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“Morristown” to be shown in Atlanta




WMMT volunteers Andy and Cathy Shepherd recently landscaped around the Appalshop building, planting an assortment of easy-to-carefor plants and trimming existing shrubs. The couple, from St. Paul, Va., volunteered their time on a Saturday in May.

The Summer Documentary Institute, a part of Appalshop’s Appalachian Media Institute, began on May 30 putting the new crop of young people back into the classroom as soon as the regular school classes were over. The 12 interns, all from Letcher County, are Tommy Anderson, R.J. Caudill, Chris Sturgill, David White, Mikie Burke, Melissa Rose, Brittany Hunsaker, Willa Johnson, Arletta Adams, Chelcia Widener, Nikki King and Tiffany Dixon.

Natasha Watts is leading the program, which goes through July 25. Machlyn Blair and Rachel Chaney are peer trainers, with Lily Keber and Michael Miller as trainers and support staff.

A former AMI student, Diedre Gibson, produced a radio piece on the costs involved with being a senior in high school for “Marketplace” on National Public Radio. The story, which aired nationally and on WMMT, is part of AMI’s partnership with the organization Youth Radio.

Appalshop was to host the Leadership East Kentucky sessions on June 19. Among events scheduled for the day were the screening of Elizabeth Barret’s classic documentary “Stranger With a Camera” and a square dance featuring music by Rich and the Poor Folks.

Anne Lewis’s latest film, “Morristown”, will be shown at the upcoming U.S. Social Forum Film Festival in Atlanta. The new release won the audience choice award in the category of cultural documentary at the Cinema on the Bayou conference.

Valerie Ison is retiring after 20 years with the Appalshop staff, most recently as financial director. Her plans are to become a “full-time mommy.” The staff treated her to lunch at The Courthouse Cafe on June 14. Her last day on the job was June 15.

Tom Hansell is working with folks from Arkansas and Tennessee on designing a curriculum for a community documentary program with at-risk rural youth. Bob and Judy Pest, who work with the Ozark Foothills Film Fest and T-Tauri Youth Media Festival in Arkansas, and Memphis filmmaker Nikki Newberger visited Appalshop June 14 and 15 to meet with Tom.

Pam Shingler of WMMT made a presentation on places to see in the region at the annual staff retreat of Big Sandy Community and Technical College on May 21 at the Mountain Homeplace, near Paintsville.

Jim Webb of WMMT is among seven writers from the Southern Appalachian Writers’ Cooperative who will read at the Malaprops Bookstore/Cafe in Asheville, N.C., on July 15.

Rich Kirby, also of WMMT, was on the staff of Family Folk Week at Hindman Settlement School last week.

Roadside Theater’s Ron Short will kick off a program on Melungeons with a concert June 29 at the Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park in Big Stone Gap. The weekend event is called “Before 1607: Melungeons in the New World” and is being presented in conjunction with Virginia’s statewide celebration of the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown. Short will share some original Melungeon songs and music during his concert.


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