“We’re there to be a reflection of everything that is good about the South.” -Alice Pierotti
In this installment of Community Chats, we are joined by Alice Pierotti, executive director/producer of Thacker Mountain Radio. She discusses the history and the future of Thacker Mountain and what motivates her and her team to keep pushing to highlight the culture of literature, music, and art in rural Mississippi. Tune in to learn more about Thacker Mountain and how they continue this staple of the LOU community since 1997.
A native of Mississippi, Alice moved out to Colorado when she was 19, but could not resist the call back home. After 17 years out of state, she moved back down south to work as a librarian at the Como library. As a dedicated Thacker fan, she attended as many events as possible, went to live shows, and supported the art and culture of Lafayette County. In August of 2019, she was hired as Thacker Mountain’s executive director/producer. “Thacker Mountain is like a dream job for me,” Alice says. To Alice, Thacker Mountain Radio has always been a way for her to stay connected to literature and the Mississippi culture that is so close to her heart, and this position was the perfect way for her to contribute to rural Mississippi.
Thacker Mountain Radio started as an idea between a book seller and local artists back in 1997 and has, for 23 years, been a staple of the LOU community. “We’re an old time radio show,” Alice says. Live shows at Off Square Books, the Lyric, and the Double Decker Festival are beloved traditions that draw out crowds from across the region. The show highlights authors, musicians, and other local artists and broadcasts across Mississippi and Alabama as well as other states.
To make this all possible, Alice has a team made up of their house band, The Yalobushwhackers, the host, Jim Dees, and sounds engineers as well as their volunteer board and Claire Byrne, the Assistant Director. They all work hard to ensure that Thacker Mountain Radio continues to promote arts and culture across the region. Especially now, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Thacker Mountain Radio has worked tirelessly, pivoting their communications methods, fundraising, and strategic planning to keep going. When asked what motivates her to do this work, Alice harps on her love for rural Mississippi. “I know why I wake up in the morning: arts and culture, celebrating our story, and making sure the world has access to it,” Alice says. “I believe in rural Mississippi.” Alice’s love for rural Mississippi shines through in this interview. She describes Mississippi literature and music as “unmatched” in the rest of the world, and the work she and her team does with Thacker Mountain sends that message to all listeners, young and old.
If you would like to learn more about Thacker Mountain Radio, visit their website at thackermountain.com and learn more about their upcoming fall season. You can also donate to their Thanks Thacker donation drive on their website, and be sure to check out their socially distanced videos from the Yalobushwhackers, the Thacker Mountain house band, on their Youtube channel. If you missed some of their summer shows, you can stream past shows through their show archives on SoundCloud. As always, you can find this interview and others on Community Engagement’s Facebook page, Youtube channel, or your favorite podcast provider.
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