Artisans in Floyd County have come together with SONG members in Virginia to admonish the Floyd County Board of Supervisors for their foolish and cowardly decision not to complete basic paperwork that would match funding for beloved programs benefitting the youth of our county. With the Board of Supervisors’ inaction, June Bug Center for Arts and Education programs such as the Junior Appalachian Musicians Program (JAMS) and the Junior Engineers Program will miss out on thousands of dollars that could have developed young people’s skills to one day pursue honest work that provides for their families.

We interpret this move as a continued pattern of retaliation against the June Bug Center by the Board of Supervisors after they hosted a Pride Month drag show event and tabled at a Juneteenth Celebration last year. Further, without the proper funding for these programs, our youth miss out on the opportunity to continue the traditional arts that have made their home county, Floyd, Virginia, famous. 

We are asking that artisans and allies of Floyd County take three actions:

 1: Write or call Floyd’s supervisors to inform them you are disappointed by the board’s inaction.

Here’s how to contact the board: 

2: Post a picture or video of yourself on your social media with the hashtags #FundFloydArts and #LivingTradition and write or speak about ways your art or craft maintains Appalachian and Floyd culture.  

3: Reach out to other local and Appalachian artisans to participate as well! 

It is especially egregious that Floyd’s County Board neglected this opportunity when our town council had already approved and applied for matching funds for the June Bug Center. This funding failure comes on the heels of Floyd County’s school board voting to prohibit an in-progress community reading of “WishTree” due to pressure from groups such as Moms for Liberty over the book’s non-binary, self-pollinating tree narrator. The author, Catherine Applegate, has issued a statement aimed directly at Floyd County’s youth, expressing her dismay at the school board’s action and encouraging kids to be courageous and see books as “both a window and a mirror,” allowing us autonomy over our minds, our reflections and our new experiences. Further, Applegate says she wrote the book “in response to the “othering of whole communities” of immigrants and people of color”. 

We see the inaction of the Board of Supervisors as a direct attack on our autonomy and Floyd’s ability to be the diverse and inclusive place it is known to be. The right-wing ecosystem has responded to the life-enhancing expansion of rights and increased visibility of LGBTQIA+ people, Black, Indigenous, and people of color in recent years by fueling cultural and political backlash, such as banning drag shows, and now by neglecting crucial funding for the Arts. This backlash also manifests in conversations that characterize any and all LGBTQIA+ people as abusers, deviants, and dangers to society, especially children. These are narratives that have similarly been used against Black people and people of color to justify racial segregation and increased criminalization. 

People in Floyd County, with the support of SONG, took on the Board of Supervisors last year when they attempted to rescind funding from our beloved Junebug Center, using a similar reactionary approach. Thankfully, the Board of Supervisors did not rescind the funding, but now we are experiencing another right-wing attack. 

Call to action: 

On April 1, the Floyd Board of Supervisors must make a decision to match the funding. 

Join SONG members in Floyd to support Floyd County’s vibrant artisan community on April 1st (April Fools Day) beginning at 5 pm under the 200-year-old maple tree next to the Village Green, 201 East Main Street, Floyd VA, 24091.

Whether leaders in Floyd choose to do the right thing and match the funding OR decide to neglect our youth, bring your best April foolery and call out our local leader’s foolishness! Please contact for more info. 

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