Welcome to the streaming archives for Mountain Talk, WMMT's weekly community conversation, airing Wednesday evenings at 6. In addition to providing space for What's Cookin' Now! and Art Matters, Mountain Talk features interviews with guests that cover a wide range of topics pertaining to life in these mountains, such as food, music, history, spirituality, and current events. Join us each Wednesday at six, and if you miss a program be sure to look for it here on wmmt.org.

Mountain Talk: A Community Forum Looks to Wales for New Ideas for Appalachia’s Economy

In this edition of Mountain Talk, WMMT’s weekly community conversation, we bring you excerpts from a community forum which took place on Tuesday, October 7th in the Appalshop Theater.

The forum was convened to present both local and international perspectives on new economic possibilities for the central Appalachian coalfields.  Specifically, the coalfields of south Wales shut down abruptly thirty years ago, which forced communities there to diversify their economies.  As coal employment continues to decline in Appalachia, and with many experts saying that coal jobs are not likely to rebound, some see Wales as a possible model for what new economies could be built in Appalachia.

The forum featured Hywel Francis,  a labor historian and a Member of Parliament from the Aberavon region; his wife Mair Francis, founder of the D.O.V.E. workshop, a woman-run education center considered by many to be an international model for community development; Evan Smith, an attorney with the Appalachian Citizens’ Law Center, a non-profit law firm in Whitesburg, Ky.; and Robin Gabbard, Associate Executive Director at the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky.  Voices of community members who attended can also be heard in the Q&A portion of the broadcast, including the perspective of renowned Appalachian scholar Helen Lewis.

Mountain Talk, WMMT’s weekly conversation, airs each Monday & Wednesday at 6 p.m. To hear previous episodes, check out the Mountain Talk archives, or the archives for What’s Cookin’ Now!, which airs on the first Wednesday of every month.

Mountain Talk: Appalachian Transition Fellows

The full cohort of Appalachian Transition Fellows // you can find more info about the program at http://www.appfellows.org

In this edition of WMMT’s Mountain Talk, we discuss the Appalachian Transition Fellowship Progam, a new initiative aimed at encouraging a new generation of Appalachian leaders while also working to diversify the regional economy.  The first class of Fellows, fourteen young people from throughout the region, recently started working with nonprofits, local governments, and businesses across six Appalachian states on projects working to create jobs and sustainable livelihoods.  In this program, host Mimi Pickering speaks with Fellows Joshua Outsey, Mae Humiston, and Eric Dixon about their work and experiences in the region so far.  We also hear from Kierra Sims of the Highlander Center, which is coordinating the program and mentoring the Fellows.

For more on the program and this year’s Appalachian Transition Fellows, check out their website: www.appfellows.org.  To hear previous episodes of Mountain Talk, WMMT’s regular community conversation, head to our streaming archives.

Mountain Talk: The Inaugural Appalachian Food Summit

In this edition of WMMT’s Mountain Talk, we look back at the first annual Appalachian Food Summit held last month at the Hindman Settlement School in Hindman, Ky.  Joining host Mimi Pickering are: Pike County food writer Joyce Pinson; Valerie Horn of the Community Farm Alliance, Grow Appalachia, and the APPAL-TREE project; and Lora Smith, one of the event’s organizers.  Our guests also discuss the potential benefits that growing and eating local food may hold for our health and our local economies here in the mountains.

To hear more episodes of Mountain Talk, WMMT’s weekly community conversation, check out our streaming archives here.

A Mountain Talk Special: Dust in the Bottomland

In this extra-special edition of WMMT’s Mountain Talk, we are proud and pleased to present “Dust in the Bottomland,” an original musical monodrama (miniature opera) that paints a complex and moving portrait of modern Appalachia.  The performance is followed by an interview with West Virginia composer/lyricist Nate May and singer Andrew Munn on the experiences that inform their story, and on the power of art to convey meaning and emotion.

To hear previous episodes of Mountain Talk, WMMT’s weekly community conversation, click here.

Mountain Talk: Appalachia 2050

Fifty years after the inception of the “War on Poverty,” much has been accomplished in Appalachia.  But more remains to be done.  Ralph B. Davis, a journalist and filmmaker from Floyd County, Ky., recently visited WMMT’s Mountain Talk to discuss and share clips from his documentary, Appalachia 2050.  In the film, residents of the region talk about what they think needs to happen to finish the job that the War on Poverty began.  In addition to Ralph’s commentary, we hear from Don Fields, Mike Vance, Jonathan Gay, John and Jean Rosenberg, John Trusty, and Lee Mueller.   The full film is available on YouTube.

To hear previous episodes of Mountain Talk, WMMT’s weekly community conversation, click here.

Mountain Talk: Remembering the Scotia Disaster

MT Talk Scotia 3-12-14

the Scotia memorial marker along Hwy. 119 in Letcher County, Ky. // photo by Shelly Biesel

March 9th and 11th marked the 38th anniversary of the Scotia Mine Disaster, which killed a total of 26 people in two methane explosions at the Scotia Mine in Letcher County, Ky. in 1976.  In this special edition of WMMT’s Mountain Talk, we commemorate Scotia, as well as some of the other countless coal disasters that have occurred throughout our nation’ s history.  We bring you two stories about Scotia from a 2010 ceremony dedicating an historic marker at the site, and we also present a story from independent producer Chris Yoars on a massive coal disaster in West Frankfort, Illinois in 1951.  Interspersed are songs from other coal explosions and disasters.

WMMT’s Mountain Talk airs each Monday and Wednesday at 6 p.m., and includes the programs What’s Cookin’ Now, Mountain Survivors, Health Matters, and Art Matters.  For previous episodes of Mountain Talk, check out our streaming archives.