After Coal: Finding “Higher Ground”

Higher Ground is a community based arts initiative that the After Coal project has been following in Harlan County, Kentucky.  Higher Ground is a project of the Appalachian Program at Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College in Cumberland, KY.

Higher Ground started in 2003 and has gathered oral histories, taught photography, made sculpture, and staged original plays designed to help residents of Harlan County create a better future for their communities.  In 2012, Higher Ground received the prestigious ArtPlace grant to “catalyze economic development by connecting art, design and commerce in a rural Appalachian coalfield county”

We believe Higher Ground provides a model for how the arts can bring together diverse groups to create healthy communities in the coalfields.  This video clip explains more about the project: