CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Three archives lectures, the Governor’s Arts Awards ceremony, state Poetry Out Loud competition and an art exhibit opening at the Culture Center in Charleston, along with children’s activities, an archaeology lecture and the Marshall County Student Art Show at Grave Creek Mound, are among the West Virginia Division of Culture and History’s lineup of special events in March. All of the programs are free and open to the public.

Culture Center, Charleston

“From the Burning of Chambersburg to the Battle of Moorefield” lecture: At 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 4, in the Archives and History Library, Rick Wolfe will present a talk describing the summer of 1864, when Gen. Jubal Early moved his Confederate forces down the Shenandoah Valley and eastward to threaten Washington, D.C. His mission was to create confusion and draw Union soldiers and resources away from Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s campaign to destroy Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. Early sent two cavalry brigades under the command of Gen. John McCausland to burn Chambersburg, Pa. Later, Union cavalry under the command of Gen. William W. Averell caught up with the Confederates in Hardy County, resulting in the Battle of Moorefield.

Governor’s Arts Awards Ceremony: The West Virginia Division of Culture and History and the West Virginia Commission on the Arts will host the Governor’s Arts Awards ceremony and gala on Thursday, March 13 in the Norman L. Fagan West Virginia State Theater at the Culture Center beginning at 6 p.m. The event celebrates exceptional artists and arts organizations that have made significant contributions to the state’s culture. Ten members of the West Virginia Legislature also will receive Legislative Leadership awards for their significant accomplishments in the arts.

“Victory Loan Tour of 1945” lecture: At 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 13, at in the Archives and History Library, James Spencer will discuss how the United States government organized the last of its bond drives to defray some of the massive debt incurred from World War II. National tours of captured Nazi vehicles were organized. The Victory Loan Tour amassed an incredible $21 billion in war-bond purchases in two months. Spencer will focus on the tour’s visit to West Virginia in the late fall of 1945.

West Virginia Poetry Out Loud state competition: On Friday, March 14, and Saturday, March 15, the West Virginia Division of Culture and History and the West Virginia Commission on the Arts will host the Poetry Out Loud state competition. The semifinal round on Friday begins at 10 a.m., with 26 students competing for the chance to represent the state at the national competition in Washington, D.C. on April 29-30. The top contestants will return on Saturday at 1 p.m. for the state final. West Virginia native actor and poet Chris Sarandon, returning for his seventh year, will serve as master of ceremonies for the final competition on Saturday. West Virginia Poet Laureate Marc Harshman, West Virginia author Colleen Anderson and American cellist and composer Ben Sollee will perform during the two-day event.

The Life and Work of Virginia Barger Evans exhibit opening: On Tuesday, March 18, the division will unveil a new exhibit, The Life and Work of Virginia Evans, in the Commissioner’s Gallery of the West Virginia State Museum. A native of Wheeling, Evans was a talented painter, sculptor, designer and teacher, and is considered one of the foremost West Virginia artists of the 20th century. In the 1930s, she was hailed as “one of the best trained and most gifted painters” in the Pittsburgh region by one of the nation’s foremost art columnists. Evans also became one of the leading designers in the Ohio Valley glass industry working with Fostoria, Viking, Imperial and Warwick, among others. She died in 1983, after more than 65 years as a producing artist.

“A Woman’s Touch: 18th-Century Eastern Woodland Indian Women as Architects of Social Conscience and Gender Balance” Lecture: To celebrate Women’s History Month, Archives and History will present a talk by Dianne Anestis at 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 20, in its library. She will explore the diverse and important roles of women and men for cultural integrity, including the significant and dynamic roles of 18-century Native American women in clanship, governance and property ownership, as well as the unique position among the Cherokee Indians of the “War Woman.”

Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex, Moundsville

Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex in Moundsville will present two children’s art activities, the Marshall County Student Art Exhibit and an archaeology lecture. Grave Creek Mound is located at 801 Jefferson Ave. in Moundsville. The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

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

Postcard Art: From March 18 through April 19, children are invited to create postcards to commemorate their visit to the mound. The postcards are made on special art board, which has a black coating that, when scratched, reveals multiple colors underneath. The opposite side of the card has room for an address and message, so the cards can be mailed to family and friends.

“Monongahela Bone Technology” Lecture: At 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 27, Lisa M. Dugas, senior archaeologist for URS, Pittsburgh, will examine bone and shell tools found at three Middle Monongahela sites in southwest Pennsylvania (AD 1250-1580).

31st Annual Marshall County Student Art Show: From 2 – 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 29 Grave Creek Mound will host an opening reception for  the Marshall County Student Art Show. The exhibit, featuring artwork by middle- and high school students, will remain on display from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday until April 16. The show is produced by students from the Cameron High School Art Club and is coordinated by Vickie Jenree, art teacher and club advisor. The public is invited to vote for “People’s Choice” awards during the opening reception, which will be given for the most popular middle- and high school entries.

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.

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.

– 30 –