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Creating Community through Arts in Eastern Kentucky
April 3 @ 7:00 pm
Dr. Joy Gritton, Associate Professor of Art History, Morehead State University
Wednesday, April 3, 2019 – 7:00pm (Vahlkamp Theatre)
The pendulum of popular perception of Eastern Kentucky has long swung between a “strange land” and “peculiar people” characterized by isolation, violent feuds, moonshine (or drugs), and poverty, and misty mountain landscapes populated by self-reliant backwoods men and women with a rich history of weaving, quilting, woodworking, basketry, and home-grown music. Since the Progressive era the second stereotype has been proffered as a solution to the first. It was and is an unspoken imperative that any training initiatives or funding opportunities related to the arts must have an economic development component to be seriously considered. But in a place where people live surrounded by both beauty and hardship, the arts are being used to foster and express hope, healing, resilience, cooperation, empowerment, and pride on a daily basis. And while you can’t eat hope and pride may not pay the rent, it goes a long way toward building communities that are finding their way in a dominant society that seems at times indifferent to the many marginalized peoples of our country. This discussion will highlight diverse ways Eastern Kentuckians are using the arts to work toward a better future for themselves and their neighbors.