Anndrena Belcher peforming in SelmaCREC, Appalachian Regional Studies Center, Honors Academy, and the Virginia Commission for the Arts recently partnered to fund a For Old Times Sake performance by Anndrena Belcher in Dr. Ruth Derrick's Radford Folklore class.

Dr. Derrick wrote, "I assigned a response log to my students with three questions, and they could choose which question to write on.  Most of them wrote about [Anndrena], and their responses were all very positive. I typed up a few statements, and I thought you would enjoy reading them."

  • Anndrena has talent and passion that is immeasurable

  • She not only breaks the stereotype but help others be proud of their language, heritage and themselves.

  • In my opinion she is a beautifully painted portrait of an Appalachian historian mixed with a highly educated, heritage filled Appalachian activist.

  • Anndrena Belcher is […] a very intelligent, outspoken individual in a country tune.

  • She was walking, talking folklore, and it was definitely an experience to see such a character in person.

  • She preached the importance of valuing where you come from and the culture that makes up who you are as a human. This inspires me to find out different narratives and stories from my own family and culture and share them with others so that they can be passed on through the generations.

  • Anndrena Belcher is a walking wonder. […] She walks with pride in her ancestor’s footsteps and speaks with a passion for her home.

  • Anndrena Belcher is an amazing artist representing the Appalachian region with her folktales and music.

  • When [Anndrena Belcher] came to class, I was blown away at the stories she told us, but more importantly how she told the stories. […] Anndrena is very valuable in the preservation of folklore because of her passion for it.

  • Belcher did so much more than just tell stories and sing songs in her presentation. She showed that oral folklore is a true art form that should be valued and treasured here in Appalachia.

  • Anndrena Belcher demonstrated the beauty of Appalachian folklore and oral tradition in an elegant, funny, and entertaining way. She was able to use storytelling and song to captivate the audience, and sometimes when she was speaking there was a poetic element to her voice.

  • She no doubt has much knowledge of the region, and truly seems to enjoy what she does. That in my opinion is what really makes her a special performer.

  • Anndrena is the most unique and interesting oral presenter I have ever seen.

  • Anndrena Belcher is a prime example of someone who strives and thrives on keeping the folklore and tradition of her region alive.

  • I personally enjoyed her version of Cinderella. Technically, it was the Appalachian Cindrella, however, it way better than the original one by Walt Disney.

  • She displayed the story with such enthusiasm and with a voice, which made it clear that she cared passionately about the subject of folklore.

  • Anndrena Belcher personifies the Appalachian storytelling experience.


The photos in this post are from a different recent performance, this one in Selma Alabama for the Tale Tellin' Festival.  Many thanks to Ann Thomas of ArtsRevive for sharing her photos.