On November 6, 2022, Dr. Lydia Warren joined Fairmont State University as the new Director of the Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center. Warren brings experience in museums, music, and grant writing to the role. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia, a Bachelor of Arts from Smith College, and an Associate of Science from Middlesex Community College.
Warren is passionate about traditional arts and culture, and she is enthusiastic about her role at Fairmont State University.
“The Folklife Center is an incredible place of preservation and education for Fairmont State University students and the community,” said Warren. “I am honored to carry on the great work of the previous Directors and foster new opportunities for engagement and learning.”
Since becoming Director, Warren has worked hard on programming events so the Folklife Center has a full schedule this spring.
“We want to give everyone access to our regional culture—such as music, dance, and storytelling—and we are ready to welcome guests to the Folklife Center this spring,” said Warren.
The Folklife Center's Spring 2023 event schedule is as follows:
- Sunday, March 26 at 2 p.m. the Folklife Center presents Dr. Travis Stimeling and Mary Linscheid, who will share their lecture titled “Gravestones, Cemetery Plants, and the Upper Mon Valley Deathscape.”
- Friday, March 31 at 5 p.m. the Folklife Center hosts Kestrel’s Celebration.
- Thursday, April 6 at 6 p.m. the Folklife Center hosts Master Gardner Emily Reitz and her workshop “The 10 Herbs You Should Know.”
- Friday, April 14 the West Virginia Storytelling Guild presents their spring concert at the Folklife Center which is titled “Tadpole Tales: We are Hatchin’ and Hoppin.’”
- Sunday, April 16 at 2 p.m. the Folklife Center hosts award-winning flatfoot dancer Lou Maiuri. Along with the Kennedy Barn String Band, Mr. Mairuri will provide a demonstration and flatfoot lesson.
All events are free except the April 14 event, which is free for students (with student ID) and a $10 suggestion donation for community members. In addition to events, the Folklife Center is open to visitors from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
The Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center is located in a restored historic barn on the campus of Fairmont State University, housing academic programs in museum and folklife studies. The Center is the home of the Ruth Ann Musick Folklore Archive and the Patty Looman Traditional Music Archive. Its gallery exhibits and events are open to the public, and its archives are available to students, faculty and researchers. The Center’s mission is to preserve and perpetuate West Virginia’s rich cultural heritage. For more information, contact (304) 367-4286.