Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Bill Richardson, August 16, 2015

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries


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00:00:02 - Leaving Appalshop and starting an architecture firm / Ideas on leadership

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Partial Transcript: This is Jeff Keith and Rayna Gellert sitting down with Bill Richardson for a second interview, um, in the Appalshop video history project.

Segment Synopsis: Richardson talks about leaving Appalshop and getting involved with architecture again. He talks about his ideas for leading Appalshop in the early years.

Keywords: Arab-Israeli war; Architecture; Art; Community; Economic booms; Economy; Education and Labor Committee; Marshall McLuhan; Media; People; Production; Projects; Rich Kirby; Talents; Urban studies

Subjects: Appalshop, Inc.; Architectural design.; Mass media and technology.

00:12:09 - Major visitors at Appalshop / Political tensions

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Partial Transcript: Um, I wanna ask now about some of the people who came and visited.

Segment Synopsis: Richardson talks about some of the visitors at Appalshop, including director Arthur Penn and filmmaker Larry Silk. He talks about tensions between Appalshop and government programs.

Keywords: Arthur Penn; Black Mountain College; Communists; Community Action Council; Dave Adams; Films; Guns; Harry Caudill; Josephine Richardson; Larry Silk; Maxine Kenny; Mimi Pickering; Mountain Eagle (newspaper); Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO); Pat Gish; People; Pike County (Ky.); Police; Politics; Projects; Red-baiting; Roland Brown; Social issues; Tom Gish; Violence; Visitors; Writers

Subjects: Appalachian Region--Social conditions; Appalshop, Inc.; Kentucky--Politics and government

00:27:00 - Funding a nonprofit organization

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Partial Transcript: You know, we were pretty well--we set up a 501(c)(3).

Segment Synopsis: Richardson talks about establishing Appalshop as a nonprofit organization. He talks about fundraising and getting grants to fund Appalshop. He talks about earning income for Appalshop.

Keywords: 501(c)(3),; Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC); Arts; Buffalo Creek Flood: An Act of Man; Foundations; Fundraising; Income; Lamar Markessi; Lilly Foundation; Mimi Pickering; Non-profits; Organizations; Public Broadcasting Service (PBS); Smithsonian Foundation

Subjects: Appalshop, Inc.; Grants and funding; Nonprofit organizations.

00:37:02 - Cultural appreciation of film / Fundraising and grants

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Partial Transcript: Obviously they were doing things that they had maybe not even imagined years before.

Segment Synopsis: Richardson talks about how his Appalshop students changed and learned. He talks about developing appreciation for independent films. He talks about some of the fundraising that they did and their major sponsors.

Keywords: Dee Davis; Economy; Faces; Film festivals; Film societies; Fundraising; Gena Rowlands; Gibbs Kinderman; Helen Lewis; Herb E. Smith; In Your Blood; John Cassavetes; Lou Deluca; Maxine Kenny; Mimi Pickering; Mountain Institute; Outsiders at Appalshop; Rich Kirby; Short films; University of Kentucky

Subjects: Appalshop, Inc.; Motion pictures--Appreciation; Motion pictures--Production and direction.

00:49:39 - Political issues in Appalshop films / Meeting Gurney Norman and adapting his novel

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Partial Transcript: I'd like to ask one more follow-up on this cause you've, you've made it really clear that there wasn't a party line...

Segment Synopsis: Richardson talks about the various social problems that influenced Appalshop films. He recalls meeting author Gurney Norman and working on a film based on his novel.

Keywords: Andy Garrison; Buffalo Creek flood; Copyright; Divine Rights Trip; East Kentucky Concentrated Unemployment Program; Fat Monroe; Films; Funding; Gurney Norman; Hippies; Hurricane Creek mine disaster; Kent State University; Kinfolk Stories; Mountain Eagle (newspaper); Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO); Politics; Richard Nixon; Sears Roebuck; Social issues; Stax Films; Stewart Brand; Unemployment; Unemployment benefits; Wallace Stegner School of Creative Writing; Wattstax; Whole Earth Catalogue; Wilgus Stories; Work-study grants; Writers

Subjects: Appalachian Region--Social conditions; Appalshop, Inc.; Motion pictures--Production and direction

01:04:10 - Financial problems and more about getting funding / John Niles / Starting a family in Whitesburg, Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: I wanna, uh, talk, uh, a little more about something you brought up.

Segment Synopsis: Richardson talks about how Appalshop made it through financial difficulties in the 1970s and names some more sources of funding. He talks about directing a movie about John Niles, who collected and performed traditional ballads. He talks about how he and his wife ended up staying in Whitesburg after their kids were born.

Keywords: Ana Richardson; Appalshop endowment; Bingham’s Career Journal; Cincinnati Conservatory of Music; Coal industry boom-bust cycles; Contract films; Doris Olman; Family; Films; Finances; Funding; Harry Caudill; Hindman Settlement School; Italian food; Jared Richardson; Jim Edgie; John Jacob Niles; Justine Richardson; Kentucky Educational Television (KET); Kids; Louisville Fund; Projects; Rena Lipetz; Salaries; State Arts Council; State funding; Unemployment

Subjects: Appalshop, Inc.; Families.; Motion pictures--Production and direction; Nonprofit organizations.

01:18:59 - Designing the Appalshop building / Friendship with James Still

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Partial Transcript: Well now I wanna transition. I only have a few, a few questions left for you.

Segment Synopsis: Richardson talks about leaving Appalshop so he could design the new building for it. He discusses some of the elements that were included in the new building. He talks about his friendship with James Still.

Keywords: 50 Most Significant Buildings in the History of Kentucky; Acoustical theater; Architecture; Authors; Buildings; Carl D. Perkins; Don Baker; Grand opening; Jack Wright; James Still; Offices; Piazza architecture; Redfox flooding & relocation; Renovations; Ruth Brown; Warehouses; Whitesburg (Ky.); Yale Review

Subjects: Appalachian Region; Appalshop, Inc.; Architectural design.