HARLAN, Ky. (WYMT) - Local authors, artists and singers in Harlan County had the chance to show off and sell their work today! Today was the sixth annual Festival of Arts and Authors, at the Village Center Mall in Harlan.
It all started six years ago when Darla Jackson planned to have a book signing for her first book, Harlan County Haunts.
"I did not want to be in the mall, sitting, all by myself signing books all day. So I thought maybe we could invite some other people and have some fun with it," said Jackson.
Jackson and a friend organized the event into what it is today. It is a place for authors, artists, and singers from Southeastern Kentucky to show their talent to the community .
"The arts are my passion so coming to a festival like this is definitely a big deal. It's fun," said Anna Jo Creech, who displayed her artwork at her first Festival of Arts and Authors.
Jackson says even though there is plenty of inspiration to write from living in Eastern Kentucky, there are challenges that come with being an author in the area.
"Without festivals like this, it's sometimes impossible to get your work out. In Harlan County, Southeastern Kentucky, we're still somewhat isolated," Jackson said.
Bob Howard has been selling artwork for many years, and says festivals like these are important for the many kids in Harlan County he says could succeed in the arts one day.
"We need to see these every weekend around this part of the country. There's a lot of talented people here," said Howard.
Organizers say every year, at least one new artist or author showcases their work at the festival.