Sights & Sounds

Virginia Folklife Program Transcribes Oral Histories for Reedville Fishermen’s Museum

Our Virginia Folklife team recently presented transcribed oral histories to the Reedville Fishermen’s Museum.

Sights & Sounds

Daal, Kirtan & Chunni on the National Mall

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.

Sights & Sounds

A Tribute to Virginia Folk Hero “Uncle Wade” Ward

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.

Sights & Sounds

Celebration of Virginia Folklife at the Library of Virginia Recap

Last weekend, we presented a two-day “Celebration of Virginia Folklife” on July 7 and 8, 2023 at the Library of Virginia in Richmond, as part of the Library’s year-long 200th anniversary celebration.

Sights & Sounds

Bart Long Shares His Clydesdale Team With Bristol

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.

Sights & Sounds

Linda Skeens’s ‘Blue Ribbon Kitchen’

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.”

Sights & Sounds

geonovah: Big Stone Rap

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.

Betty Vornbrock is seated next to Sharon Andreucci who is standing in Vonrbrock's music room, surrounded by colorful tapestries and instruments on the walls.Sights & Sounds

Betty Vornbrock & Sharon Andreucci

Betty Vornbrock of Hillsville has spent the last year teaching Sharon Andreucci of Galax old-time fiddle tunes—particularly repertoire played by Appalachian women.

Black bear stands among overgrown vegetation and faces the camera head-on. In the background, a water control structure can be seen. Photo by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.Sights & Sounds

Trapping Black Bears in the Great Dismal Swamp

PhD Candidate Perri Meldon shares her research into the cultural and ecological histories of Virginia’s Great Dismal Swamp.

Martha Spencer of the Whitetop Mountain Band performing at the Wytheville Community College Jamboree on March 18, 2023. All photos by Pat Jarrett / Virginia Humanities.Sights & Sounds

Listen: Wytheville Community College Jamboree

Listen to two sets from Wytheville Community College’s Bluegrass and Old-Time Jamboree, and enjoy a tall tale by Thornton Spencer.

Alanjha and BJ stand at the edge of a street in front of houses, both wearing bright blue and patterned clothing.Sights & Sounds

Bernadette “B.J.” Lark and Alanjha Harris

As a mentor artist in our Apprenticeship Program, B.J. Lark of Roanoke, Virginia, has spent the last year teaching 18-year-old Alanjha Harris the soul-stirring power of Gullah Geechee-style gospel singing.

Photo of an older man sitting with his arm around a young boy holding a long-necked stringed instrumentSights & Sounds

Kazem Davoudian & Alexander Sabet

Kazem Davoudian of Sterling, VA, is an experienced Ostad (master artist, in Farsi) of Iranian classical music. He is teaching Alexander Sabet of Washington, DC, how to play the tar, a traditional long-necked string instrument.

A young woman stands in the middle of the woodsSights & Sounds

Home Is the Sound of Rivers and Crooked Roads

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.

Johsua is pictured mid dance with a partner in the foreground facing him, both reaching out for the other's hand, in a warmly lit dance studio with wooden floors.Sights & Sounds

Joshua Purnell & Tom Norris

For dancer Joshua Purnell and his apprentice Tom Norris, blues dancing is a means to build and maintain community in their hometown of Norfolk.