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Addressing the rise of  substance abuse disorders, the “ Culture of Recovery” (COR) Project at the Appalachian Artisan Center partners with the residential Hickory Hill Recovery Center and the Knott County Drug Court to forge a path forward for those in recovery through creativity, supplementing existing treatments with opportunities for skill building in the arts.


Art Slams offers the opportunity for participants to complete a single art work in varying media such as painting, print making, and journal making in a single session. AAC calls upon our regional network of teaching artists to instruct these classes for fair living wages, serving both the arts community and those in recovery. Art Slams allow participants to feel a sense of completion and creation while exploring new skills and media.


Art Journeys allow participants to engage in art mentorship programs on a weekly basis over the entire course of their recovery. Clients learn skills that begin at the basic level and scale up to artistic mastery.AAC studios serve as a safe space for those in recovery, free of judgement and open to growth and change.These foundations in pottery, luthiery, and blacksmithing are supplemented with business courses offered through EKCEP that provide a foundation for potential future self-employment.



Community Engagement creates a platform for those in recovery to dispel stigma and find a place within a community outside of drugs and addiction. Narrative stage presentations, square dances, interactive public art, live songwriting performances and the collection of oral histories allow for our participants to address and engage with the community at large.


Where are they now?

Established under a generous grant from ArtPlace America, the COR initiative brought in people suffering from substance abuse disorders in an effort to enhance their recovery efforts by immersion in Blacksmithing, Pottery, Luthiery and more. Since the program began in 2018, we have instructed hundreds of individuals, offering them new focus and healing. And of these many success stories, some have moved on and found jobs across the nation, and some have stuck around.
A select group have gone on to become luthiers at our Troublesome Creek Stringed Instrument Company, and one now has his own weaving studio at the AAC!

*Pictured is a recent Culture of Recovery client who spent nearly a year with us as a community service volunteer until the historic flood in July of 2022. He is our most recent COR graduate who still wishes to stick around to help with things like gallery exhibition installment!
Art heals...

Culture of Recovery in Media

CBS News

"School of Luthiery" stringing lives back together in Kentucky town hard-hit by opioid epidemic

Patagonia Stories

Short film focuses on art as activism against the coal industry and opioid crisis in eastern Kentucky


Appalachian Artisan Center in Hindman helps to promote local art and local people in recovery

New York Times

In Appalachia, Crafting a Road to Recovery With Dulcimer Strings

Forbes Magazine

Building Instruments in Appalachia Give Those Fighting Addiction A Second Chance

Carter County Times

Weaving a better life: Carter County man hopes to preserve textile tradition

Art Supplies Sleeping

in Your Closet?


We will be glad to make beautiful art from them!

We are always in need of any sort of art supplies.

Your in-kind donations go a long way.

Contact us for more information!

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