Appalachian Center ABC’s: Highlights of 2018

Appalachian Tour – This year we took 40 Berea College staff and faculty members on a tour through Appalachia from Hindman, Ky., to Big Stone Gap, Va., to Knoxville, Tenn.!

Bill Best’s Heirloom Tomatoes – Bill Best is a distinguished Berea Alumni whom we purchased 4 beautiful tomato plants from, and planted them in our outdoor display box outside the Center over the summer.

Celebration of Traditional MusicIn October, e were honored to welcome guest musicians Bruce Greene, loy mcwhirter, Sparky and Rhonda Rucker, Sam Gleaves, and the Lonetones for this year’s CTM!

Dolly Parton pinball machine (all seasons) – As always this feature continues to be a favorite attraction among visitors. This year, in honor of the Holiday Season, we gave her a new look!

Exhibit Collaboration with student Magenta Palo – Berea College Student Curator Magenta Palo worked closely with our curator Christopher Miller to develop “When I was 20: Voices from the Appalachian Experience,” an exhibition connecting artifacts from the collections to the lived experience of people.

Faber Library renovation – With the help of Maggie Robillard from the Education Department and students Clint Chaffins and Ciara Felty, we renovated Faber Library to be more accessible and inviting. We couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out!

Graduation: Ciara Felty and Britney Napier – Two of our student workers, Britney Napier and Ciara Felty, both graduated this year. We are so incredibly proud of them!

hillbilly, a Documentary – In early October, we hosted a viewing of the stunning documentary hillbilly, produced by Berea Alumni Silas House and Sam Cole!

Interaction with Visitors – We’ve had so many wonderful visitors coming through our center from all over the world.

Jacinda Townsend – We were joined this fall by our new Writer in Residence, Jacinda Townsend! She has proven to be a wonderful asset to our team and we are lucky to have her!

Kelle Jolly Experience – In March, Ukulele player and jazz vocalist Kelle Jolly visited us from Knoxville Tennessee and wowed us all with her unique musical performance.

The Loyal Jones Book Collection – Loyal Jones donated a generous amount of books from his personal library to us, and they are now displayed proudly in Faber Library.

Mike Clark Exhibit – In Octoberthe exhibit “Activists and their Movements: Photographs by Mike Clark, 1965-1982″ opened in the Center’s Longwall Gallery. It features the photography of Berea Alum and activist Mike Clark. We were also fortunate in being able to bring him to Berea to speak on his work during Dinner on the Grounds! 

Narrative – We put out the call for Appalachians to tell their story through an essay competition, judged by Silas House. The competition is called Appalachian Narratives of Our Time.

Original Baked Goods by Bobby Starnes – This place just wouldn’t be the same if we didn’t have Bobby Starnes spontaneously bringing in baked goods for everyone to enjoy!  

Partnership for Appalachian Girls Education (PAGE) – Director of PAGE, Deborah Hicks-Rogoff, presented at Peanut Butter and Gender about the important work she is doing to improve the quality of life for young Appalachian girls.

Quilts by Lovester Wilkinson – Lovester Wilkinson presented on her quilts, the underground railroad, and her life in Appalachia

Red Foley Award Winner Brenna MacMillan – Every year we present the Red Foley Award to a Berea College student for their musical contributions to the campus and community. This year it went to a chemistry major and bluegrass ensemble performer Brenna MacMillan.

Sisters of the Forest, a one woman play written and performed by Alice Jones – We hosted this play based on the story of Lucy and Annette Braun and their fight to save the virgin forest in Eastern Kentucky

Three Women, Three African Americans, Three Appalachians, Convocation – In April, our director led a round-table conversation with former Appalachian Writer in Residence Crystal Wilkinson, Director of the Carter G Woodson Center Alicestyne Turley, and Director of the Black Cultural Center Monica Jones.

Ukraine: Carpathian Mountains Exhibit – During the Spring, the exhibition “Considering Kindred Landsopened.  It explores The similarities and differences of two global mountain regions: Appalachia and Carpathian Mountain Ukraine

Voices on Unity: Dinner on the Grounds – A July reading and dialogue with three West Virginia authors: Cat Pleska, Laura Treacy Bentley, and Mary Imo-Stike.

Weatherford Award – The Weatherford Award honors books that best illustrate the challenges, personalities, and unique qualities of the Appalachian South. Our winning authors this year include: Wiley Cash, Pauletta Hansel, and Carol Boggess.

extraordinary student workers – Our student staff here at the Appalachian Center brings so many unique talents to the team and we couldn’t do what we do without them!

Young Visitors – The Appalachian Center has become a hangout place not only for college students, but also for a small group of elementary school kids after school. They’ve spent many hours here playing pinball, card games, and exploring the gallery.

Zoetic Appalachian Artifacts – During the year we added 79 artifacts to the Appalachian Teaching Collection which contains 5,000 objects that help bring Appalachia alive for students and visitors through exhibitions and classroom encounters.

Written by Heather Dent