TEDxCorbin speaker Kristin Smith talks about her part in the first annual event

CORBIN, Ky. (WYMT) - The first annual TEDxCorbin event is coming to Corbin, highlighting forefront members of the community helping their area thrive.

TEDx is independent TED-like events, comprised of local speakers talking about topics and discussions.

For Corbin, speakers will talk about Appalachia and their heritage, especially talking about how they are thriving in cities like theirs.

"Especially for people in the Appalachia, so many people have told our stories. And, to tell our own stories with our own voices," says TEDxCorbin speaker, Kristin Smith.

The theme of the event is "grounded," something that describes Smith's life and coming back home after traveling and studying around the world.

"I moved from China to San Francisco for grad work and then back home to take over my family farm. And, there weren't all these entertainments that I was used to," Smith says.

She says she was tired of driving to Lexington or Knoxville for a similar restaurant atmosphere, so she, along with two co-owners, opened The Wrigley Taproom and Eatery. Today, co-owners John Baker and Smith sill run the restaurant in downtown Corbin.

In doing so, Smith helped spearhead the Corbin downtown area, go ing from 40 percent vacancy to almost nothing in three years.

It is something locals say is bringing life back into Corbin's downtown they remember from years past.

"Older folks in the community are saying that it's coming back and for me, that's exciting to be a part of. And, I think that's what the TED-X stage really wants to capture and tell. It's a really important story to tell that Eastern Kentucky isn't dying, it's actually thriving," Smith adds.

The TEDxCorbin conference will be held at the 2nd and Main building in downtown Corbin on March 9th.

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