The cast and crew of the 1987 John Sayles film “Matewan” — including James Earl Jones, Chris Cooper, David Strathairn, and other luminaries — are banding together to support the West Virginia Mine Wars Museum’s efforts to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Blair Mountain in 2021.
The Mine Wars Museum received a $30,000 matching grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for the celebration, but in order to unlock those funds, the museum must match the grant dollar-for-dollar. The museum has already raised about half of the funds. In order to raise the rest, the museum launched an online fundraiser on IndieGoGo to attract donations.
James Earl Jones, who played “Few Clothes Johnson” in the film, was the campaign’s very first donor. He shared with museum staff that “Matewan” was his favorite film in which he ever acted.
“I hope you have a chance to see it,” he says. “And I hope you will consider donating to the West Virginia Mine Wars Museum, which brings this forgotten history to life in the 21st century.”
Other stars of the film also vouch for the museum and its efforts to preserve the history of the American worker. The promotional video for the campaign includes many more testimonials from the cast and crew.