Stay Loud: Mfa alumni respond to the WV Water Crisis, April 5

On January 9, 2014, approximately 7,500 gallons of 4-methylcycloherane-methanol leaked into the Elk River. This chemical, a frothing agent used in the process of cleaning coal, was being stored along the river in poorly maintained storage containers. Freedom Industries, the company responsible for the leak, is located a mere mile upstream from one of West Virginia American Water’s treatment facilities. The MCHM wasn’t filtered during the normal treatment process and ended up in the finished water. This resulted in a Do-Not-Use-Order for 300,000 West Virginia American Water customers. The number of people without access to safe drinking water caused West Virginia governor Earl Ray Tomblin to issue a State of Emergency for nine counties.

A group of concerned MFA alumni and members of the West Virginia Wesleyan community invite participation in “Stay Loud: An Artistic Response to the 2014 West Virginia Water Crisis” on Saturday, April 5th from 1:00PM-3:00PM at Jawbone Park in Buckhannon, WV. The outdoor event will showcase artists reading works of fiction, nonfiction, or poetry that respond to the environmental disaster. Local artists will provide music for the event.

This event is hosted by the MFA program and West Virginia Wesleyan College’s English Department. The hosts suggest donations of bottled water for the WV Water Hub. Come out to show support for our families, friends, and community members affected by the Water Crisis. Let’s show the world that West Virginians plan to use words to effect change. Stay loud.

For more information, contact MFA alum Ashley Higginbotham at