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  • Mr Hobert Collins

    Mr Hobert Collins

    Want to praise Lori McKinney, for all the help she is offering here in McDowell county... As a long time resident of McDowell county and caring community member no matter where I live, I want to continue to play a role in McDowell county. From the Create Your State Projects, The Open Mic Night we will be holding in March, the Artist Alley we looking to create with the help of Lori which we hope to include many local talent in both events and projects. Just from sharing the news of it, I already gained a few interest parties from young talented singers. As McDowell county continue to seek and search for alternatives we making a lot of head waves with the Turn McDowell Around, Holler Home/McDowell county Initiatives through projects of Agriculture, Tourism, Arts and Culture, Technology and etc. All these could further bring development for housing, and transportation which I think we have room for such to grow.

    Want to praise Lori McKinney, for all the help she is offering here in McDowell county...

    As a long time resident of McDowell county and caring community member no matter where I live, I want to continue to play a role in McDowell county. From the Create Your State Projects, The Open Mic Night we will be holding in March, the Artist Alley we looking to create with the help of Lori which we hope to include many local talent in both events and projects. Just from sharing the news of it, I already gained a few interest parties from young talented singers.
    As McDowell county continue to seek and search for alternatives we making a lot of head waves with the Turn McDowell Around, Holler Home/McDowell county Initiatives through projects of Agriculture, Tourism, Arts and Culture, Technology and etc. All these could further bring development for housing, and transportation which I think we have room for such to grow.

  • Natalie Taylor

    Natalie Taylor

    Williamsonn CVB | Tug Valley Chamber of Commerce Just want to share a few of our past successes as well as some new and exciting projects for the Tug Valley and Williamson area. 2016 brought new members to the Williamson CVB and with them came two amazing events. 1.) PokeFest, which captured the excitement and energy of the Pokemon Go craze, and 2.) SpookFest, a Halloween block party. Both of these events were promoted basically via social media (i.e. Facebook) and word of mouth, and both had HUGE crowds. PokeFest took place first, and while it was the excitement of the game that drew people to Williamson, they were pleased with the vendors, games, life-size characters, and chalk murals that decorated main street. This was probably a one time event, since Pokemon Go, like many things, was hot for a minute, and then not. However, we hope to add something in it’s place that will re-create the atmosphere and excitement for people of all ages. SpookFest was set up as a “Trick-or-Treat” business to business style event along with vendors, and a Haunted Alley. This is where we can definitely expand. So many people wanted more of a haunted house or haunted trail. Halloween is big business and we may have just struck gold. In an older town, and let’s face it, a town where there are plenty of empty storefronts, it’s easy to turn it into Halloween-town. Out chamber of Commerce office was covered in spiderwebs, and many of the other businesses in town decorated. We even had two outdoor dining events during the weekend of SpookFest. One local restaurant, 34:Ate had “Dinner in the Alley” and the Williamson Farmers Market also had their Farm 2 Table dinner during this event. In retrospect, we hope to be able to make the Farm 2 Table dinner a stand alone event. It was beautiful and tasty, just a lot going on with the many trick or treaters. So, what’s new for 2017? We plan to host several Night Markets downtown with vendors, outdoor yoga, vendors, music, etc. Basically it will be a fun atmosphere and give our community a central place to “hang-out” on the weekends, and hopefully give our Hatfield McCoy tourists a reason to stay the extra night. In addition, we are going to amp up the community vibe at our annual Hatfield McCoy Marathon. This has been our star event for the past 7 years or so, drawing nearly 1000 runners from around the country. Previous years have left us trying to cater solely to the runners, but based on the festival-street party events, we hope to draw out locals, which in turn will showcase our local heritage and spirit to the marathoners. Our chamber is working on a conference that will bring overnight stays to the Tug Valley and also working on an amazing speaker for our annual banquet. (More details to come) Since I’ve written a book today, I’ll update as things progress and new ideas are put to action! For more information about any of our events, feel free to call 304-235-5240 or find us on facebook. Tug Valley Chamber of Commerce or City of Williamson CVB Thanks for reading <3 -Natalie

    Williamsonn CVB | Tug Valley Chamber of Commerce

    Just want to share a few of our past successes as well as some new and exciting projects for the Tug Valley and Williamson area.

