Around Town: Asheville benefit concert will raise money for Ukrainian relief

MUSIC MATTERS: From left, Chris Rosser, Hannah Kaminer, Amanda Anne Platt, Chris Wilhelm and Andrew Scotchie will be among the musicians performing at a benefit concert for Ukraine on Saturday, April 30. Photo by Jennifer Castillo

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, local Ukrainian American artist Andrea Kulish has helped raise an estimated $27,000 in aid through various fundraising initiatives.

And the work continues. She and her husband, local musician Chris Wilhelm, have since announced their latest plans: “Benefit Concert for Ukraine,” taking place Saturday, April 30, at 8:30 p.m. at Isis Music Hall. All proceeds from the show will go to the Ukrainian National Women’s League of America humanitarian aid fund, which sends aid directly to four hospitals in Ukraine to help wounded and displaced soldiers and civilians.

Performers will include Hannah Kaminer, Amanda Anne Platt with Matt Smith,  Chris Rosser, Andrew Scotchie and Wilhelm. The evening will also feature speakers from Ukraine and a silent auction with items from local businesses and artists, as well as a merchandise table with traditional decorated Ukrainian eggs known as pysanky, stickers, T-shirts and handmade items from Ukraine.

Long before the war, Kulish worked to share her Ukrainian heritage through pysanky she creates in her Studio A at Pink Dog Creative Collective in the River Arts District, 334 Depot St. Last month, the artist began making and selling #standwithUkraine stickers at her studio as well.

“I have not taken a day off since the invasion began,” she says. “I cannot sit still. The future of the world is at stake. There is a fire inside me that keeps me fundraising. My negative emotions about the war are transformed into positive action.”

For more information or to buy a $20 ticket, go to

The Eagle soars

The Grey Eagle has been organizing large outdoor shows since its 25th anniversary concert at Black Mountain’s Lake Eden in 2019. Now the venerable venue is partnering with Asheville Outdoor Center to open a space along the French Broad River with increased capacity for large national touring acts.

“Our goal is to continue our enrichment of Asheville by creating a community gathering space for live music,” says John Zara,  marketing director at The Grey Eagle.

The venue’s second location, 521 Amboy Road, sits on over 2 acres and will house two stages. Zara expects the smaller stage, designed for regional and local bands, to open later in the summer.

The second, larger stage will open on a later date, possibly next year.

Disappearing act

While researching a book about aviation in 1927, Hendersonville author Richard DuRose was invited to attend a meeting of the Paul Rinaldo Redfern Aviation Society, which honors the memory of the pioneering South Carolina pilot and adventurer who went missing that year while attempting to fly to Brazil.

Redfern’s plane was last spotted over Venezuela.

“At the meeting, some men from Venezuela brought a silent film their fathers had taken during one of their hunts for Redfern,” says DuRose, a retired attorney. “The film showed the white men talking with natives on a riverbank deep in the jungle.”

Seeing that footage inspired DuRose to start writing a novel based on the incredible story of Redfern and the ongoing mystery surrounding his disappearance. More Than a Man Can Stand was published by Escarpment Press in March.

The book tells the story of Redfern’s life, including his stint working at an aircraft factory during World War I, his aviation business and his time chasing moonshiners for the federal government. But the bulk of the narrative is a fictional account of Redfern’s life living with Indigenous people in the jungle.

“It is speculation as to what really happened to Paul Redfern because we cannot know for sure in 2022,” he says.

DuRose’s first book was a nonfiction account of the life of his aunt, Mildred Doran, an aviation enthusiast who disappeared with several others during a race in 1927. That led to his second book, 1927: A Brilliant Year in Aviation.

For more information or to purchase the book, go to

You’re only human

Asheville Creative Arts, a professional children’s theater, will return to live productions with the world premiere of Human Thursday, April 28-Sunday, May 15, at the Wortham Center for the Performing Arts.

The play explores what it means to be human through projection design, sound design, dance, puppetry and sensory play, ACA says in a release. It is meant for children 5 and older.

Written, directed and designed by Nehprii Amenii, the show features original compositions and lyrics from Martha Redbone and Aaron Whitby. The cast includes April Tilles, Joshua Chung, Kaylyn Carter, Khalilah Smith, Olympea, Rebekah Babelay and Tippin.  

Public performances will be Fridays at 7 p.m., Saturdays at 1 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m., with special performances on Thursday, April 28, and Saturday, May 7, at 7 p.m.

The Tina McGuire Theatre at the Wortham Center for the Performing Arts is at 18 Biltmore Ave. Admission to the show is free, with a hat passed for donations. For more information or to reserve seats, go to

Coloring outside the lines

Artsville Collective will present In Living Color: At Home with Paint, Paper and Thread Friday, April 29-Monday, July 25.

The show will feature colorful, abstract works by three guest artists: Betsy Meyer, fibers; Karen Stastny, painting; and Michelle Wise, mixed media. Also showing will be the retro pop art and augmented reality of Daryl Slaton and the mixed-media art of Louise Glickman.

Artsville Collective is a joint partnership of Sand Hill Artists Collective and Crewest Studios/LA.

Artsville Collective is inside Marquee at 36 Foundy St. Gallery hours are Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information, go to

Let’s stroll

Artists in West Asheville’s Falconhurst neighborhood will present the first Falconhurst Studio Stroll on Sunday, May 1, 1-5 p.m.

The event was organized by local artists Brian and Carrie Turner, who have have lived in the neighborhood for 15 years and were inspired by the Beaverdam Studio Tour in North Asheville.

“We thought something similar would be a great way to highlight all of the great creativity happening in our little corner of Asheville,” says Carrie Turner. “We love that our neighborhood is full of creative people.”

The self-guided tour of Falconhurst studio spaces will feature blown glass, photography, music, sculpture, mosaic, yard art, painting and more. Participating artists include the Turners, Sarah Garrard, Jennifer Murphy, Jennifer Barrineau, Pur Radiance Wax and Cedar’s Sculptures and Toys.

The Falconhurst neighborhood is bordered on the east by Louisiana Avenue, on the south by Haywood Road, on the west by Mitchell and Druid avenues and on the north by Patton Avenue.

For more information about the event and participating artists, visit




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About Justin McGuire
Justin McGuire is a UNC Chapel Hill graduate with more than 30 years of experience as a writer and editor. His work has appeared in The Sporting News, the (Rock Hill, SC) Herald and various other publications. Follow me @jmcguireMLB

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