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African Americans in WNC & Southern Appalachia Conference

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University of North Carolina Asheville

1 University Heights

Asheville, NC 28804

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The Fifth Annual African Americans in Western North Carolina and Southern Appalachia Conference offers scholars and the community an opportunity to illuminate the African American experience in Southern Appalachia. The three-day event from Oct. 18-20 will feature a variety of topics, including race in education, social justice, and history while highlighting regional African American culture, with a theme of “Making the Invisible Visible.”

On the schedule this year are a roundtable discussion on Crafting Affrilachia, in partnership with The Center for Craft and led by Marie T. Cochran, founder of the Affrilachian Artist Project; black-owned business panels and exhibits in partnership with Mountain BizWorks; a performance in tribute to Jacob Lawrence at the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center; and the announcement of The City of Asheville Visiting Artist. The CoThinkk Awards Night at The Collider returns, along with the Jesse and Julia Ray Lecture, given by Appalachian studies scholar William H. Turner.

A brunch in celebration of Asheville’s Allen High School and Nina Simone will be held on Saturday morning, and an exhibit of historic photographs from the school will be on display in UNC Asheville’s Ramsey Library through Oct. 31.

The annual African Americans in WNC and South Appalachia Conference receives funding from the The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which awarded UNC Asheville a grant of $700,000 for public arts and humanities in 2017. One of the grant goals is to further initiatives in Affrilachia, uncovering what has been the largely undocumented influence of African Americans on the culture and social fabric of Western North Carolina. Conference sponsors include the City of Asheville, Buncombe County Government, Mission Health, Buncombe County TDA, Amy Mandel Katina Rodis Fund, OLLI, McClure Fund, Wilma Dykeman Society, and the North Carolina African American Heritage Commission.

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University of North Carolina Asheville

1 University Heights

Asheville, NC 28804

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