Two musicians on perform on stage under a green wash of light.  A woman sits right holding a microphone wearing a bright orange top.  To the left, a man sits on a stool playing guitar.  He wears a blue top and a flat cap.

Image: Doris A. Fields, aka Lady D and R & B, soul, and blues musician from Beckley performs at The Freefolk Brewery in
Fayetteville, WV. Credit: Jordan Lovejoy

Central Appalachia Living Traditions (CALT) is a multi-year program designed to promote the understanding, and recognition of folk arts and culture in Central Appalachia through a three-part program that invests in folk arts communities while seeding new folk and traditional arts experiences and honoring underrecognized practitioners of Central Appalachian traditions across the region. This new initiative has been developed in response to Mid Atlantic Art’s Central Appalachian Folk and Traditional Arts Research and Survey Project (CAFTA) completed in 2020. To read the CAFTA Project Executive Summary click here

Mid Atlantic Arts has partnered with the area’s three state folklife programs, Ohio Arts Council, West Virginia Folklife Program, and Virginia Folklife Program, in order to connect CALT with state-based folklife initiatives and promote the sharing of knowledge and resources across the region, particularly in border communities.  

This program serves the counties of Ohio, West Virginia, and Virginia designated as Appalachian by the Appalachian Regional Commission. For a full list of those counties click here

Program Areas

CALT has three program areas: Folk Arts and Culture Community Anchors Initiative, Folk and Traditional Arts Experiences, and Recognizing Folk Arts and Culture Champions. Collectively, these new programs are intended to stabilize local venues, create greater connectivity among organization and community leaders, increase the visibility of folk arts and culture, and facilitate the transmission of artistic skills and cultural knowledge. The programs will be launched in phases beginning in June 2021 through April 2024.


Emily Hilliard, Program Director, Folk & Traditional Arts,

Follow CALT on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Logo mark is a circle with yellow, blue, and plum geometric sections designed to look like stylized mountains. To the left are the word Central Appalachia Living Traditions in plum colored type.
Recognizing Folk Arts & Culture Champions

The Recognizing Folk Arts and Culture Champions Initiative is a series of folk arts and culture fellowship programs initiated through partnerships established with organizations deeply immersed in communities of artistic practice. These fellowship programs intend to honor underrecognized tradition bearers through local award events that engage the community to celebrate culture and heritage, as well as through local, regional, and national publicity. Each fellowship includes a financial award that encourages recipients to continue their work passing on artistic skill and cultural knowledge to a younger generation.

The National Association of Black Storytellers’ Black Appalachian Storytellers Fellowship

Mid Atlantic Arts, in conjunction with South Arts, is thrilled to partner with the National Association of Black Storytellers (NABS) on the Black Appalachian Storytellers Fellowship program.

The Black Appalachian Storytellers Fellowships are intended to honor, celebrate, and support Black storytellers residing in the Appalachian counties (as designated by the Appalachian Regional Commission) of Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. The goals of the fellowship program are to preserve and advance the understanding of Black Appalachian storytelling that embodies the history, heritage, and culture of African Americans, and to build bridges through intergenerational opportunities.

The 2022-2023 Black Appalachian Storytellers Fellows are: 


  • Alicestyne Turley: Author, Professor, Advocate, Mentor; Powell County 

North Carolina 

  • Raymond Christian: Performer, Podcast Producer; Teaching Artist, Mentor; Watauga County 


  • David Butcher: Historian, Genealogist, Curator, Museum Founder; Athens County 


  • James “Sparky” Rucker: Performer, Recording Artist, Teaching Artist, Civil Rights Activist; Blount County 

West Virginia 

  • Crystal Good: Publisher, Performer, Ted-Talker, Mentor, Author; Kanawha County 
  • Ruby Daniels: Soil Conservationist, Therapeutic Herbalist, Workshop Presenter; Raleigh County 

Fellows receive a cash award of $4,000 to support their practice as a Black Appalachian storyteller and culture bearer with opportunities to examine, research, develop and perform and/or document the Black Appalachian storytelling tradition. Additionally, the fellows will receive $1,000 for travel to the Annual National Black Storytelling Festival and Conference to be held in Baltimore, MD, November 9-13th and a one-year membership in the organization. Fellows will present at the “In the Tradition…” Festival as well as develop and present a program in their home communities.

