"Chickens are a perfect starting point for anyone who wants to be more connected to their food," says Justin Rhodes, creator of Asheville's newest chicken-raising film tutorial. Photo of key film contributors from Justin Rhodes' Kickstarter page

Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfundi­ng campaigns

Crowdfunding platforms make it possible for individuals and organizations of any size to harness social networks and raise startup capital for projects that might otherwise fail due to lack of funding. This week: self-reliance through chickens, new adventures at Firestorm Books and a re-published Tarot classic.

LOVE COLLECTION: A showcase of local hip-hop artists seconds as a fundraiser for LEAF Schools and Streets, Brother Wolf Animal Rescue and the Jewish Community Center. From left, Brian Bullman, Henter Bennett, DJ Ra Mak, Austin Haynes, Alpha Lee, Big Dave, Chachillie, Diggy and Bryan Colston perform as part of For the Love of Music at New Mountain. Photo by Tim Robison

Many splendored things: Valentine’s events in and around Asheville

To those who think the celebration of romantic love is just a Hallmark company construct: not quite. Since the 1700s, lovers have been giving each other handwritten cards, flowers and sweets. It wasn’t until the 19th century that Valentine’s Day cards were mass-produced. But 200 years of tradition doesn’t mean you have to give in […]

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Smart bets: Jamie Laval’s Christmas in Scotland

Internationally renowned Celtic violinist Jamie Laval’s Christmas in Scotland performance calls on a patchwork of art forms to revive traditional Celtic celebrations of the winter solstice and Christmas. Local guitarist and banjoist David Brown and multi-instrumentalist Rosalind Buda are among Laval’s supporting lineup of Celtic-influenced artists, in addition to a Welsh harpist and a Scottish […]

Spooks and spokes: Wear a bike-friendly costume and join Asheville on Bikes' annual Pumpkin Pedaller this Halloween season. Photo courtesy of Asheville on Bikes

Scary good: Halloween happenings in and around Asheville

Tricks, treats, haunted high schools, macabre masquerades, terrifying bike tours, frightening feasts, daring dance parties and maudlin makeout sessions: Xpress has hunted down the thrills and chills in and around Asheville. For more Halloween events, visit Clubland, Calendar and mountainx.com. • The Asheville Affiliates hosts a costume party at The Odditorium on Wednesday, Oct. 29, 6-9 […]

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Smart bets: UWABE — Art in the Park

Theater devotees and outdoor enthusiasts unite for two evenings of free alfresco performance. UWABE — Art in the Park meanders throughout Grove Park (338 Charlotte St.) to present three dances, each derived from the natural landscape. During “Biosphere,” a giant puppet among open fields probes into our changing planet’s effects on the human condition. “Radiant […]

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Smart bets: Resonant Rogues’ variety show

You’ve got to admire the forethought of Resonant Rogues, an Asheville band holding a variety show to kick off its Kickstarter campaign. The event, called Revue Nouveau, promises an “unparalleled collection of local talent” to visually supplement the old-time and gypsy jazzers’ vocal harmonies and string-heavy instrumentation. Puppeteer Madison Cripps, burlesque afficionado Memphis Moonshine and […]

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Smart bets: Jabali Acrobats

Visiting from Mombasa, Kenya, for their LEAF performance, the agile Jabali Acrobats aptly demonstrate the “link between athletics and arts,” transitioning from dance to human pyramids, chair balancing, complex footwork and other contortions — all to the beat of a stimulating musical backdrop. “These phenomenal acrobats combine the artistry of fast-paced movement, music, dance and […]

BETTER LATE: Canadian fusion band Delhi 2 Dublin performs both a daytime set and a late night show as part of LEAF's eclectic post-midnight offerings. Photo by Josli Rockafella

After midnight: LEAF’s late-night lineup is worth staying up for

The LEAF, now in its 39th season, is a well-honed mix of eclectic arts, the great outdoors, family-friendly activities and fun in the sun (and occasionally the rain). But with three days packed full of entertainment, it might be easy to overlook LEAF’s nighttime offerings. Don’t: Fall LEAF’s after-midnight lineup includes Bhangra-Celtic fusion, jazz-tronic dance […]

THE MUSIC MAN: Bascom Lamar Lunsford, third from left, appears in this photo from the Bascom Lamar Lunsford Scrapbook, Southern Appalachian Archives, Mars Hill University. The caption reads, “The Lovingood sisters and the Greer sisters with Bascom about 1933, ‘still feeding my soul!’”

Mars Hill’s Bascom Lamar Lunsford Festival celebrates a folk hero

While many people wear multiple proverbial hats and dabble in more than one career, Madison County-born Bascom Lamar Lunsford epitomized that concept. A lawyer and a folklorist, the Mars Hill native campaigned against hillbilly stereotypes while preserving Appalachian mountain music traditions. A performer himself — his recordings are included in the Archive of American Folk […]

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Smart bets: Die Fledermaus

“Die Fledermaus,” a libretto often rewritten and performed with local flair, will soon transform into its Asheville incarnation with the help of Asheville Lyric Opera. Set in Western North Carolina’s famous Giltmore home and based around the Southern mountain charm of the Vanerburgh family, ALO’s adaptation is intended to “create a deeper sense of appreciation […]

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Smart bets: Mountain Heritage Day

Break out the candles! Western Carolina University celebrates its 125th year during the 40th annual Mountain Heritage Day festival, a free event to recollect WCU’s rich history. Two stages and a dedicated dance floor will host clogging team performances and concerts (including Grammy Award-winner David Holt), and more than 100 vendor booths will sprawl into […]