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Quilts 'Plus' Stories 'Equal' Tourism

PHOTO:  Luring visitors to the foothills of east Kentucky - with the region's beauty and Appalachian heritage on display.  Photo by Greg Stotelmyer.
PHOTO: Luring visitors to the foothills of east Kentucky - with the region's beauty and Appalachian heritage on display. Photo by Greg Stotelmyer.
October 10, 2013

WEST LIBERTY, Ky. – The idea is to use the fabric of the region to draw tourists to an economically strapped part of east Kentucky.

So today and Friday, a nonprofit eco-agritourism organization, known as FEAT, is conducting a tour through Carter, Elliott and Morgan counties.

FEAT director Gayle Clevenger says the foothills region has plenty of culture and heritage to offer visitors, and FEAT is demonstrating that, in part, through textile art.

"We're concentrating on Appalachian history through quilts and antiques and storytelling," she explains.

The tour will include freshly prepared meals, along with stops at vintage shops, artists' studios and a cultural center.

The long-range goal of FEAT, short for East Kentucky Foothills Eco-Agritourism, is to transform the region into a tourist destination.

"Spread the word that we have things to see, we have culture to show, we have entertainment and artists that do quality work," Clevenger says.

FEAT serves five counties, including Menifee and Wolfe, home to the Red River Gorge, which is world-renowned for its natural sandstone arches and rock climbing.

Clevenger says the gorge is a big asset to the organization's push for adventure tourism.

Greg Stotelmyer , Public News Service - KY