The mission of the National Association of Black Storytellers is to promote and perpetuate the art of Black storytelling—an art form which embodies the history, heritage, and culture of African Americans. Black storytellers educate and entertain through the oral tradition, which depicts and documents the African American experience. A nationally organized body with individual, affiliate, and organizational memberships, NABS preserves and passes on the folklore, legends, myths, fables, and mores of Africans and their descendants and ancestors – “In the Tradition…” .

Learn more about NABS and the Black Appalachian Storytellers Fellowship here.

National Association of Black Storytellers logo


Appalachian Foodways Practitioner Fellowship

2023 Program
Applications are now being accepted for the 2023 Appalachian Foodways Practitioners Fellowship. Applicants must be from an Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) designated county and state and priority will be given to applicants from OH, VA, and WV.

Fellows may include, but are not limited to home cooks and bakers, seed savers, farmers, community elders, keepers of recipes and traditional foodways knowledge, hunters, and foragers, who have made significant and long-term contributions to sustaining and supporting the foodways heritage of their respective communities. 

The 2023 Appalachian Foodways Practitioner Fellows will be honored at an awards ceremony and invited to present at a session at the 2023 Appalachian Studies Association Annual Conference in Athens, OH. In addition to the monetary award of $4,000 to support their ongoing community-based work, fellows will receive a unique physical award created by an Appalachian artist.

Potential applicants can learn more about the program and apply here. The deadline is February 1, 2023.

Grow Appalachia, the Appalachian Studies Association, and Mid Atlantic Arts’ Central Appalachia Living Traditions program are thrilled to partner to host the Appalachian Foodways Practitioner Fellowship to honor, celebrate, and support foodways tradition bearers and practitioners in the Appalachian region. 

Grow Appalachia Logo. Right side are the words Grow Appalachia stacked in block format. Right side on the same line are three stick figure people hand to hand. Below both across the bottom are the words Berea College. The logo is black copy on a white background.

2022 Program and Fellows
In 2022, Mid Atlantic Arts partnered with the Appalachian Food Summit (AFS) on the inaugural Appalachian Food Summit Foodways Practitioner Fellowship program.

The Appalachian Foodways Practitioner Fellowships are intended to honor, celebrate, and support foodways tradition bearers and practitioners in Central Appalachia who have made significant and long-term contributions to sustaining and supporting the foodways heritage of their respective communities.

The 2022 Appalachian Foodways Practitioner Fellows are:

  • Yawah Awolowo of Knoxville, Tennessee
  • Travis and Rebecka Fugate of Emmalena, Kentucky
  • Wayne Riley of London, Kentucky

Learn more about this year’s fellows here. Watch the Foodways Practitioners Fellowship awards ceremony here.

The Appalachian Food Summit is a community of writers, scholars, advocates, restaurateurs, farmers, producers, chefs, and mountain foodways enthusiasts gathered around the table with a shared mission to honor the past, celebrate the present, and support a sustainable future for Appalachia, its food, and its people.

Folk and Traditional Arts Experiences

A group of people shot from the back - hands joined in a folk dance. They wear street clothes and in the background, a carousel and ticket booth can be seen.


Mid Atlantic Arts’ Central Appalachia Living Traditions: Folk and Traditional Arts Experiences grants fund public-facing projects and events in ARC-designated Appalachian counties of Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia that bring community members together around folk and traditional arts practice and cultural knowledge. Funded projects will encourage broad public awareness, understanding, and appreciation of living traditions and/or grow and disseminate artistic skill and cultural knowledge within the community. Because this program intends to diversify and expand the types of folk arts and cultural activities available in communities throughout the region, applications must be for new projects or projects that expand and/or diversify existing programming.

Non-profit organizations and folk and traditional artists/practitioners in the ARC-designated Appalachian counties of Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia are eligible to apply for grant amounts from $1,000 to $10,000. No match is required. The majority of project activities must take place within the designated counties.

Eligible project activities include but are not limited to hands-on learning experiences, workshops where traditional artistic practices are taught or demonstrated to the public or a group of peer practitioners, public art projects, exhibitions of folk and traditional art, a performance project or series, film/video, podcast, or archival collection or fieldwork with a significant public-facing component.

