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October Newsletter – Celebrating 1 Year on October 7, 2023

Updated: Oct 8, 2023


by Cheyanne Leonardo

This month, the Appalachian Society of the Arts celebrates its first full year of serving our local community. Since the inaugural meeting of the founding members on October 7, 2022, we have focused on the creation of accessible events, classes, and programs that offer opportunities for exposure and growth in every area of the arts. With a board of directors representing performing arts, visual arts, literary arts, folk arts, and arts education, we have been organizing our efforts around affirming the value of all art forms in our social, professional, and personal lives. ASotA has made great strides toward its goal of providing something for everyone and encouraging the inner artist inside each of us to come forward and claim a place in the fabric of our larger community. And we have all been blessed to witness the beauty of our local creatives joining forces and working hard to build something together.

Keep reading to learn about our highlights for the year as well as upcoming community events!

ASotA board members Dawn, Cheyanne, Ace, and Ashlee enjoying last month's Music & Arts on Main in the "Seventies in September" spirit. Be sure to join us for "A Nightmare on Main Street" 4-8pm on October 14!


by Cheyanne Leonardo

Music & Arts on Main is a series of small street festivals hosted by the Appalachian Society of the Arts and Moe and Ella Mullis of the Black Cat antiques and oddities shop. On three Saturdays throughout the late summer and early autumn months, we block traffic from Main Street and allow local artisans, crafters, and food vendors to set up a booth where they can display and sell their work to the larger community. Businesses along Main Street often stay open late and offer special sales and activities for their patrons. And, of course, local musicians are encouraged to sign up and perform a set on the Black Cat’s portable stage. We also offer a variety of themed activities for all to participate in, such as the cornbread bake-off, chili cook-off, pet rock show, selfie station, costume contest, and more. This year’s themes were Grand Old Appalachia, Seventies in September, and the upcoming Nightmare on Main Street on October 14.

We hope to see as many folks as possible attend the spooky, Halloween-inspired festivities this coming Saturday from 4-8pm. If you’re interested in selling your artwork and creations at the event, you may still sign up to be a vendor! And you can also make plans to enter the costume contest, King Jack’s pumpkin contest, or the community candy walk.


by Tracey Stansberry and Ralph Trieschmann

The Plateau Players have had a busy 2023 season. After joining the Appalachian Society of the Arts in early January, we kicked off our post-pandemic performances in late July and early August. With four sold-out performances, director Ralph Trieschmann and the cast of Steel Magnolias wowed theatre-goers at the new Scott Christian Care Center Blackbox Theatre and Historic Rugby’s Rebecca Johnson Theatre. A cast of local actresses brought the beloved characters to life in the most entertaining way possible. Laughter, tears, and red velvet armadillo cake were the order of the day, leaving Scott County hungry for more live shows. The show marked the triumphant revival of our local community theatre company and proved that our region not only has an enormous talent pool, but an appetite to attend productions in town.

Thrilled by the community’s warm reception, the Players are hard at work producing their next live shows. Glenda Tibbals Gray will direct bluegrass-based Bright Star, written by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell and licensed by Theatre Rights Worldwide. Enjoy your favorite local actors, musicians, and dancers by joining us for one of four shows, scheduled November 10, 11, and 12 (and watch for a special Broadway surprise!). Visit our website to secure your Bright Star tickets now!

To wrap up an incredible year, Jessica Rash and Ralph Trieschmann are on tap to bring you a traditional Holiday Madrigal Extravaganza at the Timber Rock Lodge on December 22 and 23. Dating back to the 1300s, this dinner theatre experience, complete with the Boar’s Head Procession and Wassail, will remind you of Christmases of old, when manor houses and royalty were woven into the cultural fabric of Middle Ages England.

Watch for show tickets and future audition opportunities on our Facebook pages and the ASotA website. If you or your business wish to sponsor the Plateau Players or other ASotA events, please contact Tracey Stansberry at or Ace Glaspy at

Vision: We envision our community as one in which thought and creativity, freely expressed through the performance arts, uplift the lives, culture, and heritage of every individual.

Mission: We seek to build and enrich our community by offering a safe, imaginative space for developing and showcasing local actors, musicians, and dancers.

