Appalshop is a multi-media arts and cultural organization located in Whitesburg, Kentucky. Its mission is to develop effective ways of using media to address the complex issues facing central Appalachia – a declining coal economy, a legacy of environmental damage, high unemployment rates, and poor educational opportunities and attainment.
In 1988, Appalshop staff members founded the Appalachian Media Institute (AMI), a multimedia training and leadership development program for central Appalachian youth. Using the technological and artistic resources of Appalshop, AMI helps young people explore how media production skills can be used to ask, and begin to answer, critical questions about themselves and their communities.
To get the best sense of what we're all about, check out our online video gallery to view selections from the past 25 years!!
Each summer, AMI brings together twelve central Appalachian youth between the ages of 14 and 22 to participate in our Summer Documentary Institute. By far our most expensive endeavor, we have estimated the total cost per individual to be $6,000 each. This total includes:
Intern Stipend: $2,560
Media Training: $1,640
Program Management: $300
In addition, participants aged 16+ who complete the program will receive 3 hours of college credit in media production.
With your support, two AMI youth interns from the eastern Kentucky coalfields will receive media training in documentary video, leadership development, critical thinking skills, cultural awareness, media literacy, as well as increased college access. Please help us reach our goal of $12,000.
For the past 25 years AMI has been providing an award winning, community-based media production and arts education program to youth from central Appalachia. As the only program of its type in the region, AMI engages at-risk, low-income, rural youth in high quality arts education that they would not otherwise have access to in their struggling communities.
This region faces an exodus of young people, due in large part to the lack of economic and educational opportunities. Youth have few avenues to participate in community decision-making, and even fewer opportunities to provide leadership in addressing the region’s critical issues, or creatively express themselves. AMI creates a space for our interns to become community leaders through the practice of community art making.