The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

March 17, 2013

BAF grant to bring music museum to Raleigh County

— The West Virginia Music Hall of Fame is excited to announce that a grant from the Beckley Area Foundation will enable the WVMHoF’s Traveling Museum to visit every elementary school in Raleigh County.

During the 2013-2014 school year, the Traveling Museum, which includes an innovative Interactive Map and a “Make Your Own CD” recording studio, will visit 19 schools and reach approximately 1,300 students in Raleigh County.

“This grant supports two of our community foundation’s primary areas of emphasis, education and the arts,” commented Susan Landis, BAF executive director. “As our pool of discretionary endowments grows, we are able to provide funds for increasing numbers of worthwhile projects that touch thousands of area residents. We are particularly pleased to be able to offer this experience to students in all parts of Raleigh County. ”    

To date, the Traveling Museum has visited 375 schools in all but two of West Virginia’s 55 counties, and reached approximately 8,000 students.

“We’re excited at the opportunity to reach so many students in Raleigh County,” said WVMHoF director Mi-chael Lipton. “Our state has a rich musical heritage, and many of those musicians were born and raised in Raleigh County. Music has always played an important role in people’s lives in West Virginia, and we want this tradition to continue.”

The West Virginia Music Hall of Fame’s 28-foot Traveling Museum is an exciting, interactive museum and exhibit designed to teach students about the state’s rich musical heritage, and to pique their interest in pursuing a career in music. It was developed in 2008 in collaboration with the West Virginia Department of Education.

The Museum includes stage clothes, memorabilia, instruments, photos and posters, while the Interactive Map features bios, photos and audio/video clips of more than 200 notable musicians from around the state.

In addition to touring the museum, selected students will record a song in the “Make Your Own CD” studio and take home a CD of their performance.

Vickie Pachuta, a music teacher at Maxwell Hill Elementary, had this to say after the Traveling Museum visited her school last December: “Many of our students are unaware of the multitude of musicians hailing from the Mountain State, and this traveling display is such a positive educational experience for them. When we went into the trailer, we only wished we had longer to browse, read and learn. The children who made recordings were so proud to have a lasting remembrance of their special field trip.

“Knowledge truly is power,” she added. “And children must be exposed to many different careers to make informed decisions about their own futures. I only wish every child in our state could have the opportunity to see it.”

For more information about the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame, visit

For more information about the Beckley Area Foundation, visit www.