Party politics

Some trends take awhile to catch on. “Goombay is spreading now, because diversity is cool and people are into culture,” comments YMI Cultural Center Executive Director Rita Martin. Citing fledgling versions of Asheville’s annual African/Caribbean-flavored festival in other areas — “There are smaller Goombays in Tennessee, festivals that are maybe just a block, like when […]

Restless lullabies

“We’re not stuffy classical,” insists flutist Kate Steinbeck. And her point is well taken: Classical music, for all its sexy prodigies like Lara St. John, still invokes images of grimacing, black-clad men and women prodding somber tones from such inexplicable instruments as the oboe or bassoon. Steinbeck and her group, the Keowee Chamber Music Festival, […]

Journey of a lifetime

“We don’t need any more war.” – retired X-ray technician, social worker and missionary June Lamb “It’s a small world after all,” observes globetrotter June Lamb, adding, “Good people find each other.” Those words could be the septuagenarian’s motto. As a radiological researcher, social worker and missionary, she’s traveled through most of Asia and Europe […]

Esprit de Terpsicorps

Wearing only black-spandex shorts, Jon Upleger hoists Jennifer Cavanaugh aloft, where his fellow dancer spends a significant part of their performance. Cavanaugh, clad in a flesh-colored unitard decorated with leafy-green designs, writhes in a series of acrobatic twists to ambient, leafy-green music. The pas de deux climaxes with her elfin, flab-less body balanced on Upleger’s […]

The art of murder

“I’ve stayed away from the real story, because I didn’t want it to taint my view of the play,” admits Charles Mills, director of Haywood Arts Repertory Theatre’s production of Rope. A director who doesn’t want to know too much about the events that inspired his current project? Sounds strange. Then again, Rope is full […]


If director Charles Mills was worried that Rope wouldn’t pull in the usual HART patrons, his concern was unfounded. The Waynesville theater was pretty well-attended on opening night — by a mostly-senior crowd, too, which was obviously not put off that the curtains wouldn’t be rising on a musical comedy. The play opens on the […]

Human nature

John McKah’s “Full Moon” is all chilly solitude; the painting’s titular orb is pale and unassuming amid bare tree branches. But Jay Pfeil’s Oriental-influenced “Morning Magnolias” shows inky trees laden with delicate blossoms. This collection of outdoor scenes is as much a study of mood as it is of nature. “These artists are absolutely all […]

Mentors that move

“All the world’s a stage,” penned Shakespeare. And while the Bard certainly wasn’t referring to modern dance, for members of the Ailey II troupe, his famous words are hardly mere rhetoric: They’re reality. While most dancers don’t feel they live on stage — and that’s despite the long hours they put in, and the intense […]

No small change

Sara Watkins, one third of bluegrass-turned-acoustic-pop sensation Nickel Creek, is sick of wasting paper to-go cups at her favorite coffee shop in San Diego, where she lives. “I’m going to borrow this mug,” she murmurs into her cell phone. “I mean, I come in here all the time, so I don’t think they’ll mind.” She’s […]

Heading south

I’ve got two words for you: cabin fever. Happily, even as the temperatures dip and the snow descends, there’s a secret weapon for surviving winter: vacation. Even for folks on a meager budget, taking off for sunnier climes may be well within the realm of possibility — if you’re willing to forgo the Caribbean in […]