Lees-McRae College celebrates eighth annual Appalachian Heritage Week April 9-13

Join Lees-McRae College in celebrating spring’s return to the mountains during the eighth annual Appalachian Heritage Week April 9–13. Sponsored by the Stephenson Center for Appalachia, the College will highlight coal mining and other unique aspects of mountain heritage throughout the week.

Monday, April 9
Start the week with New Opportunity School for Women Director Jennie Harpold to learn more about the program at the Stephenson Center for Appalachia during its Open House from 1–5 p.m. The NOSW has changed the lives of more than 100 women within the region and more than 700 in the 29 years since its founding.

At 5 p.m., MacDonald Dining Hall will serve a traditional, Appalachian-themed meal while old-time mountain group, Us Fellers, will perform. While the music will be free, the cost of the meal for those without a college meal plan will be $10.25.

Tuesday, April 10
Starting at 11 a.m., local potter Rob Withrow will demonstrate his throwing technique in Swank Park. Students and community members are invited to get their hands wet and shape clay on the turning wheel. Withrow will also have a selection of his work for sale during the demonstration.

At 2 p.m., Professor and Director of the Stephenson Center for Appalachia, Dr. Michael Joslin, will screen and lead a discussion of the award-winning documentary, Bonecrusher, in the Cannon Student Center’s Evans Auditorium.

Beginning at 5:15 p.m., the award-winning Mars Hill University Bailey Mountain Cloggers will return to perform for the fifth year in a row at MacDonald Dining Hall. While the clogging will be free, the cost of the meal for those without a college meal plan will be $10.25.

Wednesday, April 11
Wednesday is the 14th Annual Mountain Service Day during which students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members volunteer their time and efforts in projects around campus and in the community

Thursday, April 12
From 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m., Lee Rankin from Matney-based Apple Hill Farm will bring her alpacas to Tate Lawn so that students and members of the community can take photos and interact with the animals.

Later on from 2–3 p.m., Assistant Professor of Biology, Dr. Sean Collins, will present Mountain Top Removal: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, in Evans Auditorium.

Starting at 7 p.m. in Evans Auditorium, Lees-McRae graduate and novelist Joshua Simcox will debut his coal-mining play Devil’s Dust as he leads a reading by students.

Friday, April 13
The week’s festivities conclude on Friday when Greg Miller brings his draft horse team and carriage to campus to take students and visitors for rides. Horse and carriage tours will be available from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.

At 2 p.m. in Evans Auditorium, Assistant Professor of history, Dr. Scott Huffard, will present the academy award winning film Harlan County, USA and will lead a discussion of the issues raised by the movie.

Except for meals on Monday, April 9, and Tuesday, April 10, all events are free and open to the public. For further information, contact Pam Joslin at 828.898.8721 or Dr. Michael Joslin at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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