A&E Roundup: Roberta Flack mural unveiled in Black Mountain

CELEBRATING HER BOLDLY: Beloved singer Roberta Flack has been honored with a mural in her native Black Mountain. The work, which graces the side of Black Mountain Brewing, is the latest installment in Chapel Hill-based creator Scott Nurkin’s N.C. Musicians Mural Project. Photo by John Richardson

A mural of acclaimed singer and Black Mountain native Roberta Flack was completed on July 21 on the exterior of Black Mountain Brewing. The work is the latest installment in Chapel Hill-based creator Scott Nurkin’s N.C. Musicians Mural Project, which pays homage to influential artists in their hometowns across the state. The series’ prior editions include a John Coltrane painting in Hamlet and ones of Don Gibson and Earl Scruggs in Shelby. blackmountainbrewing.com

Write away

  • Published in October 2019, Celo-based writer Katey Schultz’s novel Still Come Home has received two recent accolades: the Bronze Medal in the 21st annual Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards Adult General Fiction category and a spot as a finalist in the 14th annual National Indie Excellence Awards’ Military Fiction category.

    Set in Western North Carolina and Afghanistan over the course of three days, Still Come Home follows the intersecting paths of Aaseya, an educated Afghan girl who rebels against the misogyny and violence around her; 2nd Lt. Nathan Miller, a North Carolina native who blames himself for a subordinate soldier’s death and fears his military service has permanently damaged his marriage; and reluctant Taliban worker Rahim, who’s troubled by his employers’ new violent plan. kateyschultz.com

  • Kim Jones, the Gerton-based author/illustrator who made her children’s book debut in April with The Silly Letters of Agnes Buttons, further flexes her dexterity with Peace: a simple meditation. Jones, who wrote and illustrated the book, describes it as a “simple guided meditation” that “leads the reader through pages of colorful flower mandalas.” bluegatedesign.com
  • Local poet Toinette Ishee had two poetry collections published on June 17. Within the Mind of a Butterfly finds the military veteran exploring such mental health issues as post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression, while The Poetic Seduction is a bilingual (English and Spanish) look at intimate fantasies, seduction and desire. avl.mx/7ro
  • In-person author events are also slowly returning, starting with Spartanburg, S.C.-based writer Susan Zurenda at the Lake Lure Inn on Wednesday, Aug. 5, at 11 a.m., for a “Books and Bites” luncheon sponsored by the Friends of the Mountain Branch Library. The event will be held outside on the Veranda Terrace; tables will be spaced out and seat either two or four people; and there will be a no-contact buffet with a server. Face coverings are required when entering the inn, and attendance will be capped at 32 people.

    Zurenda’s latest novel, Bells for Eli, was published in early March and explores how one misstep changes the trajectory of a young boy’s life in the small-town South of the 1960s and ’70s. Her talk is appropriately titled “The Small-town South in the ’60s.” Participants can register for the luncheon by phoning the library at 828-287-6392.

Casting call

Have a memorable funny story that also happens to be true? It could be featured on television.

Representatives from NBC‘s forthcoming series “True Story” are specifically looking for someone from Asheville with an interesting, unusual tale to tell. The show is hosted by Ed Helms (NBC’s “The Office”) and Randall Park (ABC’s “Fresh Off the Boat”), and features one-of-a-kind true stories from great storytellers that will then be reenacted by actors.

“Think of it like ‘Drunk History’ on Comedy Central, but with everyday Americans who have hilarious stories — from tales of disastrous family holidays to disasters on the job and everything in between,” says casting director Nathan Baker.

The series is based on the Australian show “True Story with Hamish & Andy” and will consist of six hourlong episodes with two real-life stories apiece. Interested parties are invited to email their name, age, location, phone number, a recent photo and a synopsis of their story to Baker at nathan@citymediaent.com. There’s also an online application at truestorycasting.com

Arts aid

Applications are currently being accepted for Artist Support Grants to aid the professional and artistic development of artists in all disciplines in Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, Polk, Rutherford and Transylvania counties. Qualifying uses include the creation of work, improvement of business operations and expanding capacity to bring work to new audiences. Artist fees are also allowable expenses.

Artist Support Grants are made possible by a partnership of the North Carolina Arts Council, Asheville Area Arts Council, Haywood County Arts Council, Arts Council of Henderson County, Tryon Fine Arts Center, Rutherford County Recreation, Cultural and Heritage Commission, and the Transylvania Community Arts Council. The deadline to apply is Wednesday, Sept. 30. Grants ranging from $500-$1,000 will be distributed by the Haywood County Arts Council. HaywoodArts.org/grants-funding


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About Edwin Arnaudin
Edwin Arnaudin is a staff writer for Mountain Xpress. He also reviews films for ashevillemovies.com and is a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association (SEFCA) and North Carolina Film Critics Association (NCFCA). Follow me @EdwinArnaudin

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