"Eat Ethnic was developed out of necessity," reads the app's campaign page. "We craved those restaurants where the food tasted like it came out of our momma's kitchen." Photo from the Eat Ethnic campaign page

Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfunding initiatives

Crowdfunding platforms make it possible for individuals and organizations of any size to harness social networks and raise start-up capital for projects that might otherwise fail due to lack of funding. Each week, Xpress highlights notable Western North Carolina crowdsourcing initiatives that may inspire readers to become new faces in the crowd. EAT ETHNIC APP […]

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Daydreamer on Biltmore: New mural unveiled

After years of city planning and public forums, another year of designing, sculpting and painting and a month-and-a-half of installation, Daydreamer, Asheville’s newest piece of public art, is finished. Asheville muralists Alex Irvine and Ian Wilkinson took down their scaffolding on Wednesday, Nov. 5, revealing the first unobstructed view of the new work. Daydreamer, formerly […]

DOG DAYS: "Shu and Griffin Shaving Cheyenne," Paw Paw, Madison County, 2012. Photo by Rob Amberg

State of the Arts: Rob Amberg at Pink Dog Creative

For 41 years, photographer Rob Amberg has kept an acute documentary eye on Madison County. With his camera, he’s created an insightful, ongoing narrative that’s familiar yet analytical of every back road, kitchen and front porch in a bucolic landscape. Amberg’s intimate and personal views of the county’s residents have long been among his most […]

NATURAL SELECTIONS: WNC-based authors (clockwise from top left) Kathryn Stripling Byer, Wayne Caldwell, Catherine Reid and Thomas Rain Crow speak about setting prose and poetry in wild places. Byer's photo by Corinna Byer, other photos courtesy of the authors

Regional writers panel celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act

Southern writing evokes a certain set of expectations, from Flannery O’Connor’s “Christ-haunted” prose to Gail Godwin’s glimpses into shifting society. But when talking about North Carolina writers, there’s one theme that returns again and again: place. From Charles Frazier’s Cold Mountain and Robert Morgan’s Gap Creek to Ron Rash’s Serena and Vicki Lane’s A Day […]

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Smart bets: Weaverville Art Safari

Founded in 2001 by artist Lelia Canter, the Weaverville Art Safari is a free, self-guided art studio tour that “provides the exclusive opportunity to delve into the thriving artist enclave located in Weaverville and Barnardsville.” Some 47 local artists will participate in the biannual crawl this fall, showcasing handmade artwork from a multitude of craft […]

Behind the Lens: Jennifer Mesk, pictured center.

Humans of Asheville captures local life in pictures

It’s a sunny day when Jennifer Mesk, the photojournalist behind Humans of Asheville, sets out across the city that serves as her muse. Spotting a group of interesting-looking characters on Patton Avenue, she motions to them, then indicates her camera. They smile curiously, and she crosses the street. “Hi,” she says, smiling. “Can I take your picture?”

BET Rural Academy Theater

Smart bets: Rural Academy Theater

The Rural Academy Theater will “clop its way into your backyard and heart,” claims a press release by the horse-pulled production’s organizers. This year, the annual mobile mini-circus includes a slapstick interpretation of North Carolina’s pro-fracking legislation, a depiction of human presence on a geological timeline and an evening showing of Georges Méliès’ 1902 silent […]

ALL THAT GLITTERS: The Asheville Area Arts Council holds its annual color ball fundraiser, this year called the Gilded Ball, at Isis Restaurant & Music Hall. Expect music, performance arts and live and silent auctions. Photo from last year's Emerald Ball by Micah Mackenzie

Asheville Area Arts Council celebrates a big year with the Gilded Ball

The past year has been an especially successful one for the Asheville Area Arts Council. In addition to receiving record funding from the city of Asheville and Buncombe County, the AAAC was assigned the county’s disseminator of arts programming funds through the state’s Grassroots Arts Program, helping to further its mission as the collective local […]

SPECIAL FINDS: Unique arts and crafts, like these pieces by Tiffany Ownbeyare part of Weaverville's annual Art in Autumn festival. Photo courtesy of the artist

Art in Autumn: Crafts, commerce and community in Weaverville

The first brainstorming session for Weaverville’s Art in Autumn festival took place in December, 2006. “We were desperately seeking ways to bring more foot traffic to the downtown area of Main Street,” remembers Sherrye Perry, a Weaverville Business Association member. With Beth Mangum, Perry organized what would become a successful annual event. “It seemed a […]

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Smart bets: Heritage Weekend

This September marks the 34th year for Heritage Weekend, a free festival that explores traditional Appalachian customs like beekeeping, coopering, heritage toy making, broom and furniture making, spinning and natural dyeing, all sponsored by the Southern Highland Craft Guild. Both Saturday and Sunday offer a full lineup of crafts, dance and mountain-inspired music with fare […]