Help us document pioneering visual artists and celebrate the diversity of the Appalachian region
Nine times out of ten, when I introduce someone to the word “Affrilachia”, they laugh or a quzzical smile crawls across their face.
Why? ... not just because it’s a creative take on a word, but also because myths abound about the region of Appalachia—an expanse of 200,000 square miles including parts of 13 states. In spite of common misconceptions, the region includes more than one ethnicity and a series of isolated enclaves. Recent efforts celebrating the history of Appalachia reveal the fact that its inhabitants are as diverse as its terrain—which ranges from high mountain peaks to gentle hillsides, and from rural agricultural communities to bustling metropolitan areas.
How We Began
The Affrilachian Artist Project was inspired by a writers' group called the Affrilachian Poets and the resurgence of old time music championed by string bands like the Carolina Chocolate Drops. The project started with a modest goal, to create a digital Affrilachian Visual Artist Showcase featuring the work of living artists. I distributed a call for artists, pestered my colleagues and conducted late night Internet searches. As the names accumulated, a conscious effort was made to select artists who defiantly embraced the complex facets of their experience. The common denominator among the artists is their depth of community engagement. An amazing series of events led to an actual exhibition, called Common Ground: Affrilachia! Where I'm From on display at the August Wilson Center in Pittsburgh, PA. This represents the first phase of the project, with the promise of more shows to come.
Taking the Next Step!
I've logged hundreds of miles across six states and I've met artists who, without exception, possess a wonderfully powerful presence. We''ve shared hearty laughter and even a few tears. They've welcomed me into their studios and have been incredibly generous with their time. In the next phase, I want to capture the artists' stories.
On the Road Again ...
Through the Kickstarter campaign, we seek funding to cover travel and expenses to conduct filmed interviews with five of the artists over the age of sixty. Our ultimate goal is to bring these artists into a community of collaboration. Championing their unique gifts will not only enrich our current generation and promote the cultural diversity of the region, but also present role models for talented youth. This can all happen with your support.
Thank you in advance for your faith in this project!
Travel alone, travel faster, Travel together, travel farther ~ proverb
YES! The Affrilachian Artist Project is sponsored by Zamani Productions, the documentary arm of Zamani Refuge African Culture Center a 501(c)3 organization devoted to cross cultural education. Zamani Productions seeks to bridge the racial divide and its films focus on Africans and their descendants in the diaspora.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette http://post-gazette.com/pg/12067/1214880-437.stm…
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A Handwritten Thank You Card, sealed with a kiss and sent directly to your door!Estimated delivery:
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A Handwritten Thank Card + a church-styled "Affrilachian Artist Project Fan" Keep cool and show your support in a stylish practical way!Estimated delivery:
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All of the above + the "Affrilachian Artist Project Fan" will include a handwritten, personalized message + You will receive a V.I.P. invitation for TWO to a "Road Tour Event" in GA or NC (Spring dates TBA) + Your name or organization will be listed in the commemorative publication distributed during the eventEstimated delivery:
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All of the above + one copy of the rough cut of the DVD, which will be screened during the "Road Tour Events" + Your name or organization will appear in the film creditsEstimated delivery:
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All of the above + a limited edition commemorative poster signed by the artists from the Affrilachian Artist Project.Estimated delivery:
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All of the above + one original artwork created by an Affrilachian Artist made especially for this campaignEstimated delivery:
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All of the above + a total of two original artworks created by an Affrilachian Artist made especially for this campaign + supporters receive a producer's credit * * DVD will be the final cut * *Estimated delivery:
- (58 days)