What does it mean to be Appalachian? Do you have images of barefoot people in worn out clothing sitting on the porch of a crumbling log cabin?
Perhaps stories of the feud between the Hatfield’s and McCoy’s represents the conception you have of mountain people. There are outsiders who think we are a people consumed with superstition, ignorance and violence.
Many of Sinclair’s students, faculty and staff are from the Appalachian heritage. Our people migrated to the Dayton area in search of jobs and became successful by working at the factories, like the GM plant and Armco.
At first, as Appalachians moved to this city they did not give up their cultural heritage and often settled in groups within different sections of Dayton.
However, as the years passed and generations grew our now urban-Appalachians often forgot the treasures of our heritage and too soon began to believe the negative stereotypes embedded in the fictional stories spread through the media.
The Appalachian Outreach Department is hosting “Celebrate Appalachia,” a mini-Appalachian festival to demonstrate the beauty and richness of our heritage. The festival will be held on Tuesday, April 2nd in building 8 stage area. This will be a celebration of our cultural talents.
Our formal program includes live traditional music, folk dancing, storytelling and student testimonials from the spring break trip to Henderson Settlement in the mountains. At the end of the program, we will be presenting the Appalachian Outreach Appreciation Awards.
There will be displays of traditional Appalachian artistry as well: pottery, wood turning, basket weaving, broom making, quilting and more. Samples of traditional foods will also be shared with all who attend.
Celebrate Appalachia is a come-and-go event from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. It will be an experience sure to ignite an interest in the true story behind what it means to be Appalachian. Please join us.
To learn more about the Appalachian Outreach Department efforts visit our website at http://www.sinclair.edu/academics/appalachian-outreach/ We are currently located in Building 4, Room 343. You can contact me for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling extension 4429.