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Appalshop Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Arts, Culture & Humanities, Cultural & Ethnic Awareness

Mission: Appalshop, inc. Is a non-profit multi-disciplinary arts and education center located in whitesburg, kentucky, in the heart of appalachia, producing original films, video, theater, music, spoken-word recordings, radio, photography, and multimedia products.

Programs: Roadside theater- create, produce and tour plays "based on the history and lives of appalachian people," collaborate with other theater companies nationally to create plays addressing issues of place, race, and class, and also work with communities across the country to help them explore and dramatize their cultures, stories and community concerns. Roadside staff have documented their methodologies in a series of curriculum guides on story circles, community theater projects, and mountain culture.

wmmt-fm - appalshop's public community radio station, broadcasting around the clock, primarily with volunteer disc jockeys. Wmmt produces radio series that are distributed nationally and produces local programming including "mountain talk" that addresses local and regional issues. The community correspondents corps project is training people inside and outside of appalshop as local radio producers.

the appalshop archive was first founded in 2003. Project staff, including two archivists, have evaluated the appalshop archives of film, video, and audio recordings, both finished products and "raw" tape. They describe their work as "stablizing and organizing the collection" so it can be made available to the public and community. This has included building a new vault, preservation of work in a variety of formats, cataloguing the materials, and improving access to the collection. The archive project is working with other appalshop staff to make archival materials available to the public in new formats and to evaluate paper holdings.

all other programs are operated to accomplish goals of the appalshop. For example, other programs include: 1) the appalachian media institute: ami has trained local appalachian young people in media skills since 1988. 2) the community media institute: cmi works with people in grassroots community organizations to help them develop the skills to tell their own stories. The cmi "making connections" project documents initiatives of mountain communities to address rapidly changing economic and political realities. 3) seedtime on the cumberland, in its 32nd year, is a multi- disciplinary arts festival bringing together some of the finest regional and national musicians, craftspeople, and vendors, as well as producing a series of film screenings and workshops. 4) the traditional music project supports traditional music in local communities with old-time days at appalshop; the after-school "passing the pick and bow" classes, in which traditional musicians teach children fiddle,banjo and guitar; programming on wmmt and publicizing traditional regional music festivals. 5) many other programs to enlist the power of education, media, theater, music, and other arts to document, disseminate, and revitalize the lasting traditions and contemporary creativity of appalachia; to tell stories the commercial cultural industries do not tell; challenging stereotypes with appalachian voices and visions; to support communities' efforts to achieve justice and equity, and solve their own problems in their own way; to celebrate cultural diversity as a positive social value; and to participate in regional, national, and global dialogue toward these ends.

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