Youth unite to celebrate life in the mountains

Special to the Daily News

It’s Good To Be Young In The Mountains is a four-day event emphasizing the positive aspects of life in central Appalachia. Organized by the Southeast Kentucky Community & Technical College Appalachian Program and Appalshop, (a media arts center in Whitesburg) the conference will be held Aug. 13-16 at the Harlan Center. A wide range of conversations, workshops, artists and musicians will be featured.

Conference co-coordinator Carrie Billett says that the planning committee hopes to provide a space for participants to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the younger generations. IG2BYITM, “the conference that feels like a festival,” is giving local youth a voice.

Workshop topics include photography, basic finance, small and local business, leadership, diversity, mental health and more. Participants will have the option to take a guided tour of Harlan County or explore on their own. There will also be opportunities for attendees to share ideas and have open discussion.

IG2BYITM will feature a condensed version of the latest Higher Ground production, Higher Ground 5: Find A Way. Higher Ground is a community performance project by the SKCTC Appalachian Program. Other local artists and musicians will also be featured.

Roots & Wings, a poetry group from Louisville, will be presenting the West End Poetry Opera, an original production written by youth in west Louisville.

SKCTC Appalachian Program Director Robert Gipe is calling it an event “for young people of all ages.” While the primary goal of the conference is to support younger generations living in Appalachia, all are welcome to attend. Those planning to attend are asked to register for the conference at

Stay Together Appalachian Youth Project and Appalshop’s Appalachian Media Institute will be collaborating with IG2BYITM. A tentative schedule of events can be found on the website,

IG2BYITM is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, Southeast Kentucky Community & Technical College, Higher Ground, Appalshop, Alternate ROOTS, Harlan Center and the Chorus Foundation.

Special to the Daily News

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