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 […]

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 […]

Costume is strongly encouraged at the Seelie Court Masquerade. Clothing by Royal Peasantry, photo by Duncan Chaboudy

Smart bets web extra: Seelie Court Masquerade

It’s time to break out the old leather-studded collar and golden tiara. New Mountain Asheville will host Seelie Court Masquerade, a two-night “multi-sensory fantasy event featuring two rooms of music, fashion, theater and dance,” according to a press release, and all attendees are strongly encouraged to dress their faerie best. Masqueraders will enjoy various live […]

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. […]

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After the Last LAAFF: New festival seeks community input, starting with a name

Lexington Avenue Arts and Fun Fest, Asheville’s hyper-local street festival, returns for one final installment on Sunday, Aug. 31. And while that one-day celebration marks a farewell for the grassroots event that launched in 2002, it’s also the start of a new locally focused fest that will roll out in 2015. “The point is to celebrate […]

STORIFY: Asheville resident and first-generation Cuban-American Althea Gonzalez will tell stories as part of Latino Day, the July 5 program in this year's Stories on Asheville's Front Porch series. Photo by Rodney Smith of Tempus Fugit Design

Tell it like it is: Stories on Asheville’s Front Porch series spotlights diversity

Before coming to Asheville, Sarah Larson, the founder/director of the Stories on Asheville’s Front Porch series, taught storytelling to high school students through a required course in genealogy. She encouraged her students to research their ancestors’ cultures, Larson says, “and then they had to learn a story from that culture.” Larson brought her passion for […]

Superhero sightings: GeekOut Asheville provides opportunities for gaming, costuming, networking and meeting top fantasy artists and writers. Photo courtesy of Mutiverse Asheville

Geek squad: Local heroes and superheroes join forces for GeekOut Asheville

by John Granatino  johngrntn@gmail.com Here’s what TV would have us believe about geeks: They live sheltered lives away from the public eye, stay up all night reading “Firefly” forums and only visit each other under the fluorescent light of a “Star Trek” convention. But while they may actually do those things, today’s geeks (nerds, Trekkies, techies) […]

Nicole Silver rehearses for Animalia, a theatrical production inspired by poetry, evolution, and circus arts. Photo by Shara Crosby

Aquila: a summer carousel

Following the success of Fox & Beggar Theatre‘s ethereal and visually stunning debut, Animalia, the theater company’s founder Nat Allister is hosting a similarly whimsical event to raise funds for Animalia‘s Southeastern tour. The fundraising party, Aquila, will feature live world music, art installations by Chris Sams and Travis Eagledove of the Ancient Art Salon and plenty of the circus […]

Watch and learn: “People think burlesque is just a parade of people emulating the beauty standards of the past,” says Onça O’Leary. “The point is using every tool — costuming, athleticism, comedy — to explore social issues.” Photo courtesy of ABSFest

Agent provocateur: ABSFest showcases burlesque and sideshow arts with social relevance

ABSFest showcases burlesque and sideshow arts with social relevance This year’s Americana Burlesque and Sideshow Festival will include, among other spectacles, “the world’s foremost authority on sideshow,” James Taylor. Not “I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain” James Taylor — the other one, whose personal collection of sideshow memorabilia includes a taxidermied unicorn from the […]

Something in the air: Pawtooth's grooves sit somewhere between Blondie, The Stooges and Siouxsie and the Banshees — and Bromelia Aerial Dance Collective plans to perform to that soundtrack.

Flight club

Local aerialists and rockers team up for a production An unlikely collaboration was forged in January, when Bromelia Aerial Dance Collective performed at the Mothlight as part of the Asheville Fringe Arts Festival. According to local movement artist Anna Bartlett, “One of our dancers was injured, and our friend Valerie Phillips saved the day by […]

BET HeartOfFire

Smart Bets: Heart of Fire

In Igor Stravinsky’s ballet, The Firebird, Prince Ivan enters a magical realm where all of the objects and creatures are represented by instruments — usually strings. Local electronic composer Sai, aka 9th Phoenix, is coordinating Heart of Fire, a production inspired by that Stavinsky work and produced electronically. “It features a wide range of electronica […]