Famous last words: Local mystery novelist Sallie Bissell tried her hand at other projects, but fans demanded that she return to her Mary Crow collection. “I guess I’ll just write Mary Crow until I drop dead," she says. Photo courtesy of the author

Building a mystery

Local author Sallie Bissell returns to her Mary Crow series Sallie Bissell describes herself as a “flatland Southerner,” and you can hear it in her voice. But this Nashville native who grew up reading Nancy Drew and the historical fiction of William O. Steele (now her touchstone for a good read), developed an ambition to […]

Joel Salatin appears on his farm in the documentary Farmageddon.

A weekend (and Q&A) with Joel Salatin

Last weekend offered a whirlwind of events for the area’s food and environmentally conscious citizens, including multiple chances to see the “Lunatic Farmer” himself, Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms. Salatin has risen to notoriety through his appearances in Michael Pollan’s book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma and through his film appearances in Food, Inc. and Farmaggedon. He […]

Image by Steph Guinan

Thinking big: Buncombe County plan points way toward sustainable future

“In North Carolina, sustainability plans are pretty rare,” reports Scott Mouw, recycling director at the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources. “Not many communities have taken on the task of comprehensively looking at their environmental footprint and worked through ways to reduce that footprint.” In fact, Buncombe County is one of only a handful […]

the tills

Smart Bets: The Tills

Asheville-based psychedelic indie pop rocker outfit The Tills arose from the ashes of its former, and apparently legally bound name, The Critters, in January after receiving a cease-and-desist phone call from the 1960s pop band of the same name. The local obliged and promptly released its new album, Mixtape Vol. 1, a frenzied 13-track outburst […]

Good green fun: Asheville Earth Day celebration, on Lexington Avenue, offers an array of music, arts and environmental opportunities. Photo courtesy of Asheville Earth Day

Green party

Asheville Earth Day celebrates sustainability and optimism “I think what’s really cool about Earth Day is that it can provide this umbrella for all the nonprofits in Asheville to come together,” says Ben Colvin, development director for Wild South, the nonprofit host of Asheville Earth Day. That daylong outdoor festival returns to Lexington Avenue on […]

Mondy Carter and Tom Chalmers star in Greater Tuna as part of The Front Porch Theatre at Black Mountain Center for the Arts' programming. Photo courtesy of the Arts Center

Spring onstage

Asheville’s theater season heats up Provocative works and cutting-edge performance collectives are still making their presence felt — and in fact, the arrival of longer days and warmer temps means dramatic offerings can now be presented outdoors. For more local theater, check out our calendar and mountainx.com. Flat Rock Playhouse’s season continues at a breathless […]

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Smart Bets: Slow Down Pictures

Slow Down Pictures is the third art show with a soundtrack created by former Xpress designer and artist Nathanael Roney, and musician J Seger (Emily Easterly, VA/MD). “For the first time in the series, the individual works themselves have been titled, if not mostly for the sake of mentioning them here — Burden, Composure, Sh*t […]

“How do GMOs affect our children, the health of our planet and our freedom of choice?" asks local filmmaker Jeremy Seifert in his documentary, GMO OMG.

Planetary alignment

Earth Week events around Western North Carolina Save the shrews, celebrate the trees, take in a film and clean up a stream or two. For more ideas, visit Calendar and mountainx.com. Climate change talk at Warren Wilson College — Everyone knows what planktonic foraminifera is, right? Still, a little refresher from a Smithsonian scientist never […]

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Smart Bets: Zansa

Local Afropop band Zansa has big news: Frontman Adama Dembele recently returned from a trip to his home country, Ivory Coast, where he performed at the weeklong MASA Festival, according to a press release. Fellow Ivory Coast native and dancer Barakissa Coulibaly (pictured) just made her way to Asheville, where she’ll be teaching and performing […]

Looking forward: Graduate students in Lenoir-Rhyne’s new sustainability studies program are hoping their research projects will make a big community impact. Pictured from left to right: Lenoir-Rhyne Director Paul Knott; students Maria Wise and Alisha Goodman; Professor Keith McDade. Photo by Shara Crosby.

Future vision: Local sustainability graduate research targets real-world benefits

The first group of students in Lenoir-Rhyne University’s new sustainability studies program may be small, but the fruits of their research might eventually have a big local impact. Based at the Asheville campus, the new master’s degree program requires students to complete a “capstone” project combining graduate-level research with real-world conditions and needs. This spring, […]