Finding the pulse in avant-garde

Painter/assemblagist Allan Kaprow didn’t coin the art term “happening” until 1959 — but, according to some schools of thought, the first “happening” happened at Black Mountain College back in 1952. That year, composer John Cage presented his “Theatre Piece No. 1″ with a little help from his BMC artist friends, among them modern-dance pioneer Merce […]

Turning memories into movements

“This is the transitional season,” announces Deborah Scott with a dab of trepidation. Asheville Playback Theatre is changing its successful format this year, and Scott, the group’s artistic director, admits she isn’t completely sure how the new shows will play out. “Our overriding concern is [still] to honor each person’s experience,” says Scott. The company, […]

The intentional tourist

Going green means more than buying organic produce at the Co-op. It’s about minimizing environmental impact, supporting local economies, and keeping an open mind. Green travel, or eco-travel, is becoming an increasingly popular way to see the world — or even just the next town. In fact, the United Nations designated 2002 as the “International […]

Pioneering faith

“We believe ultimately everyone will be ‘saved’ — everyone will come to the same conclusion.” – Hare Krishna teacher Prithu Das Maybe it’s the energy vortex that’s rumored to hover above downtown Asheville’s Flat Iron Building. Maybe it’s the odd intersection of three mountain ranges. Whatever the reason, pilgrims of every stripe are cropping up […]

Grabbing a slice of post-Stevie Nicks pie

“Bohemian enraptured, tribal-styled, hippie-embellished,” reads the current issue of Elle magazine. And no, it’s not an article about Asheville. But it might as well be, because the season’s hottest trends reflect what this mountain town has known all along: Laid-back is where it’s at. “What about those hipster cowgirl skirts and Victorian tops that the […]

Stage[d] right

(Lights up on audience. Doc Kelley sits in metal folding chair being used as director’s chair, shuffling papers. Reporter enters stage right, carrying picnic basket, blanket and black notebook.) Anyone who’s ever been to a play at the Hazel Robinson Amphitheater knows the drill: just pack a picnic, grab a blanket and find a place […]

Out on a limb

Sam Edwards is many things: eternal child, up-and-coming pop-culture icon, architectural innovator, writer. That last item, though, is what he wants to be known for. Edwards is the author of From Outhouse to White House to Treehouse (Parris Press, 1999), a memoir that includes his misadventures working for Jimmy Carter’s re-election and John Glenn’s presidential […]

Jovial ghosts

A century ago, the Chautauqua — a sort of high-brow Lollapalooza — was a not-to-be-missed event. These open-air, education-and-entertainment extravaganzas once rolled from town to town throughout the country, setting up tents for as much as a week in any given city (though, even during their heyday, Asheville enjoyed only one such event — and […]

Picture this

Of all days to visit the Asheville Art Museum, I choose field-trip day. Winding my way through a wobbly line of third graders, I head into the museum’s inner depths in search of its current exhibit, Making Pictures: Contemporary American Photography. But by the time I reach the museum’s third floor, the kids’ real-life merriment […]

Between the pages

Who would Anne Frank be now, if she’d lived? In the opening lines of her essay “Who Owns Anne Frank?”, published in The New Yorker, distinguished fiction writer Cynthia Ozick toys with that tempting question. Had she lived, posits Ozick, Frank would have been a brilliant writer, a household name — perhaps one of the […]