Around town: Annual Maker Faire hosts innovators of all ages

INNOVATION FOR ALL: Guests engage with interactive booths at the Maker Faire, a science and craft event for all ages. Pictured is the Community Foothills Workshop, a public hackerspace and makerspace, from last year’s event. Photo courtesy of Maker Faire

Asheville’s fourth annual Maker Faire, a fusion of science fair and show-and-tell for all ages, will take place Saturday, April 13, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., at the Mission Health/A-B Tech Conference Center.

The Maker Faire began in the Bay Area in 2006 and spread to cities all over the world, landing in Asheville for the first time in 2019. The volunteer-run event is a venue for scientists, inventors, crafters and other innovators to network and share their handicrafts with the community.

Guests might see robots roaming, learn to solder (join metals together), make clay pots or learn how to juggle, says Christa Flores, co-founder, volunteer and producer of Maker Faire Asheville. “Not only is Maker Faire a place for makers to find community, it is a space and time to inspire others to become makers, to network, find the right tools and make the world just a bit better by doing so. Maybe you will learn a new skill, but most importantly, you will see the possible world of making through a diverse array of maker role models.”

Flores says although makers can sell their inventions, that is not the main purpose of the event. “Maker Faire is about coming together, getting inspired and finding ‘your people.’”

Over 40 makers will have interactive booths. Flores says this will be the largest number of exhibitors yet. Each year brings new makers and makers who return with new projects, including young innovators from local schools.

Guests at this year’s event will have the opportunity to climb inside a 7-foot-tall musical geodesic dome and trigger musical sounds by touching parts of the dome’s structure. Another new addition is a wind tube device exhibited by the Peaks to Piedmont Girl Scouts troop, designed to create and test flying objects. Others include a DIY hardware-hacking and rapid prototyping space, 3D printers and one of Flores’ favorites — a life-size, 3D-printed, talking R2D2 from Star Wars.

“Each fair is the result of hardworking volunteers who love the DIY and maker culture, as well as celebrating together as makers,” Flores says.

The event is free to exhibit at and attend.

The Mission Health/A-B Tech Conference Center is at 16 Fernihurst Drive. Learn more about this year’s lineup of makers at

Embroidery workshop

Artist Harper Leich will offer a workshop on the basics of embroidery Tuesday, April 16, 9 a.m.- 1:30 p.m., and Sunday, April 21, 1-5 p.m., at her studio in The Canopy at Art Garden AVL.

Individuals should bring their own clothing items, made of nonstretchy materials such as denim or linen, for a creative makeover. Items other than clothing are acceptable, as long as both the front and back are accessible and flat. The class will teach technique and two simple stitches, then assist students in creating and embroidering a design.

The Canopy at Art Garden is at 191 Lyman St. #320. The class fee is $65. To register visit

Stand-up show

The Slice of Life Comedy professional and open mic comedy show will continue at Asheville Pizza and Brewing Co. on Sunday, April 14, 6:30-9 pm.

The show’s host, Hilliary Begley, has a history of being voted Asheville’s Favorite Comic in Mountain Xpress and debuted in the Netflix original “Dumplin’” as Aunt Lucy. Begley will be joined by professional comics Derek Boskovich, James Rocco and Jordan Smith.

The show is for ages 18 and older.

Asheville Pizza and Brewing Co. is at 675 Merrimon Ave. Tickets are available at

StorySLAM winner

Local award-winning storyteller Connie Regan-Blake won the Moth StorySLAM on March 21 at The Grey Eagle. She has been making her living as a storyteller for 53 years, traveling to six continents to share thousands of stories ranging from mountain tales to stories based on personal experience.

The Moth StorySLAM is a monthly storytelling event hosted by The Moth, a nonprofit group dedicated to the art of storytelling throughout the nation. Participants prepare a five-minute story around a theme, and if their name is pulled at random, they share.

Regan-Blake told a story of parachuting while backpacking in New Zealand with a stranger, whom she decided to trust on a whim, for the story theme “Dazzled.”

“The real challenge for me was bringing it down to five minutes,” says Blake. “I wasn’t positive I was going to put [in] my name, and I thought, ‘You know, I think I will do that.’ And I’m so glad I did. It was just lots of fun.”