Make plans to see the Plateau Players production of Bright Star, featuring lively bluegrass music and plenty of singing & dancing. This show tells a beautiful story, with an amazing cast of local actors, singers, and dancers!


by Jessica Rash

Highland Harmony Community Chorus is Scott County’s newest musical group formed through the Appalachian Society of the Arts. The purpose of the chorus is to spread the joy of music through choral singing and foster stronger community connections through the power of music. Directed by Jessica Rash and accompanied by Tamia Bible, the ensemble began in August and has 77 members with ages ranging from 14 to 85. Highland Harmony meets twice a month at First United Methodist Church of Oneida. The chorus is open to area residents who love to sing and want to further their understanding of choral singing. Under Jessica’s teaching, members are working on musicianship (pitch, rhythm, dynamics, phrasing, articulations, and artistic expression), vocal and choral technique (diction, resonance, timbre, balance, breathing, range, flexibility, agility, and blend) and learning the mechanics of the voice (how the vocal anatomy works to produce sound). In addition to building solid singing skills, the chorus will perform a variety of musical styles including folk, contemporary, classical, jazz, sacred, and traditional music. Highland Harmony’s first performance will be held on Friday, April 26, with the location to be announced soon. Keep updated with Highland Harmony through our ASotA newsletter and Facebook group!

Highland Harmony began new performance music in their most recent rehearsal with director Jessica Rash, in preparation for the first concert on April 26. The chorus is quickly bringing together the many beautiful voices of our community!


by Cheyanne Leonardo

Next meeting: Tuesday, October 10, 5:30pm at McCreary County Public Library in Whitley City, KY. Theme: Poems for October. Free & all are welcome!

Little Town Poets Society is a community poetry club that was founded on August 20, 2022, by Cheyanne Leonardo. The club represents the Literary Arts branch of ASotA and consists of a series of free poetry classes taught by Cheyanne in Scott County, TN, and McCreary County, KY. LTPS also coordinates free poetry events such as open-mic reading nights and offers accessible publication opportunities for local poets to share their work with a wider audience. Most recently, the poets of Little Town Poets Society, along with the wider community, created a 300-page anthology entitled Hometown Poems, featuring the poetry and photography of over 100 local authors and artists.

Cheyanne describes Little Town Poets Society as “a small-town assembly of poetically curious minds.” Our meetings are a place for you to learn about great poets and artists, how to read and analyze poetry, where to find inspiration, how to begin writing, and how to share your creations with others (when you are ready). No prior experience required. Come as you are, just bring a pen. All are welcome! This is a group of open minds and encouraging hearts.

Our classes are mostly discussion-based. First, we read a few poems together as a group. Then we have an open dialogue about what we can learn from these poems and how they relate to our own lives. We typically finish each class with specialized writing prompts and about 15-20 minutes of optional free-write time, giving you the chance to create and share poems of your very own.

There are stories within each of us – and somewhere in this crazy world, there is another person yearning to hear yours. Someone who needs to know they are not alone. Someone who aches to see themselves reflected in your experience. This is the power of poetry and art. Little Town Poets Society aims to help you access that power within yourself.

LTPS meets regularly on the 2nd Tuesday of every month at McCreary County Public Library and the 2nd Saturday of every month at the First United Methodist Church in Oneida (lower-level fellowship hall). There are often additional meetings and activities added to the schedule as well. To stay up to date with all meeting and event announcements, follow along on Instagram @littletownpoet & @littletownpoetssociety. Also be sure to join the Little Town Poets Society Facebook group, which is open to the public and encourages members to share their work and spark discussion with others.

For more information, visit

Members of Little Town Poets Society gathered together this past August to celebrate the group's 1st year anniversary. Many of the folks you see in this photo are now published poets, featured in our Hometown Poems community anthology.


by Cheyanne Leonardo

Hometown Poems: A South Fork Country Anthology of Poetry is a 300-page book comprising the poetry and photography of over 100 local authors and artists who submitted work for publication in this community project. Cheyanne Leonardo curated, edited, formatted, designed, and published the book, with the vision of providing local writers an opportunity to share their work with a wider audience as well as creating a collaborative work of art that could generate funds for future programming through the Appalachian Society of the Arts.

This anthology captures a portrait of small-town life in the Appalachian Mountains, created by and for the people who call these woods home. Each poem and photograph included in Hometown Poems has been carefully placed, piece by piece, to construct an uninterrupted narrative – a poetic reverie comprised of our shared stories of love, loss, beauty, heartache, healing, darkness, and unwavering faith. The result is a wholly original work of art that will preserve our memories, values, and ways of life for generations to come.

More than anything, this anthology proves that art and spirit are alive in our hills, that each and every one of us has something special to contribute toward the greater project of being human– here, all together, in this mystifying place and time. This symphony of voices echoing together from every nearby holler and hillside reveals that we have something valuable, remarkable, and even magical to offer this world. In other words, our stories matter, and they are ours to tell.

