Seventeen-year-old Anna Fleenor of Bristol first raced on a drag strip as part of a youth racing class. From the passenger seat, her father, Chris—a seasoned racer—offered tips to quell her nerves. But as soon as the light turned green, he gave Anna a command that she still hears in her head when it’s time to race: “Mash it.”
Our Virginia Folklife team recently presented transcribed oral histories to the Reedville Fishermen’s Museum.
On April 9, 2023, the National Mall transformed from a space of American nationalism and Western secularism into a celebration of Punjabi heritage and Sikh history with the 6th annual Sikh Freedom March.
Beloved clawhammer banjoist “Uncle Wade” was born on Saddle Creek, just outside of Independence, Virginia, on October 15, 1892 and lived in Grayson County all his life.
Bart Long of Bristol, VA, has a hitch of Clydesdales that he regularly brings to community parades, including to the recent Memorial Day parade in Marion, VA.
This year, Linda Skeens of Russell County returned to the VA-KY Fair with a new book in tow: “Blue Ribbon Kitchen: Recipes and Tips from America’s Favorite County Fair Champion.”
Hip-hop artist Geonoah Davis was born and raised in Big Stone Gap, and he is making it his mission to build a supportive community for artists like him—artists that do not fall into stereotypical Appalachian categories.
PhD Candidate Perri Meldon shares her research into the cultural and ecological histories of Virginia’s Great Dismal Swamp.
Elsa Howell, who is learning the art of Appalachian ballad singing through our Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship Program, reflects on the important role music plays in her culture and community.
Founded in 1992, Bristol Raceway Ministries is a church-led effort to organize services for spectators at the Bristol Motor Speedway. “We get to experience every aspect of life here at the track,” says volunteer Bobby Branch.
Old-time musician Tyler Hughes is now co-managing a new funding opportunity for traditional arts in and around Bristol. “People in the Appalachian region deserve to have the fullest life that they can achieve,” he says.
Richard Maxham is apprenticing under Lynchburg violin maker Daniel Smith, though the Maxham name has been intimately involved with violin making and performance for five generations.