What is IG2BYITM?
The first annual It's Good to be Young in the Mountains was held in August of 2015. The "party where a conference breaks out" was a partnership between Higher Ground, Appalshop, and STAY. Over 250 participants from across central Appalachia attended the four day event. The event included workshops such as creative writing, linoleum block printing, sexy sex ed, basic personal finance; evening entertainment including a punk show, a performance by Roots and Wings, a performance by Higher Ground, local musicians, and headliner Angaleena Presley; and a vendors section for informational booths, craft booths and sales booths.
At the time of the conference many young leaders [and the young at heart] felt discouraged by the negative portrayal of Appalachia. Our communities were struggling, people were leaving, and unemployment was high. IG2BYITM gave participants an opportunity to celebrate all that makes Appalachia beautiful; to declare IT IS good to be young in the mountains.
Two years later we decided to continue the work that began in Harlan, Kentucky. The second IG2BYITM celebrated Appalachian heritage but also gave participants a space to openly discuss their concerns and fears for our region.
Who can attend?
Although the name of this conference is It's Good to be Young in the Mountains, we define that word "young" loosely. This conference is youth-led and the voices of young leaders will and should be heard in this space, however, we welcome participants of all ages to join us, listen, and share their own experiences.