Last week was my second ever in Kentucky, and what better way to usher it in than a morning spent traversing meandering mountain roads for a day of recording at the Hindman Settlement School.
Upon arrival in Hindman, we were greeted with an infectious smile by Randy Wilson, Director of the Settlement’s Folk Arts Education Program and one member of a long-serving staff that works tirelessly to serve the changing needs of the Appalachian community. Randy was accompanied by his 90 year old mother, Shirley, with whom he recorded our second interview of the day.
Established in 1902 by a pair of determined young female visionaries, the Hindman Settlement School was the first of its kind in the country: a boarding school for mountain students whose rural lifestyles didn’t include easy access to education, healthcare, and social services. The Settlement quickly became a model institution, an all-purpose bastion of regional culture dedicated in equal parts to preservation and innovation.