Gather Hear West Virginia
For the second tour, we chose West Virginia - a state so geographically close to “elite” coastal cities but often only recognized by its poverty, opioid epidemic, tragic fate as coal country, and as a die-hard Trump nation.
We couldn’t have imagined beforehand that our experience in West Virginia would be such a moving, positive one. There was the intense love of their land and communities expressed by residents wherever we went. Furthermore, the arts scene was vibrant at every truck stop. We knew beforehand that the Appalachian traditional music scene was strong there. We didn’t expect that we’d hear of entire towns being transformed by a group of art-loving individuals, bringing people out of the woodwork, injecting the town with positive energy, attracting other small businesses and leading to its economic revival. We’re not exaggerating!
Given West Virginia’s history as an extraction state - so much of its resources taken by the rest of the nation, the people taken advantage of - the West Virginians we encountered were especially grateful that Gather Hear was there to give something to them, instead of taking something away from them.
Miki was accompanied on tour by theater director Daniel Pettrow (first half) and composer/WV-native Brendon Randall-Myers (second half). Miki performed A Kind of Mirror, a show that reimagines the classical concert experience, commissioned by Gather Hear and created for this West Virginia tour.
[Under Construction: Each stop will eventually have a link containing a vlog episode, pictures, venue info, and stories from that location]
Nov 3: Fayetteville
Nov 4: Princeton
Nov 5: Williamson
Nov 6: Mt. Zion
Nov 7: Grantsville
Nov 8: Capon Bridge