The mission of the State Arts Office of the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History (WVDACH) and the West Virginia Commission on the Arts (WVCA) is to foster a fertile environment for the artistic, cultural, educational and economic development of the state. We believe active participation in and enjoyment of the arts are fundamental to sustaining quality community life by providing an abundant and creative environment for businesses to flourish throughout the state.
We envision a state where the arts are thriving and celebrated — where those vibrant communities that have made the arts vital to their way of life are inspiring their surrounding communities to do likewise. We envision a state where the arts are accessible to all and policy makers, stakeholders and the public fully recognize and enjoy the educational, economic and cultural impact of the arts, creative people and creative enterprise.
West Virginia Commission on the Arts
Zachary Abraham, Chair – Triadelphia
Amanda Bridgette – Poca
Dr. Peter Chirico – Huntington
Caleb David – Charleston
Becky Deem-McGinnis – Vienna
Charles Friddle, III – Elkins
Susan Hogan – Wheeling
Michael Knepper – Inwood
Margaret Mary Layne – Huntington
Charles Mathena – Princeton
Danielle McCracken – Wheeling
Cindy McGhee – Charleston
Randall Reid-Smith (Curator) – Barboursville
Brooke Smolder – Scott Depot
Matthew Umstead – Martinsburg
Shir Wooton – Beckley
NON VOTING MEMBER
Jenna Green, Acting Director of Arts
Core Beliefs of the Commission
- All West Virginians deserve and benefit from access to the arts.
- Engagement in the arts enriches quality of life.
- Community-based art movements have a rippling effect.
- The arts are a catalyst for promoting understanding among diverse cultures.
- The arts support the development of a creative workforce.
- The arts are an integral part of a vibrant economy.
- The arts are essential to imagination, creativity and innovation.
- The arts document our present and link us to our past.
- The arts encourage innovation, creative problem solving, critical thinking, interdisciplinary teamwork and other aptitudes critical to college and career readiness.
The Arts Office is located in the Culture Center on the Capitol Complex. Contact us by phone at 304-558-0220, or contact individual staff by using the email links with each name in the staff list.
West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History
1900 Kanawha Boulevard East
Charleston, WV 25305
Director of Arts
Jenna is responsible for administering the division’s arts programs, including overseeing all state and federal grants for West Virginia’s arts organizations, individual artists, schools, and communities. Jenna also currently administers the Cultural Facilities and Capital Resources Grant and Fast Track Grant programs, and she serves as the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) Coordinator.
Deputy Director of the Arts
Elizabeth provides technical assistance to artists and arts organizations and administers the department’s Professional Development for Artists and Artists’ Organizations and Training & Travel grant programs. She also serves as editor of the Department’s ArtWorks magazine.
Grants Officer & Budget Manager
Barbie maintains the database and financial records for all grant applications and is responsible for compliance with all state and federal rules, regulations, and policies.
Jim administers the Arts in Education grant programs and is the state coordinator for Poetry Out Loud, a national recitation contest for high school students. He oversees the STEAM Power WV grant program and is also the host of the ArtWorks television show.
Cedrick Farmer oversees the grant programs for Community Arts, Community Arts Project Support, Arts Partners, and some of our ongoing mini-grants.
Paul R. Neil
Paul assists the director of arts and all the coordinators with grant programs and activities. He also provides creative input and clerical support.
The person filling this position administers the Cultural Facilities and Capital Resources Grant and Fast Track Grant programs. As the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) Coordinator, this staff person also reviews the accessibility of facilities and programs to ensure inclusion of all people.