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Appalshop participates in Highlander Center 75th anniversary celebration




Appalshop was well represented at the 75th anniversary celebration of the Highlander Center, Labor Day weekend, near Knoxville.

Amelia Kirby and Nick Szuberla showed their film, “Up The Ridge,” and Anne Lewis, showed her latest film, “Morristown.” Appalshop director Art Menius took part in a daylong Southern Strategy meeting at the Highlander, which Rebecca O’Doherty of the Appalachian Media Institute helped to plan. AMI staff member Natasha Watts and filmmakers Amelia Kirby and Herb Smith also participated in panel discussions during the gathering.

Smith, Shawn Lind, Szuberla and intern Dale Mackey recorded the weekend’s activities, including music, workshops, panels and even a parade.

Rich Kirby of WMMT and Ron Short of Roadside Theater were among entertainers performing during the Highlander festivities. Other Appalshoppers taking part in the weekend were managing director Beth Bingman, board chairwoman Judi Jennings and Ada Smith.

Two Appalshop films were featured at the Labor Day Film Festival sponsored by the Paden City, W.Va., Fraternal Order of Eagles and the Paden City Public Library. They included Lewis’s “Morristown” and “Pulp Fiction, Poison Promises,” a film produced for the ACT Foundation about a pulp mill in Mason County, W.Va.

Machlyn Blair has joined Appalshop as a VISTA worker. He attended training in Providence, R.I., in August.

Blair, AMI peer trainer Rachel Chaney, Watts, Szuberla and Herb Smith participated in the rural filmmakers’ exchange in August with Hecho en Encinal, an arts and cultural organization in south Texas. Appalshop’s AMI has been working with the Texas organization for the last year to develop a youth media program.

Anne Lewis and fellow filmmaker Mimi Pickering attended the American Folklife Center’s Labor Lore Symposium last month at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Lewis’s new film was shown at the Library.

Photographs from the William R. “Pictureman” Mullins Collection were on display at the Actors Theatre of Louisville Gallery for three weeks last month. The collection is a part of the Appalshop Archive.

Appalshop education coordinator Maureen Mullinax will be part of a symposium at the University of Kentucky’s Tuska Center for Contemporary Art on Sept. 21. Titled “On the Eve of the War on Poverty,” the discussion will focus on photography, social concern and eastern Kentucky. Author and English professor Gurney Norman, a Perry County native, is also on the panel.

The event is part of the opening of a new exhibit, Appalachian Portfolio, 1959- 1963: Photographs by Andrew Stern. The photos were shot primarily in Letcher, Harlan and Perry counties prior to the nation’s War on Poverty. A companion exhibit will feature the photographs of coal camp life taken by Russell Lee immediately after World War II.


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