More Than A Vacation

On-campus: July 24-28, 2024!

On-line: TBD

This year’s theme, “West of Roanoke,” is ripped from the headlines!

In a news article about Virginia’s recent attempt to bring the Washington Wizards basketball team out of DC and into the Commonwealth of Virginia, the CEO of the company that owns the Wizards said Virginia was really two states – Richmond and Northern Virginia. An Axios reporter opined that it was more complicated than that: “It’s at least six: Richmond, NoVa, Hampton Roads, Charlottesville, Roanoke and whatever the hell is west of Roanoke.” MTAV prides itself in highlighting the wonderful world that lies west of Roanoke, so don’t miss out on another fun line-up that is sure to keep your brain sharp as a wasp and keep SWVA on the map – even that weird map in the Axios office.

Here are a few things you’ll find west of Roanoke:

Wed. July 24

2 pm: Wellness
Jamelyn Gillespie (E&H ’22, massage therapist) is giving chair massages! We’re giving away 4, and there’s a limited number of additional slots available! ($15 for 15 minutes.)

4:30 pm: Perspective
Linda Edwards (E&H ’65 and MTAV regular) will discuss her newly published book: Fair Trade Movement: Artisans’ Quest for a Sustainable Quality of Life. (NC)

6 pm: Tradition
Brett Morris (E&H ’08) Exec. Dir. of Junior Appalachian Musicians (JAM), shares details of a program that keeps young Appalachians in touch with their musical heritage. Dinner served. (NC)

Thursday, July 25

9 am: Farms
Kathy Shearer, author of Working for Stuarts, will speak on the impact of the Stuart Land and Cattle empire. Tenderloin biscuits will be served! (NC)

10:30 am: Food
Fred Sauceman, author of a host of books on Appalachian foodways and WETS radio personality behind the podcast “Vital Voices,” discusses the inextricable bonds between food and culture in Appalachia. (NC)

Noon: Hospitality
Our lunch will feature food from the E&H garden while E&H’s Dr. Ed Davis tells us about that project and local farming. ($10)

7: 30 pm: Art
Barter Theatre: Shawshank Redemption ($36) Warning: Strong adult language.

Friday, July 26

9:15 am: History
We’ll meet in Kingsport where Frank Brooks, history teacher extraordinaire, shares the fascinating story of the Wilderness Road. (NC)

Noon: Music
Gathering at The Down Home in Johnson City for a delicious lunch, fascinating history, and great music as Ed Snodderly (musician, co-founder of the Down Home) shares stories of this treasured space ($20 pp covers lunch and music)

Suggestions for downtown Johnson City after lunch: The Brewstillery (our friends Jessica and Stephen Callahan); The Generalist (cool general store); White Duck Taco; etc!!

Evening: TBA

Saturday, July 27

8:45 am: Nature
Cemetery Bird Linger (because there’s not really much walking in a bird walk). (NC)

10:30 am: Influence
Ivy Sheppard, WEHC-FM station manager and professional musician, shares about the impact of the earliest recordings of music in SWVA – including some rare treasures in her collection. We’ll begin our time together with a quick story from Mountain Mission School in Grundy, Virginia. (NC)

Afternoon: Discovery
The afternoon is open for exploring, Virginia Highlands Festival, etc., but there’s always a secret field trip available! Just ask Monica for details!

6 pm: Good Times!
The Blue Ridge Institute and Museum at Ferrum College in Franklin County has the world’s largest collection of moonshine memorabilia and artifacts – and the their executive director, Bethany Worley (E&H ’89) will share that history and tell us about Virginia’s new Mountain Spirit Trail. Expect samples! ($20)


Check out pix from last year’s More Than A Vacation Event!