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Appalachian Artisan Center Flood Damage Cleanup

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On July 28th, in the early hours of the morning, a record breaking amount of rain fell upon eastern Kentucky causing Troublesome Creek to wreak havoc on the entire community, wiping out the Appalachian Artisan Center Studios, Appalachian School of Luthiery, and the Troublesome Creek Stringed Instrument Company in the process.

The Appalachian Artisan Center's Cody Building is home to our ceramics studio, artist studios, classroom, gallery/store, and the Museum of the Mountain Dulcimer. The water rushed in, causing the windows to shatter as countless dulcimers were sucked out the windows by Troublesome Creek. The permanent exhibition known by most as the Dulcimer Museum honored many local dulcimer builders and players including Uncle Ed Thomas, Jethro Amburgey, Jean Ritchie, and Homer Ledford and was originally curated by Master Luthier Doug Naselroad, the late Mike Slone and AAC's former Executive Director, Jessica Evans, in 2015.

The nearly five feet of water left every studio submerged as well as countless pieces of equipment used at the AAC every day. Each studio artist was left with very few salvageable items. Also lost was the classroom and our ceramics studio where Culture of Recovery clients and Family Fun participants get to express themselves and decompress each week.

The Appalachian School of Luthiery gets students from all across the country, including a nineteen year old from Florida who was in Hindman to build her own instrument when the flood waters began to rise. She had the best spirit even as her plans changed due to the weather. She helped clean the Luthiery and drove our Master Luthier around because his car was one of the many casualties of the high waters.

The School of Luthiery has the highest Culture of Recovery participation with clients from Knott County Drug Court and Hickory Hill Recovery Center learning under Paul Williams multiple days out of the week. We are firm believers that art heals, and for some people already struggling with opioid addiction, a natural disaster may cause a relapse, or even an overdose. Evidence already suggests that substance abuse increases in the wake of catastrophe, natural or otherwise. This is why we think it is so important to try and get up and running as quick as possible.

The Troublesome Creek Stringed Instrument Company (TCSIC) was hit just as hard. Like art heals, music does as well. TCSIC employs a select group of past Culture of Recovery clients who are now luthiers and can take recovery into his or her own hands while building something beautiful. A few of the employees have lost everything, but still stomp through the mud to clean the factory because that is how important their workplace is to them.

The Appalachian Artisan Center as a whole is overwhelmed by the amount of love and support we have received in such a short amount of time. Thank you to everyone who has reached out to our staff and even stopped by while we have been cleaning just to check on us and see if there is any way they can help. Many people have asked how they can donate to support our programs, as well as the cleaning and renovations of our buildings. If you are willing and have the means to do so, please consider donating by clicking the donate button below. Again, thank you so much to everyone!


  • Laura Dennis
    • $20 
    • 1 yr
  • Jennifer Wilson
    • $100 
    • 2 yrs
  • Mel Camenisch
    • $500 
    • 2 yrs
  • Anonymous
    • $100 
    • 2 yrs
  • Ethan Fulwood
    • $25 
    • 2 yrs

Fundraising team (4)

Randy Campbell
Hindman, KY
Bill Weinberg
Team member
Cheryl Osborne
Team member
Renee Anderson
Team member

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