John Nakashima is a vital member of West Virginia Public Broadcasting Production Group. He is presently Senior Producer/Director. His documentaries and performance programs explore West Virginia/Appalachian culture in the widest sense – including visual & performing arts, traditional & modern cultures, historical and contemporary issues. He’s a jack-of-all-trades producer/director – researching, shooting, sound recording, writing, video/sound editing/mixing. His producing, directing, and editing has brought him many awards, including five Best Documentary regional Emmys, WV Filmmaker of the year, Public Citizen the Year from the National Association of Social Workers in West Virginia. His documentaries have looked deeply at the culture of West Virginia, the persistent hillbilly stereotype, exploring the strength and mystery of the people of the ancient mountains of WV. He’s explored the science behind the importance of the first thousand days of children’s development, a long list of shows on traditional mountain music, a nationally distributed television season of the NPR live performance show, Mountain Stage. He collaborated extensively with the late Irene McKinney, poet laureate of West Virginia, producing an extended series of radio essays with her, a video documentary, and a theater performance piece. Two of his documentaries for the series Different Drummer aired nationally and internationally, including BBC2 and other European public networks. He was instrumental in his PBS station’s early conversion from local news and public affairs, to a focus on the development of local documentaries.