FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 21, 2011
Melissa English, Ohio Citizen Action 513-307-8527 (cell)
Mark Utley, Music for the Mountains organizer 513-288-7170 (cell)
CINCINNATI — Greater Cincinnati will soon host two highly celebrated artists and outspoken critics of mountaintop removal coal mining during a weekend of educational and entertaining events, February 11 and 12, 2011.
Documentary film producer and 2010 West Virginia Film Maker of the Year Mari-Lynn Evans will attend a screening of her films Coal Country and Low Coal at 7pm, February 11 at Main Street Cinema, University of
Cincinnati. These two films portray the faces, facts and faults of the most pernicious mining method known, which has destroyed over 500 Appalachian mountains and buried 2,000 miles of streams under toxic rubble. Local folk/Americana bands, Magnolia Mountain, Shiny and the Spoon and the Tillers will provide a musical interlude. The event is sponsored by the University of Cincinnati Office of Sustainability, Ohio Citizen Action and Kentuckians for the Commonwealth.
Author, journalist, playwright and critic Jeff Biggers will be on-hand Saturday February 12 to speak at “Music for the Mountains”, a benefit concert held at the Southgate House in Newport, KY. In his most recent book Reckoning at Eagle Creek and in articles written for Huffington Post, Salon and the Washington Post, Mr. Biggers has criticized the coal industry and mine regulators for overstating the alleged benefits of mining and for sacrificing the environment, economy and health of Appalachians for so-called cheap energy.
“Music for the Mountains” is a compilation album and live concert created to call attention to (and raise funds to fight against) mountaintop removal. The project is spearheaded by Mark Utley of the Cincinnati-based Americana band Magnolia Mountain and features previously unreleased music from 21 regional folk, bluegrass, country and rock bands including local favorites Kim Taylor, the Tillers and Chuck Cleaver and Lisa Walker of the band Wussy. All songs were donated by the artists for the project and album production costs were raised from fans and friends through a Kickstarter.com online fundraiser. All proceeds from both the album and the concert will be split 50/50 between Ohio Citizen Action and Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, local organizations fighting against mountaintop removal coal mining. The event is sponsored by Ohio Citizen Action and Kentuckians for the Commonwealth.
Mountaintop removal coal mining is the most destructive form of strip mining where explosives are used to literally blow the tops off mountains to access underground coal seams. “Overburden” consisting of trees, rocks and soil are dumped from the mining sites into nearby streams, polluting them with heavy metals like lead, cadmium and selenium. This practice is prevalent in eastern Kentucky, western Virginia and throughout West Virginia. Many of the polluted streams are the headwaters of the Ohio River, which provides drinking water to 5 million people, including Greater Cincinnati residents.
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Ohio Citizen Action is 80,000 people who have joined together to prevent pollution. More at www.ohiocitizen.org
Mari-Lynn Evans speaks at screenings of Coal Country and Low Coal
Friday, February 11, 2011
Main Street Cinema, University of Cincinnati Campus
Doors open 6:30pm, event begins 7pm
Free and open to the public
Parking available on street or for $6 in a campus garage
Music for the Mountains benefit concert
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Southgate House, 24 East 4th Street, Newport, Kentucky
Doors open at 7pm, event begins at 8pm
$15 admission, album available for $10
More information available at http://www.facebook.com/musicforthemountains