Produced by WMMT in Whitesburg, Kentucky, "Calls from Home" is a weekly radio show that broadcasts messages from friends and family of those incarcerated in the prison system of Central Appalachia. WMMT is the non-commercial, community radio service of Appalshop, Inc., a not-for-profit multimedia arts center founded in Whitesburg in 1969 as an economic development project of the War on Poverty.
"Calls from Home" records calls every Monday night from 7-9pm, and then broadcasts the messages from 9-10pm. WMMT’s local radio signal reaches: United States Penitentiary Big Sandy in Inez, KY; Otter Creek Correctional Center in Wheelwright, KY; Wallens Ridge State Prison in Wise County, VA; Red Onion State Prison in Wise County, VA; Keen Mountain Correctional Center in Oakwood, VA; United States Penitentiary Lee in Lee County, VA; Wise Correctional Unit in Coeburn, VA, and many regional jails and detention centers. Seven of these eight penitentiaries were built in the last 20 years, and they house prisoners whose families live hundreds and in some cases thousands of miles away.
"Calls from Home" immediately follows "Hot 88.7 Hip Hop from the Hill Top," one of only two hip hop radio shows broadcast from the coalfields of southeastern Kentucky -- both produced by WMMT. Hosted in turn by DJ Jewelz, DJ Sly Rye, DJ Izzy Lizzy and DJ Amelia, the show features the best of old school, new school, underground and southern hip hop, every Monday night from 7-9 pm.
We're grateful to Appalshop, WMMT, Amelia Kirby, Sylvia Ryerson, Elizabeth Sanders, and Ada Smith for their vision, generous support of this video, and commitment to the many families with loved ones in prison. For more information, visit wmmt.org and appalshop.org.
Produced by Field Studio, May-July 2012
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