This blog is a place to find and share stories and resources related to economic transition and community economic development work in Appalachia. You’ll find everything from personal perspectives to research reports to informational webinars. You can also contribute stories or resources from your work that you think can benefit others, using the guest post option. If you’re looking for a particular post or interested in a sector or topic, you can search or sort by category in the toolbar on the right.

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Berea Kids Eat – Healthy Food Access in Appalachia

  The Central Appalachian Network (CAN) and its partners have been working to improve access to healthy food for individuals and families in the Central Appalachian region through local initiatives in their communities. Over the past year, six of these healthy food access initiatives have been published as case studies through a partnership between CAN […]

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A Seat at the Table: Embracing Diversity

A Seat at the Table is a series of community dinners that bring people together to share meals and lives. Previous dinners have centered on topics such as economic development, LGBTQ history and rights, and cultural diversity. This series of four dinners will focus on communities that have often been marginalized in Perry County, and will include oral histories and heritage cooking classes. We held our first event on May 1st, with a tamale making class, and 2nd, with a community dinner.

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2018 Regional Peer-to-Peer Convening Highlights

In November of 2018 the Central Appalachian Network held its first Regional Peer-to-Peer Convening at Tamarack in Beckley, West Virginia. Approximately 115 people attended the event, including economic development practitioners, community change makers, funders, and sector experts working in the Central Appalachian region. Discussions were focused on individual sectors and topics, and on cross-cutting issues affecting the equitable transition of the Central Appalachian region. The three concurrent session tracks focused on the three topics of CAN’s working groups: Food and Agriculture Systems, Clean Energy, and Creative Placemaking.

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Report: Creative Placemaking in Central Appalachia

Creative placemaking has gained steady momentum across the country and region as an approach that can drive cross-sector engagement and community transformation, which is critical to a just transition in Central Appalachia.The Central Appalachian Network commissioned this scan of creative placemaking in Central Appalachia in order to understand what creative placemaking looks like on the ground, assess the state of the field regionally, offer ideas to strengthen and accelerate current momentum, and ultimately bring more attention and resources to advance the approach of creative placemaking in the region.

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Winding Road Stories: Sunflower Bakery (Appalachian Ohio)

Sunflower Bakery sits on a busy Nelsonville Public Square. There is a sense of vibrancy here: as I walk down the street, older and younger couples pass by, workers are cleaning up the square’s central fountain, and cars slowly drive past. I step into the bakery, and it is bright and warm. The smell of fresh bread hits me as soon as I open the door. I am greeted by two women, Rosemary behind the counter, and Liz Florentino, the owner. 

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