    2016 brought new members to the Williamson CVB and with them came two amazing events. 1.) PokeFest, which captured the excitement and energy of the Pokemon Go craze, and 2.) SpookFest, a Halloween block party. Both of these events were promoted basically via social media (i.e. Facebook) and word of mouth, and both had HUGE crowds.

    PokeFest took place first, and while it was the excitement of the game that drew people to Williamson, they were pleased with the vendors, games, life-size characters, and chalk murals that decorated main street. This was probably a one time event, since Pokemon Go, like many things, was hot for a minute, and then not. However, we hope to add something in it’s place that will re-create the atmosphere and excitement for people of all ages.

    SpookFest was set up as a “Trick-or-Treat” business to business style event along with vendors, and a Haunted Alley. This is where we can definitely expand. So many people wanted more of a haunted house or haunted trail. Halloween is big business and we may have just struck gold. In an older town, and let’s face it, a town where there are plenty of empty storefronts, it’s easy to turn it into Halloween-town. Out chamber of Commerce office was covered in spiderwebs, and many of the other businesses in town decorated. We even had two outdoor dining events during the weekend of SpookFest. One local restaurant, 34:Ate had “Dinner in the Alley” and the Williamson Farmers Market also had their Farm 2 Table dinner during this event. In retrospect, we hope to be able to make the Farm 2 Table dinner a stand alone event. It was beautiful and tasty, just a lot going on with the many trick or treaters.

    So, what’s new for 2017? We plan to host several Night Markets downtown with vendors, outdoor yoga, vendors, music, etc. Basically it will be a fun atmosphere and give our community a central place to “hang-out” on the weekends, and hopefully give our Hatfield McCoy tourists a reason to stay the extra night.

    In addition, we are going to amp up the community vibe at our annual Hatfield McCoy Marathon. This has been our star event for the past 7 years or so, drawing nearly 1000 runners from around the country. Previous years have left us trying to cater solely to the runners, but based on the festival-street party events, we hope to draw out locals, which in turn will showcase our local heritage and spirit to the marathoners.

    Our chamber is working on a conference that will bring overnight stays to the Tug Valley and also working on an amazing speaker for our annual banquet. (More details to come)

    Since I’ve written a book today, I’ll update as things progress and new ideas are put to action!

    For more information about any of our events, feel free to call 304-235-5240 or find us on facebook. Tug Valley Chamber of Commerce or City of Williamson CVB

    Thanks for reading <3 -Natalie

  • Melissa May

    Melissa May

    Thanks to Lori and her crew from the Create Your State tour for encouraging Fairmont to move forward with our ideas to make our community more creative. Your performance was energetic, entertaining and full of inspiration. As a visual artist I am excited by the energy you brought and what I see happening here and in other locations across WV. Thanks for your ongoing support and excellent planning tools. We look forward to working with you more.

    Thanks to Lori and her crew from the Create Your State tour for encouraging Fairmont to move forward with our ideas to make our community more creative. Your performance was energetic, entertaining and full of inspiration. As a visual artist I am excited by the energy you brought and what I see happening here and in other locations across WV. Thanks for your ongoing support and excellent planning tools. We look forward to working with you more.

