The grant was successful! The West Virginia Storytelling Guild and Fairmont State University will host the first WV Storytelling Institute at Fairmont State University the first weekend of April, 2008.
Big thanks to Fran Kirk of the University, Joann Dadisman of the WV Storytelling Guild and all their committee members who have been working for the past year to make this a reality.
I will post more information about the Institute as it is released. I know the line-up of presenters is impressive, including national and regional tellers and folklorists.
Fairmont State has a long involvement with Appalachian folklore. Ruth Ann Musick, probably the state's most prolific folklore collector, was a professor there for many years. With her students she collected hundreds of stories from around the state. Some of the tales are published in her books, the most popular of which is The Telltale Lilac Bush (referenced in my earlier post about WV ghost stories). Judy Byers took up Musick's work and continued to develop the program into a thriving curriculum.
The University is the site of the WV Folklife Center and is working on a campaign to develop a new location for the Center to house its growing work and collection.