Asheville’s Ami Worthen: A party, with a purpose

Here’s an excerpt from an Asheville Citizen-Times article on Ami Worthen, who – among other awesome talents – is a regular freelance writer for Mountain Xpress:

For Ami Worthen, change begins with conversation — and choruses.

As the director of communications for the YWCA of Asheville for the past 15 years, Worthen has connected thousands with the nonprofit community center’s life-altering services aimed at eliminating racism and empowering women.

Hers is a heavy workload — weighted further by these social issues’ emotional heaviness — but it’s alleviated by a danceable beat and the spirited strumming of a flame-painted ukulele.

As the spunky, often sparkly, half of the merry Mad Tea musical duo, Worthen shares the stage with some of the joyful reasons that she fights daily for a better Asheville.

“Working in nonprofits, in this sort of field, can be draining,” said Worthen, 41. “It’s hard not to feel despair sometimes. But music gives me feelings of hope. It feeds me. In a different way that helps fuel me.”

Unlike the records in her vinyl library, Worthen’s life is not divided into two sides: Her rocker and social justice crusader identities exist in concert.

“I like having a balance of creative expression and bringing joy to the world (through music), then also doing work in the social justice field,” Worthen said. “I’m working toward creating a positive world in different arenas.”


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