Black Appalachian Storytellers Fellows Announced

National Association of Black Storytellers
Announces Inaugural Black Appalachian
Storytellers Fellowship Recipients

A variety of images of people forming the acronym NABS.

Baltimore, MD – September 27, 2022 – Mid Atlantic Arts has announced the inaugural recipients of the Black Appalachian Storytellers Fellowship in partnership with South Arts and the National Association of Black Storytellers (NABS).

The 2022-2023 Fellows include:

Alicestyne Turley: Author, Professor, Advocate, Mentor; Powell County

North Carolina
Raymond Christian: Performer, Podcast Producer; Teaching Artist, Mentor; Watauga County

David Butcher: Historian, Genealogist, Curator, Museum Founder; Athens County

James “Sparky” Rucker: Performer, Recording Artist, Teaching Artist, Civil Rights Activist; Blount County

West Virginia
Ruby Daniels: Soil Conservationist, Therapeutic Herbalist, Workshop Presenter; Raleigh County
Crystal Good: Publisher, Performer, Ted-Talker, Mentor, Author; Kanawha County

Fellows receive a cash award to support opportunities to examine, research, develop, perform, and/or document the Black Appalachian storytelling tradition. Additionally, Fellows will receive funds for travel to the “In the Tradition…” 40th Annual National Black Storytelling Festival and Conference, November 9-13, 2022, in Baltimore, MD and membership to the National Association of Black Storytellers for the coming year. 

The Black Appalachian Storytellers Fellowships are intended to honor, celebrate, and support Black storytellers residing in the Appalachian counties (as designated by the Appalachian Regional Commission) of Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. The goals of the fellowship program are to preserve and advance the understanding of Black Appalachian storytelling that embodies the history, heritage, and culture of African Americans, and to build bridges through intergenerational opportunities. 

The NABS Black Appalachian Storytellers Fellowship is funded in part by Mid Atlantic Arts’ Central Appalachia Living Traditions (CALT) program and South Arts as part of the In These Mountains, Central Appalachian Folk Arts and Culture initiative. CALT is a multi-year program designed to promote the understanding, and recognition of folk arts and culture in Central Appalachia (OH, VA, and WV) through a three-part program that invests in folk arts communities while seeding new folk and traditional arts experiences and honoring underrecognized practitioners of Central Appalachian traditions across the region.

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

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Karen Newell
Director, External Affairs
Mid Atlantic Arts
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