SWVA Podcast

What is ecotourism you might ask? noun tourism directed toward exotic, often threatened, natural environments, intended to support conservation efforts and observe wildlife. In this episode, we had the opportunity to speak with guest Austin Counts from Appalachian Voices. Appalachian Voices is an organization located in Southwest Virginia that aims to reclaim abandoned lands within the region. Their goal is to claim these lands which were once used for things such as mining and turn them into...

There is no question that the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was an important one. This Amendment gave women the right to vote. Today, we pay respects to the women who fought hard for this prestigious cause. It's hard to imagine a time when women were not treated equally as men in regards to their privilege to vote. Today I speak with two very special guests, Karen Hester and Jan Medeiros. Two amazing ladies who are...

In today's episode, I had the chance to speak with Michael Gillman about the work he does at the Thomas J. Boyd Museum in Wytheville, Virginia. Michael is the Coordinator of Heritage Sites and Programs for the Wytheville Department of Museums. The Department of Museums includes three museums and a museum gift shop located in downtown Wytheville. I had the pleasure of visiting the Thomas J. Boyd museum for a feature story on the Polio pandemic,...

This week, I had the pleasure of speaking with country music artist Ella Patrick (Momma Molasses). We have a delightful conversation about music, roots, fun stories, and life during COVID as an artist. Patrick has spent the majority of her life in the world of music. She was born and raised in North Carolina and just a couple years ago moved to Bristol, Tennesse, the Birthplace of Country Music. From her Facebook Page: "Momma Molasses' music interlaces; Classic...

With the events going on around the world today, there was little hope for live theatre performances in 2020. The Barter Theatre in Abingdon Virginia had other plans, however. An idea sparked of an outdoor theatre, perhaps at the old Moonlite Drive-In, just a couple exits down the road. This idea would become a reality, a one of a kind idea because after all, "The show must go on." On today's Stories from Southwest Virginia podcast...

Today I had the chance to speak with Alicia Phelps, Executive Director of the Northeast Tennessee Tourism Association. Alicia has been doing some great work with Northeast Tennessee Tourism for a while now and we wanted to chat with her about some amazing things to see and do in their neck of the woods. Northeast Tennessee Tourism Association has been around since the 1970s and over the past 40 years have done a lot to promote...

In today's episode, I had the chance to speak with Assistant Director of Tourism, Amanda Livingston about some great things going on in Abingdon, Virginia. Like many areas in Southwest Virginia and all across the nation Abingdon has suffered from the COVID19 pandemic. As a thriving tourist town, this small community hasn't let current day struggles interrupt their stride. Creative and innovative are just two terms to describe how this community has come together to keep...

The Pakalachian Food truck has become a staple of the Southwest Virginia food scene. The truck in conjunction with its name makes food options that combine traditional Appalachian dishes with that of Pakistani meals. The Pakalachian is a beautiful story of love, food, and culture, between truck owners Katlin and Moshin. At first, they were not sure what big adventure they wanted to embark on. One day while driving through Rural Retreat, Virginia, the idea...

Today's episode we take a delicious dive into the story behind Greeko's Grill and Cafe in Abingdon, Virginia. I had the pleasure of speaking with the owner and chef Mustafa about how Greeko's got its start in Abingdon. Mustafa was a pleasure to speak with and you can tell he truly has a love and passion for what he does. Greeko's features a full Greek menu complete with items such as salads, soups, pasta, pitas, and...

In today's episode, I am joined by Beth Ford and Julie Steel representing the Reynolds Homestead in Patrick County, Virginia. The Reynolds Homestead is an Outreach Campus Center of Virginia Tech housing both a community outreach center and a forestry research center. The homestead is also the birthplace of both R.J. and A.D. Reynold. This year, the homestead is celebrating it's 50th year anniversary, although festivities have been moved to the 2021 season due to the...