Free Hill: Renewal and Rememory

Free Hill: Renewal and Rememory is both a virtual and place-based exhibition of The Rural Assembly.

Conceived and curated by multimedia producer Xandr Brown, the exhibit uses portraiture, video, oral accounts, multimedia to explore the story of Free Hill, a community founded by free Black Americans in Athens, Tennessee in the 1850s and dismantled by urban renewal more than century later. “The Rural Assembly wanted to explore what it means to grapple with local history and the process of uncovering what has come before so we can pave the way for what comes after,” said Whitney Kimball-Coe, vice president for national programs at The Center for Rural Strategies and director of The Rural Assembly.

This exhibit illustrates the way historical phenomena don’t happen in a world beyond us; rather they occur in the things we heard, what we felt, what we didn’t understand, and what we try so desperately to never forget. 

After you explore the exhibit, please share your thoughts with us, including whether you or your organization would be interested in hosting the exhibit in your community. 

Virtual exhibit

View the exhibit

Free Hill: Renewal and Rememory

In person

Visit the exhibit in person

Free Hill: Renewal and Rememory Now on display at The Athens Area Council for the Arts in Athens, Tennessee


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on linkedin
From Our Blog

Recent Posts

Julie Rae Powers illustration

Drawing Resilience: Julie Rae Powers

Julie Rae Powers’ photographic and written work has focused on family history, coal, Appalachia, the queer “female” gaze, the butch body, and queer chosen families. They are the author and editor of the forthcoming Reclamation: Queering Appalachia’s Visual History and the memoir To Thine Own Self Be True, both out in 2024.

students work in kitchen

Work-based learning and apprenticeship: The challenge of being rural

Apprenticeship presents a powerful strategy to connect jobseekers to family-supporting wages and career advancement opportunities. While there has been significant funding dedicated to the development of registered apprenticeships over the past several years, rural communities and especially rural young adults have largely not benefited.