Facilitated by Urban Appalachian Community Coalition (UACC) and the Originary Arts Initiative (OAI), Place Keepers is a series of programs and opportunities for young adults to express their creativity and curiosity in a cultivating and supportive environment. Place Keepers includes both in-person and virtual open mics, environmental projects, showcases, writing contests and much more!

Reach out to directly [email protected] to learn more about workshops, retreats, and community-based eco-arts opportunities.


Spirit of Song: Lyric Writing Workshop & Community Sing-Out

Join us for creative demonstrations, guided prompts, rich feedback, and camaraderie for your songwriting with Dale Farmer, Tangled Roots, and Roberta Schultz. 5:45-7:15pm workshop and 7:30-9pm concert performers: The Farmer and The Crow, Tangled Roots and Raison D’Etre.Attend both for $35 or just the concert for $9. This event is hosted by The Carnegie Center of Columbia Tusculum, Originary Arts, and Urban Appalachian Community Coalition. Register at https://tinyurl.com/4saxb24a


The Story of Flow – An Eco-Arts Escape for Educators

Partake in a creative exploration at this half-day professional development retreat with UACC Core Member Sherry Cook Stanforth on Tuesday, June 25, 2024, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Held at the historic Carnegie Center in Columbia Tusculum, Cincinnati, this event invites teachers and community program leaders to delve into the unique tapestry of the Ohio River Watershed, blending artistic inspiration, Urban Appalachian heritage, and ecological marvels. Visit the link for registration details: https://tinyurl.com/4e5rfvxc


Place Keepers Wide Open Mic

Free program offered in a seasonal, virtual format. This relaxed and creative gathering highlights the talent of writers and artists in their teens and twenties. Share in a variety of genres, including poetry, short fiction, creative non-fiction, drama, music, and visual art. Anyone can join as an audience member, and we also include some established local/regional artists in this event. Zoom link is available below.


Recap of the “I Remember” Story Exchange

The Carnegie Event Center of Columbia Tusculum came alive with UACC’s first “I-Remember” Story Exchange. People of all ages and backgrounds gathered to share their reflections and expressions! Much thanks to those who attended and/or supported this event on May 24, 2024 at the Carnegie Center of Columbia Tusculum.


Recap of Appalachian Flow: A Creative Community Showcase

Much thanks to those who attended the first Place Keepers showcase! Check out this Spectrum News article that recaps the event: https://spectrumnews1.com/oh/cleveland/news/2023/09/02/a-celebration-of-appalachian-artists-and-their-stories-

Want to learn more about future programming? Email [email protected] for more information.


Place Keepers Writing & Art Contest Awards

Thank you to those who submitted pieces for the first Place Keepers Writing & Art Contest! This contest was juried by a large panel of judges and they shared highly positive remarks about the artists’ expressive translations of the place keeping theme. Award winners will receive over $800 in stipends, collectively, and will also be invited to share in the Appalachian Flow Showcase set for the evening of September 1st, 2023 at the Carnegie Center of Columbia Tusculum. Ohio Poet Laureate Kari Gunter-Seymour — along with various other established (and apprenticing) authors, artists and musicians — will be part of this showcase. 

On behalf of Urban Appalachian Community Coalition and Originary Arts Initiative, we are pleased to announce the following awarded writers and artists:

Category — Overall Best of Contest Awards

  • “Innermost Circle” by Michael Thompson (painting), Hamilton County, Ohio
  • “My Green House” by Emily Tromans (poem), Butler County, Ohio

Category – Age 19-29 writers

First Place Award in Writing

  • “Seeing Anew” by Tommy Ballard (Prose, Fiction), Hamilton County, Ohio

Second Place Award in Writing

  • “Paradise” by A. Riel Regan (Poem), Campbell County, Kentucky

Category – Age 13-18 writers

First Place Award in Writing

  • My Green House by Emily Tromans (Poem), Butler County, Ohio

Second Place Award in Writing

  • Bridging the Gap (Between Transcendentalism and Teenagerism by Hailey Hartman (Poem), Warren County, Ohio

Category – Age 19-29 artists

First Place Award in Art

  • Innermost Circle by Michael Thompson (Painting), Hamilton County, Ohio

Second Place Award in Art

  • Untitled B&W Sign by Ethan Kohl (Photography), Kenton County, Kentucky

Category – Age 13-18 artists

First Place Award in Art

  • Guitar Stance by Adam Hale (charcoal?), Clermont County, Ohio

Second Place Award in Art

  • Elephant by Rachel Panko (pastel? Ink?), Boone County, Kentucky

Place Keepers Contest Honorable Mentions

  • “Portraits of Home” by A. Riel Regan (Prose Poem), Campbell County, Kentucky
  • “Outside the Cave” by Michael Thompson (Painting), Hamilton County, Ohio

Place Keepers Open Mic (In-Person Events)

Stay tuned for live Place Keeper events like this open mic at Roebling Books & Coffee (Newport, KY)! Be sure to check back for other live events and opportunities like workshops and retreats.