The Augusta Heritage Center mission:
- To encourage wider understanding and practice of artistic expression found in local, regional, and ethnic traditional folk cultures.
- To document, promote, encourage, and nurture West Virginia’s folklife and folkways.
- To accomplish the above through workshops, publications, and public presentations.
- To prepare and inspire students for success and for thoughtful engagement in the world.
We are Davis & Elkins College’s program for the Heritage Arts. Augusta provides instruction and performances, folklife programs, and a home for significant collections of field recordings, oral histories, photographs, instruments, and Appalachian art. We teach. We share. We celebrate the wonder and diversity of the heritage arts.
Augusta was the historic name of West Virginia in its period of earliest settlement. In 1973, “Augusta Heritage Arts Workshops” was the name given to a summer program that was set up to help preserve the Appalachian heritage and traditions. In 1981, Davis & Elkins College became the new home of the program, renamed Augusta Heritage Center. In the years since then, it has flourished and grown. Augusta Heritage Center is known nationally and internationally for its activities relating to traditional folklife and folk arts of many regions and cultures.
Augusta Heritage Center is best known for intensive weeklong workshops that attract several hundred participants annually, including weeks devoted to (but not limited to) Bluegrass, Early Country, Irish, Old-Time, and more. Thousands more attend our public concerts, dances, and festivals. Augusta’s full-time staff, plus volunteers, seasonal staff, and work-study students, produce a great variety of quality workshops. These world-renowned workshops and festivals have brought together master artists, musicians, dancers, craftspeople, and enthusiasts of all ages.
Year-round Activities and week long programming including traditional dance, bluegrass, old time, early country, vocals, fiddlers convention, folklore, courses and more!
Our year-round activities also include folklife research and documentation, production of films and audio recordings for a national audience, and outreach programs for young people and our local community. Augusta-sponsored activities in the community enrich the quality of life in the Elkins area year-round.
One of these activities is “Pickin’ In The Park,” a weekly series of informal old-time and bluegrass jam sessions hosted by Augusta every Wednesday night. From mid-May through September these jam sessions take place under the trees in Elkins City Park, attracting participants and spectators from near and far. The Wednesday jam sessions continue on a smaller scale in the Myles Center for the Arts lobby on the Davis & Elkins College campus from October to May.