U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin to be Honored for Support of Folklife Center

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

 As part of his two-week statewide “Call for Common Sense” tour, U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin will be the guest of honor today, Jan. 12, at an event called Fairmont Forward: A Celebration of the Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center with Senator Joe Manchin. 

The event is planned for noon to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 12, in the Falcon Center third floor Conference Rooms on the FSU main campus. Sen. Manchin will present remarks.

The event is intended to celebrate the progress of the Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center.In his former role as governor of West Virginia, Joe Manchin fueled the continued completion of this historic building project.

Fairmont State University received a grant for $500,000 in October 2010 to complete the reconstruction of the Folklife Center’s second floor. The grant was awarded as part of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, by way of the Governor’s Services Discretionary Funds.

The Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center is dedicated to the identification and perpetuation of our region’s rich cultural heritage through academic studies, educational programs, festivals and performances and publications.

Located on what is today the west side of campus, the Michael Kennedy Dairy Barn, built circa 1903, was converted into the three-story Colonial Apartments circa 1941, when Robert Nutter added gable and arched dormers and indigenous fieldstone to enhance the façade. The Colonial Apartments housed several Fairmont State faculty members, including noted folklorist and author Dr. Ruth Ann Musick. The property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, due to its architectural and historic significance.

In 2006, Fairmont State designated the Kennedy Barn/Colonial Apartments property to be restored and become the home for the new Folklife Center. That same year, Frank and Jane Gabor, Fairmont State alumni, stepped forward with a generous leadership gift to spearhead the project. The center has been named in their honor.

In October 2007, ground was broken to begin the project, and in October 2010 a ribbon-cutting celebrated the completed first floor.

The grant received with support of Senator Manchin during his time as governor will allow for the completion of the second floor of the Folklife Center. The second floor will include a Great Room of Cultures, intended to be a statewide resource to tell the story of West Virginia’s culture and heritage.

For more information about the Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center, visit http://www.fairmontstate.edu/folklife/ or find the Folklife Center on Facebook.

View the photo gallery.