"Cultural Impact and Development of the Crooked Road: Virginia Heritage Music Trail" in Montgomery and Giles Counties
Virginia's Crooked Road Heritage Music Trail has become an economic and cultural success story, involving 46 sites and hundreds of musicians primarily in the southern and southwestern Appalachian counties of Virginia. Its mission is to support economic development and Appalachian culture through heritage tourism. At the same time, the rich and copious music traditions of several locales, including Montgomery and Giles counties in Virginia, have not been included, resulting in lost tourism dollars. At the request of Crooked Road's director, Jack Hinshelwood, Virginia Tech students collected, classified, and analyzrd relevant materials in order to expand the Crooked Road presence more fully into these two counties. A second purpose was to examine whether the Crooked Road initiative is promoting "cultural heritage" consistent with local cultural norms and values in a way that is also economically successful.
ATP students researched local archival material; this information yielded data on the cultural meaning and significance of local music traditions. They collected data relevant to the music traditions in Montgomery and Giles counties to aid in construction of Crooked Road kiosks. Students also interviewed Crooked Road personnel in different communities near the target counties to assess the successes and limitations of the initiative.
Anita Puckett, Ph.D.
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
133 Lane Hall
Blacksburg, VA 24061
Previous Conference Participation: 2012 2011 2009