By: Jeremy D. Wells
Carter County Times
Tom T. Hall and other local singers, songwriters, and storytellers feature prominently in displays at the new Olive Hill Welcome Center inside the historic Depot building on Railroad Street. But Chamber President Lisa Messer Conley sees the Welcome Center as more than just a repository of music history. The Depot, Conley believes, can also serve as a venue for showcasing new singers and songwriters.
To make that happen Conley is partnering with interim director of the Carter County Public Library, Matthew Parsons, for a new event at the Welcome Center – Front Porch Pickin’ & Poetry.
The first in what they hope will be a recurring series is scheduled for August 12, from 6 – 8 p.m.
If it goes well, Conley said, she would like to see it become a regular monthly event.
Parsons said the event meshes well with his plans for the library as well. While the library hosts several events aimed at children and families, Parsons said, he wanted to broaden the scope of the libraries activities to include events for adults.
“Not necessarily adult material,” Parsons clarified. “We want it to be family friendly. If you wanted to bring your kids, you could. But material that is aimed at the grown-ups in the family.”
The poetry part of the event obviously meshed well with the library, he added, but it wasn’t his idea. The format came from Conley, who wanted to honor the spirit of Tom T. Hall. In addition to being an award winning singer and songwriter, Hall has written several volumes of poetry and fiction.
Conley sees this new event as one more piece in a series of Olive Hill area events that highlight our regional music and storytelling heritage – including the Carter Caves dulcimer convention, Shriner Bluegrass Festival, On With the Show, the Trail Town Stage, Christmas on the Hill, and the bluegrass shows at the Rattlesnake Ridge Community Center, among others.
The Thursday evening event is free and open to the public. Concessions will be sold, with all proceeds going to the Carter County Public Library.
Editor’s note: The Carter County Times is a supporting partner of Front Porch Pickin’ & Poetry.
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