Beauty of Appalachia on display in PBS series

A PBS miniseries highlighting the people and the environmental history of Appalachia will have its North Carolina premiere in Asheville on Friday, Jan. 16.

Told in four parts, Appalachia: A History of Mountains and People examines everything from the Native American history of the region to the stories of the trees and wildlife that make the mountain region unique. The series is directed by Ross Spears.

“What we highlight is the rich diversity of the people and the landscape,” Producer Jamie Ross told Mountain Xpress. “We want to give a picture of the great natural beauty of the region and how the mountains have shaped the people who have come to live there.”

The third installment of the series, titled Mountain Revolutions, will be shown in Asheville. The episode details the impact of the Civil War, the timber industry and the railroads on the region.

The film was funded in large part by the National Science Foundation, according to Ross, who says she hopes viewers will see the region in a new light.

“I hope people who watch the film take away an understanding of the richness and complexity of the region and the priceless treasure of the biodiversity,” she says, “and how it’s something that’s been entrusted to us.”

The premiere will be held at 7 p.m. at Diana Wortham Theatre. The cost is $15 per person. Tickets that include a 6 p.m. pre-screening reception with wine and hors d’oeuvres cost $30. After the film, there will be a panel discussion with Ross and Spears.

The Asheville screening will benefit the Southern Appalachian Forest Coalition, a network of groups that works to protect public lands in Appalachia, and Southwings, a nonprofit organization of volunteer pilots who offer bird’s-eye views to people in an effort to support conservation.

Tickets are available at the Pack Place box office, as well as the Southern Appalachian Forest Coalition and the REI outdoor and camping store in Arden. For more information, call 257-4530.

— Jason Sandford, multimedia editor


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