We spent our last night in Asheville hanging out with Nicole as she presented her documentary on race issues in Western North Carolina. Here she is right before the big show:
Then we started driving to West Virginia and stopped to take a few timelapses of the scattered lightning storms:
Check out our new friends over at http://www.hollowthefilm.com/ they are working hard to empower community members in McDowell County to grow their community as the economic situation of a mono-economy of coal worsens. The end product of the film projects is two-fold, an interactive documentary designed for outsiders of the community to learn and explore and a site for the county that focuses on creating dialogue on issues and change through videos and photos. This is a wonderful example of a participatory documentary.
Check out the teaser trailer below:
Project Director, Elaine McMillion:
Jennifer took us up into the hills of Madison County to visit with one of her friends to search for some wild herbs. She studied herbalism back in Michigan and although she know works in local government, weaves herbal medicine and nourishment into her life.
We spent Wednesday evening listening to music and chatting at Summit City’s Open Mic Night. It was great to see the bar bustling with all kinds of people and I even had a few young people come up to me and start talking about how proud and happy they are to have Summit City because before Amelia opened it, they had no reason to come downtown and nowhere to socialize.
There’s only 24 hours left to go for our Kickstarter fundraiser! We’re seeing more and more donors come out to help, and we’re so grateful for the support. If you filed this away for a later date, or you’re just discovering our project, the time to donate is now! You can get a print of your favorite photo for $35, or a simple postcard from the road for $10. Really need some motivation? How about this: if the project raises $4,000, we will throw pies at each other and send you the video to say thanks. Okay?
Even though our Kickstarter is winding down, it doesn’t mean that we are. We’ve been keeping busy this week. Here’s a peek at the goings-on.
Sara Day won a recent pie party bake-off:
Sunsest from the top of Max Patch in Madison County, NC:
Taking the leap in the Red River Gorge, Kentucky:
Nicole (standing), who is new to our project, mingles with some guests at a benefit dinner she hosted for the Color ME Brown Project:
Aside from caring for her own bees, Debra also is a mentor to other women who are learning to be beekeepers. Debra brought us along on a recent visit to the beeyard of two former mentees. Five of us, all women, began by putting our hands on the hive, and then entered in search of the queen.
Leah taught a class on movement and sound as part of a larger AcroYoga workshop. With lots of improv, it pushed everyone outside of their comfort zones in a great way. Leah was an encouraging teacher too, so I think everyone left feeling good.
The town of Marshall held a Pancake Breakfast Saturday morning to raise money for park improvements. Jennifer flipped pancakes like a pro, and we got to chat with lots of really nice Marshall residents!
Janell relaxes in the Eco Sweet Retreat at Ashevillage.
Ian has also been working to capture the beauty of the whole Ashevillage center.
Leah joined in with some friends who were playing a contra dance at the Grey Eagle.
Janell helped lead a Wise Water Management Training course at the Ashevillage last week. It was an intensive week long course that gave students and teachers the opportunity to build and improve the rainwater catchment system at the Ashevillage. This particular photo is from the construction of a POOL! up on the hill. It’ll use water cleaned and collected on site and it will be a lot of fun too.
We have had an amazing week, mostly because….WE MET OUR KICKSTARTER GOAL! After only 4 days, we reached $2000. We’ve been so amazed by the support we’ve seen, and have felt so much love pouring in from friends, family, and strangers alike. Thank you so much for your support! We also had our first bit of press in the Mountain Xpress: http://www.mountainx.com/article/44092/Kickstarter-campaign-launched-to-document-stories-of-Southern-Appalachian-women
It isn’t over yet, though. We have three more weeks and three more funding goals. If we make:
$4000: We will print and hang photos to exhibit in a gallery in Appalachia and then later at Tufts University’s Slater Gallery.
$5500: We willspend another month traveling around the region documenting the lives of these women and getting deeper into issues.
$7000: This one is a secret….you’ll have to wait and see until we’ve reached our first goal!
In other news, we started spending time with a woman who is new to our project. Lucia is a spoken word artist, mother of three, radio show host, and urban agriculture aficionado. We got to spend some time talking with her over dinner, and she performed one of her poems for us. It was very strong, very “controversial,” as she put it. Later, as we mentioned in an earlier post, Lucia brought us to her radio show, a socially conscious hip-hop show called “Drop Beats Not Bombs.” That night, the guests were two teenage spoken word poets who performed some of their work. The night as a whole was one of the most powerful we’d had in a while, and it was a refreshing change of pace from the Appalchia that we’ve been seeing. It is a part of Appalachia that is often overlooked, and we feel incredibly lucky and excited to get to learn and share with others!
That darn heat wave hit North Carolina last week, and we spent one very hot afternoon with Debra as she checked up on her bees. We suited up and she gave us the grand tour.
Through ever step of the process, Debra takes great care. She blows some ants off of a lid so they don’t get crushed. She whispers “hello" to her bees. "You girls are doing a beautiful job.”
I haven’t had much experience in a hive, but it seems that Debra has a special connection with her bees. It was beautiful to watch and hear her interact with them. We wanted to find a way for you all to experience that too, so we’ve put together a photo gallery and audio clip for you! Enjoy!
Note: the bees did not turn blue, nor were they doing pushups. Debra spotted a lizard when we were in the bee yard! And yes, the lizard did both of those things oddly enough.
And a fun one…it’s me in my bee suit! I was fully protected from head to toe and so didn’t have to worry about getting stung. Ian on the other hand, managed to get stung anyway.
…and friends and family! You guys, all of you out there, are incredible. Ian and I are blown away by the support we’ve seen pour in for this project, and the kind notes and recognition we’ve seen on the web and in our inboxes!
So we want to thank all of you who have been showing your support, whether that be through donation or just kind words. In just two days, we’ve reached 80% of our goal! This goal is really just a start, and if it goes above and beyond that, we plan to put even more time into this project—we already are brainstorming events and more!
Thank you, thank you, thank you! Here’s a fun video from our wanderings in Midway, KY: