About the Grant

$31,500 to support Performing Our Rural Future (MAP 2016)
$7,100 to general operating support for Appalshop (Roadside Theater)

About the Project

Roadside Theater/Appalshop is working with people of all ages in their central Appalachian home to create and produce a new play. Youth led, the project is exploring the future of Letcher County, Kentucky, which has one of the richest cultural heritages in the U.S. and is also the poorest congressional district in the nation. With the region’s single largest industry — coal — collapsing, what are youth experiencing? How do they envision their future? What is possible if they resist flight and stay in the mountains to fight for a future? The play is one part of Appalshop’s county-wide Culture Hub initiative that is putting arts and culture at the center of rural community development. In collaboration with scholars at the national consortium of 100 colleges, Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life, and economists at Lafayette College’s Economic Empowerment and Global Learning Project, the project’s approach to inclusive development is becoming a national model.

Related Websites


Roadside Theater 

Imagining America



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