HINDMAN — As coordinator for the Appalachian Artisan Center’s Hindman Dulcimer Project, Mike Slone, of Mousie, has relied on interviews to tell the history of the traditional Appalachian stringed instrument.
“Collecting the oral history of the dulcimer is an integral part of my work,” said Slone. “I’ve had an interest in oral history for a long time.”
To hone his research skills in oral history, Slone enrolled in the Kentucky Arts Council’s Community Scholars Program. On Nov. 18, Slone and 12 other Kentuckians completed the program, which consisted of six three-hour sessions at the Appalachian Artisan Center.
Slone and his fellow graduates will join a network of more than 200 Community Scholars across the state who are qualified to identify, document, conserve and present living traditions, culture, arts and oral history of their respective communities.
The new Community Scholars are: Bonita Adams, Letcher County; Isaiah “Izzy” Broomfield, Perry County; Freda Bush, Perry County; James Michael Dixon, Letcher County; Jessica Evans, Knott County; Lacy Hale, Letcher County; Jacob Mack-Boll, Knott County; Doug Naselroad, Clark County; John Skaggs, Carter County; Kandi B. Slone, Knott County; Michael S. Slone, Knott County; Corey Terry, Knott County; Randy Wilson, Knott County.
Slone has been interested in oral history since he was a student at Alice Lloyd College.
“My wife was transcribing oral history there, and one of the tapes she ran across was a recording of my grandmother from the ’70s,” Slone said. “It was grandma just talking on the porch and it took me back.”
Slone will apply the skills he has learned in Community Scholars to the Hindman Dulcimer Project, but the course has given him motivation to look at how he can use his knowledge for future endeavors.
“Further on down the road, I’m starting to come up with all kinds of ideas,” he said.
Slone added that he recommends Community Scholars for people who, like him, are involved in their communities and interested in conserving local stories.
For more information about the arts council’s Community Scholars Program, contact Mark Brown, arts council folk and traditional arts director, at 502-564-3757, ext. 495 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Kentucky Arts Council, the state arts agency, fosters environments for Kentuckians to value, participate in and benefit from the arts. Kentucky Arts Council funding is provided by the Kentucky General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts.