BOONE, N.C. — Living folk traditions practiced by the people of diverse cultures in Western North Carolina will be preserved for generations to come thanks to the documentary work of Appalachian State University graduate student Chelsey Johnson, an M.A. candidate in the Appalachian studies program from Knoxville, Tennessee. Her concentration is Appalachian culture and music.
Johnson’s work, which began in August and will conclude in June 2020, is supported through grant funding from South Arts Inc., a nonprofit regional arts organization. The grant was awarded to Tom Hansell, associate professor in the Appalachian studies program, and Dr. Beth Davison, professor in Appalachian’s Department of Interdisciplinary Studies. Hansell and Davison co-direct Appalachian’s University Documentary Film Services (UDFS).
This project is a component of South Arts’ “In These Mountains: Central Appalachian Folk Arts and Culture” initiative, which is focused on providing intergenerational opportunities to preserve and carry forward the folk and traditional arts and culture of Central Appalachia.
Johnson is working with Hansel and Davison, as well as resources available through Appalachian’s UDFS and Center for Appalachian Studies, to complete the documentary work.
Interviews and transcripts resulting from the project will be archived in the university’s W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection, housed in Belk Library and Information Commons, and shared with additional archival repositories in Kentucky, North Carolina and Tennessee.
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About the Center for Appalachian Studies
The Center for Appalachian Studies promotes public programs, community collaboration, civic engagement and scholarship on the Appalachian region. The center is committed to building healthy communities and deepening knowledge of Appalachia’s past, present and future through community-based research and engagement. Learn more at https://appcenter.appstate.edu.
About Appalachian State University Documentary Film Services
University Documentary Film Services at Appalachian State University teaches, engages in and presents documentary work grounded in collaborative local and global partnerships. Photography, film/video, audio and narrative writing are used to capture and convey memory, life, research, theory and culture. Additionally, the program provides professional consultation to students, faculty and staff engaged in documentary projects; maintains an archive of campus documentary work; hosts workshops for the campus community; and coordinates screenings of both finished and ongoing documentaries produced by Appalachian faculty and staff, as well as visiting professional documentarians. It is a unit within Appalachian's University College. Learn more at https://doc.appstate.edu.
About Appalachian State University
As the premier public undergraduate institution in the Southeast, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls nearly 21,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.