Priority will be given to projects that engage multi-generational participants as well as projects occurring in communities identified as under-resourced or marginalized, including the most geographically remote counties in the region. A diverse group of folk and traditional arts specialists, including folklorists, cultural workers, artists, practitioners, and culture bearers in Central Appalachia will serve as panelists and provide program feedback informed by their role in application review.

Questions? Contact Emily Hilliard, Program Director, Folk and Traditional Arts, at


The 2022-2023 Central Appalachia Living Traditions Folk and Traditional Arts Experiences grants cycle is closed. Information about the 2023-2024 program will be announced in summer 2023.

The guidelines below are for information purposes only.



Sample Application Form



An informational webinar for the 2022-2023 CALT Folk and Traditional Arts Experiences grants was held on September 8, 2022 at 11am EST.

Click here to view the video recording.
Click here to view the slide deck from the presentation.


2023 Grants



Rebecca Hill 
Gender-Free Square Dance Calling Zine 
Brentwood, MD  


Hippodrome Colony Historical Theatre Association 
Stage Door Appalachian Music Showcase 
Marietta, OH 

Quinn (Talcon Quinn) Fuller 
Rooted Traditions 
The Plains, OH 

Southern Ohio Folklife 
Las Culturas del Sur de Ohio 
Friendship, OH 

Underground Railroad Museum 
Cultural Festival /Fundraising Event for the Underground Railroad Museum 
Flushing, OH  


Floyd Community Center for the Arts 
Living Traditions – A Celebration of Floyd County’s Folk and Traditional Arts 
Floyd, VA 

Live Work Eat Grow 
Common Ground: 4 Seasons of Cross-Cultural Foodways in an Appalachian Community Garden 
Blacksburg, VA 

Second Stage Amherst 
“Live From Rose Ridge” Live Radio Broadcast 
Amherst, VA 

Southwest Virginia Community College Educational Foundation 
An Appalachian Awakening 
Cedar Bluff, VA  

West Virginia 

Arthurdale Heritage 
Handing Down our Heritage: Fiber Arts in Arthurdale, WV 
Arthurdale, WV  

Dakota Karper 
Community Square Dance/Contra Dance Series with Calling Workshops 
Capon Bridge, WV  

Davis & Elkins College 
Cooking in Community: Foodways Traditions from Appalachia and Beyond 
Elkins, WV  

Doris Fields 
Those Who Came Before 
Beckley, WV  

Eleanor Marshall 
Honoring an Authentic Appalachian Invention by Pioneer Women: An Intergenerational Apprenticeship for Learning and Teaching Salt-rising Bread 
Wheeling, WV  

Kanawha Valley Friends of Old-Time Music and Dance 
Old-Time Winter Breakdown Weekend 
Charleston, WV  

Step by Step 
West Virginia Dreamers Appalachian Folk and Blues Sessions 
Charleston, WV  


2023 Program Panelists  

Dr. Sophia M. Enriquez 
Assistant Professor of music and Latino/a studies at Duke University, folk musician, native of Appalachian Ohio 
Durham, NC 

Dr. Luke Eric Lassiter  
Professor of humanities and anthropology and director of the Graduate Humanities Program at Marshall University 
South Charleston, WV 


COVID-19 Coronavirus 

As you know, this is a rapidly evolving situation, and we recognize the need to be flexible.  We recognize that out of an abundance of caution, grantees may need to cancel grant-supported engagements or activities. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to our Director of Operations, Phillip Harmon, or the Mid Atlantic Arts program director handling your specific grant program or activity to discuss your concerns or options. You can find staff contact information here.  Please be assured we will not penalize grantees for canceling grants due to COVID-19 coronavirus considerations and will be as flexible as we can within the limits of our own funder limitations. 

Virtual Engagement Guidance

As arts organizations evolve in response to a changing landscape, Mid Atlantic Arts will continue to take a flexible approach to our program policies during this time. While we believe that live, in-person performances are hard to replace, we are also open to adaptive approaches that will ensure continued access to these arts experiences. Therefore, we are glad to announce the following policy for virtual engagements as an option for our grantees to fulfill their public performance and community engagement activity requirements. Please read the full guidance document to understand the requirements of presenting your funded engagement as a virtual presentation. We have also included links to a few resources that may help you guide your decisions around virtual presentation.

