Creativity Lives Here: Making Meaning and Fighting Addiction in Appalachia

February 13, 2020

By: ArtPlace America

What happens when an artisan center, a residential rehab center, the local county drug court, and a luthiery school work together to combat addiction? The Culture of Recovery project at the Appalachian Artisan Center (AAC) in Hindman Kentucky is partnering arts and culture with local substance abuse recovery programs and the healthcare industry to bring a holistic and art-integrated approach to the fight against addiction. This program for young adults recovering from substance misuse, offers an opportunity to work alongside skilled artisans on art and entrepreneurial workshops in areas such as painting, journal-making, and cooking – as well as apprenticeships in craft trades such as blacksmithing, luthiery (making and mending stringed instruments) and ceramics. Through mentorship, the program promotes creative expression, skill-building, and economic opportunity for those struggling to overcome addiction. AAC and its partners are seeking innovative solutions to address this unprecedented epidemic.

In 2017, ArtPlace had the honor of funding this program, and since then the Culture of Recovery has been getting steadily more attention, and rightly so. Last month, the New York Times ran an extensive profile on the project. They’ve also been featured on Forbes, the PBS Newshour, and on local outlets like the Lexington Herald and EKB-TV.

For Creativity Lives Here, our yearlong storytelling campaign, you can join Savannah Hall of AAC on a tour of the center and meet some friends and neighbors involved with the program.



#CreativityLivesHere is a collection of grassroots video stories showcasing the people behind creative community development—artists, community planners, local leaders, and allies—who are sharing ideas, challenges, and inspirations that drive their work every day.

We’re sharing these stories across our social media platforms, and many of our friends and partners are doing the same.

The only thing missing is your story.

All you need is an iPhone, the DIYdoc App, and a story about how arts and culture is helping address a challenge or opportunity in your community. From there, enlist a friend to help, or shoot the video yourself through the app and add your voice to the growing collection of grassroots stories from across the United States.

Check out the exciting stories we’ve collected so far, and make yours today!