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NEH Summer Institute brings 25 teachers to campus for three weeks in July

Twenty-five teachers from across the country attended Shepherd’s first-ever National Endowment for the Arts Summer Institute for Teachers in July. Shepherd was the only university in West Virginia that hosted an NEH institute.

The teachers spent three weeks immersing themselves in Appalachian literature, storytelling, music, and culture, seeing Contemporary American Theater Festival plays, and taking a road trip to the Culture Center in Charleston, Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine, the town of Thurmond in the New River Gorge, and Hawks Nest State Park.

Instructors for the institute included poet Nikki Giovanni; storyteller Adam Booth; Ed Herendeen, founding director of the Contemporary American Theater Festival (CATF); novelist Silas House; Rachael Meads, director of Shepherd’s Performing Arts Series; Dr. James Broomall, director of Shepherd’s George Tyler Moore Center for the Study of the Civil War; and actors from the Contemporary American Theater Festival.

NEH awarded Shepherd a $142,000 grant to host the summer institute. The grant was written by Dr. Sylvia Bailey Shurbutt, summer institute project director and coordinator of Shepherd’s Appalachian studies program.

Each teacher attending Shepherd University’s National Endowment for the Arts Appalachian Summer Institute gave a presentation on a project they worked on during the three-week institute. Shown with the teachers is Dr. Sylvia Bailey Shurbutt (standing, right), institute project director and coordinator of Shepherd’s Appalachian studies program, who wrote the $142,000 NEH grant to fund the summer institute at Shepherd.