Director’s note: Welcome to 2014

junction 2014photo courtesy of Robert Gipe, Harlan County, KY


As we move into the new year, I want to provide a brief update on the After Coal project.  The past year has been busy and exciting – our production team recorded more than 50 hours of interviews and location footage in the coalfields of central Appalachia and South Wales.

Some highlights of this past year’s work on After Coal include traveling to Wales, recording a rehearsal of Cor Meibion Onllwyn (The Onllwyn Male Voice Choir), and a tour of the historic Tower mine site in south Wales.  Closer to home in In Harlan County, Kentucky, we followed the Higher Ground project as they created the new community play: Foglights.  Higher Ground 4: Foglights played to sell out crowds at four historic sites throughout the county.  You can read project director Robert Gipe’s blog to learn more about this powerful project.

Throughout 2014 we will continue to tell the stories of how residents of coal mining communities are working to create a healthy hometown economy.  I hope you check the blog regularly for updates including:

  • an interactive music map of coal mining songs from Appalachia and Wales,
  • a resource guide of organizations in both regions working on issues of culture, leadership development, and economic transition,
  • and a new video clips from our work in progress

After Coal is both a documentary and a community engagement project, so we want to hear your voices.  Feel free to contact us with your questions and ideas via the comments section of this website or e-mail me:

Best wishes to you and yours for 2014

– Tom Hansell, director, After Coal project.