Mid Atlantic Arts Virtual Engagement Guide as a PDF (link opens in a new window) 
Mid Atlantic Arts Virtual Engagement Guide as an accessible Word document (Click link to download) 

Changes in Project Proposal

Any changes in the content, schedule, or budget of your project as proposed must be submitted in writing for approval prior to being implemented. Requested changes must be submitted to Phillip Harmon, Director of Operations, at 

Funding Acknowledgement and Crediting

Acknowledgement and Crediting requirements were included as Exhibit A of the Grant Award Agreement. 

Grantees must clearly acknowledge support from Mid Atlantic Arts through use of both the credit language and logo as outlined below. Use of the Mid Atlantic Arts logo does not replace the credit language. Copies of the required crediting materials must be submitted as part of the final report. 

Credit and Logo Usage Details 

The following statement and the Mid Atlantic Arts logo MUST appear in all programs, websites and press releases produced by the funded organization or its agents in relation to the funded project. In addition, the following statement and the Mid Atlantic Arts logo and Central Appalachia Living Traditions logo should be included whenever possible, either jointly or separately as necessary, in all flyers and postcards, email communications, season brochures, social media posts and calendars, and any other print or electronic promotional and publicity materials produced by the funded organization or its agents in relation to the funded project. 

  • This statement must be used in its entirety and cannot be altered in any way. 

This project is made possible through the Central Appalachia Living Traditions Folk & Traditional Arts Experiences program of Mid Atlantic Arts. 

Website Link 

Grantees are required to include a link to the Mid Atlantic Arts website at when crediting Mid Atlantic Arts on their website. This link MUST remain active during the entire length of your grant period with Mid Atlantic Arts. You are requested, but not required, to embed the link in Mid Atlantic Arts’ logo. 

Final Reports 

Final report requirements and instructions were included as Exhibit B of the Grant Award Agreement. 

Grantees are required to submit a final report which is due thirty (30) days after the end of the grant period on record as listed in the Grant Award Agreement. 

Final reports are to be completed online at  

For questions about your grant and the crediting or final reporting requirements, contact Phillip Harmon, Director of Operations, at or 410.539. 6656 x109. 

Photo: Performers and attendees at the Annual Warren Greek Festival of the St. Demetrios Orthodox Church near downtown Warren in Trumbull County, Ohio. Credit: Jess Lamar Reece Holler. 

Folk Arts and Culture Community Anchors Initiative

This comprehensive program provides targeted resources and support to select community anchors of folk arts and culture in the region with the goal of dramatically impacting the sustainability of traditional practice and cultural knowledge. Participant communities will be identified in consultation with our State Folklife Program partners and other constituents. 

To ensure long-lasting impact at the community-level, each selected community anchor site will develop a Community Folk Art and Culture Team to represent their community. With the support of Mid Atlantic Arts’ Folk and Traditional Arts Program Director, the team will collectively lead the planning and implementation of the project, including the creation of a Community Folk Arts and Culture Plan that details strategies and activities to increase the sustainability of folk arts and culture in their community, specifically through the intergenerational transmission of artistic skill and cultural knowledge. The Team will then be invited to apply, in collaboration with local organizations and artist/practitioners, for up to $75,000 in support of approved project activities that align with their plan. Members of the Team may include community scholars, community leaders, advocates, folk and traditional arts practitioners, and affiliated business owners. 

Learn more about the Central Appalachian Folk and Traditional Arts Survey and Planning Project

About the CAFTA Survey and Planning Project

Completed in spring 2020, the Central Appalachian Folk and Traditional Arts (CAFTA) Survey and Planning Project was a project of Mid Atlantic Arts in cooperation with the Livelihoods Knowledge Exchange Network (LiKEN).

During this multi-year project, Mid Atlantic worked in collaboration with LiKEN and a dynamic and dedicated group of Field Team and Advisory Group members to assess the needs and opportunities for a folk and traditional arts program in the region of Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia designated as Appalachian. Learn more about the target area for this project.

Mid Atlantic Arts owes substantial gratitude to the hundreds of individuals who contributed to this project by providing valuable information to the Field Team. We deeply appreciate the traditional artists, culture bearers, community leaders and members, organizers, business owners, and arts advocates that generously offered local context and personal insights about their cultural practice and experiences. Learn more about our project partners.

What did we learn?

For a quick overview of the CAFTA Project and findings, please check out the CAFTA Executive Summary. 

View the Executive Summary as a PDF

Detailed project findings are available in the materials listed below. We hope that these materials can serve as a resource to others creating, studying, and working in the region. 

CAFTA Final Report
A summary of project activities and research methods and presentation of findings based on specific learning objectives.

View the Final Report as a PDF
Download an accessible word version of the Final Report

CAFTA Comprehensive Program Proposal
Program recommendations for Mid Atlantic Arts and the field at large based on opportunities identified in the Final Report

View the Comprehensive Program Proposal as a PDF
Download an accessible word version of the Comprehensive Program Proposal

CAFTA Photo Gallery
A collection of images taken by the CAFTA Field Team during the project

Open the CAFTA Photo Gallery

CAFTA Inventories
Listings of artists and practitioners, programs, and events documented through the program. These lists are not all-inclusive; if you feel your name, organization, or event is missing from this data, please contact Jess Porter, Program Officer at

View Inventories

Questions regarding the CAFTA Project should be directed to Emily Hilliard at

Counties Served

The CAFTA Project and Central Appalachia Living Traditions program serve the areas of Virginia, West Virginia, and Ohio defined as “Appalachian” by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC). The specific counties that fall within the ARC’s designation are included below:

Ohio: Adams, Ashtabula, Athens, Belmont, Brown, Carroll, Clermont, Columbiana, Coshocton, Gallia, Guernsey, Harrison, Highland, Hocking, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Lawrence, Mahoning, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, Pike, Ross, Scioto, Trumbull, Tuscarawas, Vinton, and Washington

West Virginia: All counties: Barbour, Berkeley, Boone, Braxton, Brooke, Cabell, Calhoun, Clay, Doddridge, Fayette, Gilmer, Grant, Greenbrier, Hampshire, Hancock, Hardy, Harrison, Jackson, Jefferson, Kanawha, Lewis, Lincoln, Logan, Marion, Marshall, Mason, McDowell, Mercer, Mineral, Mingo, Monongalia, Monroe, Morgan, Nicholas, Ohio, Pendleton, Pleasants, Pocahontas, Preston, Putnam, Raleigh, Randolph, Ritchie, Roane, Summers, Taylor, Tucker, Tyler, Upshur, Wayne, Webster, Wetzel, Wirt, Wood, and Wyoming

Virginia: Alleghany, Bath, Bland, Botetourt, Buchanan, Carroll, Craig, Dickenson, Floyd, Giles, Grayson, Henry, Highland, Lee, Montgomery, Patrick, Pulaski, Rockbridge, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington, Wise, and Wythe. The following independent cities in Virginia are also within the Appalachian Region: Bristol, Buena Vista, Covington, Galax, Lexington, Martinsville, Norton, and Radford.

CAFTA Program Partners


The Livelihoods Knowledge Exchange Network (LiKEN) is a link-tank for community-based research to build economic futures based on local assets, values, and visions. Visit the organization’s website to learn more: (

CAFTA Field Team

To complete the required field work across a wide geographic area, LiKEN assembled a dynamic team of folklorists, community scholars, and traditional arts practitioners already actively engaged in the target counties. Below is a listing of Field Team members.

Sophia Enriquez
Crystal Good
Dr. Katie Hoffman
Jess Lamar Reece Holler
Dr. Mary Hufford
Lucy Long
Jordan Lovejoy and Michael Gallimore
Nicole Musgrave
Bethani Turley

CAFTA Project Advisory Group

In order to recognize and access the expertise and wisdom of the many professionals that have already contributed significantly to the understanding of cultural heritage and living traditions of Central Appalachia, Mid Atlantic Arts assembled the CAFTA Project Advisory Group. Comprised of 14 professionals with diverse backgrounds and experiences, the Advisory Group provided significant feedback and guidance to Mid Atlantic Arts and the LiKEN team throughout the duration of the project. A full listing of members is included below.

Cristina Benedetti
Andrew “Drew” Carter
Danille Elise Christensen
Robert Colby
Doris Fields “Lady D”
Elena Foulis
Rosemary Hathaway
Ellesa Clay High
Emily Hilliard
Steven D. Kruger
Luke Eric Lassiter
Jon Lohman
Cassie Patterson
Travis Stimeling