Woody Hawley was the beloved minister of Unity of Kanawha in Charleston, West Virginia from 1995-2000. Although not a musician himself, Woody’s love of music inspired church music director Ron Sowell to create a monthly Open Mic to encourage budding area musicians. Musicians and songwriters that Ron had met through his job as Musical Director on Mountain Stage or from his days as a touring musician began to stop by on their travels to perform in the small church venue.
After Woody’s passing from cancer, Ron expanded the concept into a concert series in 2005 and honored Woody’s memory by naming the series after him. Outgrowing the church venue, the popular series moved to The Clay Center for the Performing Arts to accommodate a growing audience.
The series now features some of the best singer/songwriters in the world once a month from October through May. Small tables and chairs are brought in to the intimate Walker Theater to create a cabaret-style venue with a big-city feel. With its exquisite sound system, lighting, and intimate atmosphere, the theater has become the perfect location to enjoy an evening of music with friends.