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous

    Create Your State rocks! Their presentation in Fairmont in October 2016 helped re-energize our 4Fairmont community volunteer group. We have added some new members and are planning an arts festival in August using as guidelines the materials that Lori and her crew made available for us. Their support and the grant from Sherwin Williams for help with a public mural at Palatine Park is going to be crucial. Here's an update from our 4Fairmont group. Our next meeting is planned for tomorrow, Jan. 26, at 5 p.m. on the third floor of the Arts and Antiques Marketplace, Fairmont. If it snows or weather looks sketchy, I will email this group and reschedule for the following Thursday, Feb. 2. We had a great meeting last time with new faces! Rebecca Kimmons visited to tell us a little about Create West Virginia and we went over information that Lori McKinney from Create Your State shared with us related to planning an arts festival. Right now our two projects are an arts festival in August and a blog. Here’s an update. ARTS FESTIVAL Tentatively planned for Aug. 12-19, this weeklong arts festival will build on what Palatine Park (John Provins, MCPARC) has started. John has music (Soup Camel) and a luau scheduled for Aug. 12. He also has fire dancers (Arts of Fire) and entertainment planned for Aug. 19. He has a group of local artisans who did a vendor fair last year and we might be able to enlist them again. He has music planned for the Thursday night of that week. Our strategy is to work with other community arts organizations and individuals and businesses and venues to collaborate and cross-promote other arts events throughout the week and promote it all as one festival. Art in the Park (Rebecca Moran) is planning to lead our mural project at Palatine Park using paint granted to us by Sherwin Williams through Create Your State. The Arts and Humanities Commission (Melissa May, Leigh Anne Bolyard) is planning a variety show. The FSU Academy for the Arts (Leigh Anne Bolyard) will definitely participate. Since our last meeting, Leigh Anne Bolyard has agreed to be our main coordinator for the festival! Here’s the list of venues/artists/art orgs we brainstormed at our last meeting as potential resources: Denise McGinty- Davinci and Desserts and Jen Wells lead the Palatine arts vendors on Aug. 19; Arts and Humanities Commission; FSU; FSU Academy of the Arts; Mountain Creative; Joe N’Throw; Palatine Park; Vintage Theatre Company; live music; Chamber Music Society; John Schooley; John Morrison; Marion Co. Historical Society; Main Street Fairmont; Prickett’s Fort State Park; Heston Farm; Arts &amp; Antiques Marketplace; Kennedy Barn String Band; Frank and Jane Gabor WV Folklife Center at FSU; Main Street Yoga; Gatherings; Firehouse; green space on Adams/ movie/ FRN; First Baptist Church; other churches; yarn bombing. Check out this link for more info: createyourstate.org/tools. Did you attend and enjoy the Create Your State presentation in October? If so, send Lori and her peeps some love at createyourstate.org/changemakers. BLOG We talked about the need for more blog submissions. Thanks to Kate Greene for her rails and trails post. Check out the new blog: http://www.4fairmont.com/blog. Want to submit a post? Send it to me at this email address.

    Create Your State rocks! Their presentation in Fairmont in October 2016 helped re-energize our 4Fairmont community volunteer group. We have added some new members and are planning an arts festival in August using as guidelines the materials that Lori and her crew made available for us. Their support and the grant from Sherwin Williams for help with a public mural at Palatine Park is going to be crucial. Here's an update from our 4Fairmont group.

    Our next meeting is planned for tomorrow, Jan. 26, at 5 p.m. on the third floor of the Arts and Antiques Marketplace, Fairmont. If it snows or weather looks sketchy, I will email this group and reschedule for the following Thursday, Feb. 2.

    We had a great meeting last time with new faces! Rebecca Kimmons visited to tell us a little about Create West Virginia and we went over information that Lori McKinney from Create Your State shared with us related to planning an arts festival. Right now our two projects are an arts festival in August and a blog. Here’s an update.

    ARTS FESTIVAL

    Tentatively planned for Aug. 12-19, this weeklong arts festival will build on what Palatine Park (John Provins, MCPARC) has started. John has music (Soup Camel) and a luau scheduled for Aug. 12. He also has fire dancers (Arts of Fire) and entertainment planned for Aug. 19. He has a group of local artisans who did a vendor fair last year and we might be able to enlist them again. He has music planned for the Thursday night of that week. Our strategy is to work with other community arts organizations and individuals and businesses and venues to collaborate and cross-promote other arts events throughout the week and promote it all as one festival. Art in the Park (Rebecca Moran) is planning to lead our mural project at Palatine Park using paint granted to us by Sherwin Williams through Create Your State. The Arts and Humanities Commission (Melissa May, Leigh Anne Bolyard) is planning a variety show. The FSU Academy for the Arts (Leigh Anne Bolyard) will definitely participate. Since our last meeting, Leigh Anne Bolyard has agreed to be our main coordinator for the festival!

