June 19, 2019


WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), members of the Appropriations Committee, today announced $10,000 for West Virginia Public Broadcasting through the Corporation of Public Broadcasting’s County Music engagement grant. Funding will support community outreach and engagement and new media broadcasts tailored to the needs of West Virginia.

“Music is a way for communities and cultures to join together in celebration. West Virginia is pivotal to the history of country music. Through events like the Wheeling Jamboree that spread country music across the nation’s airwaves to front porch storytelling and West Virginia folklore that influenced country songs, our state has played a major role in country music’s history. It’s fitting then, that West Virginia Public Broadcasting has received funds to bring Ken Burns’ documentary Country Music to West Virginia. Through Country Music, our communities will be able to enjoy this music that holds a special place in our hearts. Public Broadcasting is also essential to educating and informing our citizens and as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I will continue to fight for more funding to allow us to grow more connected,” Senator Manchin said.

“West Virginia has undoubtedly influenced country music,” Senator Capito said. “From Kathy Mattea to Charlie McCoy to Brad Paisley, West Virginia swooners have wowed audiences around the world. I’m proud to see this funding come to West Virginia Public Broadcasting as it continues to bring educational and cultural programming to homes across the state. I’m excited for the rest of the country to see a little piece of heaven and West Virginia’s twang!”


Country Music is an 8-part, 16-hour film directed by Ken Burns and written by Dayton Duncan coming to PBS in September 2019. Exploring questions such as “What is country music?” and “Where did it come from?”, Country Music follows the fascinating characters who created the American art form — from the Carter family, Jimmie Rodgers and Bob Wills, to Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, Charley Pride, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Merle Haggard, Emmylou Harris, Garth Brooks and West Virginia’s own, Kathy Mattea. And like the music itself, Country Music will tell unforgettable stories—stories of the hardships and joys shared by everyday people.