April is Poetry Month!  The Friends of the Fort Ashby Public Library with support from the Hampshire County Arts Council is inviting poets of all ages to submit their best original poems to win great prizes.  Winners will be honored at the Poetry Tea on Tuesday, April 4, 6:30 pm at the library located at 57 Presidents Street in Fort Ashby WV.   

There will be 4 categories for judging: grades K-5, 6-8, 9-12 and Adult with a $50 first prize, $25 second prize, and third place ribbon in each category. School class projects are welcomed. Poems will be judged by former WV Delegate and teacher, Ruth Rowan.  

Poem may be in any genre and on any appropriate subject, not over thirty-two lines of text.  Full contest rules and entry forms Poetry Contest 2023 are available at www.FortAshby.lib.wv.us and on the library’s FB page.  Deadline for submission is Wednesday, March 22, 2023, at 5 pm.  Entries may be mailed to the library at PO Box 74, Fort Ashby WV 26719, submitted in person to the library, or emailed in Word Document form to Joanne_Snead@yahoo.com.  

Winners are invited to read their poems at the Poetry Tea when prizes will be awarded.  Additionally, the public is invited to participate by reading their original or favorite poem at the tea and join fellow poetry lovers in refreshment.  

For further information call Jack Isemann, 304-298-3846 or the library at 304-298-4993.   



The registration link is LIVE! Complete your registration for the FREE Arts in Our Communities conference here: Conference Registration

You can gather at the Culture Center in Charleston with artists and arts organization representatives from all over West Virginia. Scheduled for Tuesday, February 28 and Wednesday, March 1, the conference is designed to highlight and edify all of those amazing people who make up the arts community in our state.

At the link provided above, you’ll also find a preliminary schedule with sessions, speakers, and panelists. Check it out to see all the knowledge and networking in store for you!

Once again, there’s no cost to attend the conference, but we do need you to register so that we can plan materials and refreshments.

If you have any questions, email paul.r.neil@wv.gov.


Brand new this year! Artists and arts organization representatives may apply for a grant to help cover mileage and lodging expense to attend the Arts in Our Communities Conference.

What is the purpose of this grant program?

  • To provide up to $500 in travel assistance to artists, arts administrators, and arts educators attending the Arts in Our Communities Conference held at The Culture Center in Charleston

Who may apply to this program?

  • Artists, arts administrators, and arts educators
  • Must be a resident of West Virginia
  • No more than THREE staff persons per organization may receive this grant
  • MUST be a registered vendor through the State of WV before application

What are eligible expenses?

  • Round-trip mileage (Must total 150 miles or more; Starting point is considered applicant’s legal mailing address as listed on application, ending point is The Culture Center)
  • Hotel/lodging for one or more nights between February 27 and March 1

What do I need to know about available funds?

  • May apply for up to 75% of actual expenses with a reimbursement total of up to $500; Applicants are responsible for a 25% or more match
  • Funds are available on a first come, first served basis
  • Payment is made on a reimbursement basis; applicants are responsible for all costs up front
  • Actual reimbursement amount is based on roundtrip mileage and original receipts

How will my application be evaluated?

  • Applications are evaluated on a first come, first served basis upon submission of a completed application with all required attachments
  • Adhering to all eligibility requirements
  • Equitably distributes funds statewide

How do I apply to this grant program?

  • Become a registered vendor with the State of West Virginia
  • Email application to program coordinator Elizabeth.A.Yeager@wv.gov
  • Applications emails should have the subject line “ACE Grant Application”

If funded, what are my obligations?

  • Sign and return contract
  • Provide lodging receipt and proof of round-trip mileage for reimbursement
  • Spend grant money only in accordance with the approved project

Download the application by clicking here.

Hampshire County Arts Council is looking for people who would like to teach or learn any and all of the arts. Dream the Big Dream and let us know what you would like to explore. Anyone can be a teacher – just have a desire to share your art with others. 

Beginning in 2023, the Arts Council will be offering classes in the Brannon Building on the WV Schools for the Deaf and Blind campus for students of all ages. 

To prime the pump, as it were, ideas for possible classes include painting (Oil, watercolor, acrylics), drawing, sculpture, papier-mâché, paper making, kite making (and flying), the fiber arts (weaving, spinning, quilt-making, knitting, embroidery and more), writing workshops, music lessons, dance, photography, quilling, alcohol ink art, seasonal decorations, basket making, theatre, film-making and more. 

While teachers are being found, people who want to learn a particular art could form a class and study on their own. There are many sources now between books and YouTube to teach oneself and working together with others can be very rewarding. 

One idea being thought about is to have a corner where art can be created from “trash,” especially bottles and cans, as well as recycling paper into woven baskets, decoupage and more. 

Times will also be set that people can gather to visit, work on art projects, make music, meet artists and find new friends. 

The classrooms are available any day of the week. And there is also studio space for artists to rent to work on projects that they might not have room for otherwise. 

If anyone would like to share their art through teaching or knows someone who would, please email classes@HampshireArts.org. Also, people who would like to learn about a particular art can send an email so that the Project Manager can look for the appropriate teacher. For more information on the Arts Council, their projects and how one becomes a member, explore this website.

