Experience Appalachian culture through music, crafts and cuisine



PHOTO: Steve Patton, UK Ag Communications
Jackson, Ky.

This fall Kentuckians will have a chance to experience through music, crafts and cuisine the Appalachian culture that makes the region unique. The Pickin’ Time Mountain Music and Harvest Festival will offer all of those things Nov. 2 at the Robinson Center for Appalachian Resource Sustainability in Jackson. RCARS is part of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.

“We have carefully planned and orchestrated this festival to be a celebration of Appalachian culture expressed through the talents of this region’s most valuable resource—its people,” said David Ditsch, RCARS director. “We invite all Kentuckians to come out and experience a taste of the mountains with us through musicians’ lyrics, crafters’ hands and local mountain cuisine.”

The festival will begin at 9 a.m. EDT with a warm-up performance by regional musicians. At 10 a.m., musicians will offer limited mentoring sessions for beginners and more advanced musicians, including banjo, guitar, voice, fiddle, songwriting and mandolin.

UK music professor Ron Pen will offer a session on shape-note singing. Pen serves as the director of the John Jacob Niles Center for American Music and coordinator of the Division of Musicology and Ethnomusicology at UK. He previously directed the UK Appalachian Studies Program. He sings music drawn from traditional Appalachian repertoire and is a founding member of the Appalachian Association of Sacred Harp Singers.

Ditsch said many accomplished singers and musicians will participate including songwriter Larry Cordle, banjo player John Haywood, guitarist Johnny Sexton, voice teacher Carla Gover, fiddle player Jesse Wells and mandolin player Rich Kirby. The Stephens Family Band will lead a group band session in the afternoon.

More than 10 crafters will have their products on display and for sale. Two craft workshops are available for $10 each. Up to 20 people can participate in either the Lazy Susan Workshop or the Cutting Board Workshop.

“The mission of RCARS is to increase the long-term, value-added, sustainable income and sustainable flow of economic, ecological and social goods and services from the land, natural resources and the people of Eastern Kentucky and the Appalachian region,” Ditsch said. “This mission statement is important because it helps remind us that our research efforts, educational programs and services must be relevant to the needs and opportunities of this fabulous region.”

Attendance is free and open to the public. Parking is $5. For directions to RCARS and more information, visit http://www2.ca.uky.edu/rcars. Sponsors of the festival include the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, UK Appalachian Center, UKAg Barnhart Fund, UK Robinson Scholars Program, John Jacob Niles Center for American Music and the Morehead Center for Traditional Music.

Contact: 

David Ditsch, 606-666-2438

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