TUESDAY, APRIL 14
10:00a - 2:00p Pre-conference Event: "Singing in the Smokies "(Optional, pre-registration required, space limited)
Participants will travel to Greenbrier park in the Smoky Mountains National Park to learn about local history and traditions. Participants will picnic in the park and enjoy traditional music and storytelling. Participants will do a short walk to see the blooming wildflowers and a nearby creek.
To learn more, read about the Greenbrier area in this “Off the Beaten Path” National Park guide to the Great Smoky Mountains.
12:00p Registration Opens
Pick up your program, name tag, and check in at the venue.
2:15-3:00p Update and Introduction to the Network Theory of Change
Introduction to the Appalachia Funders Network for first time attendees and others wanting to deepen their knowledge of AFN’s strategy and theory of change
2:30 – 5:30p Group Meetings (Current Group or Prospective Members Only)
- 2:30-4:00p Equity, Energy & Natural Resources, and Food and Agriculture Systems
- 4:15-5:45p Arts and Culture, Health, and Place-Based Foundations
3:15- 5:30p Invest Appalachia Series and Open Space
Open Space is a time for attendees to organically share and connect. Attendees are enabled to design their own agenda during this time & ensures that important topics that emerge during the Gathering have an opportunity to be discussed.
- 3:15-4:15p First Session of Open Space and "Impact Investing 101" in Invest Appalachia Series
- 4:30- 5:30p Second Session of Open Space and "Invest Appalachia Information and Update" in Invest Appalachia Series
5:30 – 6:00p Break
6:00 – 8:00p Opening Reception with musical performance, Hills and Hollows, sponsored by United Healthcare
(Registration in Pre-function Area and Reception in Falls Room)
There will be an official opening and welcome from the Appalachia Funders Network Steering Committee Co-Chairs, Lora Smith and Mary Hunt. Then, enjoy dinner and drinks with old and new friends.
During the reception, there will be a musical and storytelling performance by a local group, "Hills and Hollows". See our performers page to learn more.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 15
7:00 – 7:45a Wake-up Yoga Class or Walk (optional)
Start the day bright and early by enjoying a yoga class or walk led by Network members.
7:45a Registration Opens
Pick up your program, name tag, and check in to the venue.
8:00 – 9:45a Welcome, Breakfast, and Keynote sponsored by Tennessee Department of Health
Our 11th Annual Gathering will be moderated and hosted by the Michelle Foster of the Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation and keynoted by Sarah Smarsh, best selling author of Heartland and host of podcast Homecomers. Smarsh will discuss issues of class, equity, and gender in rural America.
9:45 – 10:15a Networking Opportunity and Break
Connect with colleagues and decide which Deep Dive to attend.
10:00 – 11:30a Equity Focused Deep Dives
Deep Dives will continue from the morning's discussion on equity. These are informal discussions and presentations by funders on equity issues in Central Appalachia. Tentative sessions include:
- Concrete Strategies for Improving Internal Equity
- Strategies for Addressing Health Disparities
- Criminal Justice Reform in Appalachia
- Civic Engagement
- Looking at the Numbers: Equity Data in Appalachia
11:30 – 12:00p Networking Opportunity and Break
Connect with colleagues before lunch.
12:00 - 1:15p Lunch and Performance by Carpetbag Theatre Company
Enjoy a lunch and interactive performance by Carpetbag Theatre Company, one of America's longest standing African American Theatre troops based in Knoxville, TN. See our performers page to learn more.
1:40 - 5:30p Learning Journeys
Participants will board busses to travel to their pre-selected learning journey set in Eastern Tennessee.
Highlander Research and Education Center sponsored by the Chorus Foundation
6:00 - 8:00p Celebration of 11 Years of the Appalachia Funders Network sponsored by the Federal Reserve Banks of Richmond and Cleveland
Enjoy a feast of southern foods with a surprise performance.
8:00- 9:00p Afterparty and Trivia (optional)
Continue to deepen the connections made throughout the Gathering by networking and having fun!
THURSDAY, APRIL 16
8:00-9:00a Networking Breakfast and Official Closing
Enjoy a breakfast with new and old colleagues while hearing closing remarks from a Network leader.
9:00 - 10:15a Looking At and Beyond the Numbers in Appalachia led by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond
This will be an informative presentation on the state of the economy nationally and then focused in on central Appalachia. The presentation will explore data surrounding workforce development and the Opioid Crisis. This session will led by economists from the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
10:30 – 11:30p Critical Conversations, Open Space, and Final Invest Appalachia Session
- Workforce Development join this critical conversation led by Federal Reserve Bank economists.
- Opioid Epidemic join this critical conversation led by Federal Reserve Bank economists.
- Open Space is a time for attendees to organically share and connect. Attendees are enabled to design their own agenda during this time & ensures that important topics that emerge during the Gathering have an opportunity to be discussed.
- "Blended Capital: Connections between CDFIs and Funders" this is the final session of the three Invest Appalachia sessions.
11:45-12:30p Closing Lunch
Enjoy a lunch with colleagues or take a meal for the road.
1:00p Dollywood Theme Park (optional)
Many participants will be heading to the nearby Dollywood Theme park to enjoy rides and Dolly fun.
The Dollywood theme park pass is not included with registration. This is a separate fee and can be purchased on site or online prior to the event.