The Harlan County National Hall of Fame for Mountain Artisans has found a new home on the Cumberland campus of Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College. The exhibits, previously housed at the Harlan Center, are being placed in the Kentucky Appalachian Heritage Museum.
“We explored the Benham Coal Museum first and then talked with Dr. Bruce Ayers at Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College, who was very excited to have the hall of fame moved to the Kentucky Appalachian Heritage Museum on the Cumberland campus,” said Hall of Fame Chairwoman and Founder Rosezelle Boggs-Qualls. “Everyone seems to be very excited about this move.”
Qualls said the hall of fame was “very limited for space” at the Harlan Center and couldn’t exhibit the inductees as she felt they deserved to be.
“We couldn’t place anything on the walls at the Harlan Center and that really hampered the exhibits,” said Qualls. “I do appreciate their help in getting the hall of fame started. We just out grew the space they had allocated for it.”
Ayers said Qualls is to be commended for her tireless efforts in founding the National Hall of Fame for Mountain Artisans and seeing that it continues each year.
“We are delighted to have the opportunity to house the hall of fame,” said Ayers. “It’s a tremendous idea that Rosezelle has worked very, very hard on for the past few years. She has done a truly amazing job. The hall of fame fits in perfectly with the work we are doing in our Appalachian program at our Appalachian Archive. I think we’ll be able to house and disseminate information about the fall of fame in a way that, I think, will be pleasing to Rosezelle and the entire community.”
Two new mountain artisans will be inducted into the National Hall of Fame on Nov. 24, during the Festival of the Mountain Masters. This will bring the total inductees to 10, representing five mountain regions, which include: the Bluegrass Mountains, the mountains of West Virginia, the rolling hills of Ohio, Adirondack Mountains and Appalachian Mountains.
Qualls said this year’s inductees will be Alfred “Al” Cornett, of Cumberland, and Wanda Wentling, of West Virginia. She said next year’s inductee will be an artisan from the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.
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