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Zanesville conference highlights talents of Appalachia

Oct. 26, 2004

By Breana Krotz

Ohio University Zanesville Campus will host the sixth annual Women of Appalachia: Their Heritage and Accomplishments conference celebrating women and the unique culture of Appalachia. The conference, which will be held Oct. 28-29, will feature a multitude of speakers, research presentations, an author signing, musical entertainment and an art show highlighting the talents of artists from the 29 Ohio Appalachia counties.

"We're really hoping conference attendees will leave with a greater sense of the culture and history of Appalachia, along with more knowledge about the region and all it has to offer. I hope people will sit back, relax and enjoy all of our speakers and entertainment, while having the opportunity to meet other women," says Candy McBride, director or continuing education at Ohio University-Zanesville.

The conference will begin on Thursday with Vivian Blevins describing her Appalachia roots and how they have affected her successes and challenges throughout her career. Author Diane Gilliam Fisher will speak about her family's experience as part of the migration out group after the demise of the coal industry. Fisher will also discuss her latest book, "Kettle Bottom." Thursday evening will conclude with a musical performance by Reel World String Band.

Friday's festivities will begin with folk musician Jerry Rockwell. Rockwell is a player, teacher, builder and advocate of the mountain dulcimer, a folk instrument with its roots beginning in Appalachia. Rockwell also travels the country teaching workshops on playing the mountain dulcimer. The conference will conclude Friday afternoon with the 1998 National Storytelling Champions, The Mountain Women. The Mountain Women are known for providing a witty performance, while highlighting the myths, legends and life experiences of Appalachia.

The event will host more than 100 people from 8 states as far as Colorado.

"We're hoping the conference continues to grow as it has this year," says McBride. "It's going to be a great event and we're really excited to highlight all that Appalachia has to offer."

For more information about the Annual Women of Appalachia conference and for details concerning next year's conference, visit www.zanesville.ohiou.edu/ce/wac.  

Breana Krotz is a student writer for University Communications and Marketing.

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