Stop 6. Appalachian Center

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Named for Loyal Jones, founding director of Berea College’s Appalachian Center and a prolific writer about Appalachian culture and humor, the Appalachian Center presents an ongoing program of educational exhibits. The LJAC Gallery is the heart of the Center. Designed as a quickly transformable multifunctional space, it serves as visitor center, classroom, exhibition space, student hangout, theater, meeting room, and performance hall. The standing exhibit, on display since 2006 but changing constantly, is Explore Appalachia. Centered around a 12 foot square relief map of the region, the exhibit includes a thirty pound block of coal–the amount required to generate the average daily electrical usage of the typical American household; a map of all the places in Appalachia where energy is generated and fuels are extracted; information about the history, naming, and definition of Appalachia; and a little about Appalachian dialect. An interactive exhibit, built around a working 1979 Dolly Parton pinball machine, explores Appalachian identity and representation. The machine is available for free play during gallery hours, limit two games per patron per day. The LJAC Gallery is open to public visitors weekdays from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, except when in use by classes, for special programs, and on Berea College Holidays. Housed in Stephenson Hall, the LJAC is partially powered by a 15,000-watt, 66 panel photovoltaic collection system installed in 2009.