More than just a festival: LEAF reaches out

LEAF International started on Jennifer Pickering‘s vacation. While staying on Bequia in the Grenadines, the executive director of the popular Black Mountain-based Lake Eden Arts Festival walked into the Caribbean island’s high school for underperforming youth and asked about its steel-drum program. The instruments, known as “pans,” are part of the island’s music tradition, but […]

Big in Belgium

“I definitely had this experience—we all did—of stepping through the looking glass,” guitarist/composer Shane Perlowin recalls. He’s talking about avant-garde jazz/thrash group Ahleuchatistas’ November 2008 tour through Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Holland, France and Spain. Winning fans overseas: Ahleuchatistas guitarist Shane Perlowin practices in a German train station. The prog-rock band is one of several […]

A universal language

For White Dog ProjectX International, collaboration and artistic exchange can span any cultural barrier. “Dance is a universal language,” declares Artistic Director Susan Collard. “Travel is the best education there is, and it truly changes your work,” she continues, describing the inspiration that compels the recently named international touring arm of the long-running Asheville Contemporary […]

From Russia with love

If you think it’s easy to set up a sister city program, talk to Kitty Boniske. “Vladikavkaz was our third try,” the longtime Asheville Sister Cities volunteer recalls. Two other Russian cities—Klintsy and Kislovotz—just didn’t pan out. Snowy cathedral: The major religions in Asheville’s first Sister City, Vladikavkaz, are Russian Orthodox and Islam. Photo courtesy […]

Full-circle Maya

Sister city initiatives are all about forging connections and recognizing what a small world we live in. That’s clearly the case with one of Asheville’s newest sister cities: Valladolid in southern Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. The circle begins in Barnardsville, where retired National Geographic Society archaeologist George Stuart lives. Distinguished visitor: Vallalodid, Mexico, officials honored Barnardsville […]

The fallen

Thus far, the two-front “war on terror” has claimed the lives of 4,865 U.S. military personnel. One hundred nineteen of them hailed from North Carolina, and six of those called Western North Carolina home. Below are details about our area’s service members who’ve perished in Afghanistan and Iraq. Sgt. William S. Kinzer Jr., Hendersonville: Kinzer, […]

Spreading a story: Embracing Simplicity

In the personal view of the Venerable Pannavati Bhikkhuni, abbot of Hendersonville’s Embracing Simplicity Hermitage, what she has is just a story. The Venerable Pannavati Bhikkhuni, abbot of Hendersonville’s Embracing Simplicity Hermitage “When people around the world see what can be done, it encourages in a way that rhetoric cannot,” she tells Xpress. “I tell […]

Old ways in today’s world: Zamani Refuge African Cultural Center

There’s a story from the Yoruba people of Nigeria, and to hear Valeria Watson-Doost tell it, it goes something like this: Sisters across the water: Osun priestess Valeria Watson-Doost (right) and the Erelu of Ile Ife during Watson-Doost’s 2008 trip to Nigeria. Watson-Doost spearheaded efforts to make Asheville and Osogbo, Nigeria, sister cities. She’s also […]

Walking in Jesus’ footsteps: Economy Travel and Tours

When he isn’t busy churning out words, longtime Asheville Citizen-Times columnist Bob Terrell has another passion: taking church groups to Israel. He’s led 28 such tours, and he’s planning another one for April of 2010. Journey to Jerusalem: Bob Terrell (far left) and one of the 28 groups he’s taken on tours through Israel, Palestine […]