Appalachian Big Ideas Festival hopes to spark conversations about the future in eastern Kentucky
People in southeastern Kentucky are putting on their thinking caps this weekend. The Appalachian Big Ideas Festival kicks off today in Hazard. People from across the region are gathering to talk about how to rebuild the areas hit by July’s deadly flood and how to make them stronger.
The festival is being put on by the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky. Lora Smith is the group’s chief strategy officer. She said they had been organizing the festival for a while, but the flood changed their plans.
“We decided to move forward anyway with the festival just because we’re now two months out, our foundation staff has been working tirelessly on flood relief. We felt like we needed a moment to just stop and talk about what happened and some of the solutions moving forward.”
She said many of these conversations are going to focus on recovering from July’s historic flooding of the region.
“So those community conversations will involve everything from conversations with farmers on the impact of the flood on their operations, on mitigation on what they’re working on moving forward.”
They will also be speaking with artists, cultural organizations, and entrepreneurs in the region to discuss rebuilding and resiliency. Smith hopes the festival gives flood survivors a moment to rest from recovery efforts.
The Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky is a financial supporter of WEKU.
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