CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Mountain Stage, the home to live music on public radio, and Goldenseal magazine, West Virginia’s magazine of traditional life, were both presented with the Vandalia Award at the 2022 Vandalia Gathering Friday evening concert on May 27, 2022. West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History Curator Randall Reid-Smith presented the awards.

The Vandalia Award, West Virginia’s highest folklife honor, is presented each year during the annual Vandalia Gathering. The individuals and organizations who receive this award embody the spirit of our state’s folk heritage and are recognized for their lifetime contribution to West Virginia and its traditional culture.

For the last 38 years, Mountain Stage has been produced by West Virginia Public Broadcasting and distributed by NPR Music, each two-hour episode of Mountain Stage can be heard every week on nearly 300 stations across America, and around the world via NPR Music and Recorded in front of a live audience, Mountain Stage features performances from seasoned legends and emerging stars in genres ranging from folk, blues, and country; to indie rock, synth pop, world music, alternative, and beyond. After 38 years and more than 900 episodes, the program’s original host and co-founder Larry Groce handed over full-time hosting responsibilities to W.Va. native and Grammy winner Kathy Mattea in September of 2021.

Goldenseal is produced by the Department of Arts, Culture and History and takes its stories from the recollections of West Virginians living throughout the state. Oral history fieldwork and documentary photography result in four issues per year with articles on subjects such as labor history, folklore, music, farming, religion, traditional crafts, food, and politics. Goldenseal was first published in April 1975 by the West Virginia Department of Commerce and the Arts and Humanities Council. Founding editor Tom Screven wrote in the first issue that the purpose of Goldenseal was to “serve not only as a device to preserve many aspects of the state’s traditional life, but also as a means of communication for students and enthusiasts of West Virginia’s folklife.”

The Vandalia Award proclamations presented to the two recipients are below:

Mountain Stage

Whereas         Mountain Stage has been West Virginia’s premiere live music radio program since 1983; and

Whereas         it continues to be a proud ambassador for West Virginia, airing on radio stations around the world; and

Whereas         Mountain Stage has introduced many West Virginia musicians to countless listeners across the state, country, and world; and

Whereas         Mountain Stage continues to offer a platform for emerging artists and seasoned performers to showcase their talents in the format of live performance radio; and

Whereas         the show’s hosts consistently remind listeners that Mountain Stage’s great music comes from the Mountain State of WEST Virginia, not that other state to the east; and

Whereas         it offers a space for musicians in traditional, folk, blues, country, and virtually every genre of music; and

Whereas         Mountain Stage actively works to preserve the rich history of music performed at venues in the Mountain State and beyond; 

Therefore       I, by the authority vested in me to foster the preservation of West Virginia’s traditional culture, do present to the Mountain Stage Radio Show the Vandalia Award for the year 2022.

Mountain Stage the Vandalia Award for the year 2022.


Whereas         Goldenseal has been West Virginia’s magazine of traditional life since 1975; and

Whereas         the magazine has shared and celebrated our state’s history and culture with readers around the world; and

Whereas         it highlights everyday West Virginians, past and present, as being the heart and soul of our state; and

Whereas         it preserves the stories, history, music, and artwork of West Virginians for future generations; and

Whereas         it presents the ideas of West Virginia’s people and its heritage through storytelling; and

Whereas         Goldenseal created and has sponsored the Vandalia Gathering’s Liars Contest since its inception in 1983; and

Whereas         Goldenseal tells the story of West Virginia through the lives and words of the very people who subscribe to and read the magazine;

Therefore       I, by the authority vested in me to foster the preservation of West Virginia’s traditional culture, do present to Goldenseal magazine the Vandalia Award for the year 2022.

                        Goldenseal magazine the Vandalia Award for the year 2022.

MEDIA NOTE: Below are photographs of representatives for Mountain Stage and Goldenseal magazine with their awards.

Mountain Stage accepting the 2022 Vandalia Award – from left to right: Pianist Bob Thompson, Executive Producer Adam Harris, former host and co-founder Larry Groce, vocalistJulie Adams, guitarist and band leader Ron Sowell and bass player Steve Hill.

Goldenseal magazine accepting the 2022 Vandalia Award – Left: Editor Stan Bumgardner and former Editor Ken Sullivan