BE A PART OF THE STORY


Join Appalshop in Shaping the Future of Culture

Join us in supporting a new generation at Appalshop working to meet this exceptionally demanding moment in our region, our nation, and our planet. At a time of intense economic uncertainty in Appalachia and deep national division, we are asking you to invest with us in young leadership, creative expression, and community collaboration.


Coal miners, fast-food workers, truck drivers, teachers, nurses, high school students, prisoners, musicians, artists and activists - these folks have told their stories, raised important concerns and created compelling solutions for a better way of life for a global community.

Exploring Local Traditions and Unheard Stories


For 50 years Appalshop has used cultural organizing and place-based media, arts, and education to amplify unheard voices of Appalachian people to connect their vision and insight with others.

Coal miners, fast-food workers, truck drivers, teachers, nurses, high school students, prisoners, musicians, artists, and activists – these folks have told their stories, raised important concerns and created compelling solutions for a better way of life for a global community.

As Appalshop grew it attracted artists, educators, cultural workers and organizers eager to create and support placed-based work in theater, music, photography, literature, and more. To date, Appalshop has produced the largest single body of multimedia covering Appalachian issues impacting local, national, and global communities.

Transforming Cultural Assets into Economic Growth


Nestled in Kentucky’s Appalachian coalfields, Appalshop began in 1969 as part of the Community Film Workshop Council, a national War on Poverty program that provided eight “minority and disadvantaged” communities across the country with 16mm film equipment and two years of training in media production.

Although the national media was focusing much attention on poverty within the region, for the young people who found their way to the workshop in Whitesburg, the filmmaking experience represented one of the very first times that Appalachian people had been able to tell their own story in the media.

Appalshop’s location, longevity, and scope of work make it unique among cultural institutions, and the National Endowment for the Humanities has recognized Appalshop as one of the nation’s most important community-based humanities centers. Jane Chu, former chairperson of the National Endowment for the Arts, has described Appalshop as “the jewel in the NEA’s crown.”

Promoting Voices and Music of Appalachia


Appalshop Films has trained hundreds of youth and adults and produced and distributed over 200 documentaries whose subjects reflect the diversity of experience in the Appalachian Mountains and rural America.

The Appalachian Media Institute develops the leadership, civic engagement, and personal potential of Appalachian youth through the processes of community-based media production. AMI has prepared hundreds of young people to be innovative leaders for their communities.

With a catalog of over 90 albums, June Appal Recordings features the music and voices of Appalachia, ranging from traditional mountain masters to contemporary regional musicians.

Roadside Theater has created over 60 original ensemble and intercultural plays, staging around 3,244 performances globally. Roadside also serves as a resource to others, regionally and nationally, who want to present their unique story drawn from their place and people’s history.

WMMT-FM, Appalshop’s 24-hour community radio station, has/puts over 60 volunteers on the air while producing over 300 hours of original public affairs reporting annually. WMMT’s Traditional Music Program provides local children with free music education, often their only music classes, throughout the school year.

The Appalshop Archive works to preserve and make accessible this extraordinary creative output as well as donated collections which help enrich our understanding of the history, culture, art, and social issues of central Appalachia.

As we approach the 50th Anniversary, we are: Bolstering dynamic cultural and educational programs, expanding Appalshop’s place-based impact and producing art and media to influence policy and practice

Preparing Young People to be Innovative Leaders


As Appalshop grew it attracted artists, educators, cultural workers and organizers eager to create and support placed-based work in theater, music, photography, literature, and more. To date, Appalshop has produced the largest single body of multimedia covering Appalachian issues impacting local, national, and global communities.

Now five decades later, Appalshop is invested in a generational transition to ensure our history informs the evolution of new work designed to meet the needs of this demanding moment.

Looking to our second 50 years, we plan to build on this foundation to keep Appalshop, the physical place, a model of contemporary mountain culture where arts, media, and community intersect.

Connecting Diverse People to Solve Complex Issues


Looking to our second 50 years, we are building on this foundation to keep Appalshop, the physical place, a model of contemporary mountain culture where arts, media, and community intersect. Plans include:

An outdoor, solar-powered performance pavilion for use by community partners and Appalshop productions. Installation of solar panels to provide the majority of Appalshop’s energy use across our two buildings. Renovation of the Boone Building to create artists’ and makers’ studios for digital and analog production, enterprise incubation and skills-training. Cross-campus landscape overhaul to include native, medicinal and edible plantings, as well as green infrastructure installations, like rain-gardens, to demonstrate affordable ecological restoration methods.

We need your support to make these important investments. As part of our 50th-anniversary campaign, we are establishing a Facilities Reserve to support ongoing investments in our buildings, grounds, and campus as a whole.


“Appalshop has made a substantial improvement in the fortune and fate of its region. No institution has done more to enhance the self-awareness and self-respect of Eastern Kentucky and all of Appalachia. Before Appalshop there was only a great need for it that had become obvious to its founders. Without it, now, its region would be incomplete and more endangered. So neighborly an enterprise may not be adequately appreciated and supported in so unneighborly a time as this. To fulfill the dreams of Appalshop it may depend more than ever upon the responsibility and support of mere citizens. Friends! Let us open our hearts and liberate our wallets!”

-Wendell Berry

 

“Of all the tinctures we have here in the mountains, Appalshop is the most valuable remedy, our saving grace, towards the portrayal of Appalachia. We are so excited to be a part of the next 50 years of Appalshop in the mountains.”

-The Local Honeys

 

“The past is a resource for the present, but each generation must create its own future. Appalshop intends to be a part of that future.”

-Pat Aufderheide

“If every community had an Appalshop, we would all be much better at exchanging handshakes and recipes. They are a beacon of decency and forward-thinking in our country’s continued quest for equal human rights.”

– Nick Offerman