It has been an invigorating and productive year at Appalshop. As the 21st century brings new challenges to all of us who are using arts, culture, and education to celebrate diversity and achieve equity, our collective, grassroots efforts are more important than ever. With that in mind, we hope you will all enjoy the words below from Appalshop’s friend, Peter Edelman.
We all know we’re still struggling with poverty throughout our wealthy nation, and especially in Appalachia. We have a long way to go, but we gain hope from the shining lights around America that are making a difference. And one such shining light from the very beginning and continuing to this very day is Appalshop.
I know Appalshop and I’ve known it and its wonderful people for a long time. I came to eastern Kentucky with Robert Kennedy in 1968 and I came back in 2004 to re-enact that trip. I knew Appalshop in 1969 when it started and I know it now. It is a national treasure.
The 50th anniversary of the War on Poverty is coming up next year. We will hear a lot about what worked and what didn’t. We need to highlight the successes and they are many — tremendous successes that have made a huge difference in the lives of our people. And Appalshop is one of them.
Appalshop uses media, music, art, culture, theater, and education to strengthen the efforts of the Appalachian region to improve justice and promote equity. It creates jobs in a place where jobs are scarce, produces films, digital media, radio, and theater that show the realities of daily life in the region, challenges stereotypes about its communities and lives of its people, and strengthens the networks of all of those with similar interests around the nation and the world.
Our journey is far from over. But Appalshop shows us what is possible. Appalshop gives us hope. Appalshop points the way.
I was deeply moved and felt especially honored when Appalshop asked me to write this letter to you. Appalshop needs and deserves your support. Please help in every way you can.
Thank you in advance.
Peter Edelman has spent decades working to eradicate poverty. A Georgetown University law professor, he’s served in all three branches of government, including as a legislative assistant to Sen. Robert Kennedy. His most recent book is So Rich So Poor: Why It’s So Hard to End Poverty in America, published in 2012.
Be sure to check out our most recent online newsletter to see highlights from our 2013 work.
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