Matewan acting troupe hopes to fund amphitheater

Associated Press Published: October 13, 2012
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The United Mine Workers, longtime supporters of the community, is behind the amphitheater project because of Matewan's important connection to the union.

"There's no way you can separate the feud, the massacre and all the rest of this area's history without Matewan somehow being connected to it," said Butch Collins, chairman of the union's political action committee.

UMWA spokesman Phil Smith said the union will be making a donation to the project. President Cecil Roberts spoke at this year's event and was impressed with the amphitheater plans, he said.

Paterino sees it as a new opportunity to grow tourism business in the Tug Valley.

"Other places around our state have capitalized on our history for years," Paterino said. "It's time for us to get the chance to do that, and getting an amphitheater here in Matewan is the place to start and is something long overdue."