary.

New Martinsville

Residents participated in the Blueprint Communities* program to engage their neighbors and co-create strategic plans for their future. Read their community case study.

Parsons

Residents participated in the Blueprint Communities* program to engage their neighbors and co-create strategic plans for their future.

Elkins

Residents participated in round 4 of The Hub’s capstone Communities of Achievement program with a focus on building local recreational economies. 

A core team led by Woodlands Development Group also participated in Opportunity Appalachia, receiving technical assistance to support a community development project located in an Opportunity Zone.

Community Coaching

In 2021, we accompanied 16 communities through our in-depth, professional coaching programs. In addition to leaning into coaching and financing opportunities offered through these programs, participating communities leveraged an additional $2.8 million in funding on their own for community economic development projects. While participating in our entry-level coaching program, Cultivate WV, Montgomery and Smithers realized momentum-building success through access to $40,000 in seed funding for projects like farmers markets, public art, wayfinding, community events, and development of a trail system.

Six communities, Lewis County, Kingwood, Meadow River Valley, Monticello neighborhood in Clarksburg, New Martinsville and Parsons, graduated the intermediate planning program Blueprint Communities* with strategic plans in place. We also launched a new round of HubCAP, our flagship community economic development program, in six towns located in the Monongahela National Forest region: Cowen, Franklin, White Sulphur Springs, Elkins, Marlinton, and Petersburg.

Franklin

Residents participated in round 4 of The Hub’s capstone Communities of Achievement program with a focus on building local recreational economies.

Marlinton

Residents participated in round 4 of The Hub’s capstone Communities of Achievement program with a focus on building local recreational economies.

Petersburg

Residents participated in round 4 of The Hub’s capstone Communities of Achievement program with a focus on building local recreational economies.

White Sulphur Springs

Residents participated in round 4 of The Hub’s capstone Communities of Achievement program with a focus on building local recreational economies.

Charleston

A core team led by Crawford Holdings, LLC participated in Opportunity Appalachia, receiving technical assistance to support a community development project located in an Opportunity Zone.

Huntington

Core teams led by Thundercloud, Inc. and the City of Huntington participated in Opportunity Appalachia, receiving technical assistance to support community development projects located in Opportunity Zones.

Grafton

A core team led by Unleash Tygart, Inc participated in Opportunity Appalachia, receiving technical assistance to support a community development project located in an Opportunity Zone.

Leadership Development

As hundreds of people began to engage in our virtual training activities in 2020, we saw a critical opportunity to scale and deepen our impact. This year, The Hub team developed an accessible, virtual platform with options for self-guided and group learning activities as well as professional coaching.

Kickstart Communities is now the crux of our efforts to bring new people into the work and grow their leadership. These activities now form the foundational stages of a Community Leadership Development Pipeline to move motivated residents from seeing the challenges in their communities to proactively collaborating to resolve them.

Message from our Executive Leadership Team

Fifteen years ago, stakeholders building up local communities and economies in West Virginia convened to map a coordinated strategy to systemically grow community economic development activity in the state. From the shared vision and collaborative leadership of dozens of strategic partners across the state, the WV Community Development Hub was born.

Since that time, The Hub has grown into the anchor community development organization serving West Virginia. We have built upon the original vision to create a method for rural, community-led development strategies that is uniquely tailored to the needs and opportunities of our state.

As we have grown and developed a proven model for success, our partnerships with community and economic development practitioners, funders, and committed West Virginia residents have been foundational to every element of our work.

Over the past two years, the team at The Hub has adapted to the unprecedented challenges our communities have faced during the pandemic by leaning into our core strengths to deepen our impact. The Hub remains committed to tackling persistent challenges, and we have focused our attention on the most impactful elements of our work.

We are supporting community leaders to advance their visions for local development, creating new pathways for engagement and leadership growth through our virtual training platform, and leading strategies that lift up voices of community leaders to move forward solutions to long-held challenges to growth.

If the past two years have taught us anything, it is that nothing about the future is set in stone. While the coming year may present enormous opportunities for advancement in our state, they will also inevitably require significant capacity building, shared strategies that are grounded in trust-based partnerships, and extended efforts to support the leadership development of individuals and organizations who have been asked to do more during a time of extreme stress and strain.

The services that anchor organizations like The Hub provide are even more critical in this time, and we expect our work to scale significantly in the coming years ahead.

We look forward to continuing to do the work of putting into action the vision and the shared strategies envisioned by that core group of community economic development practitioners and funders fifteen years ago.

In Continued Accompaniment,

– WV Community Development Hub
Executive Leadership Team

Stephanie Tyree

Executive Director

Amanda Workman Scott

Director of Community Engagement

Emma Pepper

Director of Strategic Network Communications

Katie Loudin

Director of Strategic Development