Partnership for Appalachian Girls’ Education annual exhibition opens July 25

Press release from the Partnership for Appalachian Girls’ Education:

The Partnership for Appalachian Girls’ Education (PAGE) will open its annual exhibition to the public on Thursday, July 25, at 6:30 p.m. at Madison County Middle School. 2019 is a year of homecoming for PAGE, which began working in the community of Spring Creek 10 summers ago. This year’s exhibition is a reflection on the past, present, and future, incorporating a collection of installations about the Spring Creek community and a multimedia program designed by middle school girls of Madison County. We will be joined by parents, friends, donors, and community members for the occasion. We are especially excited to welcome Mary Penny Kelley, the special advisor for Governor Roy Cooper’s Hometown Strong Initiative, who will give closing remarks at the exhibition.

Through PAGE, young women of Madison County, college interns, and staff have gathered to build a unique educational experience that has expanded significantly over the last decade. One piece of this is digital storytelling, which 6th grade girls participated in this summer. These short videos tell stories of home, family, and hopes for the future and will be presented at the exhibition. The rising 7th grade girls sat down with members of the community to learn more about the history of the Spring Creek School, where PAGE first opened its doors. While conducting these oral histories, they met folks like Marvin Lowe, who graduated from the school in 1947. While many of Lowe’s stories ranged from how he used to walk to school to tales of high school sweethearts, some conversations with Spring Creek residents turned to questions of why the school closed in the 1990s and what school consolidation has meant for the community. The former Spring Creek School is now a vibrant community center, and many of those interviewed shared their hopes for the future of Spring Creek and what this center adds to their community.

The final session of the PAGE summer program started on Monday, July 8. This group of rising 8th and 9th grade girls is setting its gaze on Spring Creek as well. Over the next month, the girls will interview farmers in the community about their history, methods and local economy. They will also be working closely with teaching artist Jonna McKone in order to make cyanotype images, which use a chemical process to create blueprints of plants, flowers, and photographs. Another project will allow girls to study, write, and perform Appalcahian poetry. All of this work will be presented at the final exhibition.

In this anniversary year, PAGE is excited to reflect upon where it is going and where it has been, with its mission of educating and empowering Appalachian girls. We would love for you to join us in celebrating PAGE’s 10th year and all of the girls’ hard work on Thursday, July 25, at Madison County Middle School in Marshall.

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