"It begins with a spark... a vision... an eye for shape, texture, color. Then comes an unrelenting desire to achieve the unforgettable. Through patience, talent, care, precision, and sheer determination, a labor of love slowly transforms into a work of art...." fromThe Essence of TACA, Tennessee Association of Craft Artists, P. O. Box 120066, Nashville, TN 37212-0066.
Graphic: "Shades" (watercolor, best of show: Bristol Art Guild) by Vera Jones, Jonesborough, TN
The Appalachian Reader -- A quarterly resource of regional news and schedules published from Charlottesville VA, AR supports organizations and individuals working for positive change through community action. AR presents in-depth articles by citizen activists, professional writers, and concerned advocates covering events and issues of interest to Appalachia. Appalachian Writers Association -- "An Appalachian writer may live anywhere and write about Appalachia or live in Appalachia and write about anything."
For over 15 years, AWA has promoted regional literary arts and the sharing of information between established and student authors. Organizational history, scheduled events, membership benefits, newsletter, and annual conference details are listed on a website now expanding to include comprehensive on-line resources for Appalachian writers.
Graphic: People of the Grid I, mixed media sculpture;
Margaret Gregg, Mill 'n Creek Studio Gallery, wearables, wall pieces and sculpture, Limestone, TN
Business Journal of the Tri-Cities -- On-line version of popular hardcopy publication with extensive (Academe, The Arena, Business Assets, The Business District, The Media, The Research Assistant, The System) regional resource information and links.
The Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Gender in Appalachia, Marshall University WV -- One of many southern foundation-funded research and outreach programs (e.g. Tennessee's Center for Research on Women at the University of Memphis). Funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, the Center provides resident fellowships in the humanities to scholars interested in increasing the ethnicity and gender database for historic and scientifically-accurate aspects of identities most invisible in previous research: African-Americans, women, alternative genders, and Native Americans. Resources from MU's Oral History of Appalachia Program and the Special Collections department of Morrow Library, housing a rare archive of original Appalachian manuscripts, are available for expanding knowledge of repressed histories and experience. Foundation for Global Sustainability -- Knoxville-centered "advocacy and activist organization which monitors and addresses social and environmental issues in the Upper Tennessee Valley and the Southern Appalachian Mountains" supports programs throughout the region including Asheville NC's Southern Appalachian Biodiversity Project which "defends public land as a refuge for ancient forests and native wildife" and takes "...legal action to protect critical habitat and assure full enforcement of conservation laws on public lands." SABP publishes a hardcopy bi-monthly journal, Wild Mountain Times, that "...educates the public about how forest fragmentation, chronic air pollution, and exotic pests and diseases threaten native forests," and "... advocates for an end to corporate welfare policies that hurt our economy and natural heritage." GenWeb Project, U.S. -- Excellent, well-organized starting point for genealogical research, listings and links by town and county within each state site including, for Appalachia:
Global Report -- Published simultaneously in English and Spanish from Asheville NC, the on-line version of this activist weekly covers concerns worldwide and local of socio-economic equity. ”The two greatest obstacles to democracy in the United States are, first the widespread delusion among the poor that we have a democracy, and second, the chronic terror among the rich, lest we get it.” (Edward Dowling) The Hellbender Press -- The hellbender is a native salamander considered to be an indicator species. It is more sensitive to pollutants than other species, therefore it indicates a problem exists before other species are affected. A non-profit project of the Foundation for Global Sustainability and a multi-disciplinary advocacy and activist organization, the HP quarterly newsletter covers social and environmental issues related to the Upper Tennessee Valley and Southern Appalachian Mountains. Lineages Research Room -- Huge and well-maintained historical exploration site; explore chronologies, genealogies, libraries, archives, military, census and immigration records. The Loafer -- On-line edition of a popular hardcopy circulation for the TN/VA Tri-Cities region, this is one of many freely distributed Appalachian publications that cover entertainment and cultural events. My Writer Buddy -- An awesome achievement in vision, design, technical expertise and service to the on-line literary community. For members (just give yourself a user name and password) the site offers free homepages and e-mail accounts, discussion groups, care cards, real-time writing tips from Tam Mossman, (in progress) chat rooms and an interactive novel. The Official North Carolina Travel Guide -- One of many on-line Appalachian sites created to entice and assist potential travelers, North Carolina's describes its mountains, heartland and coast, recommends commercial destinations, public recreation, includes an events calendar and locator map. Ohio Appalachian Center of Higher Education, Shawnee State University -- A consortium, composed of 10 state colleges and universities, established and funded to ease access and success in higher education for residents of Ohio's 29 Appalachian counties. OACHE provides grants, financial aid and scholarships, community outreach programs, and publishes a newsletter of regional achievements and directions. "You can get there from here." PBS On-line -- The national organization promotes education, culture and citizenship through this colorful site. Feature sections with graphics and music designed for kids, arts, technology, science, history, news and views, interviews, and an on-line newshour and "All Songs Considered" audio broadcast. Also provides TV schedules by region, shopPBS, free screen savers and icons.
