Liz Pahl met Ada Woodson Adams and Carol Kuhre while working for the Athens County Foundation in the mid-2010s.
“I remember thinking, ‘I’ve heard their names,” Pahl said. “But when I learned of their contributions in this area, I was blown away.”
Kuhre, a longtime community organizer, co-founded Rural Action and had been its executive director. Adams, activist and historian, is the former president and co-founder of the Multicultural Genealogical Center in Chesterhill, Ohio.
“Back then my daughters were little and I was like, ‘I want them to hear their stories,’” Pahl said.
Even after Pahl moved to a job at Ohio University, the idea of Southeast Ohio’s influential women and their travels stuck with her.
“This project was haunting me – it chose me and wasn’t going to let go until I did,” she said.
Along the way, Pahl had found two other inspirations: civil rights and social justice activist Francine Childs, Emeritus Professor of African American Studies at Ohio University, and Dru Riley Evarts, an icon for generations. graduates of OU’s Scripps School of Journalism.
“It would still be a movie,” Pahl said. “I wanted you to see the emotions on their faces.”
But Pahl had never made a movie before, so she asked her friend Andie Walla, an assistant professor at the School of Media Arts and Studies, for advice on getting started.
“She was like, ‘You’re the director-producer, you need a cinematographer,'” Pahl recalls. “‘I will do it.'”
The team was completed by Delia Palmisano and Melissa Salpietra, both experienced media and multimedia producers.
The result is “Legacy: Women of Southeast Ohio,” a series of short films (10-15 minutes) that present each woman’s story and thoughts in their own words.
The project received support from the Athens County Foundation Women’s Fund, the Stuart Opera’s After-School Music Program, the Flournoy and Voss families and a GoFundme campaign.
Receiving funds from two former employers – the Athens County Foundation and the Stuart Opera House – was “really special to me,” Pahl said.
Pahl plans to enter the films into the Athens Film Festival and embed them on their website, www.lizpahl.com.
A public screening will take place this Friday, August 27 at Stuart’s Opera House in Nelsonville. A moderate question-and-answer session with the filmmakers and women of the film will follow. Doors open at 6 p.m. and start of the show at 7 p.m.
Although admission is free, tickets are sold to raise funds for the Mt. Zion Baptist Church Preservation Society. To purchase tickets, go to www.stuartsoperahouse.org. Options are available at $ 5, $ 10, $ 20, or $ 50.
The Stuart Opera House requires all customers to present proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of the show. All clients should wear a mask regardless of their immunization status.