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History Alive! seeking proposals for new characters

CHARLESTON — The West Virginia Humanities Council is seeking applications from individuals interested in portraying historical figures for its popular History Alive! program.

Portrayals of historically significant people no longer living, from any period of history, are eligible for consideration.

Those interested in applying should contact Kyle Warmack at the Humanities Council 304-346-8500 or warmack@wvhumanities.org for more information. History Alive! character application materials are available at wvhumanities.org.

The Humanities Council will accept proposals for portrayals of influential people who have made important contributions to state, national, or international history. These could include, but are not limited to: explorers, inventors, musicians, national leaders, artists, authors, educators, military leaders, athletes, scientists, business and labor leaders, activists, and others. The roster of characters now includes Gabriel Arthur, Nellie Bly, Stonewall Jackson, Ostenaco, Theodore Roosevelt, Sacagawea, Charles Schulz, Harriet Tubman and Mark Twain.

History Alive! characters are researched thoroughly by the presenters who portray them. Research in first-person sources, such as letters, journals, speeches, official papers, autobiographies, and other archival materials, is required in order to develop the presentations. History Alive! presentations are given for civic groups and at schools, libraries, senior centers, museums, parks, historical societies, community events, festivals, and a wide range of public gatherings across West Virginia.

The application deadline is Feb. 1. Proposed characters should have statewide name recognition. Legends and mythical figures are not eligible. Composite characters representing a specific figure from West Virginia history, such as a coal miner, suffragist, or folklife practitioner, may be considered. Submitted proposals are reviewed by a committee, and any that are selected for further consideration advance to an audition of their character held this spring.

Presenters who pass the audition will join the History Alive! program beginning immediately after selection, and receive a stipend from the Humanities Council for each program they present.