Todd Okolichany on Lexington Avenue, which was just recognized by the American Planning Association as one of America's Great Places. Okolichany joined the city as planning director in September. Photo by Virginia Daffron.

Man with a plan: Okolichany takes the helm as Asheville’­s planning director

“There are no one-size-fits-all solutions in planning: Each place is very different,” says Todd Okolichany, who began work as Asheville’s new planning director Sept. 8. “That’s a key value for me as a planner: recognizing the differences and uniqueness of each place.” Okolichany, 36, comes to Asheville from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where he was principal […]

Don’t throw buskers under the bus

As the city considers different ideas for the proposed “enhancement” of downtown (see the 2014 Downtown Enhancement Plan at avl.mx/0gw), please don’t throw buskers under the bus. Many of Asheville’s creative community — not only musicians but artists of all kinds — depend on street performance as part of their livelihood. Visitors and locals experience the street […]

DIRECT SHOT: Filmmaker Erin Derham, right, interviews musician Andrew Fletcher, left, at 5 Walnut Wine Bar. He often performs there, and on the sidewalk, pushing his piano on a dolly to his location. Also pictured: Director of photography Shane Peters and audio mixer Adam Johnson. Photo by Paul Clark

Local documentar­y “Buskin’ Blues” premieres

by Paul Clark The biggest challenge to making a movie about the busking scene in downtown Asheville, says Erin Derham, was knowing when to stop. New buskers cycled through town all summer, giving the filmmaker endless possibilities to flesh out her story on the subculture these musicians inhabit. Super-organized and deadline-oriented, Derham gave herself six months […]