    Here’s the list of venues/artists/art orgs we brainstormed at our last meeting as potential resources: Denise McGinty- Davinci and Desserts and Jen Wells lead the Palatine arts vendors on Aug. 19; Arts and Humanities Commission; FSU; FSU Academy of the Arts; Mountain Creative; Joe N’Throw; Palatine Park; Vintage Theatre Company; live music; Chamber Music Society; John Schooley; John Morrison; Marion Co. Historical Society; Main Street Fairmont; Prickett’s Fort State Park; Heston Farm; Arts & Antiques Marketplace; Kennedy Barn String Band; Frank and Jane Gabor WV Folklife Center at FSU; Main Street Yoga; Gatherings; Firehouse; green space on Adams/ movie/ FRN; First Baptist Church; other churches; yarn bombing.

    Check out this link for more info: createyourstate.org/tools. Did you attend and enjoy the Create Your State presentation in October? If so, send Lori and her peeps some love at createyourstate.org/changemakers.

    BLOG

    We talked about the need for more blog submissions. Thanks to Kate Greene for her rails and trails post. Check out the new blog: http://www.4fairmont.com/blog. Want to submit a post? Send it to me at this email address.

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous

    Create Your State came to Tyler County in October, and from the event we started planning a festival in Middlebourne that will take place in June and recognize the arts. Because the fairgrounds are so close, there have been few festivals that actually take place in town. Our intentions are to draw artists from as far as possible to the town (in order to help business) and inspire local artists to get involved. Lori McKinney and her team did an excellent job of facilitating conversation and helping us reach this idea, which we feel can greatly benefit the community. I will use this forum to keep you updated!

    Create Your State came to Tyler County in October, and from the event we started planning a festival in Middlebourne that will take place in June and recognize the arts. Because the fairgrounds are so close, there have been few festivals that actually take place in town. Our intentions are to draw artists from as far as possible to the town (in order to help business) and inspire local artists to get involved. Lori McKinney and her team did an excellent job of facilitating conversation and helping us reach this idea, which we feel can greatly benefit the community. I will use this forum to keep you updated!

  • Carrie Kidd-Gravley

    Carrie Kidd-Gravley

    Harmony for Hope was born from the desire of a small group of locals who want to see a music, art and technology based education program brought into the Mt. Hope. West Virginia community which will spread out into the rest of Fayette County. In 2011 the high school located in the Mt. Hope area was closed and consolidated with the neighboring community high school of Oak Hill, WV. In small town Appalachia, community is not just valuable, it’s sacred. By closing the local high school many people feared with the loss of their school, the local community and its culture would go with it. In October of 2010 a group of former students from Mt. Hope formed an alumni marching band prior to the consolidation of the two schools. Wanting to keep their local traditions alive this group decided to continue participating in yearly festivals to ensure that part of their local heritage was preserved for future generations. Within the first few years of preforming as a group, area children began to become excited in what they were seeing in the community, a musical moment. This excitement has led to the inception of a vision which we are looking to pursue further. It is our hope by offering music, art and technical education to all Fayette County children starting at the earliest ages of life we will be able to bring a project into the Mt. Hope area which will stem out and feed back into the existing arts programs. To implement this vision Harmony for Hope has begun to take steps to bring about the change we want to see in our area. Currently we sponsor an annual project with the Mt. Hope Alumni Band connecting area musicians with instruments allowing residents the opportunity to participate in a local event, the Mt. Hope Jubilee. By allowing these residents an opportunity to re-live a musical moment from a time when they first began to build their love for music we have begun to inspire community members to once again become more active in the arts community. With their volunteer efforts we are looking to expand our program so this dream for our town becomes a reality. Our passion to ensure this project remains successful and grows into a cultural connector has led us to Lori and the “Create Your State Program”. We are beginning to work with her in hopes this project will one day be the change needed in our area of Mt. Hope, surrounding Fayette County, and eventually the state of West Virginia.

