|Hindman, Ky. (Best Places map)|
"Economic changes have renewed interest in developing the region’s creative industries. And why not? Bluegrass music and Appalachian crafts are popular around the world. Smart, talented people have always come out of Kentucky’s mountains; the problem was they usually had to move elsewhere to earn a living."
One way Hindman hopes to change that is through the recently opened Appalachian Artisan Center, which "has a variety of job-training programs under way, including pottery, metalworking and stringed-instrument making," Eblen writes. Hindman has long been known as an artistic center, led by the Hindman Settlement School, which annually hosts the Appalachian Writers' Workshop and Family Folk Week, both of which draw well-known Appalachian writers and musicians.
"In addition to training Eastern Kentuckians in marketable, arts-related skills, the center sees potential in cultural tourism—attracting hobbyists to come for days or weeks to learn instrument-making and other traditional skills," Eblen writes.
|Kris Patrick sands a dulcimer |
at the Hindman School of Luthiery
One goal for the school "is to partner with the Kentucky School of Craft in Hindman and the Kentucky School of Bluegrass and Traditional Music in Hyden—both divisions of Hazard Community and Technical College—to start a production factory that would sell Troublesome Creek brand guitars, mandolins and other instruments," Eblen writes.