2024 Appalachian Foodways Practitioner Fellows Announced

Congratulations to the 2024 Appalachian
Foodways Practitioner Fellows!

Baltimore, MD – March 12, 2024– Mid Atlantic Arts Central Appalachia Living Traditions Program, in partnership with Grow Appalachia and the Appalachian Studies Association, is thrilled to announce the 2024 Appalachian Foodways Practitioner Fellows. The Fellowships honor, celebrate, and support foodways tradition bearers in Central Appalachia who have made significant contributions to sustaining and supporting the foodways heritage of their communities. 

The program awards $4,000 fellowships to support the ongoing community-based work of the fellows. Fellows may include home cooks and bakers, seed savers, farmers, community elders, keepers of recipes and traditional foodways knowledge, hunters, foragers, and other practitioners.

Fellows must be from an Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) designated county and state and priority was given to applicants from Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia. 

The 2024 Appalachian Foodways Practitioner Fellows are: 

Jim Embry, Richmond, KY

Social and environmental justice activist, farmer, Founder and Director of the Sustainable Communities Network, and James Beard Foundation Leadership Award winner.

Jim Embry crouches down in a field of wild flowers. Poly tunnels can be seen behind him.

Dr. Mehmet Öztan, Reedsville, WV

Seed keeper, farmer, scholar, and Founder of Two Seeds in a Pod Heirloom Seed Company and the Anatolian Seeds Recovery and Preservation Project.

Mehmet Öztan stands outside and is reaching into a smoking oven.

Bea Sias, Logan County, WV

Gardener, home gardening educator, advocate, and Grow Appalachia Coordinator at Step by Step WV.

Bea Sias sits in a chair in her kitchen. She wears a pink top and has short blond hair.

Learn more about the 2024 Fellows on the program webpage

The 2024 Appalachian Foodways Practitioner Fellows were honored at an awards ceremony on March 7, 2024 and invited to present at a session at the 2024 Appalachian Studies Association Annual Conference in Cullowhee, North Carolina. In addition to the monetary award, fellows received a unique physical award.

The Appalachian Foodways Practitioner Fellowships are a component of Central Appalachia Living Traditions (CALT) – a multi-part program that invests in communities, seeds new folk and traditional arts experiences, and honors underrecognized practitioners of Central Appalachian traditions. 

Learn more about the CALT program and Folk and Traditional Arts at Mid Atlantic Arts by clicking this link.

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About Mid Atlantic Arts
Mid Atlantic Arts nurtures and funds the creation and presentation of diverse artistic expression and connects people to meaningful arts experiences within our region and beyond. Created in 1979, Mid Atlantic Arts is a private non-profit organization that is closely allied with the region’s state arts councils and the National Endowment for the Arts. It combines funding from state and federal resources with private support from corporations, foundations, and individuals to address needs in the arts from a regional, national, and international perspective. To learn more about Mid Atlantic Arts, its programs and services, visit our website at www.midatlanticarts.org.

Karen Newell
Director, External Affairs
Mid Atlantic Arts 
410.539.6656 x104