What is the Folklife Center?

Shaylena Hess, Staff Reporter

Have you ever wondered what the small stone building on the outskirts of the campus is? That is The Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center, sometimes also known simply as The Folklife Center. The Folklife Center is normally open to all, but currently only open to those of Fairmont State to ensure the safety of students and staff in the world’s current state. It, however, is still “dedicated to the identification, preservation, and perpetuation of our region’s rich cultural heritage, through academic studies; educational programs, festivals, performances, exhibitions, and publications.” as stated in their mission statement. The student workers and interns are working hard though to bring in new educational experiences for visitors when they can safely open back up.  

This award-winning center was originally used as a barn, then turned into apartments, and later used for storage. Currently, it is home to collected scholarly research, archives, and publications of our beautiful region’s rich history and many folklore stories. Normally holding community programs events, workshops, and exhibitions in the two-story day-lit gallery space on the second floor and undergraduate studies in Folklore and Museum Studies in the classroom on the first floor. 

The first floor of this re-purposed historic building holds offices for workersclassroom normally used for classes which have been moved upstairs for a bigger social distanced space, and the non-circulating library full of West Virginia authors and education history books on the Appalachian region. As mentioned before the building also has a second floor, which was once actually two floors, but during renovations was turned into one open-spaced gallery, now home to displays of artifacts from the history of our area.  

The Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center welcomes alumni, students, faculty, and the general public to explore, experience, and learn with them. Though they couldn’t have events this year in person, that didn’t stop them from finding a way to share new knowledge with the Fairmont State Family and surrounding communities. All events this semester are being live-streamed for anyone interested. For more information you can visit: 

 https://www.fairmontstate.edu/folklife/ 

https://www.facebook.com/GaborWVFolklifeCenter/ 

 

Shaylena Hess