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Enriching Appalachia: Community, Culture, & Traditions

Raised toward our $2,000 Goal
36 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on November 12, at 11:59 PM EST
Project Owners

Enriching Appalachia

**Thanks to the Mayerson Student Philanthropy Project, all gifts to this project will be matched dollar-for-dollar, up to $1,000!**

Who We Are

We are the Fall 2023 Diverse Appalachia, Museums and Social Media class at Northern Kentucky University. This semester, we are learning how regional museums are working to preserve and share Appalachian history and culture. Can you imagine how excited we were to learn that we could use our social media skills to help? Then to find out that as we "studied" crowdsource fundraising -- we could actually do it? It's an amazing journey for us. Not only has history come alive for us, but our own futures as historians have, too.

Please take a few minutes to learn about the museums that have made these experiences possible for us and, if you can, consider helping us help them.   

Why This Project

Outside of Appalachia, most people do not realize how diverse a region it is in history or culture. Even in places like northern Kentucky or greater Cincinnati, where a great many people have family ties to Appalachia, most don't realize that like a patchwork quilt, it was, and is, rich in the stories and sounds shared in many voices. For example, did you know that the most well-known Appalachian instrument, the banjo, has African origins or that central Appalachia's coalfields are filled with "hidden figures" whose stories are being lost?

What Is Needed

Our partners, the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center and the West Virginia Mine Wars Museum, are community museums in a region rich in history and cultural traditions but where there is not a lot of money "leftover" to put towards things like after-school enrichment programming or an oral history project.

Every fall, the Heritage Center's Junior Appalachian Musicians Program offers a ten-week program for 28 local school children. The kids learn to play the instruments and songs of their ancestors. Each year, the program costs $4,200 or $150 per child and over a quarter of the students need assistance to pay this tuition fee.

The West Virginia Mine Wars museum located in the heart of a region ravaged by mountaintop removal, seeks to reclaim and share a history and legacy denied to southern West Virginia's people. To honor its commitment to include the voices of African Americans and immigrant Americans, the museum is seeking $5,000 to build an "interview suite" where they can collect a "people's history" of the coalfields.

Why Your Help Is Needed

We dream big! We would love to raise all the money both programs need, but because 100% of the money we raise goes straight to the museums, every dollar we raise will help the museums qualify for matching funds.   

Why We Care

With your help, we can help bring more of Appalachia's rich history to the surface. --Rebecca

Please consider helping us contribute to gathering the stories and histories that will be featured in the largest exhibition of Mine Wars History anywhere in the United States.  –Mattie

I am thrilled to be a part of this class and develop workplace skills while still within the safety net of school.--Hailey

This project has a lot of meaning to me since my family comes from Appalachia and has roots in the beautiful regional music. Thank you for your consideration! –Katrina

With my passion for traditional music, I am so excited to be raising funds for children to pursue their musical passions. I’m grateful in advance for your donations! -- Hannah

Choose a giving level



Could buy battery packs for recording equipment for the Mingo County Black History Project or strings and tuners for instruments for the Junior Appalachian Musician Program.



Could pay for a microphone or recording storage supplies for the Mingo County Black History Project or help pay the cost of leasing instruments for the Junior Appalachian Musician Program.



Could pay for a handheld recorder or a set of high-quality microphones for the Mingo County Black History Project or pay the tuition for one student in the Junior Appalachian Musician Program.



Could pay for a complete quality interview kit (recorder, microphones, light source, and recording storage) for the Mingo County Black History Project or buy one instrument for the Junior Appalachian Musician Program.

Our Crowdfunding Groups