West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture & History

West Virginia Division of Culture and History Celebrates 40 Years


CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Division of Culture and History (WVDCH) will celebrate its 40th anniversary on Saturday, July 15, 2017 with special activities at the Culture Center in Charleston, State Capitol Complex. The daylong celebration will begin at 9 a.m. and is free and open to the public. A complete schedule of events is below.

The work we do with arts organizations, historic groups, preservationists, educators and youth reaches throughout the state,” said WVDCH Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith. “We’ve given 40 years of service to tens of thousands of people. We look forward to many more years and many more programs that allow us to preserve, protect and promote the past accomplishments of our state and to build confidence in our future.”

Forty limited edition Blenko glass pieces will go on sale for $59 at 9 a.m. in the Great Hall to commemorate the anniversary, followed by a lecture in the Archives and History Library at 9:30 a.m. The archives lecture will conclude with a behind-the-scenes tour of the state archives collection. Arts and crafts activities for children will be available in the Museum Education Center from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Museum Media Center, the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), Arts, Goldenseal and Museums sections will give an in-depth look in to the work the division does throughout the Mountain State to assist in community development through grants, educational programming and preservation. Following the lectures, guests will go on a behind-the-scenes tour of the State Museum collection featuring more than 60,000 artifacts.

At noon, the cutting of the 40th anniversary cake will take place and all visitors will be offered a cupcake and refreshments. Following the cake cutting, Education and the Arts Cabinet Secretary Gayle Manchin will host a forum in the state theater with Commissioner Reid-Smith, State Archives Director Joe Geiger, State Museums Director Charles Morris and SHPO Director Susan Pierce.

In conjunction with the agency’s anniversary, a new exhibit also will be opening in the Great Hall commemorating the 100th anniversary of World War I with exceptional pieces from the State Museum collection. The opening is at 3:30 p.m. followed by a small reception at 4 p.m. with refreshments.

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History is proud to be able to present its programs at no charge to the public but without a solution to the state’s budget situation, this could be the last year that programs of this type could be offered. The division, led by Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith, is an agency within the Office of Secretary of Education and the Arts with Gayle Manchin, cabinet secretary. It 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 www.wvculture.org. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

WVDCH 40th Anniversary Schedule of Events

9 a.m.           Limited edition Blenko glass sale begins
9:30 a.m.      Archives Lecture – Archives and History Library
                     Arts and Crafts – Museum Education Center
10:15 a.m.    Archives behind-the-scenes tour
11 a.m.         State Historic Preservation Office Discussion –  Media Center
Noon           General Assembly/Cake cutting –  Great Hall
12:30 p.m.   Goldenseal Discussion – Media Center
1 p.m.          Division Forum with host Cabinet Secretary Gayle Manchin – State Theater
2 p.m.          Arts Discussion – Media Center
2:30 p.m.     Museum Discussion/Collection Room Tour – Media Center
3:30 p.m.     WWI Exhibit Opening
4 p.m.          Reception



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