- Aug 12, 2022
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Joe McHugh will facilitate a radio theatre event on Friday, August 12.
Cost: $25/ person (adults), children ages 16 and under: $5/ person
Joe McHugh has been telling stories and recording other people telling their stories for over forty years. He also plays the violin, recites poetry, writes books, and gives talks on how the different mediums of storytelling—traditional oral storytelling, books, radio, television, film, advertising billboards, museum exhibits, religious services, political campaigns, and social networks—shape how we think and act as individuals and as a society. He served as the founding director of the Youth Museum of Southern West Virginia and worked as a consultant and curriculum designer for numerous educational and juvenile justice organizations including the California Department of Education, Pennsylvania Department of Education, United States Justice Department, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, California School Library Association, National Council of Juvenile and Family
Court Judges, and the Gates Foundation-funded Washington State Educational Leadership Academy.
In 1999, Mr. McHugh co-founded the American Family Stories project with his wife Paula. For several years he traveled the country giving talks and recording people sharing these family stories. A number of these stories were later featured in a series of hour-long programs for holidays such as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Thanksgiving, Halloween, and Christmas that were broadcast by numerous public radio stations around the country. Individual stories from the American Family Stories archive were also featured on nationally-syndicated public radio programs such as Morning Edition, Weekend America, and Inside Appalachia. For over two years, the radio program Main Street, a weekly program produced by the international English-language service of the Voice of America, broadcast a family story from the American Family Stories archive that reached an audience of ninety million. Mr. McHugh is also the author of Coins in the Ashes, a Family Story about Grief, Gratitude, and Grace that chronicles his twelve-year search for the family of an African-American woman named Helen Spriggs who cared for him as a young child and helped his family survive the tragic deaths of his father from polio and subsequent passing of his younger brother soon after his birth.
Mr. McHugh is currently producing a public radio and podcast series exploring the many roles the violin family of instruments play in the world today: the violin, viola, cello, bass, and an assortment of baroque and folk bowed string instruments. The project is titled Rosin the Bow, An Audio Journey Through the World of the Violin Family and features in-depth interviews with musicians who play a variety of musical styles, as well as violin makers, collectors, tone wood experts, string designers, composers, museum curators, violin shop owners, FBI agents and police detectives who have helped recover stolen violins, and others whose lives have been shaped by their relationships with these remarkable instruments.
Paula McHugh is an accomplished artist whose oil paintings are inspired by the titles of American and Celtic fiddle tunes and folk songs. She is also a musician who plays clawhammer banjo and the fiddle. Mrs. McHugh is co-founder and web designer of the American Family Stories project. She illustrated a children’s book on the early days of aviation inspired by a remarkable family story titled The Flying Santa. Together, the McHughs perform as The Time Travelers, weaving together spirited storytelling with musical duets on fiddle, banjo, and “courting” dulcimer and projected images of original paintings.