She is also working to gather material for the Connie-Regan Blake collection at the Library of Congress, which she says is a documentation of her entire journey as a storyteller, “right alongside this whole performance/storytelling birth that was happening in the United States.”

Regan-Blake also teaches storytelling workshops.

Learn more at

Fiddler in the library 

Phil Jamison, a nationally known dance caller, old-time musician and flatfoot dancer, will present Black Fiddlers of America on Tuesday, April 16, 6-7:30 p.m., at Pack Memorial Library.

Since the early 1970s, Jamison has been participating in music and dance events across the U.S. In 2017, he was inducted into the Blue Ridge Music Hall of Fame, and in 2022 into America’s Clogging Hall of Fame. In addition to performing, Jamison taught traditional music and dance at Warren Wilson College for nearly 30 years, serving as coordinator of the Old-Time Music and Dance Week at the Swannanoa Gathering.

The program is part of the One Book, One Buncombe communitywide read and presented by Special Collections at Pack Library.

Pack Memorial Library is at 67 Haywood St. Learn more at

Documentary focuses on Asheville’s Black history 

The film documentary Black in Asheville, recounting Asheville’s Black history, will be shown at the Black Wall Street Event Center on Thursday, April 11, 6-8 p.m.

Bringing together Asheville historians and residents, the film transports viewers back to the antebellum period to show what life was like for slaves in Asheville. It then documents the conditions of slaves during the Civil War and their transition to the postbellum period of Reconstruction, Jim Crow and Black Code Laws.

The film also explores the establishment of churches and schools and their vital role in the development of Black life and addresses what further progress a nonsegregated Asheville might make.

Admission is free.

Black Wall Street Event Center is at 8 River Arts Place. Learn more at

Poetry showcase comes to Weaverville

The Weaverville Poets Collective will celebrate National Poetry Month with a poetry showcase at the Weaverville Community Center on Sunday, April 14, 7:30 p.m.

Eight of the presenting poets are from WordPlay, and three are from Weaverville Writers Network, another writing group at the center.

WordPlay began a year ago as a free class at the Weaverville Community Center. The poets involved in the class have met every month to share work, receive feedback, write prompts and learn more about the various forms of poetry. The poets now offer monthly workshops at the Weaverville Public Library and an open mic at Blue Mountain Pizza, and they recently published their first chapbook.

“Our mission is to build community through poetry,” says founder Mel Kelley in a press release. “We are excited to be getting out into the neighborhood and bringing poetry to the people.”

The poetry showcase is free.

The Weaverville Community Center is at 60 Lakeshore Drive, Weaverville. For more information contact Kelley at 

New improv comedy show

Scuttlebutt, a monthly improvisational comedy show, will premier at the LaZoom Room on Friday, April 12, 9:30 p.m.

Scuttlebutt pokes fun at workplace life, inspired by guest storytellers and audience suggestions. April’s guest storyteller will be actor Delina Hensley.

The show is from Double Dip Productions, which also produces Blind Date Live!, Appa-laffin’ Mountain Revue, The Hometown Show, and Joe Carroll‘s one-man show Quality Service.

Scuttlebutt is for ages 18 and older. Tickets are $20 in advance and $22 at the door.

The LaZoom Room is at 76 Biltmore Ave. For tickets, visit: For information on Double Dip Productions events, visit

Reading series continues 

The Punch Bucket Lit monthly reading series continues at rEvolve used clothing store, with authors Mindi Meltz and Brit Washburn presenting on Thursday, April 18, 7 p.m.

Meltz has published several novels, including ForeWord Reviews Fantasy Book of the Year finalist Lonely in the Heart of the World and the literary-fantasy trilogy After Ever After. She also creates “Animal Wisdom” knowledge card decks and is a freelance editor for Xpress.

Washburn is the author of essay collection Homing In: Attempts on a Life of Poetry and Purpose, the poetry collection Notwithstanding, and the forthcoming poetry collection What is Given. She is also this year’s judge for Xpress‘ annual poetry contest.

rEvolve is at 697 Haywood Road. For more information on Punch Bucket Lit readings, visit


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