"...we also need to get our own local lefts and rights together...to talk about living wages and trashed homes and death of spirit in a corporate, consumer America. Only local grassroots work has a prayer of diffusing microfascisms." -- Turning the Wheel, commentary by David Schenck in Asheville Global Report, a freely-distributed western NC weekly
Affrilachian Poets -- Founded by Kentucky artist and entrepreneur Frank X Walker, partly in reaction to discovering Appalachian defined in a dictionary as "white residents of mountain regions." AP members "...are the coal black African voices of Appalachia. Their sound, their passion, their tenderness, their truth can never again be omitted from the full Appalachian chorus that rings out through the hills and valleys of the bluegrass." (Nikky Finney) Appalachian Life -- Published by Tamara Chapman and formerly titled the Old State of Franklin Magazine, this hardcopy monthly and its on-line mirror present articles on regional history, traditions and genealogy. Appalachian Trail Home Page -- Comprehensive and clearly designed site covering all aspects of the Maine-to-Georgia Appalachian Trail; includes maps, history and wildlife, journals, AT newsgroups' posts; link to AT chat. Appalachian Voices -- Grass-roots membership organization to protect healthy habitat and native species produces an excellent hardcopy and on-line newspaper that is distributed by mail and public venues (libraries, campuses, visitors centers,...) throughout the region. Published quarterly from Boone NC, AV updates readers on state and federal legislation affecting native ecosystems and events of interest to naturalists, in addition to entertaining and informative articles on our environment. Appalshop -- "one of the nation's most important community-based humanities centers" A revered light for media arts and culture located in Whitesburg, Kentucky, Appalshop produces and presents consistently award-winning work that celebrates the history and voice of Appalachian experience. Created in 1969 as a War on Poverty project for training young mountaineers in media production skills, the center has attained worldwide prominence for the quality of its programs. Blue Ridge Parkway -- Travelguide, including wildflower bloom calendar, scenic photography, history, highlights for touring one of Appalachia's historic natural treasures.
Graphic: Checkin' Bait, ink drawing; Charles Dyer,
Creations Magazine -- Previously distributed in Asheville NC, NYC and Long Island NY, yet another regional treasure went on-line for the millenium. Devoted to "recovering the soul" for two decades in hardcopy, articles on health alternatives and down-to-earth spirituality are now available worldwide. East Tennessee Public Radio -- Broadcast schedules for one member station of National Public Radio and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Electronica -- One of many Appalachian music sites, Tri-Cities Internet Music Channel features audio files (mpeg and real audio) with links to area bands like Blue Rapture for background info, recordings, and performance schedules. A Melungeon Home Page -- Spread throughout the southeastern United States and into southern Ohio and Indiana, this
mixed-ethnic group has an uncertain, mysterious heritage -- partly due to retreat and isolation from European settlers of the "New World." National Park Conservation AssociationProtecting Parks for Future Generations publishes the full-color hardcopy National Parks magazine for members covering historical background, activities, and preservation concerns of our public lands. Save Our Cumberland Mountains -- In alliance with the Citizens Coal Council, Dogwood Alliance, Tennesseans for Fair Taxation, Tennessee Industrial Renewal Network, Southern Empowerment Project, Southern Organizing Cooperative, Tennessee Partnership on Organizing and Public Policy, and Community Shares, this citizen action group, established in 1971, collects information and directs activities related to forestry, racism, strip mining, tax reform and toxic waste in one of the Volunteer State’s mountainous regions. The Sierra Club has local branches and affiliate organizations throughout Appalachia that concentrate energies on cleaning and preserving our natural environment. Topics of particular concern are protecting forests and waterways and containing sprawl. The Club distributes action-item and event-schedule e-mails on request, and they are also viewable on-line. Smoky Mountain News -- One of many smaller journals distributed in hardcopy and published on-line which altogether create vibrant alternative communities of performing, literary and graphic arts throughout Appalachia. Covering western North Carolina news, arts and events, this weekly newspaper features reviews by Jeff Minick and veteran author, lecturer and storyteller Gary Carden.
