Hi, I’m Lydia Warren. I am a humanities professional with expertise in curation, music performance, folklife, education, strategic planning, and research development.

I am the Director of the Frank & Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center at Fairmont State University and I am a Folkways Reporter for the West Virginia Public Broadcasting show Inside Appalachia.

I earned a PhD in Critical and Comparative Music Studies from the University of Virginia in 2021, a BA in music from Smith College and a Five College Consortium Certificate in Ethnomusicology in 2014, and an AS in music from Middlesex Community College in 2011. Prior to and during my studies, I worked as a full-time internationally-touring musician and instructor (guitar and voice). I am an active member of UMAW (United Musicians and Allied Workers) and I facilitated a low-cost musicians’ parking program for Beale Street musicians in Memphis, Tennessee, where I previously performed in several house bands.

I am most interested in music that is both folk and commercial, places and practices deemed “inauthentic,” complicated histories, and helping create a more equitable future.