Thursday, April 14
• Feeling affectionate? Let out some love at Free Hugs for Equality, a signature-gathering campaign for Equality NC, an organization “dedicated to securing equal rights and justice for LGBT people.” Meet at Sisters McCullen Bakery, 60 N Market St., across from Vance Monument in downtown Asheville. 5-8 p.m.
Friday, April 15
• Malaprop’s Bookstore (55 Haywood Street, 254-6734) invites you to meet and mingle with local, independently published authors and illustrators including Holly McGee, illustrator of children’s book Hush Little Beachcomber (by Dianne Moritz); Mary Helen Smith & Shuford Smith, authors of Endangered; and Doug Walker, author of Murder on the French Broad. 7 p.m. Free.
• HATCH Festival brings “Light Entertainment” to downtown Asheville with an outdoor slideshow of the Up Close juried photography exhibit. The evening will also include live music, a “Gypsy Cirque Art Mob” and light and laser tag shows by Heather Lewis and Gene Felice. Held at Pack Square. 8 p.m. Free. In case of rain, the slide show will move to the YMI on Eagle St.
• David Mayfield grew up performing bluegrass on the road with his family. After touring with his sister, Jessica Lea Mayfield, the Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter caught the eye of her tour mates, The Avett Brothers, and was urged to pursue a solo career. “David Mayfield Parade is the culmination of that encouragement,” reads his bio. “The album reflects the numerous influences that come from a lifetime of being immersed in American music and channeling its unique forms with sincerity and celebration from the howl of early rock-n-roll, to the low lonesome twang of folk and country with a voice that is all at once heartbreaking and inherently hopeful.” Catch him with Do it to Julia and Velee at the Emerald Lounge (112 N Lexington Ave., 232-4372). 10 p.m. $5.
Saturday, April 16
• Learn how to cook in style as the Black Mountain Center for the Arts (225 West State St., 669-0930) hosts a reception for Apron Strings: The Ties that Bind, an exhibit of vintage aprons. The opening will feature an apron-sewing class and fashion show. 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
• This year’s Asheville Earth Day features performances from Toubab Krewe, The Lee Boys, Agent 23 Skidoo and more. The outdoor celebration will also feature local food and beer, along with a host of regional environmental groups. Held at Pack Square downtown. 11 a.m. Free.
Hope for Agoldensummer is comprised of sisters Claire and Page Campbell, along with producer and multi-instrumentalist Suny Lyons. The Athens-based trio specializes in haunting folk songs, dripping with rich harmonies and wistful sentimentality. They visit BoBo Gallery (22 Lexington Avenue, 254-3426) on Saturday. 9 p.m.
Sunday, April 17
• Meet local artists and swap for some new digs as West Asheville’s Meadows Studios, 474 Haywood Road, above the Dry Goods Shop, hosts an open house and clothing swap. Work from nearly a dozen local artists will be available for viewing and purchase, and a performance by Zach Smith and Ross Brubeck will follow. 1-8 p.m/Clothing swap from 2-5 p.m. Free.
• Odyssey Community School (90 Zillicoa St., 772-1228) hosts a Spring Forward Craft Fair and Fun Run, featuring a market for artists, crafters, bakers, cheese makers, farmers and merchants of all kinds. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. A 3K fun run opens the event, with registration from 9-9:45.
• “Murphy’s Kids has been spreading their music and message across the nation over the last 11 years, and they hang their career on their live show,” reads a release from the reggae, rock and soul sextet. As of late, the band has also been busy with its Music For Detention organization, whose mission is “to bring live concerts to juvenile correctional facilities.” But you don’t have to be locked up to catch the Richmond natives perform. Just drop by The Get Down (1045 Haywood Road, 505-8388). 9 p.m.