Graphic: Rainbow, retouched photo;
Vera Jones, Main Street Studio, Jonesborough, TN
"All this apparently terrible organization of brute force is as nothing compared to the consciousness of truth, which surges in the soul of one man who knows the power of truth, which is communicated from him to a second and a third, as one candle lights an innumerable quantity of others. The light needs only to be kindled, and like wax in the face of fire, this organization, which seems so powerful, will melt, and be consumed." -- On Patriotism 1894, Leo Trotsky, as quoted in western NC's Mountain Express, a freely-distributed hardcopy and internet publication
Annual average visibility in the Great Smoky Mountains is 25 miles.
Although annual natural visibility is over 90 miles, a 90 mile view is very rare in the park. A clear day occurs only about one percent of the time. Tennessee Clean Air Task Force (American Lung Association of Tennessee, Audubon Socieity Memphis Chapter, Black Children’s Institute, League of Women Voters of Tennessee, National Parks and Conservation Association, Sierra Club Tennessee Chapter, Tennessee Environmental Council, Tennessee Valley Energy Reform Coalition)
Appalachian Center for Economic Networks -- Community-based organization for networking, innovation, and cooperation between regional localities to create strong, sustainable economies with opportunities for all. ACEnet currently focuses on food and technology sectors, providing basic services small businesses need to start, expand, and create quality jobs and to enjoy economies of scale enabled by networking.
Appalachian Community Fund -- "Funding social change since 1967" Based in Massachusetts, their Resist newsletter details the plight of families and environment by the rape-for-profit of Appalachian natural resources, most particularly coal. ACF provides grants for grassroots organizational struggles toward responsible stewardship in eastern Kentucky, southwest Virginia, east Tennessee and all of West Virginia, and is currently most focused on proposals to decapitate up to 250 feet of Kentucky's Black Mountain for extraction of its coal deposits.
"Big Black Mountain, reaching an elevation of 4,150 feet is the highest point in the Commonwealth and may very well be Kentucky's most significant ecosystem.... This mountain, with its unique plants and wildlife and sweeping panoramas, is an important part of the cultural and natural heritage of the region. Because of its altitude, it serves as a refugium for some of the state's rarest organisms, making the area extremely important to the preservation of Kentucky's natural diversity." -- from A Comprehensive Protection Plan developed by the Kentucky Nature Preserves Commission for U.S. Steel
Volunteer members of the Appalachian Consortium organized in 1971 to preserve and promote culture of the Southern Highlands. Comprised of institutions and agencies throughout that area, it is administered from Boone NC's Appalachian State University. Appalachian Focus -- Collating site for regional information includes updated news from sources throughout Appalachia, research papers and a mailing list for sharing views and events.
Appalachian On-line Discussion List -- Internet mailing list for sharing life in Appalachia: the social scene, intellegentsia, anecdotes, networking, arts, politics, religion, environment, geneology, diversity, stereotypes, etc. Appalachian State University -- Now celebrating the centennial of its very rustic founding as Watauga Academy, this mountaintop institution, located in Boone, NC, has grown to international prominence for the excellence of its staff, students, programs, and outreach to the Appalachian community.
ASU sponsors An Appalachian Summer Festival, held each summer and named "one of the top 20 events in the southeast" by the Southeast Tourism Society,
and an annual alumni tour, scheduled for Eastern Europe in summer 2000.
graphic: photo by Gary Gerhart, Jonesborough Designer Craftsmen -- Hubbard Glacier, Inland Passage, Alaska; 1999 ASA Alumni Centennial Tour
Appalachian Women's Alliance -- "...a grassroots network of women from six states who are identifying common issues, defining a common vision, practicing new ways of being and relating to each other, and beginning to share a common hope. Challenging traditional stereotypes, we are black, white and Cherokee, wage earners and welfare mothers, rural and urban, with and without traditional education. We organized ourselves to make certain that the voices and visions of Appalachian women are taken into account when decisions are made that affect the lives of women and families in Appalachian communities." Association of Personal Computer User Groups -- APCUG is an international, platform-independent, volunteer-run nonprofit body devoted to helping user groups offer better services to their members. Use their locater to find the telephone number, scheduled meeting day, website, e-mail and street address for any region's User Group. In East Tennessee the Tri-Cities Computer User Group is: website http://www.tccc.org; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; meets the first Saturday of each month at 10:00 a.m., Johnson City Public Library meeting room.
