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Mtn. News: Tradition, Resilience, & Innovation

Mtn. News: Tradition, Resilience, & Innovation


Wayne Henderson, Rugby, VA. Photo courtesy Appalshop, taken during the filming of “From Wood to Singing Guitar.”

We begin this episode of Mountain News by celebrating the birthday of Wayne Henderson, a master musician and luthier from Rugby, Virginia who turns 72 on May 3rd, 2019.  Wayne was the focus of the 2009 Appalshop film From Wood to Singing Guitar which chronicles his work building and playing instruments.

Then, we’ll hear from Ash-lee Woodard Henderson, co-director of the historic Highlander Center. Highlander is an 87 year old social justice center located on a 200 acre farm in New Market, Tennessee.  Early in the morning of March 29th, the main office building was engulfed in flames. A symbol associated with the white power movement was found spray painted in the parking lot. The fire is still under investigation as an arson by local and national law enforcement.  This interview with Ash-lee was conducted by journalist Mark Brown, a reporter for the Standard Banner in Jefferson County, TN.  It took place at Highlander on Monday April 1, 2019.  Brown shared the audio with us.

Allyn Maxfield-Steele (left) and Ash-lee Woodard Henderson (right) co-directors of the Highlander Center in New Market, TN.


Last in this episode we’ll visit the Kentucky Valley Educational Corporation‘s FIRE Summit, which took place in late April 2019 in Pikeville, KY.  FIRE stands for Forging Innovation in Rural Education, and the annual summit brought together high school students from across Eastern Kentucky to showcase their innovative inventions and entrepreneurship aimed at revitalizing mountain economies and communities.


KVEC Fire Summit, Pikeville, KY, April 2019. Photo by Sydney Boles.

Music on this episode features Odus Maggard with Lois Fuller with a tune called “When the Spring Roses Are Bloomin” from his album Southern Melody, which was produced by Appalshop’s own June Appal Recordings.  


Belfry High School students show off their kudzu-bricks at the KVEC Fire Summit, April 2019, Pikeville, KY. They’re hoping the bricks can be used as organic and locally sourced insulation for houses in Eastern Kentucky.







appalachian history,
arts & culture,
economic transition,
education in the mountains,
Highlander Center,
wmmt news,
youth voice,

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