    Harmony for Hope was born from the desire of a small group of locals who want to see a music, art and technology based education program brought into the Mt. Hope. West Virginia community which will spread out into the rest of Fayette County. In 2011 the high school located in the Mt. Hope area was closed and consolidated with the neighboring community high school of Oak Hill, WV. In small town Appalachia, community is not just valuable, it’s sacred. By closing the local high school many people feared with the loss of their school, the local community and its culture would go with it.
    In October of 2010 a group of former students from Mt. Hope formed an alumni marching band prior to the consolidation of the two schools. Wanting to keep their local traditions alive this group decided to continue participating in yearly festivals to ensure that part of their local heritage was preserved for future generations. Within the first few years of preforming as a group, area children began to become excited in what they were seeing in the community, a musical moment. This excitement has led to the inception of a vision which we are looking to pursue further. It is our hope by offering music, art and technical education to all Fayette County children starting at the earliest ages of life we will be able to bring a project into the Mt. Hope area which will stem out and feed back into the existing arts programs.
    To implement this vision Harmony for Hope has begun to take steps to bring about the change we want to see in our area. Currently we sponsor an annual project with the Mt. Hope Alumni Band connecting area musicians with instruments allowing residents the opportunity to participate in a local event, the Mt. Hope Jubilee. By allowing these residents an opportunity to re-live a musical moment from a time when they first began to build their love for music we have begun to inspire community members to once again become more active in the arts community. With their volunteer efforts we are looking to expand our program so this dream for our town becomes a reality. Our passion to ensure this project remains successful and grows into a cultural connector has led us to Lori and the “Create Your State Program”. We are beginning to work with her in hopes this project will one day be the change needed in our area of Mt. Hope, surrounding Fayette County, and eventually the state of West Virginia.

  • Patty Anderson

    Patty Anderson

    You are cordially invited to Readers and Writers Event at the Co-op, 56 S. Marsham Street, Romney WV 26757 on January 21st and 22nd. Authors, bring your books. Readers, come and enjoy! http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Readers-and-Writers-Event-at--The-Co-op--.html?soid=1102482426592&amp;aid=Sdg-TGh102w

    You are cordially invited to Readers and Writers Event at the Co-op, 56 S. Marsham Street, Romney WV 26757 on January 21st and 22nd. Authors, bring your books. Readers, come and enjoy!

    http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Readers-and-Writers-Event-at--The-Co-op--.html?soid=1102482426592&aid=Sdg-TGh102w

  • Patty Anderson

    Patty Anderson

    We loved having Lori and the RifRaf bring their inspiring presentation to Romney in 2016. They were inspiring and extremely helpful and motivating! The transformations made in Princeton can be a springboard for all of our small communities in WV! In Romney, community members banded together and restored an old, historic farmer's co-op and opened our Arts Co-op in November! We will add Farmer's Market outside as soon as the weather cooperates. Visit Friends of the Co-op on Facebook to see what we have done! https://www.facebook.com/groups/FriendsOfTheCo.Op/ We are building a Classroom/Workshop inside the building next with an area reserved for performances. We have Voice, Piano and Violin teachers for a start to our Music School. We are working with local building owners, artists and art students to plan "Paint the Town." We are planning our first Music and Arts Week! The photo is me at a Springerle Cookie Class by "The Opera Singing Chef" from San Diego who moved to Romney! Thanks to Lori and the RifRaf for inspiring us and for your guidance. We can't wait to visit Princeton!

    We loved having Lori and the RifRaf bring their inspiring presentation to Romney in 2016. They were inspiring and extremely helpful and motivating!
    The transformations made in Princeton can be a springboard for all of our small communities in WV!

    In Romney, community members banded together and restored an old, historic farmer's co-op and opened our Arts Co-op in November! We will add Farmer's Market outside as soon as the weather cooperates. Visit Friends of the Co-op on Facebook to see what we have done! https://www.facebook.com/groups/FriendsOfTheCo.Op/

    We are building a Classroom/Workshop inside the building next with an area reserved for performances.

    We have Voice, Piano and Violin teachers for a start to our Music School.

    We are working with local building owners, artists and art students to plan "Paint the Town."

    We are planning our first Music and Arts Week!

    The photo is me at a Springerle Cookie Class by "The Opera Singing Chef" from San Diego who moved to Romney!

    Thanks to Lori and the RifRaf for inspiring us and for your guidance. We can't wait to visit Princeton!