Second Saturday event at Fairmont State’s Folklife Center features local author

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Fairmont State University’s Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center will host local author, Anna Pishner Harsh, as part of its Second Saturday event series on May 14.

Harsh will present a writing workshop and book signing taking place at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

She will also discuss and provide guidance for budding writers wishing to put their personal stories to paper.

A native of Clarksburg, Harsh made a vision board in the sixth grade about dancing professionally, traveling to Italy and meeting the Pope. Her senior thesis project catapulted her on a journey to fulfill that vision. Her book, La Danza – Conflict, Passion, and Healing is a travel memoir of her life-changing adventure.

With more than three decades of research and teaching experience, Harsh offers a unique and refreshing voice in the Italian American community on how to preserve Italian traditional dances for the next generation. She has traveled extensively throughout Italy to research and study dances from various regions. Her adventurous personality and passion for her Italian heritage have taught her unique life lessons.

Harsh holds a Master of Arts in communication from West Virginia University, a Bachelor of Arts in dance from Slippery Rock University and an RYT200 in yoga. She is also a certified Pilates instructor.

“What a joy it is to host Anna as she talks about writing, art and life,” said Fairmont State University President, Mirta M. Martin. “The Folklife Center celebrates a wonderful mixture of cultures found in Appalachia, and Anna’s work is infused with her adventurous spirit and her passion for her Italian heritage.” 

During the Second Saturday events, guests may also view the Trunk of Traditional Tunes Museum Exhibit in the second floor Ruth Ann Musick Folk Gallery. The exhibit includes information, audio and video about West Virginia’s old-time music and musicians, including Melvin Wine, Ernie Carpenter, Annie Jennie Wilson and Phyllis Marks. The exhibit was prepared by Folklife Center staff and students enrolled in the Fairmont State museum studies program.

In addition, the permanent exhibit in the Great Room of Culture will be open for viewing, detailing information about early immigrant groups and industries that shaped the cultural mix within the state. The exhibit includes artifacts, audio and video recordings.

The Second Saturday events are free and open to the public. For more information, contact 304-367-4403.