Our first stop this week is in Charleston, West Virginia, where we sit down with the inimitable Dolly Parton. She recently visited W.Va. to celebrate its children’s book program, Imagination Library. We’ll also talk to the owner of a Charleston slaughterhouse who developed a butchery apprenticeship program.
Next, we’ll head to Kingsport, Tennessee, where Jerry Machen creates art from old rugs. And in Berea, Kentucky, we’ll hear about a group of teenagers learning the ancient craft of embroidery and how it’s been used for decades to empower women.
All that and more this week as we travel Inside Appalachia.
In this episode:
- An Evening with Dolly: Celebrating the Library of Imagination
- Buzz’s Butcher’s Apprentice
- Old Carpet Repair in Kingsport, Tennessee
- Learn about embroidery and empowerment in Kentucky
An Evening with Dolly: Celebrating the Library of Imagination
Dolly Parton is an acclaimed singer/songwriter, actress, and pop culture icon, but did you know she’s also a noted philanthropist? Parton recently traveled to Charleston, West Virginia to celebrate statewide participation in her children’s literacy program, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. She started the program in 1995 with the goal of getting books into the hands of children. To date, children in West Virginia have received 3.7 million pounds, at no cost to their families, through the program. During her visit, Parton spoke with WVPB executive producer Suzanne Higgins about Imagination Library and its expansion into the state.
Buzz’s Butcher’s Apprentice
The past two years – through outages at processing plants and bottlenecks in distribution – have shown just how fragile our food supply chain can be. That’s why Buzz Food Service in Charleston is trying to create a new model for locally raised meat. The problem: Buzz needs butchers, a shortage across the country. The solution: an apprenticeship program. Folkways reporter Zack Harold has the story; he also produced a short documentary on Buzz’s program, which can be viewed above.
Old Carpet Repair in Kingsport, Tennessee
We rarely think about who makes household items like rugs – or who to turn to when they need fixing. A Kingsport, Tennessee man has been making and repairing rugs and carpeting for over 50 years. For Jerry Machen, Sr., business not only provides a livelihood, but also an outlet to express his creativity and an opportunity for discovery. Folkways reporter Nicole Musgrave has the story; she also produced a short documentary on Machen’s works, which can be viewed above.
Learn about embroidery and empowerment in Kentucky
In Berea, Kentucky, a group of teenagers participate in an apprenticeship program to learn the ancient craft of embroidery – and how it has been used for decades to empower women. WEKU’s Cheri Lawson spent time at the School of Needlework for Disobedient Women and has this report.
Our theme music is by Matt Jackfert. Other music for this week provided by Doctor Turtle, Aaron Copeland, Zach Byrd and Dolly Parton
Bill Lynch is our producer. Alex Runyon is our associate producer. Our executive producer is Eric Douglas. Kelley Libby is our editor. Our audio mixer is Patrick Stephens. Zander Aloi also helped produce this episode. You can find us on Twitter and Instagram @InAppalachia.
You can also email us at Inside [email protected] or message us on Facebook.
Inside Appalachia is a West Virginia Public Broadcasting production.