Hometown Poems: A South Fork Country Anthology of Poetry is a gift to our contributing small-town communities, and to you – whoever you are, wherever you’re from – as you will undoubtedly see your own heart reflected in these words. We are all one, as much as we are each unique: this is our hillbilly anthem! Together, let us imagine a world in which such truth is our guiding light.

Contributing authors and artists: Abbie Duncan, Ace Glaspy, Adelynn Rivera, Alise May, Allie Wall, Allison Baker, Amanda Massengale, Amber Sparks, AmyLynn Arrington, Angelia Ross, Annie A, Anonymous, Artemis Moon, Ashlee Glaspy, Banner Ritchie, Betty A Hathcock, Betty Shreffler, Blue Heron, Bobbie Foster, Brooklynn Miles, Caden Chaney, Cari Lynne King, Carl Shafer, Charlotte Marlow, Cheyanne Leonardo, Chris Boyatt, Codie Lackey, Colton Cordell, Courtney King, Courtney Pratt, C. Turner, Dan Saint Dan, Debbie Stansberry Faires, drdeb, Dylan Ayers, Earl Rash, Eli Morrow, Eric Faires, Erilynn Griffith, Felicity Nelson, Flossie King, Fox, Gabriel Valladares, Ginger King, Grant Swain, Hannah Nelson, Harmony Elizabeth, Holly Daugherty, Jacelynn Sexton, Jacob Byrd, Jade Foster, Jaelyn Phillips, Jesse W. King, II, Jessica Rash, Jessi Carling, Jessy Morrow, Joseph Thomas Baker, JP Schuffman, Justice Glaspy, Kaitlyn Russ, Katherine Cross, Kerrigan Hart, Kristen Kilby, Kristen Reid, Kristian Obrusanszki, K-Roo, Laura A. Clift, Lisa Cotton, Makayla Sexton, Mark Hargis, Melissa Capps, Mellisa Pascale, Micah Keeton, Michelle Ayers, Moriah Bowling, Patricia Chace, Paula Leftwich, Presley West, Pyper Anderson, Railey Smith, R.A. Reynolds, R. Clift, Ricky Lee Jeffers, Robert Queener, Roland Russelburg, Rubyann Melton, Rylan Duncan, Sadie Bell Price, Sandra Tritt, Shane Gilreath, Sharon Leonardo, Simon Poe, Stephanie Duncan, Stephen Phillips, Tiffany Kimbrell, Trinity Smith, Ty Humble, Vega Rochat, Whitney Swain, Zack Smith, Zeke Harness

Hometown Poems was published and released on June 23, 2023, and was welcomed into the world that evening with the Reading Night & Release Party held at Scott Christian Care Center. All poets who contributed to the book were invited to participate by reading their poems on stage before an audience of family, friends and neighbors. The reading night was a beautiful display of local poets of all ages bravely sharing their work, in their own voices, and carving out an encouraging space for artists based in our rural communities to be seen, heard, and celebrated.

Cheyanne presented special awards to all participants in the event, and award recipients were recognized in the Scott County News. Special awards were presented to:

Poet of the Year – Angelia Ross

The Hillside Scribe – Stephanie Duncan

The Rising Star – Rylan Duncan

The Historian – Chris Boyatt

The Philosopher Poet – Kristian Obrusanszki

The Soul Sister – Ginger King

The Mystical Mother – Sharon Leonardo

The Alchemist – Betty Shreffler

The Bard – Ace Glaspy

The Poseidon Poet – Cari Lynne King

The Poetic Supernova – Amber Sparks

The High Priestess – Ashlee Glaspy

The Warrior Poet – Kerrigan Hart

The Herald of Spring & the Daffodil King – Earl Rash

The Sage Poet – Robert Queener

The Bold & Brave Award – Allison Baker

The Emerging Writer Award – Jade Foster

The Scholar – Jessica Rash

The Psychic Poet – Justice Glaspy

The Honest Heart Award – Micah Keeton

The Troubadour – Zeke Harness

The Tenacious Tree Award – Kristen Kilby

The Soothsayer – Laura A. Clift

The Sunflower Poet – Rachel Clift

For more information about this project or to order a copy of Hometown Poems, visit You can also purchase the book locally at the following locations: Phillips Merle Norman in Oneida, the Black Cat in Oneida, Blue Dragonfly Gifts & Wellness in Oneida, the Commissary in Historic Rugby, the Camp Store in Bandy Creek (Big South Fork), and McCreary County Public Library in Whitley City.

