An Evening with Old-time Musician Jim Costa

On the evening of Wednesday, January 25 The West Virginia Folklife Program, a project of the West Virginia Humanities Council, will present a concert and program with West Virginia old-time musician and collector Jim Costa. The event will be held from 5:30-7:30pm at the historic MacFarland-Hubbard House, headquarters of the West Virginia Humanities Council (1310 Kanawha Blvd. E), in Charleston. The evening includes a musical performance by Costa, a presentation on his collection by folklorist Zoe Van Buren, and a question-answer session. A reception with light refreshments will follow. The event is free and open to the public, but guests should RSVP at or by calling 304.346.8500.

Jim Costa, 67, is a native of Summers County, and an accomplished traditional musician and storyteller. He is also an avid collector and expert of 18th and 19th century farm tools and objects of rural life, including Hammons family fiddles, spinning wheels, cast iron cookware, and blacksmith tools. Costa has been building this collection throughout his life, and he restores many of the old tools and instruments himself. In addition to his public presentations on music and material culture, Costa appeared in the 1987 John Sayles film Matewan.

In the summer of 2016, University of North Carolina folklore grad student Zoe Van Buren spent two months with Costa, conducting oral histories and documenting his extensive collection. As part of the program, Van Buren will present on her work and lead a Q&A with Costa about his life, music, and collection.

The West Virginia Folklife Program is a project of the West Virginia Humanities Council and is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Folk & Traditional Arts Program. West Virginia Folklife is dedicated to the documentation, preservation, presentation, and support of West Virginia’s vibrant cultural heritage and living traditions.

Poster by Ratbee Press