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Women of Appalachia Project Announces Advocate Award

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The Women of Appalachia Project (WOAP), now in its seventh year, will add an additional dimension: the Appalachian Advocate Award.

According to Kari Gunter-Seymour, founder/curator of WOAP, the award will go to an outstanding Appalachian woman who has dedicated herself to enhancing the well-being of Appalachian culture, Appalachian women’s health, Appalachian families or Appalachian land issues.

“There are so many women throughout Appalachia who are steadfastly working for change. It is so appropriate for WOAP to provide a venue for recognition for these women who often go unsung,” said Gunter-Seymour.

Women residing in any of the 164 counties of Appalachia are eligible for nomination.

The nominations and voting process will take place online. Those interested are instructed to:

1. Go to and “like” the page.

2. Upload a photograph of the women to be nominated and a three paragraph narrative describing the contributions the candidate has made to Appalachia.

3. Notify friends that they may vote for the candidate with a “like” to the page and then a “like” to the post featuring the women nominated.

4. Please note that those wishing to vote may need to scroll down the page to find their candidate.

5. Nominations and votes will be accepted through Jan. 31, 2016. The winner will be announced and will receive the award on Feb. 12, 2016 at the Fine Art Opening Reception in the Ohio University Multicutural Center Art Gallery, Baker University Center, Athens campus, at 6 p.m.

The 2016 award will be designed and produced by local artists Jessica Held and Tere Sager, well-known for their mixed media, acrylic and polymer series House of Love.

The Women of Appalachia Project encourages participation from women of diverse backgrounds, ages and experiences to come together, embrace the stereotype and show the whole woman, beyond the superficial factors that people use to judge her, according to a WOA press release.

The mission of the WOA events is to showcase the way in which female artists respond to the Appalachian region as a source of inspiration, through events which showcase fine art and spoken word, with the intention that the gathering of artwork and spoken word will prove to be greater than the sum of its parts as visual and verbal themes emerge through the intertwining of the artwork and language.

The organization hopes that the confluence of ideas and inspirations will empower other regional female artists and the surrounding community so that they might continue the narrative.

The public is invited to attend all Winter/Spring seventh annual events. For event information, visit