Local musician & songwriter Kerrigan Hart reading her poems published in the anthology at the Reading Night & Release Party on June 23. Kerrigan was also awarded the special title of "Warrior Poet" for her unique achievements in poetry.


by Jessica Rash

This past March, the Appalachian Society of the Arts under the leadership of Jessica Rash and the Arts Education Committee presented its first annual Spring Fling, a scholarship fundraising event at Scott Christian Care Center. The free event included a concert and silent auction, with the purpose of raising scholarship money for local graduating seniors from Oneida High School, Scott High School, Landmark Christian Academy, or homeschool students who would go on to pursue music, theatre, dance, visual art or creative writing at the college, university or professional training level. The concert portion of the event featured local performers: Wildwood Flutes, Ryan Hoffman, Tamia Bible, Cole Hunt, Micah Phillips, Michelle & Audrey Ayers, Cheyanne Leonardo, Ashlee Glaspy, Jessica Rash, Jacob Boshears, Grant Swain, Stephen Phillips, sunstreet, Zeke Harness, and Hart Project presenting a wide variety of music and styles. The silent auction featured donations from local artists and vendors. All $2,360 of proceeds raised went to the scholarship fund, and two recipients were selected in May. ASotA proudly awarded $1,180 each to Gracie Strunk, who now studies Dance at Oklahoma City University, and to Steven Lawson who now attends Tennessee Technological University majoring in Music. Next year’s event will be held again in early March. We hope you will plan on attending to support our local arts students and encourage their future careers in the arts! Also be on the lookout for more information regarding applications for interested students to apply for next year’s scholarships.


by Michelle Ayers and Paula Leftwich

Scott County Creates is a series of events and programs representing our ASotA Visual Arts branch. The very first Scott County Creates local art exhibit opened on April 21, and featured several hundred entries from artists in our community. From drawing to painting to poetry to sculpture and mixed media– an amazing variety of artistic styles and mediums were showcased for all to admire and enjoy! Attendees of the exhibit’s opening night also enjoyed performances by the dancers of Gotta Dance! Studio, under the direction of Lanell Brennan and Michelle Ayers, as well as a live poetry reading by our ‘little town poet’ Cheyanne Leonardo.

We held gallery hours throughout the week for the public to come and see the display. Artists of all ages were represented in the exhibit, from elementary school students to adults. We awarded ribbons to many of the entries. Best in Show prizes were awarded to Jacob Orick (of the 18 and under category) and Rebecca Hintzmann (18 and up). ASotA would like to extend a huge congratulations to all the artists and performers who made this event so special!

Local artist Rebecca Hintzmann received a Best in Show award at the Scott County Creates art exhibit. Thank you, Becky, for sharing your beautiful icon paintings with our community!


by Paula Leftwich and Michelle Ayers

The Community Collage is another Scott County Creates project that is currently underway! 240 blank canvases have been distributed to folks in our community, who will turn in their completed works of art by October 15 (to the Black Cat, Gather Coffee Lounge, the Scott County Visitor’s Center, or the Scott County Creates booth at the October Music & Arts on Main). Each 1x1 canvas will be pieced together to create a giant collage, created by all of us, together!

The opening display is set for Saturday, November 4, 4:00-7:00pm at Gather Coffee Lounge in Oneida. The opening reception will also include a raffle, where the winning ticket holder will get to claim any canvas they want from the completed entries. After that, the display will travel and be shown at several locations throughout the county, including the Visitor’s Center, the local hospital lobby, the Children’s Center, and a few others still to be confirmed and announced soon.

At the end of the traveling display, every participant in the project will receive another artist’s canvas, creating a giant community art swap and acting as a reminder of all the local talent and creativity we are blessed to enjoy!


by Becky Hintzmann

The buzz following the Scott County Creates art exhibit revealed much local interest in visual arts programs for kids. We started off with a series of children’s watercolor painting classes taught by Mrs. Becky Hintzmann. In the class, the kids learned three different types of watercolor techniques and created a unique project for each one. The first one was a Father’s Day card. The second was a butterfly, incorporating a salt technique with a tie-dye effect. And the third was a picture of fall leaves using a blending method. We had more than 25 total attendees for the watercolor series and have plans to offer more of these classes in the future.

Our next project currently underway is the Puppet Project. Local area students and homeschoolers are making three different types of puppets in a four-part class series, taught in Historic Rugby’s Hester Hall and at the First United Methodist Church in Oneida. During the first meeting, the kids are crafting a spoon puppet. In the second meeting, they will make a sock puppet. And the third will be a puppet made from a shoebox. For the fourth and final meeting of the series, we will be creating a story and performance with all of our creations!

