Last Thursday, a group of friends and strangers gathered at Hindman Settlement School around a diverse spread of potluck offerings: soup beans, cornbread, scalloped potatoes, salad greens, coleslaw, eggplant lasagna, hummus, falafel, edamame, strawberry pie, and lots of other tasty dishes. Neighbors of all ages came together from Knott, Floyd, Pike, Clay, and Perry Counties and we had special guests from as far as Arkansas and Arizona! This table of people, foods, and stories from near and far is exemplary of the magical convergences that happen at Hindman Settlement School. It’s exciting to be able to offer a hospitable space where all sorts of people can mix and share together. Following supper, everyone stuck around for a joyful square dance, called by the incomparable Randy Wilson and accompanied by an old time jam of pals and staff of the settlement school. We welcomed back Brett Ratliff who is rejoining our staff and rolled into town just in time to join in on fiddle for the dance.
We organized this potluck and square dance with hopes of having regular events where people can share food and dance here in Hindman. As we continue making regional connections towards creating a Heritage Food and Dance Trail in eastern Kentucky, it feels important to be actively making space for community at home, right where we are. I’m grateful to be a part of a family of dancers, musicians, and eaters in Knott County, eastern Kentucky, and beyond. I’m excited to watch that family grow and see the wonderful things that happen when people eat, dance, and play together. Stay tuned for more dances, potlucks, and gatherings. We hope you’ll join us around the table and on the dance floor sometime soon!