Around Town: Bullets and Bandaids shares veterans’ experiences

HEALING WOUNDS: Stacie Litsenberger, left, treats a wounded Iraqi civilian at the Combat Support Hospital (now the Tikrit Air Academy) in 2006. Litsenberger currently serves on the advisory board of Bullets and Bandaids, which presents an exhibition inspired by the personal stories of veterans. Photo courtesy of Stacie Litsenberger

One World Brewing West will host Bullets and Bandaids Volume 4: The Next Steps on Thursday, Feb. 9, 5-9 p.m., and Friday, Feb. 10, 5-8 p.m. The traveling exhibit features artwork and storytelling by over 40 veterans, plus local artists including Ryan O’Sullivan.

“It’s incredibly moving and really touching,” says local veteran Stacie Litsenberger. “We all have a different story to tell.”

The project is the latest from the Columbia, S.C.-based nonprofit, Bullets and Bandaids. Its founder, Robert LeHeup, formerly established the organization as a 501(c)(3) in 2019. The group’s mission is to connect veterans with local artists to encourage storytelling through creative mediums.

Litsenberger, who now serves on Bullets and Bandaids advisory board, is a retired U.S. Army major. In addition to her work with the nonprofit, she is an occupational therapist at the Charles George VA Medical Center.

All works are available for purchase through an online auction, with 40% of the sale going directly to veterans. Books featuring the exhibit’s works will also be available for purchase.

Having a community such as Bullets and Bandaids, says Litsenberger, “really does help people decrease isolation [and] find something meaningful.”

One World Brewing West is at 520 Haywood Road. Tickets are $10 for veterans and $20 for the general public. For more information, visit

A night of spoken word

The locally produced “No Simple Disruption” podcast allows young spoken word artists to collaborate with celebrated musicians. On Wednesday, Feb. 15, at 7 p.m. the podcast hosts a live performance of poetry and music at Salvage Station.

The event will feature Grammy Award-winning acts such as Oteil Burbridge and Vernon Reed, as well as John Medeski, Brian Jackson, DJ Logic, Jeff Sipe and Maggie Rose. Several local artists will also join the stage, including Austin Space, Datrian Johnson, Jake Wolf, Jake Mossman, Gina Cornejo and Truth-I Manifest.

“This collaboration is the beginning of a deep relationship with the creative youth of Asheville and the plethora of talented mentors with ties to the Asheville community,” notes a press release for the event.

Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the doors. Only adults ages 18 and older will be allowed in the venue.

Salvage Station is at 466 Riverside Drive. For more information, visit

Indigenous lecture series

As part of its Winter Lecture Series, the Museum of the Cherokee Indian hosts Our Voices, Our Identity on Wednesday, Feb. 15, at 5 p.m. The free virtual lecture series will be led by Jennifer Wilson, the Aniyvwiya community program coordinator at the museum, as well as a beadwork artist.

MCI has more events planned over the following weeks, including Maker Monday on Feb. 20 with Indigenous artists offering craft demonstrations at the museum.

The Museum of the Cherokee Indian is at 589 Tsali Blvd., Cherokee. For more information, visit

Looking ahead from ‘The Overlook’

After five years covering the local arts for Blue Ridge Public Radio, Matt Peiken is leaving his position with the station. On Monday, Feb. 13, he plans to launch “The Overlook,” a new daily podcast. The series will feature interviews with local artists, journalists and other trendsetters to discuss a range of local topics relevant to current events.

For more information about Peiken and his previous work, visit

Take a sip of ‘Love Potion’

Vibe with dance collective OMotion at White Horse Black Mountain during its upcoming performance, “Muses & Mocktails: Love Potion.” The Friday, Feb. 10, event blends dancing, burlesque, flow arts, comedy and poetry followed by a dance afterparty. Local mixologists at The NOHM Collective, known for concocting herbal elixirs, will serve mocktails during the show.

White Horse Black Mountain is at 105 Montreat Road, Black Mountain. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the afterparty starts at 9:15 p.m. Tickets for the full performance are $33; tickets for the afterparty are $22. For more information, visit

Travel to HappyLand

The Magnetic Theatre premieres its latest production, HappyLand, Friday, Feb. 10. The musical runs through Saturday, Feb. 25. Written by Brayden Dickerson and Zach Knox and directed by Jason Phillips, “this rock opera tells the tale of a delivery person who doesn’t quite fit into the titular town,” states the theater’s website. But after traveling to SadLand, the hero of the story falls in love and might even save the world. Asheville band Smooth Goose performs alongside the theater’s cast.

The Magnetic Theatre is at 375 Depot St. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday shows begin at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday shows are at 4 p.m. General admission tickets are $25. For more information, visit

The Trocks are back in town

Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo returns to the Wortham Center for the Performing Arts for back-to-back nights on Tuesday, Feb. 14, and Wednesday, Feb. 15. Since 1974, the Trocks have traveled the globe amusing audiences en pointe. Combining ballet and drag, the group offers a nontraditional performance this Valentine’s Day. Tickets range from $20-$58.

The Wortham Center for the Performing Arts is at 18 Biltmore Ave. Tickets are $20-$58. For more information, visit

Don’t stop believin’

Travel back in time to the ’80s at the Omni Grove Park Inn for its annual Rock ‘n’ Roll Weekend. Absolute Queen, a tribute band to Queen, plays in the Grand Ballroom at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10. The following evening features Departure, a Journey tribute band.

The Omni Grove Park Inn is at 290 Macon Ave. For more information, visit


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About Trevor Leach
Trevor Leach is a freelance writer and artist based in Asheville. In addition to self-publishing several books and handmade zines, they have also worked on the editorial teams of the Sentry newspaper and Paperbark magazine.

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