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Appalshop official logo

Appalshop is a media, arts, and education center located in Whitesburg, Kentucky, in the heart of the southern Appalachian region of the United States.


Appalshop was founded in 1969 as the Appalachian Film Workshop, a project of the United States government's War on Poverty.[1] The organization was one of ten Community Film Workshops started by a partnership between the federal Office of Economic Opportunity and the American Film Institute.[2] In 1974 the worker-operated organization evolved into a nonprofit company called Appalshop and established itself as a hub of filmmaking in 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. The name was officially changed to reflect changing business structure and goals.

Appalshop also produces theater, music, and spoken-word recordings (released on its June Appal Recordings label), as well as photography, multimedia, and books.

Appalshop Main Building - Whitesburg, Kentucky

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,[3] 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.


In 1990 Appalshop won the Alfred I. du Pont Award for Broadcast Journalism (Columbia University)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Williams, John Alexander (2002). Appalachia: A History. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press.
  2. ^ "Appalachian Film Workshop/Appalshop Films collection, 1969-Present - Kentucky Digital Library". Retrieved 2015-11-19.
  3. ^ "About Us". Appalshop. Archived from the original on 2013-08-26. Retrieved 2013-08-25.


  • Charbonneau, Stephen Michael (16 November 2009). "Young Appalachian Selves, Autoethnographic Aesthetics, and the Founding of Appalshop". Journal of Popular Film and Television. 37 (3): 137–145. doi:10.1080/01956050903218125.
  • Jennings, Judi (1992). "Appalshop (United States)". In John E. Kleber. The Kentucky Encyclopedia. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky.
  • Lewis, Anne (2011). "Appalshop". In John D. H. Downing. Encyclopedia of Social Movement Media. thousand Oaks, California: SAGE.
  • Williams, John Alexander (2002). Appalachia: A History. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press.
  • Appalachian Film Workshop/Appalshop Films collection, 1969–Present - Kentucky Digital Library
  • Hoffman, Carl (1996) "The Voice of the Mountains" in Appalachia Magazine a publication of the Appalachian Regional Commission
  • Ruby, Jay (1991) "Speaking For, Speaking About, Speaking With, or Speaking Alongside- An Anthropological and Documentary Dilemma" in Visual Anthropology Review Fall 1991 Volume 7 Number 2

External links[edit]