Session Descriptions

Join us for sessions galore at New Story 2018! New Story sessions are a chance for people with similar interests to come together to share ideas. Whether you’re interested in youth leadership, community-based policy, or tourism, we’ve got something for you.



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Learn how to make the most of your destination from local CVBs at #AlmostHeaven: Making the Most of Your Destination. Photo by The Hub.


DAY ONE: MAY 31


Calling All Changemakers!: Create Your State Convening
Moderator: Lori McKinney, Create Your State
A first-of-it’s-kind networking forum for Create Your State alumni and others innovating in creative place-making and community revitalization in WV. Share your inspirations, challenges, solutions, and questions about transforming your town. Network with other forward-thinkers so that we can all empower and support one another in our transformational journey. Everyone interested in community development through the arts is welcome.

Getting Unstuck Facilitation Workshop
Moderator: Katey Lauer, WV Trainers Project
The ability to make decisions as a team is key to the success of any group hoping to reach its goals. Yet many groups run into roadblocks: we get bogged down with dominating participants, we get tangled in old personality conflicts, we talk in circles, revisiting the same topics over and over. If you’re a group leader or meeting facilitator who faces some of these challenges in leading group decision-making, this workshop is for you!

#AlmostHeaven: Making the Most of Your Destination
Moderator: Alisa Bailey, Charleston CVB
This session will explore the CVB/tourism marketing structure, budget, development of tourism assets and marketing strategies of varied West Virginia communities.

The State of the State of West Virginia Journalism
Moderator: Doug Imbrogno
The panel will focus on the current and future state of journalism in West Virginia and how ownership and format (paper, online and audio) affect the delivery of news and features and how people are innovating to meet the challenges of a constantly changing media environment.

Narrative Stage: WV Folklife Program Master Artist Showcase
Moderator: Emily Hilliard, WV Folklife Program
Over the past year, 5 apprentices have been learning about West Virginia’s folklife traditions from master artists around the state. Join the apprentices and master artists for this narrative stage, featuring performances, interviews, and more.

Nonprofits and Private Businesses: Partners in Revitalization
Moderator: Jake Dougherty, Wheeling Heritage
Decades ago, many corporate businesses headed for the suburbs. They built large campuses surrounded by quiet neighborhoods, away from cities’ “business districts.” But nationally, corporate America is moving back downtown. How can we capitalize on this trend? Wheeling Heritage will share how they helped to attract corporate offices to Main Street, and how they’re partnering with these private business to continue to revitalize their downtown.

Listen In: Shared Experiences from the WV Podcasting Community
Moderator: Roxy Todd, West Virginia Public Broadcasting
Two earbuds, an internet connection, and a microphone can send stories about West Virginia around the world. In this session, hear from the podcasters who are telling West Virginia’s story.

Tackling Redevelopment Challenges in Rural Communities
Moderator: Rural Support Partners
In this session, practitioners and community members will join together to find solutions to the challenges to downtown redevelopment in rural communities.

Youth Caucus with STAY
Moderator: The STAY Project
Join The STAY Project and partners for a youth caucus, bringing together young people from around West Virginia.

Boss Babes WV: Innovation in Appalachia
Moderator: Kayla Young + Steph Prince, Boss Babes WV
Join Boss Babes WV for a panel of female business owners who are innovating and thriving in Appalachia.



Looking for our schedule? See Dates and Times »



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Learn how to run a successful crowd-sourced fundraising campaign for your community project from members of the WV Mine Wars Museum. Photo courtesy of Katey Lauer.


DAY TWO: JUNE 1


Next Generation Problem Solvers
Moderator: Debbie Elmore, Reconnecting McDowell
Learn how young people are taking the lead in improving their communities around the state.

Policy of the People: Strategies for Action
Moderator: Taylor Bennett, WV Community Development Hub
How do you take your great idea for a solution to a community problem from a conversation at the dinner table to the next level? It starts with building your team. In this session, The Hub’s policy team and partners will showcase how their community groups and organizations have made real change through bringing people together.

