BET Rural Academy Theater

Smart bets: Rural Academy Theater

The Rural Academy Theater will “clop its way into your backyard and heart,” claims a press release by the horse-pulled production’s organizers. This year, the annual mobile mini-circus includes a slapstick interpretation of North Carolina’s pro-fracking legislation, a depiction of human presence on a geological timeline and an evening showing of Georges Méliès’ 1902 silent […]

ALL THAT GLITTERS: The Asheville Area Arts Council holds its annual color ball fundraiser, this year called the Gilded Ball, at Isis Restaurant & Music Hall. Expect music, performance arts and live and silent auctions. Photo from last year's Emerald Ball by Micah Mackenzie

Asheville Area Arts Council celebrates a big year with the Gilded Ball

The past year has been an especially successful one for the Asheville Area Arts Council. In addition to receiving record funding from the city of Asheville and Buncombe County, the AAAC was assigned the county’s disseminator of arts programming funds through the state’s Grassroots Arts Program, helping to further its mission as the collective local […]

SPECIAL FINDS: Unique arts and crafts, like these pieces by Tiffany Ownbeyare part of Weaverville's annual Art in Autumn festival. Photo courtesy of the artist

Art in Autumn: Crafts, commerce and community in Weaverville

The first brainstorming session for Weaverville’s Art in Autumn festival took place in December, 2006. “We were desperately seeking ways to bring more foot traffic to the downtown area of Main Street,” remembers Sherrye Perry, a Weaverville Business Association member. With Beth Mangum, Perry organized what would become a successful annual event. “It seemed a […]

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Smart bets: Heritage Weekend

This September marks the 34th year for Heritage Weekend, a free festival that explores traditional Appalachian customs like beekeeping, coopering, heritage toy making, broom and furniture making, spinning and natural dyeing, all sponsored by the Southern Highland Craft Guild. Both Saturday and Sunday offer a full lineup of crafts, dance and mountain-inspired music with fare […]

WILD CHILD APPROVED: Celebrate local music, food, drink, arts and eccentricities on Lexington Avenue. Photo by Frank Merenda

LAAFF returns with an eye toward the future

“Never say die,” reads the poster for the Lexington Avenue Art and Fun Festival, which returns Sunday, Aug. 31, after a one-year hiatus. When the beloved (and, in recent years, beleaguered) event’s return was announced earlier this summer, it was as a last hurrah. Organizers Kitty Love (LAAFF’s co-founder, who’s now executive director of the […]

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 […]

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Smart bets: Ali Douglass

There is something comfortingly familiar about Ali Douglass’ whimsical illustrations and paintings. It might be the eye-pleasing color combinations, charming characters and quirky cityscapes and scenes — or it might actually be that you’ve seen them before. Douglass has been illustrating for countless magazines and newspapers  — including Seventeen, Martha Stewart, Glamour and The New […]

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Unfit for artistry: Asheville upholds closing of RAD studio space

An 11th-hour effort to stave off a city order mandating that nearly two dozen artists vacate a cluster of River Arts District buildings came to an end on Wednesday afternoon, July 16, when city officials made final their decision and declined to issue a temporary certificate of occupancy. The mandate affects a city-sponsored art project and New […]