Appalachian Arts Alliance

Founded in 2013


Founded in 2013 the Appalachian Arts Alliance is the vision of people in the Eastern Kentucky community of Hazard, Kentucky. A visioning session pulled back the curtain on the hidden need for arts programming and education. AppalArts began serving the community immediately by developing partnerships with local arts groups and launching programming.

In 2019, the ArtStation, also known as the “Big Blue Building” which renovated the former bus stop and transformed it into a community meeting and education space for artists and musicians.

Appalachian Arts Alliance currently operated programs such as, Hazard Arts Academy, HazART, Thursday’s on the Triangle, and more!


"We're here to provide a free space where artists and musicians can share their special gifts to the world."

Tim Deaton, Executive Director

Our Team

Tim Deaton

Executive Director

Timothy Deaton, is the Executive Director of the Appalachian Arts Alliance. After studying Music and Theatre Education at Morehead State University, and a short stent in New York performing in numerous Theatrical and Operatic Productions, Tim returned to the Mountains, where his heart had remained.

Tim has a passion for community, the arts, and Appalachia. Tim first came to the organization as a member of the Board of Directors. He resigned from the board, applied and became the new Executive Director in November of 2019. Tim led the organization through the construction of the ArtStation while simultaneously leading us through a global pandemic. Tim has brought a new life and energy to AAA, his ability to develop programs, fundraise, and strategize, has helped AAA become a regional leader in the Arts, while helping to lead his community through a major revitalization.

Tim is a trained vocalist, actor, and dancer. His leadership as a young, queer, professional in the region has been a shining example of overcoming obstacles and true Appalachian Resiliency. Through AAA, Tim has integrated arts, culture and design in to efforts that have strengthened our community, thereby preserving it for generations to come.

Lindsey Branson

Director of Education

Lindsey Branson is from Viper, Kentucky. That’s the place where she fell in love with all things that involve the arts. Always participating in choirs, singing competitions, and that eventually led to playing instruments.

Lindsey taught herself to play the guitar at the age of 16 and as she got older that led her to the Kentucky School of Bluegrass and Traditional Music. She studied there for 3 years and learned about the history of Bluegrass and Traditional music, recording technology, the joy of playing music with other people, and learned how to play the Mandolin by the amazing Bobby Osborne. 
After her time at KSBTM, she went on to receive her Bachelor’s Degree in Music Business and Minor in Entertainment Technology at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. 
Lindsey moved away from her home for 4 years while receiving her education and eventually located back to Hazard, Kentucky. That is where she found the Appalachian Arts Alliance. As the Director of Education, Lindsey is in charge of all educational classes and programming. She also gets to teach her passion of music in her community as a guitar, mandolin, and Kindermusik instructor. 

Luke Davis

Director of Operations

Luke Davis was born and raised in Hazard, Kentucky. His childhood was steeped in music, as both his parents were accomplished vocalists and instrumentalists. Luke began performing with church and school choirs at a very young age and continued to do so into his adult life.

At age 12 he began playing guitar and began performing locally playing and singing. After graduating from Hazard High School in 2004 he moved to Nashville Tennessee to study Music Business at Belmont University, and to explore what opportunities music city might offer him.
While studying at Belmont he continued to hone his craft as a guitar player, eventually trying his hand at playing as a profession. By the time he graduated college, he had made a name for himself as a “side man” in Nashville. After completing his degree in 2008, he began working as a touring guitar player full time. He would spend the next decade touring the country with an array of national touring artists. Starting in clubs and honky-tonks, his career eventually led to notable stages all over the country, among them the Ryman Auditorium, and the Grand Ole Opry, as well as performances on national television.
After nearly a decade of heavy touring, Luke sought a change of pace. In 2017 he returned to Hazard and went to work helping manage one of his family’s businesses. In early 2019 he was offered a position with the Appalachian Arts Alliance as Programming Coordinator and happily accepted. It wasn’t long after the opening of the ArtStation in 2020, that Luke was promoted to Director of Operations.