Union College faculty member Dr. Amanda Fickey is one of several authors to have their work included in a book entitled Fifty Years of Night, which was compiled and published by the Lexington Herald-Leader.
Fifty Years of Night is the story of eastern Kentucky's continued struggles 50 years after Harry Caudill’s book Night Comes to the Cumberlands: A Biography of a Depressed Area focused the nation on the region's problems. On the eve of the 50th anniversary of Caudill’s book, the Herald-Leader began a yearlong series examining Caudill's work, progress made throughout Appalachia since the book was published, challenges that have continued to persist over time, and views on potential solutions.
The series was published as an e-book in June 2014, and includes the article, "Artists must carve out role in building local economies," written Fickey, an assistant professor and coordinator of Appalachian Studies at Union.
"As a native and scholar of the region, I was very excited to contribute to this yearlong series," said Fickey on being included in the work.
In her article, Fickey suggests that economic and artistic diversity in Appalachia must be celebrated. "We need to diversify our regional economy and highlight the significance of small-scale food and craft production. Such practices allow people to live well and make ends meet."
This summer, Union engaged in its own initiatives to improve the health and wellbeing of eastern Kentucky's residents through the arts and local food production. Union developed the Richland Institute to assist teachers and educators to receive continuing education, which coincided with its annual Kids College Art Camp. Union also participated in a roundtable regarding the local food economy held by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC). In conjunction with Lend A Hand, Grow Appalachia and other community groups and leaders, Union assisted with the community garden initiative and Knox County Farmers’ Market.
In April of 2015, Union will host the Union College Redbud Festival of Appalachian Culture.
The book Fifty Years of Night can be purchased on amazon.com.