A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Pew Trusts: Exchange programs helping Kentuckians embrace new areas, think beyond urban vs. rural

The Rural-Urban Exchange steering committee at the University of Minnesota, Morris, in 2017. RUX brings together Kentuckians interested in getting to know different areas of the state while developing their professional and leadership skills. Participants build connections across cultural, racial, economic and geographic divides. (Courtesy of Gerry Seavo James, via Pew Trusts) By April Simpson Pew...

Kentucky Rural-Urban Exchange awarded Art Works grant of $45,000, announces 2019 Learning Cohort

The Kentucky Rural-Urban Exchange (RUX) has been awarded an Art Works grant of $45,000 by the National Endowment of the Arts for Art of the Rural. The agency received 1,592 Art Works applications for this round of grantmaking and will award 95 grants in the Presenting and Multidisciplinary Works category of Art Works, which is the Arts Endowment’s principal grantmaking program. “These awards, reaching...

Groups voice concern about threats to federal program funding family-planning resources in EKy

Public News Service Groups are voicing concern that threats to the federal program known as Title X could undermine family-planning resources for Kentuckians. Title X offers reproductive-health services and other preventive care, but the Trump administration wants to shift the program’s focus toward fertility awareness and abstinence instead of other birth-control methods. Katie Sullentrop, vice...

Ohio Valley Resource, Appalshop reporter Becker among Nieman special reporting fellowship winners

A rural reporter, a small-city editor and an investigative reporter and editor from Puerto Rico the first recipients of a new fellowship from The Nieman Foundation at Harvard University “to support reporting and public service investigations in under-served news markets,” as it is described by the Boston-based Abrams Foundation, which funds it. The 2019 Abrams Nieman Fellows for Local...

Rural Blog: Appalshop arts-and-culture co-op spotlighted in PBS NewsHour series on U.S. artists

PBS NewsHour began its new “American Creators” series, “taking us to all corners of the country to see artists at work,” February 9 with a long profile of Appalshop, the arts-and-culture cooperative based in Whitesburg, Ky., near the Virginia border, in the depressed Central Appalachian coalfield. Ada Smith of Appalshop (Photo from PBS) Jeffrey Brown’s eight-and-a-half...

Rural Blog: CBS feature shows Appalshop as kind of business that would be hurt by cuts in arts’ budget

In response to President Trump’s proposed budget cuts CBS News’s “Sunday Morning” looked at how one rural community in Kentucky would be hurt. The same story could be reported in many other communities. Letcher County, Kentucky, which has been hurt by the loss of coal jobs, is also the home of Appalshop, a non-profit media, arts, and education center that relies largely on funding...

Rural Blog: Technology and digital design start-up finds success in heart of Kentucky coalfield

A technology and digital-design firm in southeastern Kentucky offers hope for helping Central Appalachia revitalize its economy after the loss of coal jobs, Alexis Stephens reports for PolicyLink. In Letcher County, where 33 percent of residents live below the federal poverty level and only 12 percent of adults 25 and older have a bachelor’s degree, Mountain Tech Media is providing a service...

Rural communities need more than ‘outreach,’ they need to build people-powered organizations

By Dudley Cocke From Weekly Yonder In the 1980 presidential election, West Virginia was one of three states carried by the Democrat Jimmy Carter in his contest with Republican winner Ronald Reagan. Reagan won Virginia with 53% of the vote; but southwest Virginia and its “fighting” 9th Congressional District, which runs north along the Virginia-West Virginia state line, voted for Carter. The...

Regional survival at stake as Central Appalachia leaders grapple with what comes after coal

Across Central Appalachia, especially Eastern Kentucky, “elected officials, business leaders, environmentalists and community advocates are looking beyond politics to wrestle with a question essential to the region’s survival: What comes after coal?” Sheryl Gay Stolberg reports for The New York Times. Lora Smith, who oversees grants in Central Appalachia for the Mary Reynolds Babcock...

Appalshop presents 30th annual Seedtime on the Cumberland Festival June 3-4

The media and arts organization Appalshop will present its 30th annual Seedtime on the Cumberland Festival June 3-4 in downtown Whitesburg, Ky. The event, which is free and open to the public, features a jam-packed weekend lineup of the finest traditional artists and musicians the Appalachian region has to offer. A portion of the festival proceeds go to Appalshop. This year’s Seedtime Festival...

Digital marketing firm Mountain Tech Media launches new business in Eastern Kentucky

A diversified technology company, Mountain Tech Media (MTM), will open for business March 14, providing media and marketing services to businesses across Appalachia and bringing new industry to the coalfields of eastern Kentucky. MTM will open with a launch party and press conference at 11 a.m. on Monday at the Appalshop Gallery at 91 Madison Ave., Whitesburg, KY. MTM will offer multimedia production,...

Daily Yonder: Elizabeth Wooten’s voice now silent but continues to illuminate and inspire

  Elizabeth Wooten, a widow of modest means, stood her ground against powerful coal interests and help inspire Kentucky voters to outlaw the notorious broad-form deed. She died last week at the age of 91.   By Dee Davis Special to KyForward   “My husband, when he was sick, he asked us to not let them. And you know we are going to respect that wish, ain’t we? What kind of people...

National Endowment for the Arts gives state arts groups almost $800,000 in grants

Almost $800,000 is coming to Kentucky arts organizations from the latest round of grants by the National Endowment for the Arts, including more than $700,000 to the Kentucky Arts Council.   The KAC will receive $710,500 for its 2015 operating budget through NEA state partnership agreement grants.   Other organizations receiving NEA funding are:   • $15,000 to Danville’s Pioneer...

Appalachian Media Institute, UK will host screening of three student-produced films

Austin Rutherford and Jade Slone worked on the documentary short film “Perceiving Perfection.” (Photo from UK)   By Nathan Owen Special to KyForward   The University of Kentucky’s Appalachian Center, in collaboration with the Appalachian Media Institute, will provide a glimpse into Appalachia through a showcase of young filmmakers’ documentaries.   The event takes place...

Covington Arts and Appalshop among state arts groups receiving NEA Our Town grants

In these two photographs from the Appalshop Archive, the rich cultural history of Jenkins, Ky. is shown. On the left is William R. “Pictureman” Mullins in front of his East Jenkins studio and on the right is the Hollyfield family. Both images are believed to have been taken around 1955. (Photo from Appalshop)   Two Kentucky arts organizations are among 59 nationwide that will receive...