CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Two Archives Lectures, History Day, Arts Day at the Capitol, kids’ activities, a film and Fossil ID Day, and a Celtic concert are among the West Virginia Division of Culture and History’s lineup of special events in February. All of the programs are free and open to the public.

Culture Center and State Capitol

“West Virginia Courthouses”: At 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 4, Patti Hamilton will moderate a presentation on West Virginia courthouses in the Archives and History Library. The country’s first civil rights case, the battles over county seats, famous architects, and ghostly presentiments are some of the stories that are part of the Mountain State’s 55 courthouses. The program will begin with a 15-minute excerpt from the award-winning movie Living Monuments – The West Virginia County Courthouse. Mike Gioulis, Melissa Smith and Debra Warmuth are co-presenters.

Arts Day at the Capitol: The West Virginia Division of Culture and History and the West Virginia Commission on the Arts will host Arts Day at the Capitol in the upper rotunda of the state Capitol from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 7. The event celebrates the impact the arts has on cultural growth, economic development and education. It brings together artists, arts organizations and art enthusiasts from across the state.

History Day: More than 60 local groups will gather for the 18th West Virginia History Day from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 13, at the state Capitol during the regular session of the West Virginia Legislature. At 9:30 a.m. in the Norman L. Fagan West Virginia State Theater of the Culture Center, “History Hero” awards will be presented to people who have made significant grass-roots contributions to the preservation of local or regional history.

”Covered Bridges of West Virginia” Lecture: At 6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 20 in the Archives and History Library, Terry Lively will discuss the state’s 17 remaining covered bridges and show a 20-minute video with highlights from her new documentary, West Virginia Covered Bridges. Lively is an award-winning filmmaker and artist who says, “Covered bridges take us back to a simpler time and I wanted to take this opportunity to tell the stories of these transportation treasures.”

Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex, Moundsville

Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex in Moundsville will present two children’s art and craft activities, Fossil Identification Day, and a film about the first American town formed by former slaves in February. Grave Creek is located at 801 Jefferson Ave. in Moundsville.

Design a Plate: Kids can draw inspiration from the Homer Laughlin China Company exhibit on display to create their own plate design through Feb. 15 at a Discovery Table at the Mound.

Gorgeous Gorgets: Kids can create a neck ornament, known as a gorget, out of cardboard and color it in their favorite shades from Feb. 18 through March 15. Visit the Delf Norona Museum to see examples of gorgets which were made of stone, copper and shell.

Fossil Identification Day: From noon – 4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 22, visitors are invited to bring in their fossils for identification by Mitch Blake of the West Virginia Geological Survey. He will provide expert identifications and answer questions regarding fossils brought for inspection. Visitors can play an identification game and find a fossil to take home from a simulated fossil dig.

Film – Time Team America: New Philadelphia, Illinois: At 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 27, visitors can see Time Team America: New Philadelphia, Illinois, a 60-minute film about the first American town formed by former slaves. The film features the Time Team’s search for the town’s pre-Civil War-era schoolhouse. New Philadelphia was founded by “Free Frank” McWorter, who purchased his freedom in 1836 from a Kentucky plantation owner. The film was co-produced by Oregon Public Broadcasting, Videotext Communications Ltd. and Channel 4 International.

West Virginia Independence Hall, Wheeling

West Virginia Independence Hall in downtown Wheeling will present a free concert of Celtic music by Gallowglass, a traditional music ensemble that performs vocal and instrumental music of the Celtic nations at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 28. A reception will follow the concert. West Virginia Independence Hall is located at 1528 Market Street in Wheeling.

For more information about Culture Center events, contact Caryn Gresham, deputy commissioner of the division, at (304) 558-0220. For information about Grave Creek Mound events, contact Andrea Keller, cultural program coordinator at the mound, at (304) 843-4128. For more information about West Virginia Independence Hall events, contact Travis Henline, site manager, at (304) 238-1300.

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.