Speakers to supplement exhibit

ELKINS – The Randolph County Community Arts Center in Elkins has scheduled six events in conjunction with “Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America,” the newest Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibit to take up residence at the RCCAC.

The center will host a panel discussion at noon Monday, featuring Dr. Dana Brooks, dean of the West Virginia University College of Physical Activity and Sports Sciences, as moderator. Panel members include Terry George, Randolph County’s superintendent of schools; Dr. Kristen Dieffenbach, West Virginia University associate professor in athletic coaching education; and Dr. Ed Etzel, an Olympic gold medalist and a WVU professor of sports and exercise psychology.

At 3 p.m. July 7, Robert Barnett, PhD, professor emeritus with Marshall University, will be the featured speaker. Barnett is the author of “Hillside Fields: A History of Sports in West Virginia.”

The Arts Center will host a panel discussion of local athletes at 6 p.m. July 14, featuring basketball player Nick Patella; swimmer Samantha Hall; and cross country runner Letitia Propst. The moderator for the discussion will be Elkins High School football coach Greg Hott.

Oliver Luck, director of athletics at WVU, will be the guest speaker at the RCCAC at 3 p.m. July 21, and Kevin Wilson, executive vice president of Davis & Elkins College, will speak beginning at 6 p.m. Aug. 4.

The guest speaker for an event at 3 p.m. July 28 has yet to be announced.

“Hometown Teams” interweaves images and text with almost 70 artifacts, video, audio and other interactive elements that present perspectives on sports in popular culture, as well as local sports traditions. It offers information about mascots, marching bands, cheerleaders, game day traditions, tailgating, player/coach relationships, sports equipment, stadiums, rivalries, and athletes who broke racial, gender or physical barriers in sports. The growth of alternative and extreme sports also is explored.

The exhibit is free and open to the public. Hours are Tuesdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Additional information about “Hometown Teams” is available by calling the RCCAC at 304-637-2355.