U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and U.S. Representative Phil Roe (R-Tenn.1) today announced $52,500 in grant funding for the Jonesborough International Storytelling Center Online Network from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC).
“Tennessee has a rich tradition of storytelling,” said Alexander. “These funds will provide a new way for people around the world to share their own history and culture, and will help tourism in East Tennessee by encouraging more visitors to the annual storytelling festival in Jonesborough.”
“The International Storytelling Center and its annual storytelling festival attract thousands of visitors each year. These funds will allow the center to expand its reach as a valuable educational resource for Tennesseans and all Americans,” Sen. Bob Corker said. “I thank the ARC for investing in the future of East Tennessee and all of Appalachia.”
“I am pleased that the International Storytelling Center will receive this important funding,” said Roe. “This funding will give the Center the technology upgrades it needs to enrich the experience through the power of storytelling, as well as enhance the imagination and strengthen education. This upgrade is critical to economic development in Appalachia and across the First District.”
This funding will help the Jonesborough International Storytelling Center upgrade its Web site and improve its e-commerce capabilities. The ARC funds, along with $52,500 provided by local sources, will provide improved service to the estimated 30,000 people worldwide who will visit the Web site annually to download and purchase educational and training materials. The upgrades will improve the center’s effectiveness and overall product and service delivery.
The ARC is a federal-state partnership that supports economic development and improved quality of life in Appalachia. Appalachia, as defined in the legislation from which the ARC derives its authority, is a 200,000-square-mile region that follows the spine of the Appalachian Mountains from southern New York to northern Mississippi. It includes all of West Virginia and parts of 12 other states: Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. About 23 million people live in the 410 counties of the Appalachian Region; 42 percent of the Region's population is rural, compared with 20 percent of the national population.
The Tennessee counties included as part of the ARC include: Anderson, Bledsoe, Blount, Bradley, Campbell, Cannon, Carter, Claiborne, Clay, Cocke, Coffee, Cumberland, De Kalb, Fentress, Franklin, Grainger, Greene, Grundy, Hamblen, Hamilton, Hancock, Hawkins, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Knox, Lawrence, Lewis, Loudon, McMinn, Macon, Marion, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Overton, Pickett, Polk, Putnam, Rhea, Roane, Scott, Sequatchie, Sevier, Smith, Sullivan, Unicoi, Union, Van Buren, Warren, Washington, and White.
The grant announcement from the ARC is attached.