Libraries as a Community Resource
Moderator: Sarah Palfrey
As communities grow and change, so does the role of the libraries that serve them. Learn more about how West Virginia libraries are working to meet community needs.

After the Pitch…What Comes Next?: Success After Business Competitions
Moderator: Carrie White, WVU Launch Lab
So… you’ve won the startup funding, but now it’s time to get your business off the ground. In this session, learn how to build on the momentum of business competitions.

Experiences from the Field: Making the Most of Fellowships in WV
Moderator: Brittany Carowick, former Appalachian Transition Fellow
Fellowship opportunities have been growing in number in West Virginia over the past five years, but what do they mean for the people who participate in them? In this session, former fellows from multiple WV fellowship programs share their experiences and give tips for how to make the most of fellowship programs.

Community Philanthropy: West Virginia’s Best Story & Partner!
Moderator: Paul Daugherty
As West Virginians and our communities develop their future, a key partner that is present in almost all 55 counties is community foundations. They are developing their impact by supporting the communities, nonprofits, social enterprises, and citizens across this great state. From new inspirational strategies, solutions, and long-time practices, community foundations are great partners. Join this panel session of three community foundation leaders discussing their approach, partnership opportunities, and ways to maximize your partnerships with community philanthropy.

Liability to Opportunity: Creative Uses of AML Funds in WV
Moderator: Eric Dixon, Appalachian Citizens’ Law Center
Mine sites abandoned prior to 1977 dot the landscape of West Virginia. As federal funds to mitigate and reimagine these sites become available, some communities are building innovative projects to reclaim them.

How to Run a Successful Crowd-Sourced Fundraising Campaign for your Community Project
Moderators: Katey Lauer + Wilma Steele, WV Mine Wars Museum
In the spring of 2015, Matewan’s West Virginia Mine Wars Museum launched its first crowd-sourced fundraising campaign. In just two months, 344 individuals donated a total $21,210 in the lead up to the museum’s Grand Opening. Not only did this successful fundraising campaign provide general operating support to the Museum, but the overall effort built local, statewide and national interest in the project. Come hear the story of this effort and learn the ins and outs of running a successful crowd-sourced fundraising campaign for your community project.

Building Place Through Food: Spotlighting Local Food Businesses
Moderator: Spencer Moss, WV Food and Farm Coalition
How can community development efforts work to build community through lifting up local food businesses? Learn more in this session.

Building Place Through Food: Community-Driven Change
Moderator: Courtney Boyd, former Appalachian Transition Fellow
The local food movement has been growing West Virginia, and in some places, it’s brought together groups of people to bring about community level change. In this session, hear stories from the field.

The State of the Art Film and Filmmakers in West Virginia
Moderator: Jason Young, Vintage Theatre Company
Hear (and see) from filmmakers themselves about the important role film and the arts are playing in telling West Virginia’s story.

Across the Blue Mountains to the Allegheny
Moderator: Mike and Carrie Kline, Talking Across the Lines
West Virginia, they say, has a history that makes the Wild West read like a Sunday School picnic. And the Klines share songs from almost every chapter of that epic tale, celebrating the strength and vitality of the oral tradition among mountain families and communities.

Win to the Winth Power
Moderator: Laura Prisc, Great Expectations THINK SPACE
What if we could build relationships that not only allow me and you to win, but would also benefit a larger community? Begin to uncover the belief systems that are driving how you do life and work, help you identify your personal “action cards,” and think into how you can exponentially expand your impact in business, life, and your community.

West Virginia Photographers Roundtable
Moderator: Kristian Thacker
A discussion of what it is like to work in WV as a freelance photographer, how to continue to develop work and practices, and how to develop and maintain new connections within our own communities.

Clio: Using an App to Put Your Community History on the Map
Moderator: Kyle Warmack, Clio
This session at New Story will explore how communities can use the Clio app as a resource for revitalization, heritage tourism, and historic preservation.

This list is still growing! Check back often for updates as more sessions are confirmed. 



Looking for our schedule? See Dates and Times »


Ready to join us? Register Now »