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For belly dancer Ellie Olin, Athens is a place to express herself through Middle Eastern dance. Olin is one of two belly dancers who take turns entertaining the Saturday-night dinner crowd at Restaurant Salaam in Athens.

The Athens area is full of forward-thinking people: folks who break the mold or do things one wouldn’t expect. These progressive individuals, presented through portraits, challenge popular notions of Appalachia.

Family dairy farms were once plentiful in Athens County but are now facing extinction due to commercial farming. At nearly 80 years old, Bernard and Loretta Allen are one of the few remaining dairy businesses in the county.

Not only do Don MacRostie and Dan Erlewine build and repair musical instruments together, but they also play music together every Friday.