Fairmont State University Folklife Center to introduce ‘Trunk of Traditional Tunes’

FAIRMONT — The Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center will begin work on an online curriculum and resource project, The Trunk of Traditional Tunes, funded by the West Virginia Humanities Council through a CARES Act Emergency Relief Grant. 

The Trunk of Traditional Tunes will be a collection of resources that includes lesson plans, student handouts, lecture videos, video interviews, links to field recordings, among other materials. Lessons will cover traditional West Virginia music and musicians, including information about musical traditions passed down from generation to generation, along with the preservation of those musical traditions. These lessons will also include teacher-ready learning assessments. Online curriculum and resources will be available through the Fairmont State University website.

“West Virginia has a deep and rich cultural heritage,” said Fairmont State University President, Mirta M. Martin. “These musical traditions have been shaped by the unique experiences of this region’s people – good times and bad, love and loss, pain and joy. Fairmont State’s mission includes providing access to education to anyone who seeks it. Through The Trunk of Traditional Tunes online project, we can uphold that mission and help keep those amazing cultural traditions alive for generations to come.”

The West Virginia Humanities Council is a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Its purpose is to support humanities education, research and programing in West Virginia. The WVHC provided more than $400,000 in CARES Act Relief Grants to institutions in West Virginia.

The CARES Act Emergency Relief Grant is an aide program to assist those who were impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The WVHC granted the Folklife Center with more than $19,000 to fund The Trunk of Traditional Tunes project.

“The pandemic made us realize our need for digital resources. It also reinforced our need to document our state’s rich musical traditions. The CARES Act grant will allow us not only to create these important resources, but to make them available to teachers, students and the community online,” said Interim Director of the Folklife Center, Francene Kirk.

The Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center on the Fairmont State University campus is dedicated to the preservation of West Virginia’s rich cultural heritage. The Center hosts the archives of dulcimer player and teacher Patty Looman and is home to the University’s academic minors in museum and folklore studies. The Center is currently open to the public. For information about in-person or online events hosted by the Folklife Center, call (304) 367-4403.

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