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Frostburg State University Appalachian Festival

Frostburg State University Appalachian Festival celebrates region's unique culture fifth annual event features music, discussions, poetry, tradition, food and family fun

The Appalachian region's rich cultural heritage will be on display during Frostburg State University's 2010 Appalachian Festival Saturday, Sept. 18, with related events on Thursday and Friday, Sept. 16-17. Now in its fifth year, the free daytime event celebrates all that makes the region unique -- its history, culture, natural environment, musical and artistic traditions, food and more. Some highlights:
The FSU campus' Upper Quad will be packed with music, crafts, foods, tradition, educational workshops and the arts from 10am to 6pm. Two stages will feature music highlighting the area's strong bluegrass, old-time, Irish and Scottish music traditions. Dedicated talks will discuss regional issues; stories will be swapped Appalachian-style; traditional crafts including quilts, rag rugs, coverlets, spinning, tatting and pottery will be on display; and children will have their own hands-on area of crafts and activities to keep them entertained.
The capstone of the event will be a concert by four-time Grammy Award winner, consummate folk song collector, TV personality, storyteller and acclaimed musician David Holt on Saturday at 8pm at the Palace Theatre in downtown Frostburg. Sharing the bill is Laura Boosinger, an Asheville, N.C., recording artist with a long list of recordings and performances to her credit. Advance tickets are available at Main Street Books and Mountain City Traditional Arts in Frostburg. Tickets are $15 in advance or $18 at the door; tickets for students and children are $8.
The literary highlight of the festival this year will be a reading from the "Affrilachian Poets," a group of African-American writers who come from Appalachia, defying the all-white stereotype of the region. Poets Norman Jordan, Mitchell L.H. Douglas, Ricardo Nazario y Colen, Crystal Good, Bianca Spriggs and Keith Wilson will be reading at 3:30pm in Frost Hall's Cook Chapel. Coined by African-American writer and Appalachian native Frank X. Walker nearly 20 years ago when he learned the dictionary definition of "Appalachian" didn't include him and other people of color from his region, the term "Affrilachian" now appears in the Oxford American Dictionary, describing this previously disregarded part of Appalachian culture. The reading is free and open to the public.
Leading up to the festival will be the FSU Trident Initiative's annual Trident Entrepreneurship Conference, which will be held on Thursday and Friday. Titled "Appalachian AdVentures: Celebrating the Region's Entrepreneurial Spirit," the conference will focus on entrepreneurship with a distinctly regional sense-of-place flavor. For more information, contact Sudhir Singh at 301-687-4093, Stacy Wassell at 301-687-4019 or Terri Hast (SCORE) at 301-722-4173.
Also on Friday afternoon, everyone is invited to participate in an Old-Time Appalachian Hoe Down, led by the Barnstormers and RockCandy Cloggers, on the Upper Quad (rain site: City Place on Water Street) from 4:30 to 6pm. At 7:30pm on Friday, a special screening of "The Bonecrusher," winner of the 2010 Jack Spadaro Documentary Award for Best Documentary on Appalachia, and "Split Estate," a film focusing on natural gas drilling issues, will be shown at the Palace Theatre on Frostburg's Main Street.
To learn more about the FSU Appalachian Festival, visit www.frostburg.edu/events/appfestival, look for it on Facebook, or e-mail krogersthomas@frostburg.edu.
Situated in the mountains of Allegany County, Frostburg State University is one of the 12 institutions and two regional centers of the University System of Maryland. FSU is a comprehensive, residential regional university and serves as an educational and cultural center for Western Maryland. For more information, visit www.frostburg.edu or facebook.com/frostburgstateuniversity.
FSU is committed to making all of its programs, services and activities accessible to persons with disabilities. To request accommodations through the ADA Compliance Office, call 301-687-4102 or use a Voice Relay Operator at 1-800-735-2258.

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