Re-Imagine Appalachia and Win $500

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 1, 2011) — Barefoot children, outhouses and shacks with no running water: These are some of the first images you might find if you search under "Appalachia."

Zak Pence, Communication Director for the University of Kentucky Appalachian Center, is tired of looking at the same clichéd imagery on every Appalachian-themed website.

"The way we think about the Appalachian Region has grown stale over the past decade," he said. "I think it would be refreshing to see another side of the region. We need to focus on the region’s urbanized areas, cultural centers and the smaller communities that are benefiting from decades of economic development initiatives and careful planning."

Pence and the Appalachian Center are giving Kentuckians a chance to help change the stereotype with "Re-Imaging Appalachia," a contest for exciting and interesting photographs that challenge the standard notions of what it means to be Appalachian.

The winner will receive $500, while second and third place will receive $150 and $100, respectively.

Thirty finalists will be put on display at UK and featured in an upcoming calendar. The deadline for submissions is May 2, with judging to be completed by June 8.

While the contest is open to photographers of all levels, photos that are high quality, unique, creative and display non-stereotypical representations of the Appalachian Region are most likely to win.

"This is our way of starting the conversation," said Pence. "Images can sometimes speak louder than words."

UK students are also eligible to compete for the cash prizes. Apply online at Questions may be directed to Pence, at

The UK Appalachian Center addresses the issues, challenges, and opportunities in Appalachia by building robust partnerships and networks throughout the region.

MEDIA CONTACT: Erin Holaday Ziegler, (859) 257-1754, ext. 252;