My Story To Tell In January 2009, Brittany Hunsaker and Willa Johnson, of the Appalachian Media Institute, and I began a project together in Letcher County, Kentucky. Our initial idea was to promote dialogue and creativity among young people, partially in response to media portrayals of Eastern Kentuckians that perpetuated outsiders' "hillbilly" stereotypes. Brittany and Willa worked with students in local schools to make photographs about "success," “home” and “respect.” From these pictures, we made 500 5”x7” postcards and passed them out to people in our community: youth groups, local businesses, church groups, senior citizens, friends and family. We asked them to write a story for us. We were amazed to read the complicated, beautiful, often intimate stories people wanted to share in response to our simple request. In May, we transformed the abandoned old Post Office in Whitesburg into a temporary art space. In front of the PO boxes, we hung photographs. At the table where customers had previously opened their mail, we left blank postcards for exhibit-goers to fill out. Visitors were invited into the mail-sorting space, where we hung more photographs and works by local artists. We placed the filled-out postcards in the empty PO boxes for visitors to read. Willa used her mother’s decorations to set a dinner table in the middle of the space. At suppertime, we served a traditional Appalachian meal: soupbeans, corn bread and banana pudding. Afterwards, we documented our process in a book that shows how things like soupbeans, letters, and art-making, things that can happen anywhere, in any community, can bring people together in meaningful ways. After the exhibit, we sent out these postcards to people around the county, the country and the world. We like to imagine someone going to their mailbox in Harlan or Lexington or California or Jakarta and finding a picture and a story from Letcher County.