Center for Appalachian Studies and Services at ETSU, Johnson City -- "One of the State of Tennessee's Centers of Excellence supporting artistic, scholarly, and public service projects in the region." Extensive Scotch-Irish studies and support. CASS also oversees ETSU's Appalachian Studies Curriculum, Bluegrass and Country Music Program, Governors School for Tennessee Heritage, and the Reece Museum. On-going design and compilation of the historical Archives of Appalachia. Publishes the richly-illustrated "Now & Then", a high-quality magazine of regional poetry, fiction, articles, personal essays, graphics, and photographs.
The Highlander Research and Education Center -- Founded 66 years ago, this nationally and internationally acclaimed institution still provides a safe learning and networking environment for grassroots leadership to develop strategies and vision for peaceful change toward a more democratic society. Its extensive and sometimes controversial history of activist participation includes labor, civil rights and anti-poverty movements, represented earlier by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Fanny Lou Hamer and Stokely Carmichael. Highlander may also be reached by e-mail through The Association for Progressive Communications, a Global Internet Community for Environment, Human Rights, Development and Peace
‘‘The idea comes from ancient times, when people would gather round the central fire ... they would cook and eat and dance and pray and tell stories. ...
We don’t have the central fire anymore. Our central fire is the computer, ... we’re not telling stories and we’re losing our connection to our humanity. ...
Without stories to give us rootedness, we’re stripped of our rootedness ... our awareness of who and why we are. ...
The first and most fundamental issue is ... collecting and telling our stories.
They [tellers] can preserve their culture. That’s a creative application of storytelling.’’
-- Jimmy Neil Smith, founder and currentt president of Storytelling Foundation International; quoted by Garren Shipley, Kingsport Times-News
Graphic: She was in the limelight, collage;
Norma Murray exhibition, Museum of Appalachian Culture, A.S.U., Boone, N.C.
Historic Jonesborough Foundation, one of many non-profit organizations serving regional preservation and betterment in Tennessee's eastern tri-cities area. Jonesborough is the site of October's annual International Storytelling Festival, now in its 28th year. Kentucky's Democracy Resource Center, part of the One America national government initiative to strengthen democratic citizenship worldwide: works to undo pernicious effects of racism by providing public workshops and grassroots legal/technical assistance; promotes sustainable forestry logging, responsible industrial waste disposal, and environmental justice as a partner to organizations seeking cleanups of toxin-defiled land and air; allies with institutions like Appalshop to persue economic justice for citizens of all races, creeds and gender persuasions; and encourages individual participation in government decision-making as it effects regions and cultures through dissemination of a quarterly newsletter and pamphlets such as Beyond Voting: A Citizen's Guide to Opening Local Government and A Citizen's Guide to Developing a Code of Ethics for Local Government.
The National Forest Protection Alliance (NFPA) was founded in April 1999 to research and share information on "protecting and restoring the integrity of our nation's forests and public lands, including the ecosystems they provide and the cultural and biological heritage they sustain." Its nation-wide staff includes representatives from Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
Over 300 women have completed residential programs at Berea, KY's New Opportunity School for Women. A non-profit endeavor organized in 1987, the institute trains low-income, middle-aged women in marketable skills such as computer technology and provides them with day care assistance.
The Southern Empowerment Project (SEP) "Keeping our eyes on the prize" -- A Tennessee-headquartered "multi-racial association of member-run, member-based organizations" that "stands with the oppressed challenging racism and social injustice." It "recruits and trains community
leaders to become organizers to assist organizations in the South and Appalachia
to solve community problems."
Southern Poverty Law Center"...until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream" Martin Luther King Jr. -- Venerable institution sponsoring educational programs, and assisting and encouraging claimants against bigotry and intolerance. Tennessee Farm Bureau -- Animated, up-to-date info of interest particularly, but not exclusively, to Appalachians involved in the evolving worlds of agriculture. Other regional Farm Bureau website links, as well as nationally relevant info and resources, available through the American Farm Bureau.
"Well, that’s the threat--the threat of taking their lives into their own
hands, and it had to be destroyed by terrorism and economic strangulation,
which is still continuing." -- Noam Choamsky, Zdnet
The Spirit of Friendship 1965Kahlil Gibran
I believe that it is in you to be good citizens.
And what is it to be a good citizen?
It is to acknowledge the other person's rights
before asserting your own,
but always to be conscious of your own.
It is to be free in word and deed,
but it is also to know that your freedom
is subject to the other person's freedom.
It is to create the useful and the beautiful
with your own hands, and to admire
what others have created in love and with faith.
He who understands you
is greater kin to you
than your own brother.
For even your own kindred
may neither understand you
nor know your true worth.
From a sensitive woman's heart
springs the happiness of mankind,
and from the kindness of her noble spirit
comes mankind's affection.