Appalachian Foodways Practitioner Fellowship

Grow Appalachia, the Appalachian Studies Association, and Mid Atlantic Arts’ Central Appalachia Living Traditions program are thrilled to host the Appalachian Foodways Practitioner Fellowship to honor, celebrate, and support foodways tradition bearers and practitioners in the Appalachian region.

Fellows may include, but are not limited to home cooks and bakers, seed savers, farmers, community elders, keepers of recipes and traditional foodways knowledge, hunters, and foragers, who have made significant and long-term contributions to sustaining and supporting the foodways heritage of their respective communities

Applications Open

2022 Fellow

Yawah Awolowo

Application & Fellowship Information

Geographic Priority

Applicants must be from an Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) designated county and state. Priority will be given to applicants from OH, VA, and WV.

ARC County Map

Important Dates and Reporting

Fellowship applications open December 12, 2022 and are due February 1st, 2023. The fellowship will begin March 1, 2023, and is expected to be wrapped up by February 29, 2024. Final reports will be due March 31, 2024.

Reporting Form coming soon

Application Form

This year’s process includes an online application. Applicants are encouraged to use a separate tool to answer questions and then copy information into the form directly. The application requires 4 short answers of roughly 350 words or less.

At this time, we can only award fellowships to applicants 18 years and older.

Apply now

Award and Recognition

Fellows will be honored at an awards ceremony and invited to present at a session at the 2023 Appalachian Studies Association Annual Conference in Athens, OH. In addition to the monetary award of $4,000, fellows will receive a unique physical award created by an Appalachian artist.


During their fellowship year, applicants will be expected to participate in a site visit consisting of an interview and photo documentation conducted by a Mid Atlantic Arts contracted fieldworker.

Work Samples

Applicants should upload 3 work samples of the highest quality available, with both recent and past examples to demonstrate the quality and longevity of the applicant’s contributions. Samples may include Youtube links, audio clips, photos, website url, etc.

Please follow file saving guidelines outlined in the application.

Previous Fellows

Yawah Awolowo – Knoxville, TN

Yawah Awolowo is a culinary artist, community activist, and owner of the Organic Roots Cafe, the only organic vegan/vegetarian cafe in Knoxville, Tennessee. She works to share knowledge about food and agriculture, especially vegan and vegetarian cooking, and to foster “living cuisine” that prioritizes healthy minds and bodies within traditional foodways. Awolowo created the Urban Youth Network and Garden Program for children living in public housing, and she has served as Assistant Executive Chef at the Children’s Defense Fund’s Haley Farm and Workshop Center Manager at the Highlander Research and Education Center. She is a member of National Women in Agriculture and Vice President of Cottage House, Inc., a women’s organization that focuses on agriculture and youth. She has traveled the world as a community food activist and hosted a workshop at the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Awolowo will be using the fellowship monies to support her Functional Foods project, educating the next generation in Appalachia on traditional foodways, nutrition, and “living cuisines.”

Siblings Rebecka and Travis Fugate are the owners and operators of Good For Your Heart Farms in Eastern Kentucky and passionate foodways practitioners. They were raised in a family of rich Appalachian foodways traditions, and Rebecka was inspired by her son’s dietary needs to begin growing and preserving her own food. Rebecka helped establish the Knott County Farmers Market, through an AmeriCorps VISTA position at Hindman Settlement School, and Rebecka and Travis are active members of Grow Appalachia. They regularly lead educational tours of the farm for young adults in the area and have twice hosted the Kentucky Rural-Urban Exchange, which helps urban and rural participants discover their unique and shared heritages. Rebecka earned a Home-Based Micro Processing Certification to extend her community’s access to local food and teaches others how to preserve and can themselves. With the GoodForYourHeartFarm YouTube channel, Rebecka and Travis are sharing their knowledge and experience with a larger audience as well. Rebecka and Travis will use their fellowship funds to invest in a seed-saving vault, build a website, and support professional development opportunities that will assist them in their foodways work with K-12 students.

Travis & Rebecka Fugate –

Emmalena, KY

Wayne Riley – London, KY

Wayne Riley is the founder and director of Kentucky’s Laurel County African American Heritage Center, an organization committed to conserving the traditions and legacy of the local African American community. Riley founded LCAAHC in honor of his late aunt, Lutisha Riley Bailey, and his work has had an immeasurable impact on the community, particularly inlocal foodways. He founded Heritage Farms and Heritage Community Commercial Kitchen, where residents can prepare food items for sale and learn about local traditions of preserving and canning. His regular barbecues and fish fries are well-known in the community. As director of LCAAHC, Riley has also coordinated oral history projects and summer youth programs and led community-wide events like birthday celebrations of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Riley is also the manager and director of the Grow Appalachia Food Security Project in Laurel County. He has completed the Brushy Fork Institute programs for Management of Non-Profit Organizations and Ordinary Communities Achieving Extraordinary Results, and he is a recipient of the Berea College Service Award. Riley will be using his fellowship funds to improve the heat and air system of the Heritage Community Kitchen.

The Appalachian Foodways Practitioner Fellowship is made possible by Mid Atlantic Arts’ Central Appalachia Living Traditions program.