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Mountaineer Week 2020 to be held online Nov. 8-14

It may look a little different this year, but Mountaineer Week, West Virginia University’s annual celebration of Appalachian culture will take place Nov. 8-14. The 73rd celebration will offer a variety of activities, mainly geared toward WVU students, on the Morgantown campus and online.

The week’s signature event, the Arts & Craft Fair kicks off at noon Sunday, Nov. 8 with an online shop featuring the work of 26 Appalachian artisans. Site visitors will see examples and a description of each artisan’s craft, all original works juried into the fair based on cultural qualifications, artistic quality, craft ubiquity and manufacturing criteria. Categories represented include bath and body, jewelry, fibers and textiles, glass, fine art, wood, photography, decorative painting, food, and mixed media. Shoppers will be directed to the artisans’ websites for shopping. The Arts & Craft Fair is sponsored by Uptown Cheapskate Morgantown.

Acclaimed storyteller Ilene Evans will present Appalachian stories handed down over the years Wednesday, Nov. 11, at 7 p.m. Evans performs, teaches and lectures throughout the United States and overseas. She is a co-founder of Voices from the Earth, a non-profit arts organization dedicated to giving voice to American, particularly African American, history, tradition and language. The event will be held online via Zoom and is open to the public. The link will be posted on the Mountaineer Week website prior to the start of the performance.

WVU Students will have the opportunity to participate in a number of activities and competitions. The annual Beard Growing competition is underway now and the winner will be selected Nov. 14, after a judging in the Mountainlair. Contestant photos and information are available on the Mountaineer Week website. The annual photo contest will be held Nov. 10 – 13. Photo submissions are being accepted now through Nov. 8. The entries will be posted on the Mountaineer Week website and winners will be determined by online vote. Cash prizes will be awarded to the top three winners in both competitions and $150 will be awarded to the student organization with the most participation in each. The Beard Growing Competition and photo contest are sponsored by University Apartments.

WVU Students will have the opportunity to participate in a cookie decorating contest where the winner will receive a $25 gift card to Love, LC Bakeshop in Morgantown. DIY Quilt Kits will also be distributed to students interested in making a mug rug featuring the State of W.Va. Information about kit reservations will be available Nov. 8, at mountaineerweek.wvu.edu.

Video demonstrations of the time-honored Appalachian traditions of blacksmithing and broom making will be featured on the Mountaineer Week website, as well as demonstrations provided by the artisans participating in the online Arts & Craft Fair.

Music has always been a large part of Mountaineer Week and this year is no different. Jeff Fedan will be playing dulcimer music in the Mountainlair Nov. 10 -14, from 4 -7 p.m. for students dining in the student union.

WVUp All Night will also feature two live performances in honor of Mountaineer Week. Emily Lehr, a songwriter and instrumentalist from Martinsburg, and the lead singer of the WVU Bluegrass Band, will be performing Friday, Nov. 13, in the Mountainlair Food Court at 10:30 p.m. Saturday night, Nov. 14, The Honeysuckle Vines, a bluegrass and folk trio comprised of multi-instrumentalists and vocalists Mary Linscheid, Anna Dunham and Lehr, will play musical selections with three-part harmonies and eclectic vocal blends in Food Court starting at 10:30 p.m. These three students met while part of the Appalachian Music Ensemble in 2019. Both WVUp All Night performances are open to WVU Students only. The public is invited to watch via live stream on the WVU Arts & Entertainment Instagram and Facebook accounts at wvuevents.

This year’s Mountaineer Week will feature a new component, Comfort Food from Home. Comfort food is food prepared in a traditional style having a usually nostalgic or sentimental appeal. Appalachian foods have long been a sense of comfort in uncertain times and Mountaineer Week is an excellent time to share some of these recipes. Recipe, along with a brief description of what makes the dish special, will be posted on the Mountaineer Week website. Recipes are being accepted by online submission throughout the week and will be posted on the site as they are received.

Mountaineer Week is produced by WVU Arts & Entertainment. Additional information is available at mountaineerweek.wvu.edu. Stay connected with the latest event updates through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by following @wvuevents.

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