Women of Appalachia Project: Artists Confronting the Stereotype

The Women of Appalachia Project (WOAP) is an innovative grassroots arts co-operative that creates opportunity and builds esteem through recognition for a diverse population of females living in or having strong ties to Appalachia, through fine art and spoken word events that strengthen ties to our communities who host and attend, while allowing outlanders an opportunity for discovery. Our presentation at the Appalachian Studies Association conference will be in two parts: (1.) a multimedia presentation (slide show and video) will offer an overview of the progress achieved over the nine years of the Project’s history, including recognition and growth., and (2.) a spoken word performance will feature the original poetry and storytelling of 7 WOAP spoken word artists from OH, WV and KY who will share a variety of social and political perspectives that speak directly to experience. Fine Art participants will be highlighted visually during the multimedia portion of the presentation. As lead presenter, Kari Gunter-Seymour will provide a succinct narrative which focuses on how the project empowers this network of women, hailing from throughout 8 states, to become strong advocates/activists for Appalachia by working together to push back against the stereotype and show the whole women, beyond the superficial factors used to judge Appalachians.