BECKLEY, W.Va. – What do the arts mean to you? The West Virginia Division of Culture and History’s Arts Section and the West Virginia Commission on the Arts are interested in learning the answer to this question.  Members of both organizations will host a public meeting on Friday, Nov. 20, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at the Tamarack Atrium Dining Room, Beckley, to listen as the public shares suggestions and comments about the arts programs and services offered by the division.

“The Arts Section offers programs ranging from grant opportunities for individuals and organizations to youth and adult educational programs,” said Renee Margocee, arts director for the division. “In the past few years, we have expanded our programming to include the VH1 Save The Music Foundation instrument program, a new STEAM grant program for education, and we are looking at senior arts programs. We are interested in hearing the ideas that our constituents have for strengthening our programs to serve West Virginians in the best ways.”

Individuals and arts organizations are welcome to speak at the public meeting. Anyone wishing to speak may sign up in advance to be included in the program. Each person will have 10 minutes on the schedule, which is filled on a first come, first served basis. To register in advance for a time, contact Robin Jones at 304-558-0240.  If time permits, people who have not preregistered to speak may be able to do so. Everyone who speaks is also asked to provide the comments in writing at the meeting.

Written comments from those who are unable to attend the meeting but wish to comment are due by Tuesday, Nov. 17. They can be mailed to WVDCH Arts Section, The Culture Center, 1900 Kanawha Boulevard East, Charleston WV  25305 or sent to

“The information that we gather from the public meeting and from additional written comments are valuable to our arts staff,” said Margocee. “We will use the information as we review and update our state arts plan.”

The Arts Section oversees the annual distribution of more than $1.6 million in federal and state funds in grants for cultural facilities, artists, arts communities and arts education programming. The section coordinates the annual Poetry Out Loud competition and the biennial Governor’s Arts Award program as well. The West Virginia Commission on the Arts is the citizen advisory board that provides guidance to the Arts Section in establishing the state arts plan and approving grant awards.

Tamarack, with its red, peaked roof, is located on the right off exit 45 of the West Virginia Turnpike (I-64E/I-77S) and can be reached at (304) 256-6843.

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History is an agency within the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts with Kay Goodwin, Cabinet Secretary. The division, led by Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith, brings together the past, present and future through programs and services focusing on archives and history, arts, historic preservation and museums. For more information about the division’s programs, events and sites, visit The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.