The Hampshire County Arts Council Photography Group is now meeting at Romney Public Library in the AV room on the 2nd floor  the first Monday of every month between 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. starting January 2023.  If the Monday is a holiday, the meeting will be moved to the following Monday.  All levels of knowledge and experience in photography are welcome to join.
Each meeting a theme is selected for the member to photograph and then to bring in 3 matted prints to share and critique.  Here are the meeting dates and themes for January-June 2023:
January 9, 2023                                                            FOOD
February 6, 2023                                                           WRINKLES
March 6, 2023                                                               COLOR PURPLE
April 3, 2023                                                                  STRANGERS
May 1, 2023                                                                  RAIN
June 5, 2023                                                                 UMBRELLAS

The Hampshire County Arts Council Art Club that began last March is starting a Fall Session for students grades 4 through 12 beginning in September. The Club will meet on the campus of the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and the Blind. 

This Club is a long-held dream of Robin Pancake, who many in the community will remember as their art teacher at Hampshire High School. She will encourage students to find the why of art as well as develop their skills. 

Joanne Snead, who was the organizer of the HCAC Art Camps in the past, believes “Supplemental art classes, such as an art club or art camp, allow youths to explore a greater variety of arts than offered in school. They can learn so much from each other and let their creative juices really flow in a relaxed atmosphere while having fun with friends.” 

Parents are encouraged to volunteer to help with projects and support the students. The HCAC will also be asking other artists to teach sessions, bringing in a diversity of talent and experience. 

For this semester, the Club will meet once a week on Wednesdays from 3:45 to 5:00 starting on September 14. Home-school students as well as those in the public schools are invited. A commitment to the Club sessions is required. The fee will be $15 per student per month. Discounts are available for families who will have 2 or more students joining the Club. Students who would like to attend may request scholarships if needed. 

For more information and to sign up for the Club (limited number of students), contact dalebw@msn.com.

The Quick Draw and Paint out is a 2-hour “En plein air” painting competition in the downtown Historic District of Romney, West Virginia, on Saturday, September 10, 2022.

The works will be displayed and judged at the Hampshire Arts and Music Festival.

Plein Aire "Quick Draw & Paint Out" ad

Cash Prizes will be awarded for Best overall -$250

Best use of Light – $150

People’s choice – $100

Our Judge for this competition is Artist and Educator – Michael Anderson.

Agenda – September 10, 2022

10:30 am – Walk up registration and Check in. Hampshire Arts Council Tent on Taggart Green.

11-1pm – Set up your personal easels and stake out your space.

1 p.m. – Horn Blows for start of quick draw.

3 p.m. – Horn Blows for ending of time.

3:30 p.m. – Deadline for placing easels for display at the gazebo area.

4:00 p.m. – Awards announced

4-7 p.m. – Paintings displayed on easels for public viewing and sales.

7:00 p.m. – All unsold artwork to be removed from display space.

For information contact Julie Cook at 910-262-7216 or designjc2@gmail.com.


Jury Criteria:
~Work submitted must show overall high quality workmanship with
attention to detail, neatness and readiness for sale.
~All work submitted must be the original work created by the
~Any manufactured components used in a piece must be minimal
in the overall design and craftsmanship of the piece.
~No assembled objects from commercial kits will be accepted.
~The jury’s decision will be final. A vendor will be told whether
items are acceptable or not and given an evaluation.
~Once approved please complete the Hampshire Highlands Art
and Music Registration form for Festival Artists – New and Updated

Please submit the following:
PHOTOS OF WORK: Please submit 3 photos of your work making sure
they are good quality images, as you will be judged on what can be seen.
DISPLAY PHOTO: Please submit at least 1 photo of your display.
ARTIST’S STATEMENT: We want to hear about you and your work!!

CONTACT INFO: Please either email your registration form to
cindycolefulton@gmail.com or mail it along with your check made out to
“HCAC” to: PO Box 624, Romney WV 26757. Or, if you prefer, you can
pay through PayPal

on our website at: https://www.hampshirearts.org

Calling All Artists

The 4th Annual Hampshire Highlands Arts & Music Festival in Romney, WV, is the place for artists to display and sell their unique creations on Saturday, September 10. Visitors come from far and wide to have an opportunity to buy original work from local artists at our festival, knowing they will find great values and exceptional art.

Any artist that has participated in our festival before or has had art juried in for display or sale at the HCAC Fine Arts Show, Hampshire Co-op, Art in Public Places, The River House, or Tamarack will be automatically accepted for participation. All other artists must submit photos of their work for jury consideration.

A 10’x10’ space is available for a non-refundable fee of $10 for HCAC member artists; $20 for non-member artists. See information on becoming a member on this website.

Participants who register before May 1 may have one free, 2-line “Shoutout” in the festival program booklet. All artists and their work will be featured on our Facebook page prior to the festival. Questions should be directed to Cindy Cole Fulton at cindycolefulton@gmail.com.

Application for Artists New to Festival

Registration for the HHA&MF

Shoutouts for Booklet