Photo by LAAFF staff

LAAFF announces schedule for Aug. 31 festival

Lexington Avenue Arts and Fun Festival  returns on Sunday, Aug. 31 with a full day’s worth of music, art street theater, local vendors, food and drink and more. Festival planners just released the lineup, which includes more than a dozen bands on two stages, with an additional stage programmed by Lex 18 moonshine bar. The […]

IT TAKES TWO: Part Big Crafty-style art and craft show, part music festival, Big Love celebrates Asheville from all angles. Photo of the Garage 34 booth by Brandy Bourne

Big Love Festival celebrates over 150 independent local businesses and organizations

As Sunday, Aug. 24, approaches, don’t be alarmed if you see two people at Pack Square Park taking tape measures to sidewalks and other structures. It’s just Big Love Festival co-organizers Brandy Bourne and Justin Rabuck ensuring that their event is meeting safety and venue guidelines. Now in its fourth year, Big Love evolved out of […]

Illustration courtesy of Joshua Warren

Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfunding initiatives

Crowdfunding platforms make it possible for individuals and organizations of any size to harness social networks and raise start-up capital for projects that might otherwise fail due to lack of funding. Each week, Xpress highlights notable WNC crowdsourcing initiatives that may inspire readers to become new faces in the crowd. STEVE SHELL POETRY Steve Shell, […]

Husband and wife duo, Jonathan and Jennifer Adams, got the band name Montana Skies from the first song they ever wrote together. Photo courtesy of the band

Smart bets web extra: The Asheville Ballet with Montana Skies

“This ain’t your granny’s chamber music,” claim husband and wife, Jonathan and Jennifer Adams, on their band’s website. The couple’s sound is constructed of guitar and cello pairings, delivered with more spunk than you’d expect from any instrumental family band and packaged under the name Montana Skies. The duo’s knack for extracting spiced-up grooves from […]

BANDING TOGETHER: The Asheville Symphony Orchestra is the leading presenter of classical music in WNC, and one of many groups making up the region's diverse music industry. Photo courtesy of the ASO

Sound investment: WNC’s burgeoning music industry

While the local music scene might be hard to typify, it’s easy to point to: Musicians, venues, festivals and street performers compose the visible face of a vibrant arts culture. The local music industry, however, is more difficult to quantify. There are some well-known recording studios and instrument manufacturers and the occasional high-profile guitar sale, […]

SIGHTS AND SOUNDS: The Moog Music factory hosts tours of 20-40 people from all over the world every day. Here, Paul Gaeta (aka local musician Panther God) leads a group. Photo by Alicia Funderburk

Sounds like money: New projects seek to increase local music tourism

Asheville may never be able to swipe the “Music City” moniker from a certain similarly named titan of sound in Tennessee, but several new initiatives aim to boost this area’s image as a serious music destination. The Asheville Convention and Visitors Bureau, building on its success in helping nurture the city’s growing national reputation as […]

ROOM WITH A VIEW: Along with new funding sources, collaborations and programs, Asheville Area Arts Council relocates from the River Arts District to the Grove Arcade. "I think we will see more action downtown," says AAAC director Kitty Love, left, with operations manager Mica Mead. Photo by Kyle Sherard

State of the Arts: Asheville Area Arts Council’s recharged direction

The Asheville Area Arts Council is moving: Friday, Aug. 1, marks opening day for the 62-year-old nonprofit organization in suites 144 and 143-A of the Grove Arcade. The new location marks the organization’s return to downtown Asheville after a three-year stint in the River Arts District’s Pink Dog Creative building. The move also follows a […]

WHAT'S YOUR MOTIVATION?: Kevin Patrick Murphy, founder of The Actor’s Center of Asheville, describes the center as a kind of gym — “You have to work the muscles,” he says. Photo by Kellin Watson

Hitting your mark: The Actor’s Center of Asheville moves to Black Mountain

Kevin Patrick Murphy’s New York roots are showing. The founder of The Actor’s Center of Asheville takes huge strides and talks fast — leftover traits from his previous home base. The actor began training in 1991 at the Studio Arena Theater School in Buffalo, N.Y., and has since worked in theater, commercials, television and film. […]

Allan Wolf at the opening ceremony of the 2014 Southern Fried Poetry Slam. Photo from Wolf's Facebook page.

Poetic injustice: Locals respond to N.C.’s poet laureate debate

Poetry has long been an action-packed artistic genre in Western North Carolina. Here, it’s not merely written but spoken, slammed and taken into schools (thanks to Poetry Alive! — which celebrates its 30th anniversary with an event at The White Horse on Aug. 15 — and LEAF in Schools & Streets, among other initiatives). In […]