One of a kind: Venture Local Fair celebrates Asheville’­s unique character

There’s a crossroads between Buxton and Banks avenues, even though they don’t intersect. These blocklong, parallel, South Slope streets are lined with places to buy things, eat, drink and make merry: a chocolate factory, a doughnut shop, three breweries, two bars, a beer-and-wine store and the newest barbecue joint in town, among other businesses. The […]

EARTH FRIENDLY FOUNDATIONS: Using a variety of new technology and state of the art building practicies, green builders around WNC and bringing sustainable construction concepts to the forefront of design. Photo courtesy Alembic Studios.

Green building thriving in WNC despite legislativ­e threats

Amid a hostile legislative climate in Raleigh, innovative, sustainable design and construction are flourishing in Western North Carolina. The WNC Green Building Council was founded in 2001. Since then — and despite an unstable housing market — local interest has grown steadily, says Maggie Leslie.

"I gotta go barefoot when I’m in the garden," says Green Opportunities' new executive director, George Jones Jr. Jones joined the nonprofit in mid-July and is bringing some business-minded changes to GO.

Green Opportunities’ new director gets his feet — and his shoes — wet

As the new executive director of Green Opportunities, the green jobs training program that works with low-income Asheville residents, George C. Jones plans to continue the environmental consciousness that was practiced by previous leadership, but his tenure will be guided by his business background.

BOOK BY BOOK: David Baldacci, author of 30 best-selling novels and counting, will speak at the Literacy Council of Buncombe County's 8th annual Authors for Literacy fundraising event three days after officially releasing his latest book The Keeper.

Conscious party: Author David Baldacci speaks at dinner and auction to bolster local literacy

This year’s fundraising dinner — prepared by Michael Marshall of the Renaissance Hotel with pours from Biltmore Wines — will enable the Literacy Council to secure volunteer tutors for some 350 locals lacking reading, writing and language skills.

FOOD SECURITY FOR ALL: As  the demand for food assistance in WNC continues to grow, local food-security organizations are embracing September, designated national Hunger Action Month, as a chance to raise awareness about the issue.  Here, volunteers and staff at MANNA FoodBank raise orange spoons — the symbol of the Hunger Action Month initiative.

Gather around the table: WNC rallies for Hunger Action Month

With one in six people in Western North Carolina lacking consistent access to food, MANNA FoodBank and its partner agencies are uniting to host hunger-awareness events and initiatives in September for national Hunger Action Month. MANNA also hopes to wrap up its Space to Erase Hunger capital campaign this month, allowing for crucial expansions to the organization’s capacity that will impact hungry families in 16 counties.

BREAKING BARRIERS: Managed care organization Smoky Mountain LME/MCO and several regional health care providers are working to bring an integrated care model to WNC, beginning with a comprehensive care center at 356 Biltmore Avenue. Photo courtesy of Smoky Mountain LME/CMO.

No wrong doors: Integrated health care program offers one-stop solutions

Unless you’ve just emerged from the wilderness after several decades, chances are you’ve heard some of the roiling discussions going on across the country concerning the current state of the health care system. Whether it’s presidential candidates working on a policy speech or an individual making home budgeting decisions, implementing a comprehensive health care reform […]

Jonathan Santos performs at ADC's donor appreciation event on the all new U-LEAF stage. Photo by Anthony Abraira.

AVL Design Center’s DesignBuil­d Studio rolls out the U-LEAF Stage

When the first-ever LEAF Downtown festival took place on Aug. 1 and 2 in Pack Square Park, it wasn’t just the festival’s new location that was making its debut: This year, the organization was able to unveil its all-new U-LEAF stage — a mobile art stage recently completed by AVL DesignBuild Studio, a summer internship […]