Follow along on the ASotA Facebook page for upcoming announcements about further Kids Corner classes and projects.


by Cheyanne Leonardo

Color Me Creative is a brand-new club hosted by Little Town Poets Society Historian Chris Boyatt. The club is free to attend and welcomes participants of all ages to gather together and work creatively, in community, on any form of creative activity such as coloring, painting, crafting, stitching, writing, dancing, and more. You can bring your own supplies, share and borrow from others, and work on individual or collaborative art projects in a casual, friendly setting. The club will continue meeting twice per week throughout the month of October (with updates to the schedule still to be announced for the remainder of the year). Join us on Friday mornings, 10:00am at Scott Christian Care Center as well as Tuesday evenings, 6:00pm at First United Methodist Church in Oneida (lower-level fellowship hall).

Talking Theatre is a series of bi-weekly/monthly theatre workshops taught by Matthew Boshears and hosted at several locations locally including Timber Rock Lodge, Scott Christian Care Center, First Baptist Church Student Center, Little Charity Ministries, and more. Participants in the workshops cover a variety of theatre-related topics such as storytelling, scene work, and character development, through instructional games and skill-building activities. Although Talking Theatre meetings are over for the season, workshops will resume in a couple of months with another series of topics, games, and activities! Stay tuned for upcoming announcements from Matthew.

Keep up to date on these free programs for artists of all ages by following the ASotA group on Facebook!


by Ashlee Glaspy

Junior Appalachian Musicians is a program designed for children ages 10 and up that want to learn Appalachian-style music. Instruments available are Guitar, Banjo and Fiddle. ASotA is one of the newest affiliates of JAM. Ashlee Glaspy is the Program Director. We had our first semester this past summer, holding a 10-week program full of music and enrichment time, dedicated to preserving the beauty of our Appalachian culture. Our first semester had 21 kids in attendance, and in addition to music training, they also participated in flat foot dancing lessons, learned about old-time jug bands, listened to storytelling, and much more. Our second semester is underway right now, running from September 11-December 4. We have been able to organize both full and partial scholarships for the JAM program through ASotA, so all local-area children have an equal opportunity to participate. Stay tuned for more information regarding sign-ups for upcoming semesters!


by Ashlee Glaspy

Wildwood Flutes is a local community flute choir established in 2018 and directed by Ashlee Glaspy. The choir is open for all flute players from high school students to adults, and advanced middle school musicians are welcome to join as well. We have a wide variety of ages and experience levels, with parts available for all.

This past year, Wildwood Flutes has held several performances. We played at Historic Rugby for both the Christmas Festival and their British Festival, First Baptist Church of Oneida, the ASotA Spring Fling, and several others. We are excited about our upcoming year and all the possibilities in store!

Wildwood Flutes meets every 2nd and 4th Monday of the month at the First Presbyterian Church in Huntsville from August through May/June. We will continue forward offering many performance opportunities throughout the year. For more information or to join our group, please contact Ashlee Glaspy at 865-256-5804.

Wildwood Flutes performed this past Christmas in Historic Rugby. Under the direction of Ashlee Glaspy, this group brings together musicians from advanced middle schoolers to professional adults and offers many performance opportunities.


by Dawn Mitchell

The Folk Arts program, directed by Dawn Mitchell, is dedicated to bringing all types of Folk Art to the community, such as tanning hides, quilting, pottery, bead and jewelry making, stained glass, and other cultural and historical Arts that have captivated our ancestors’ hearts and minds for centuries. We seek to revive these lost arts in the community for present and future generations.

Folk Art encapsulates many forms of visual art made in the context of folk culture, drawing elements from indigenous and migrant art forms. Definitions vary, but generally the objects have practical utility of some kind, rather than being exclusively decorative.

We plan to promote the practice of local Folk Art through classes and workshops throughout Scott County and surrounding areas. We wish to involve all those interested in various aspects of Folk Art and hope you will join us! If you are a folk artist yourself, or are interested in upcoming workshop opportunities, contact Dawn Mitchell at 423-627-7268 to introduce yourself and your artwork, and to request further information.

Local folk artists sharing their creations with the community at Music & Arts on Main. Remember to come to Main Street next Saturday, October 14, to meet more local folk artists, artisans, and crafters!


by Ace Glaspy

Entering into our second year of service, we are looking for community members and local businesses to join our ASotA network as sponsors of the Arts! Please view the attachment below to see all available levels of sponsorship and the benefits included for each one. As always, we appreciate all the community support we receive, and look forward to creating another year's worth of local and accessible arts programming.

Memberships & Sponsorships Digital Booklet
Download PDF • 1.26MB

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