Making Connections: Diversifying Our Future is a multimedia storytelling platform and radio/video/web series created by Mimi Pickering and Sylvia Ryerson.  The project covers people, organizations and businesses that are leading the way in building a healthy, sustainable and just Appalachia, and tackles the challenges the region faces ahead.  The stories, information, ideas, and opinions presented are crafted to foster further conversations and spur action.  Since 2010, Ryerson and Pickering have produced over 100 stories that have aired on WMMT-FM Mountain Community Radio, local public access television channels, KET: Kentucky Educational Television, and Kentucky and West Virginia Public Radio, reaching people across the Central Appalachian coalfield region.  Explore the full archive at www.makingconnectionsnew.org

  • Mountain Talk with Tom Brown (excerpt)10:50

Mountain News and World Report is a bi-weekly news and public affairs program on WMMT-FM, covering the people, history, arts, culture and social issues of Appalachia. Ryerson produced and hosted the show from 2010 - 2014.  See the full show archive here


Calls From Home is a weekly program airing on WMMT-FM in Whitesburg, Kentucky. Every Monday night the show sends messages and songs out over the radio from familymembers to their loved ones incarcerated in the mountains of Central Appalachia. The show was created in response to aggressive state and federal initiatives to build prisons to offset a declining Appalachian coal mining economy - eight prisons are now located within a 100-mile radius of the station. Many of the people incarcerated in these prisons are hundreds if not thousands of miles away from home, and the show provides a lifeline for families to stay connected. Ryerson produced and hosted the show with the CFH collective from 2011 - 2014. Hear an interview Ryerson did with Robin Young on NPR's Here and Now about the program here, and learn more at Calls From Home.

Sawdust Sounds    Works by Sylvia Ryerson

  • Mountain News and World Report (excerpt)10:43

Mountain Talk is an hour-long call in talk show on WMMT - FM Ryerson hosted regularly from 2011-2014, discussing a wide variety of topics pertaining to life in the mountains - from moderating debates over school consolidation to interviewing local authors and featuring guest musicians.  See the full show archive here

  • Calls Collage3:22

  • Laid Off and Looking For Answers (excerpt)3:30
  • After Coal: Wales & Appalachia8:32
  • Like a Car Settin' on Blocks: Broadband in Appalachia10:40
  • SOAR: What's Next for EKY?10:48
  • The Town Too Tough To Die9:11
  • More Than Mail (excerpt)9:42