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Founded in 1969 as a project of the United States government's War on Poverty, Appalshop established itself as the primary hub of filmmaking in and about Appalachia, and since that time has produced more than one hundred films, covering such subjects as coal mining, the environment, traditional culture, and the economy.
Appalshop also produces theater, music, and spoken-word recordings (released on its June Appal Recordings label), as well as photography, multimedia, and books.
Since 1985, Appalshop has also operated WMMT-FM (Mountain Community Radio), a radio station located in Whitesburg, Kentucky which serves much of central Appalachia (including portions of eastern Kentucky, southwest Virginia, and western West Virginia) with music and programming relevant to the region and its culture. WMMT also broadcasts live on the web.
As stated on its website, Appalshop's goals are:
- To document, disseminate, and revitalize the lasting traditions and contemporary creativity of Appalachia;
- To tell stories the commercial cultural industries don’t tell, challenging stereotypes with Appalachian voices and visions;
- To support communities’ efforts to achieve justice and equity and solve their own problems in their own ways;
- To celebrate cultural diversity as a positive social value; and
- To participate in regional, national, and global dialogue toward these ends.
- Appalshop official site
- WMMT official site
- Thousand Kites
- Roadside Theater
- Article about Appalshop at 40 years old
- Article about the founding of Appalshop by Bill Richardson
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