More than 1,000 regional, national and international leaders, scholars, educators, service providers, activists and advocates will be in Greater Cincinnati April 5-8 for a conference, “Restitching the Seams: Appalachia Beyond Its Borders.”
Cincinnati is a fitting setting for the conference, given that nearly 40 percent of its residents trace their roots to Appalachia, a 205,000-square-mile region that follows the spine of the Appalachian Mountains from southern New York to northern Mississippi.
While the conference, which is being hosted by the Urban Appalachian Community Coalition, is held at the Millennium and Hyatt Hotels in downtown Cincinnati, numerous events will take place throughout the area, including educational tours, entertainment, arts programs, a community development workshop and more.
The 2018 conference is the first hosted by a community organization, rather than an academic institution.
Entertainment: hip hop to bluegrass jams
A series of free music, film and literary programs will be held downtown and in Over-the-Rhine during the conference.
Thursday, April 5
Appalachian Hip Hop, 6-8 p.m, Elementz, 1100 Race St. Part performance, part workshop. Elementz creative director Abdullah Powell is joined by experienced and emerging Appalachian and other hip hop artists.
Bluegrass, 6:30-9:30 p.m., Herzog Studio, 811 Race St.t, Floor 2. Overview of the Historic Herzog Studio by co-sponsor Cincinnati USA Music Heritage Foundation,Cincinnati bluegrass led by Michael Henson, and bluegrass jam. Bring an instrument.
Film Festival, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., Mini Microcinema, 1225 Main St. Two films, “Pieced Together” and an early cut of “The Mountain Minor,” with discussions by directors, producers and talent.
Friday, April 6
“Writing the Region” writers’ workshop, 4-5:15 p.m., The Mercantile Library, 414 Walnut St., 12th floor. Richard Hague and Pauletta Hansel lead a workshop on how the geographic region that shaped you can help shape your writing. Co-sponsored by Dos Madres Press. Pre-register: eventbrite.com (Password ASA 2018; Limited to 20 participants.)
Old-Time Jam, 7-10 p.m., at Northside Distilling Co., 922 Race St. Cincinnati’s storied old-time music community hosts an open jam, featuring short hourly performances by old-time bands. Bring an old-time instrument and join the band!
Southern Appalachian Writers Cooperative Read Around and Swap, 9-11 p.m, Arnold’s Bar & Grill, 210 E. Eighth St. Bring a couple of pages of poems or prose to share.
Saturday, April 7
Appalachian Drag Show, 8-10 p.m, Below Zero, 1120 Walnut St. Features queens from the Queen City and Appalachia.
Square Dance, 8:30-11:30 p.m., Southgate House Revival, 111 East Sixth St., Newport. Northside Square Dance will host the square dance with music by the sizzling Northside Volunteers.
In addition to these free programs, limited tickets are available for purchase to the Urban Appalachian Showcase, 7:30-9:30 p.m., Saturday, April 7, at the Aronoff Center, Jarson-Kaplan Theater, 650 Walnut St. The showcase features urban Appalachian writers, singers, musicians, and spoken word artists including bluegrass legend Katie Laur.