Peggy Calestro

Peggy Calestro

Peggy Calestro and Julie Calestro-McDonald are a mother-daughter team who have been fascinated for more than twenty years with Central Appalachia, which includes Appalachian Ohio. Both have written about Appalachian history and culture and have presented at conferences and seminars. Their most recent publication, Lost and Found in Appalachia, is a book of photos and brief narratives of some of the places they’ve visited during their extensive travel in the region. Julie is a clinical social worker at OSU/Harding Behavioral Health and Medicine, and Peggy recently retired as Vice President of the Ohio Children’s Foundation.


Appalachian History and Culture

This presentation defines the Appalachian region and explores the history of those who settled there. It provides insights into the origins of Appalachian culture and beliefs; important historical events which shaped the region; and the roles absentee ownership and extractive industries continue to play in the region.

The Environment and Appalachian Ohio: A Tale of Three Cities

Nowhere in Ohio has the environment played a more important role than in the state’s thirty-two Appalachian counties. This presentation describes how underground mineral deposits and proximity to the Ohio River made the region ideal for mining, steel and petrochemical production–and ultimately led three small towns from industrial prosperity to environmental catastrophe.

Appalachian Migration to the “Three Cs” – Cincinnati, Columbus, Cleveland

What caused thousands of Appalachians from Kentucky and other parts of the region to move to three large cities in Ohio? This presentation examines the reasons for “The Great Migration” of the 1940s and 1950s and the economic and cultural contributions Appalachians made and continue to make in urban Ohio.


To Schedule a presentation , Please contact:

Speaker Applications

If your organization would like to book a speaker, first contact the speaker to confirm program dates and times. After you have confirmed scheduling details, submit a speaker request form to Ohio Humanities at least six weeks before the presentation takes place. Upon approval, we’ll send you a program agreement packet and ask you to pay the appropriate application fee to Ohio Humanities. Groups are limited to three Speakers Bureau programs per year.

Speakers Fee Structure

Non-profit organizations with an annual budget under $150,000 pay a fee of $50.00

Non-profit organizations with an annual budget over $150,000 pay a fee of $250.00

Schools (including colleges or universities) and corporate or private entities pay a fee of $400.00

Ohio Humanities is not accepting new Speakers Bureau bookings at this time. Please check back in October 2020 or contact Sam Chase at 614.461.7802 or schase@ohiohumanities.org if you have any questions. Although no Ohio Humanities funding will be provided, organizations are encouraged to contact individual speakers to inquire about bookings on their own.