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Planting Seeds, Nurturing Culture in Whitesburg

June 4, 2012

WHITESBURG, Ky. - Three days of sights and sounds that help tell the story of Appalachia are happening this week, as Appalshop holds its twenty sixth annual "Seedtime on the Cumberland" festival. Appalshop is a nonprofit arts and education center based in Whitesburg.

The group's program director, Brett Ratliff, likens Seedtime to a living history of the region.

"We have a very unique culture here, it's reflected in our music and our art, very prominently. If you look around and listen, you get a great sense of where you're at and the issues that people face."

Ratliff says there's a good chance anyone who attends will walk away knowing something about the area that they didn't know when they got there.

"There are a lot of folks out there doing some great work, whether it's in community organizing or whether they're just working artists. It's great to have the opportunity for everybody to see how many folks are involved with doing work in the arts."

Ratliff says even the title of the festival is a reflection of how many people live their entire lives in Appalachia. He says Appalshop is a venue for local expression of local culture.

"We organize the community around this cultural work and we all work together to cultivate art and music, and it all kind of comes together - and it takes several people doing this sort of work to make it thrive."

Seedtime on the Cumberland takes place June 7 through 9 on the Appalshop grounds in Whitesburg. Activities range from old-fashioned hymn singing and unique crafts to guided hikes and film screenings.

Find out more about Seedtime on the Cumberland at www.appalshop.org.

Tom Joseph, Public News Service - KY