One Vision/ Many Voices: A Series Of Events and Community Art PDF Print E-mail
Appalachian Culture - Appalachian Culture
Written by Jeff Henry   
Tuesday, 02 October 2012 20:59

The Maryland Humanities Council has awarded an $8,000 grant to support The Appalachian Independent community project entitled, One Vision/ Many Voices. The project, coordinated by Michael Snyder with consultation from Dr. Kara Rogers Thomas, uses ten local arts and humanities events to ignite dialogues around one question: How do we embrace what we value in our community while moving towards a healthier, more sustainable future?

The centerpiece of the project is a community-generated art piece.  At each of the ten events members from the community will be invited to create a piece of original art that will contribute to the ‘Community Visions Quilt’.  The artwork can be of any medium (e.g. drawn, painted, stitched, photographed, written) but should be on or attached to a single 8×8? quilt square and should be influenced by the theme:  ‘the thing(s) I love most about my community’.  Quilt squares will be available at each event. When the Community Visions Quilt is completed in March it will be handed over to a group of school children and senior citizens who will work together with folk music group, Magpie, to create a song that captures the essence of the images.  A music video will then be created for the song by another group of local, amateur filmmakers.  At the end of the project the community-generated art piece will be presented to the community. 

The events will take place throughout Western Maryland during October (2012) and February, March, and April of 2013. Each event will focus on subjects such as early residents of Appalachia, coal mining, biking, trains, and more. Coinciding with each event is the piecing together of a community quilt or to create a square at the scheduled programs. Artists are encouraged to bring artwork for the quilt. Each event is free and open to the public.

The first of the events will take place at Home Ground Fest at Rocky Gap on Saturday, October 6 at 3:00 p.m. Historian and archeologist Roy Brown will share artifacts and stories from the region’s prehistory. Home Ground is a day-long, open-air festival held each year at Rocky Gap State Park near Cumberland, MD.  The festival features, speakers, demonstrations, games, walks, workshops and fun activities in the outdoors for all ages. For more information on Home Ground, visit

A bike workshop will take place at Cumberland Trail Connection Sunday, October 7 at 9:30 a.m. The workshop will consist of bicycle maintenance and a Q & A session. Following the workshop, participants will be able to take part in a group trail ride from Cumberland to Frostburg (and back). The ride is recommended for ages nine and up.

Amy Fabbri will perform ballads from the Mining region and Dr. Kara Rogers Thomas will share oral history segments and photographs from the Western Maryland Regional Libraries’ “Coal Talk” collection at Georges Creek Library in Lonaconing, MD Wednesday, October 10 starting at 6:00 p.m. Learn how mining has influenced Appalachian music. Fabbri performs with guitar and dulcimer and can often be heard performing with Jon Felton and His Soulmobile.

“It’s All Uphill to Oakland,” the saga of B&O Railroad’s 17 mile grade from Cumberland to Oakland will be presented at the annual Autumn Glory Festival Saturday, October 13 starting at 2:00 p.m. This event will take place at Garrett College Auditorium (687 Mosser Rd. McHenry, MD). Pat Stakem, author and historian from Johns Hopkins University will discuss the history of this stretch of rail that connected two important towns in Western Maryland. There will also be a train photography competition.

National Sonnet Slam Champion, Allan Wolf hosts An Echo In The Hills: A Poetrypalooza and Poetry Slam at Mountain City Traditional Arts, Monday, October 22 at 7:00 PM. Wolf is the Educational Director for Poetry Alive!, a national touring company that presents theatrical poetry shows for all ages. An active organizer in the early days of the poetry slam competitions, Wolf’s mission has always been to take poetry to the people. And with literally hundreds of poems committed to memory, Wolf is always ready to spin out a stanza or two. Got rhyme?  A slam isn’t your ordinary poetry reading! A slam is a head-to-head poetry competition. It is a spoken word live performance where the audience determines who rules the stage. Come out and see local poets take their art to the stag or take the stage yourself! An Echo in the Hills welcomes you to compete. Experienced poets and novices alike are welcome. Prizes will be awarded to the winners!

More events will follow in February, March, and April. Including the films; “Green Fire: Aldo Leopold And A Land Ethic For Our Time,” “Home,” “Dirt! The Movie,” and “Getting To The Point.”

For more information about these events and One Vision/ Many Voice, visit The One Vision Many Voices Project was made possible by a grant from the Maryland Humanities Council through support from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Frostburg State University students enrolled in the course, “Sociology 350: Folklore in Appalachia,” are assisting in facilitating each event. The students’ participation is part of the Appalachian Regional Commission’s Appalachian Teaching Project. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or the Maryland Humanities Council. Additional support in the form of a grant from Allegany Arts Council has contributed to the support of this project.

Please register or login to add your comments to this article.

What's Happening?