Appalshop News

We're launching a new fund for creatives in central Appalachia

3 years ago

Our country is in the grip of two pandemics. One — COVID-19 — is new. The other — anti-black racism — is much, much older.

Here in Appalachia, we are experiencing both crises. Small-town protests in Eastern Kentucky have made national headlines, and as the states we work in open back up, our neighbors face ongoing health risks and alarming unemployment.

We know that condemnation and outrage are not enough. Responding to either pandemic — and certainly both at the same time — will take all of us coming together.

That’s why we’re so excited to announce that we’re launching a brand new Appalshop Creators Fund to give out stipends of $3,000 to individual creatives located in central Appalachia.

Inspired by the amazing community response funds set up across the country and in our region, our intention is to provide relief for those on the front-lines of both crises who are best positioned to amplify our region’s cultural diversity.

We are looking to support people in different parts of Appalachia who are working in all sorts of mediums. Writing that shifts narratives, photographs that make us take a second look, music that uplifts, visual art that expresses what words cannot — all are eligible for funding.

Because we know that these converging crises have a disproportionate impact on front-line communities, we are particularly looking to support creators that are BIPOC, LGBTQ+, caregivers, and/or immuno-compromised. However, any central Appalachian creator is eligible to apply regardless of identity.

We are very excited to help facilitate the creation of the art and culture that our region needs right now with the Appalshop Creators Fund. What are you creating? What are you envisioning? Connect us, heal us, shine a spotlight on our lives and communities, and enact meaningful change through the art and culture you create.

When we first responded to the horrific murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and so many more, we issued a call to work together to dismantle anti-Black racism in Appalachia. 

And when COVID-19 first began to spread here at home, all of our programming was designed to safely bring our communities together.

It’s time to work together again. We know that arts and cultural work don’t just happen in organizations or professional studios, and we want to amplify voices that are just as grassroots as the movements we’re seeing in our country.

Details are available in the Google Form of the application below, and answers to frequently asked questions are at the bottom of the page. Don't see your question answered? You're welcome to email [email protected] directly.

Don't want to apply, but do want to support the Appalshop Creators Fund? You can donate by clicking here. Just write "Creators Fund" in the note section.

The deadline to apply is 11:59 PM EST on July 17th, 2020, and grantees will be notified by August 14th, 2020.

We can’t wait to see your vision. 


Click here to complete the Appalshop Creators Fund application digitally.

Frequently Asked Questions


Where do I send my application?

Your application will submit to us digitally when you complete the Google form. Please submit it by 11:59 p.m. on July 17th, 2020.

Can I support the Appalshop Creators Fund if I'm not a creator myself?

Yes! We welcome your donations to the fund here.

How much money will I receive if I'm selected?

Applicants that are chosen will receive a $3,000 stipend.

Is there an age requirement to apply?

You must be 14 years or older to apply. If you're under the age of 18 and are selected as a grantee, we will need a waiver signed by a parent or guardian before a stipend can be awarded.

Do I need to be a US citizen to apply?

Anyone with a social security number is eligible to apply.

How is central Appalachia defined?

Central Appalachia is generally defined to include Eastern Kentucky, Eastern Tennesse, Western North Caroline, West Virginia, and Southwest Virginia. If you have a question as to whether or not your location qualifies, please contact us.

How many creators will be chosen?

Appalshop is currently able to fund seven creators.

Can I use this money to create something with a partner?

Yes! We would love to see what you create with a public or private partner, and community involvement is encouraged, but not required.

Will Appalshop display art that I've created with this stipend?

We are not requiring creators to produce a "final product" with the stipends they receive, but we do hope to speak with grantees about sharing their work with a broader audience.

Who do I contact if I have further questions or need assistance with an application?

Please contact Jessica Shelton at [email protected] with any questions not answered here.

Photo credit Oakley Fugate, Whitesburg, KY protest, June 13, 2020.

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