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Appalachian art

Harlan County students learn about the region through art
Kentucky School Advocate
May 2017
By Matt McCarty
Staff writer 

Students at Harlan County High School are able to learn about art and their heritage in the school’s Appalachian Art survey course.

Teacher Emmanuel B. Anama-Green said the class has all the principles of a regular arts and humanities class, but with “an Appalachian touch” to it.

“We focus on Appalachian music, Appalachian art,” he said. “We also do the coal boom and bust and how it affects me because around here a lot of people have actually got families from that long history there.”

Anama-Green, who is from Owsley County, said the class has been a great experience.

“I think anything that students can connect to personally and actually have a sense of self-worth with, that will probably be the most important,” he said. “And obviously arts and humanities are so broad that they can encompass so many different aspects of life and just the history in general. But I would say definitely anything that connects them to the actual content, whatever that might be.”

In addition to creating Appalachian-inspired artwork, students also have done oral history interviews with their families to learn about the culture and the history of the region.

Anama-Green said he believes arts classes are important for students because “it really helps them broaden their horizons in many different ways and when you’re able to expand those horizons, you really need that as you go into college especially.

“It helps (students) have a personal self-worth feeling when you’re able to look back at the historical sides of everything and when you’re able to actually connect with all the different aspects of life. That’s really phenomenal.”
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