Monday, October 26, 2020

Elizabeth Tussey

  1. Describe your contribution/work in the Appalachian region.

I am a writer and independent researcher from Columbiana County, Ohio.  My research interests include eco-poetics, folklore, and modern mourning practices among Northern Appalachians. I have published a number of poems about my home county and am currently working on a book chapter discussing the Kent State Massacre. 


  1. What is your perception of Appalachia?


Appalachia is a complex place of great beauty that has been terribly exploited by extractive industries.  I also feel it is quite misunderstood and often painted with some very broad strokes by outsiders.


  1. Is change needed internally within Appalachia regarding our culture’s self-perception?


I believe that we need to develop as much self-awareness as possible.  It is very easy to internalize outsider stereotypes and sometimes I find that people lean into these stereotypes in lieu of actively developing an authentic identity.  I also believe that it helps to identify and cultivate regional identities within Appalachia – for example, people living in Northern Appalachian have a distinctly different identity than folks living in the South.  While we all face similar challenges and should unite, I believe it helps to understand the immediate needs of each specific region. 


  1. How do we challenge damaging stereotypes of Appalachia?

By contributing our voices and lending an authentic perspective within the media and within local government, among many other institutions and areas of discourse. 


  1. How does your region of Appalachia inspire you?

Columbiana County is a stunningly beautiful place with a rich history of both abolitionism and women’s rights.  This history doesn’t exactly reflect the current culture of the place but it definitely inspired me when I was growing up.  I also was lucky to grow up with some truly wonderful people and my hometown of Salem, Ohio has a very strong sense of community. 


Friday, September 25, 2020

Tiffany Marcum


  1. Describe your contribution/work in the Appalachian region. 

  • Born and raised in eastern KY. I graduated from Alice Lloyd College in 2007. While there, I won the Billie and Curtis Owens award for fiction. Currently I produce articles for “Silly Linguistics” magazine, where I sometimes discuss the unique Kentucky accent. I also paint and I plan to self publish a career memoir on caregiving/behavioral health. Once COVID is over, I’d love to be involved in community art projects and local murals.


  1. What is your perception of Appalachia?

-Appalachia is a sleeping giant. An educated, compassionate, and loving one. It’s disgraceful that we are often forgotten and ghosted. I long for some of the same opportunities as larger cities.


  1. Is change needed internally within Appalachia regarding our culture’s self-perception?

-Desperately! It’s like telling a friend, “You deserve better!” We don’t have to accept the “Kool aid moustache-rank 50th in everything” script that’s been written for us by others.



 

  1. How do we challenge damaging stereotypes of Appalachia?

-I personally love using big words to throw haters off track. I encourage education, empathy, and cool communication. Limit engagement with closed minded strangers- they are committed to misunderstanding you. Your precious time and energy are best used on other meaningful efforts toward the goal of empathy, compassion and solidarity.


  1. How does your region of Appalachia inspire you?

-I have discovered a community of fellow artists! Shot out to “Weird Appalachia”! I have always seen art in the mundane. I live in a forest and nature plays a big role in my artwork. After living away for nearly a decade, I see even more opportunity to colorize and make this community vibrant. I am ,surprisingly, not a country music fan- but locals like Chris Stapleton and Tyler Childers have changed that for me. For anyone doubting, look up Chris’ SNL Performance of “Midnight Train to Memphis”. Tyler will hook you with “Nose on the Grindstone” and his recent statement on social issues will have you applauding.


Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Welcome

 Welcome to the Appalachian Restoration Project. Please stay tuned for interviews with Authors, Artists, Musicians and Scholars from Appalachia as we begin to reclaim and redefine Appalachian identity from within. Visit the Appalachian Restoration Project page @ https://www.studioappalachia.com/appalachian-restoration-project.html and fill out the survey.

Elizabeth Tussey

Describe your contribution/work in the Appalachian region. I am a writer and independent researcher from Columbiana County, Ohio.  My resear...