Whitesburg KY

Appalachian Roots Project to begin in May

Go to our Facebook page for announcements and pictures posted after each event, www.Facebook.com/ pages/Hemphill-Community Center.

We are very pleased to announce that we will be receiving $10,000 to implement a program beginning in May of this year called The Back to our Appalachian Roots Project.

It will be our objective to restore confidence to the local people that their arts and heritage is a valuable and marketable resource.

Some of the activities that will be scheduled on a bi-weekly basis will be survival/living skills such as cooking on an open fire, quilting, sewing, canning and preserving, gardening, soap making, beekeeping, woodworking, and blacksmithing. Intermixed with the weekly schedule we will be offering recreational artistic activities such as storytelling, traditional music, as well as cultural stories told through oldtime music, dancing and some simple game activities played by the young children. Local artisans will be hired from the surrounding area to teach these skills.

The grand finale of the project will be a Pioneer Festival held in September with skills being demonstrated by teachers and participants in the project. A community jam session, a community dinner, and a square dance will be part of the day. The participants can proudly display what they have learned as we have done for generations.

We hope to build community capacity through building on internal assets such as the pioneer skills that will be presented and other existing resources. We feel that as skills build in the participants we could possibly develop an artist guild where in community artists could collaborate, display, and market their work for tourists.

We expect to generate enough interest in both the audience and the artisans to be able to bring the community together on a regular basis with a seasonal theme. We hope this will become a must visit point of interest representing the Appalachian culture. We will be offering and encouraging interactive sessions where the audience will have the opportunity to participate in a hands-on environment.

We expect to get the youth involved with the planning and execution of the activities, while they learn about their culture and see the endless opportunities their cultural riches offer.


The project will address the need in the community for intergenerational interaction. It will address the need for engaging activities and a deep connection with our Appalachian heritage and foster a sense of cultural pride in participants. Participants will obtain marketable skills and leadership capability.

This project is funded by an Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) Flex-EGrant through the Kentucky Department for Local Government and administered by Brushy Fork Institute at Berea College. Flex-E-Grant funds are made available to economically distressed ARC counties in Kentucky for projects that build local capacity.

The workshops offered will be free of charge to the public and your participation is encouraged no matter what your age or where you may reside. We are planning to have a great time with this and we invite you to be a part of it. Together we can build something beautiful!

A schedule of workshops will be published in this column each week and on our Facebook page. The schedule will be forthcoming as soon as we get the presenters in place. Presenters interested in helping may call (606) 671-7023.

Weekly Quote: The fragrance always remains in the hand that gives the rose. Heda Bejar

Schedule of events:

March 4: The Senior Fellowship.

Friday Nite Pickin’ April 7 at 7:30 p.m., Will Caudill and RT 7 will return to cause us to immensely enjoy ourselves. Their music is wonderful and we always have a great time with them. This is a good time for you to come and hang out with us. We are anticipating your visit and will be so glad you came. You will be too. See you there!

April 11: Senior Fellowship.

April 8: Breakfast with the Easter Bunny and Easter egg hunt. The Easter Bunny will be there. You can take all the pictures you want. This is a huge all you can eat country coal camp breakfast cooked by the best and followed by an Easter egg hunt about 11 a.m. $6 adults, $3 children.

April 14: The Country Troubadours.

April 21: Cross Country Bluegrass.

April 23, from 2 to 5 p.m., the monthly shape note singing in the do re mi tradition. This is an ancient art form. It will feed your soul’s need for creative expression. No experience necessary, no talent necessary, and no church affiliation necessary! Come out and join us for this community effort to rebuild the singing culture in Hemphill, for which we were once well known. Please bring a snack to share and a dollar or two for a love offering for the facility. Coffee and water will be provided. All are welcome!

April 28: The Right Fork Ramblers.

Friday Nite Pickin’: Children get in free when accompanied by an adult. Open mic at intermission. Family friendly environment.

Inclement weather policy: If the main roads are clear and our parking lot is clear we will generally have scheduled events. Check our Facebook page for cancellations. Cancellations will be posted at least two hours before any scheduled event.

Hemphill Community Center is located at the old Hemphill Grade School building at 2514 Hwy 317, Jackhorn, KY 41825.

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones. Proverbs 17:21-2

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