Work-Study Students at The Frank & Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center 

Ava Behr, Staff Reporter

There is a lot of work going on behind the scenes at Fairmont State University’s Frank & Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center.  In addition to Interim Director, Dr. Francene Kirk, seven work-study students are working hard to improve the Folklife Center.  Several of the students have worked at the Folklife Center for a few years, so they have learned a lot from their work studies program. 

The students have been most recently working on tasks like enhancing the audio to better describe what the exhibit has to offer, as well as researching unknown words found throughout the building to display near the panels.  Through events held at the Folklife Center, the work-study students have listened to speakersand attended and helped at specific gala events.  The hope is to continue that after the community is allowed back on campus for Folklife Center events. 

Mason Taylor, Fairmont State junior and work-study student, stated “Personally, my favorite project that I was a part of for the Folklife Center was a Gala Celebration and award ceremony for a gentleman named Dave Bing, a well-known West Virginia fiddler. During this project, we helped set up an awards ceremony to honor Dave for his devotion to keeping West Virginia culture alive today. It was definitely a great experience seeing him being presented with this award.” 

Fairmont State students and staff are welcome to visit the Folklife Center to check everything out.  Due to social distancing guidelines, there are classes currently being held upstairs in the larger museum space, instead of the standard classroom. Students and staff are encouraged to call the Folklife Center to get information on when to take a visit.   

“We enjoy when students stop by and want to take a look around. There is a library, archive room, two upstairs “galleries” to explore, and a wealth of knowledge here available to those interested,” stated Chase Taylor, Fairmont State senior and work-study student. 

Throughout the spring 2021 semester, the Folklife Center plans to host events, such as virtual trivia nights, as well as, scavenger hunts, that will take place in and around the Folklife Centerwith the help of the work-study students.  The Folklife Center and the work-study students are striving to keep the community engaged, even during the COVID-19 pandemic.