Grow Appalachia -- Now in its second year of operation at the center is a “Gardening” project, funded through the Berea College Appalachian Fund, with its funds coming from an individual who is very interested in helping families in the Appalachian mountains grow more of their own food. John Paul Dejoria, is a successful businessman who has surmounted enormous odds and who believes strongly that “Success not shared is failure”. John Paul is Co Founder and CEO of John Paul Mitchell Systems. He has tackled the hunger problem in Africa, but he has come to believe that it is time to address hunger and food security issues in the United States. The basic purpose of Grow Appalachia is to teach and support the people of Appalachia in addressing the tragedy of hunger in the region by learning to grow their own food to feed themselves. Cowan has 45 participating families, with more calling almost daily to be a part of the program.
Cowan Creek Community Theater-- With the success of the CCMMS, and some success experienced with a small effort of Cowan ladies telling their stories through an act called “It’s About Time”, an idea was born to establish a “Community Theater”. Efforts are now underway to collect stories from folks throughout Letcher County that would be reflective of what life has been like through the years as told about their gardening and food collection efforts. These stories are going to be scripted by playwright, Angie DeBord, and presented during this year’s Mountain Heritage Festival. Story telling is only going to be one component of the theater project as there are plans for presenting a wide variety of plays once this first phase has been launched. This phase of learning to develop a theater concept has been funded with a grant from the Brushy Fork Institute of Berea, KY and the Appalachian Regional Commission.
Center Rentals and Facility for other Community Functions – In addition to the programs described above, the center also houses a Head Start Program, funded through the Letcher, Knott, Leslie, and Perry County Community Action Agency. It also serves as the main facility in the community for events such as family reunions, birthday parties, showers, receptions, community meetings, and any need within the community requiring a public space.