Appalachian Awareness Day is coming to Radford University

A lineup of informative speakers and talented musicians will highlight Appalachian Awareness Day at Radford University on Friday, Feb. 10. The day-long event will be hosted in the university’s Bonnie Hurlburt Student Center Auditorium.

The event begins at 10 a.m. with alumnus Chris McCloud ’16 presenting his capstone project about the rise and success of microbreweries in western North Carolina and their ties to cultural traditions.

At 11 a.m., Art Professor Richard Bay will discuss outsider artists, individuals who have no formal training in the arts, but often are inspired by “divine influences” to create, he said.

Singer, actor, and historical interpreter Aaron Davis will perform music from the Mountain South and will discuss his dual careers as a performer and park manager at the Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park in Big Stone Gap. His performance begins at noon.

Sam Gleaves and Tyler Hughes take the stage at 1 p.m. to perform original and traditional Appalachian music.

At 2 p.m. Suzanne Stryk, a visual artist living in Bristol, Virginia, will discuss what it means to be an Appalachian artist, how art is a form of activism and how art reflects the specifics of place.

Floyd County-native Catherine Pauley has taught painting, drawing and sculpture and co-directs the Old Church Gallery in Floyd. At 3 p.m., she will discuss the influence of place and story in her artistic endeavors.

The event is sponsored by Radford University’s Appalachian Events Committee, a student-led group on campus committed to offering programming on Appalachia to educate students, staff and faculty, as well as community members, about the rich and diverse cultural traditions of the region.

Appalachian Awareness Day has been an annual event at Radford University for more than 25 years.

To learn more, contact Jenna Towe at or Theresa Burriss at

Jan 30, 2017
Chad Osborne