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MN&WR: Can Old Culture Revive the Economy in Hindman, KY?

MN&WR: Can Old Culture Revive the Economy in Hindman, KY?

  • Hindman awakens new opportunity to revitalize the economy through a rich cultural heritage in arts and music
  • Humans of Central Appalachia (Doug Naselroad – Master Lutheiry in Residence at the Bolen Woodworking Studio in Hindman,KY)
  • “White Highways” written and read by James Still from Appalshop Archive
Doug Naselroad by Malcolm J. Wilson (HOCA)

The economic impact of tourism on the entire state of Kentucky is growing.  In 2014, the tourism and travel industry contributed over $13 billion to Kentucky’s economy.  More eastern Kentucky coalfield towns are looking to tourism as a possible way to diversify their economies and transition as the impact of the decline in coal is widely felt.  WMMT has been visiting these towns, some of which were once bustling and alive activity, in special coverage of the economic transition of eastern Kentucky, and to learn more how each town is uniquely adjusting to this economic downturn, envisioning a future, and revitalizing.  To begin this week’s Mountain News & World Report, Kelli Haywood visits the city of Hindman, the county-seat of Knott County to witness the efforts being made to utilize the distinctive resources available to the community in hopes that arts, music, and tourism will create a thriving economy in years to come. In this episode, we feature Part I of a two part series on Hindman.

Also in this show, WMMT proudly features the first of what will be an ongoing collaboration with the Humans of Central Appalachia project – an interview with Master Luthier in Residence at the Bolen Woodworking Studio of the Appalachian Artisan Center, Doug Naselroad.  Humans of Central Appalachia (HOCA) was founded on Facebook in 2014 in an effort to dispell the stereotypes perpetuated by mainstream media sources and shock photographers.  Malcolm J. Wilson, the photographer and citizen journalist who heads the project, hopes to give residents of Appalachia a means to tell their story in their own words.  Transcribing his interviews just as the participants speak them, and including a captivating photograph for each, Wilson and team doesn’t embellish or manipulate, but presents a very particular people from a very particular place with accuracy.  In this special feature of Mountain News & World Report, WMMT and HOCA will share original audio from Wilson’s interviews edited for sake of time only, not content.  As Wilson placed front and center on the HOCA website – “To hear an honest story of Appalachia, ask an Appalachian.”

To end this week’s show, we share the reading of “White Highways” by the poet himself – James Still.  This recording comes from Appalshop Archive. To learn more about the efforts of the archive to preserve our cultural heritage for future generations visit –

If you like what you hear, see, and read of the Humans of Central Appalachia project visit their support site –

Mountain News & World Report is a bi-weekly production of WMMT, and new episodes air every other Thursday at 6pm on WMMT, with a repeat broadcast the following Sunday morning at 10:30.  To listen to previous episodes, check out our streaming archives.

appalachian history,
arts & culture,
economic transition,
traditional music,
wmmt news,

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