Around town: Marion plantation recognizes woman of color as descendant

ASSESSING ANCESTORS: Regina Lynch-Hudson, descendant of Historic Carson House’s founder, and historian Jim Haney view the slave rolls in Historic Carson House. Photo courtesy of Lynch-Hudson

Regina Lynch-Hudson, a former Western North Carolina resident and Black Mountain native, has become Col. John Carson’s first descendant of color to join the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). The Historic Carson House, a former 640-acre plantation established in 1793 in Marion, is also constructing a new interpretive center honoring the slave experience.

Analyses from Family Tree DNA confirmed that Carson, a distinguished Revolutionary War officer, was Lynch-Hudson’s fifth great-grandfather. For Lynch-Hudson, the DNA confirmation was a significant milestone in her lifelong exploration of her tangled European-African-Native American lineage and the complex amalgamation of oppressed and oppressor. “Transitioning from the role of a publicist and travel writer to that of a family history reviver was a natural progression,” she says. “All of these roles involve researching and documenting narratives of people and places to create content that transcends time and geography.”

The Daughters of the American Revolution is a 190,000-member lineage-based organization founded in 1890 for women directly descended from the supporters of the American Revolution. Lynch-Hudson is the inaugural African American member of its Greenlee chapter.

Coinciding with Lynch-Hudson’s induction into the DAR, Historic Carson House is constructing a 3,000-square-foot interpretive center with a permanent exhibition about the slave experience on the plantation. It will feature furniture and household items made by expert enslaved artisans such as Kadella, who quilted. For her induction ceremony, Lynch-Hudson wore a replica of one of Kadella’s quilts as a scarf in her memory.

Establishing ancestral ties to the period of the Revolutionary War can be especially challenging for African Americans because of the scarce slave record beyond oral histories. Lynch-Hudson says her case exemplifies how DNA evidence can help enrich these American family narratives. “My membership in DAR honors faceless foremothers such as Kadella,” says Lynch-Hudson, “and every plantation daughter whose unrecognized contributions have profoundly shaped our nation’s heritage.”

Lynch-Hudson serves as co-administrator for two regional DNA projects: the Cragmont Community Project and the Payne Family of Western North Carolina Project.

The Historic Carson House is at 1805 U.S. 70, Marion. For information visit For information on Daughters of the American Revolution, visit

‘Frozen Jr.’ live on Wortham stage

Asheville Junior Theater presents Frozen Jr. at the Wortham Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday, June 15, and Sunday, June 16, at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Frozen Jr. is an adaptation of the Disney story about love and the bond of sisterhood. The performance features the film’s original music by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, plus five new songs from the popular 2018 Broadway production. The Asheville Junior Theater performance is a 60-minute version of the Broadway performance, intended for all ages. It stars local actors, including Gigi Haas as Anna and Windsor Bishop as Elsa.

Asheville Junior Theater is a youth theater company that offers classes and workshops for children interested in the performing arts. Tickets to the performance range from $20-$25.

The Wortham Center for the Performing Arts is at 18 Biltmore Ave. For more information, visit

‘Brew and View’ on the market again

A deal to buy Asheville Pizza & Brewing Co.’s North Asheville location, known as the “Brew and View,” has lapsed, and the building is back on the market.

The North Asheville theater shows first- and second-run movies and hosts regular televised sporting events, comedy shows and trivia contests. It features a full menu of food and beverages and a large arcade room. Mike Rangel, one of Asheville Brewing Co.’s founding owners, hopes to sell the diverse business to someone local who understands the legacy of the location and shares the company’s commitment to the community. “The main thing is, we’re not closing down,” says Rangel. “It’s just about finding the right group to come in and keep it going.”

Over three dozen such groups showed initial interest in the location, but a prospective deal recently fell through, leaving the future of the space uncertain. Now the company plans to open the sale to a regional market once again. “When we announced the sale the first time, our goal was to take a few months and find a local buyer who would have the best hope of success,” says Rangel. “You know, someone who has the actual IQ of how to treat employees. That was our big thing, really, was wanting to make sure that we take care of our amazing staff.” Some of the staff, he says, have been with the company for the entire 25 years of its existence.

The sale relates only to the theater location in North Asheville, not to the downtown location or the Asheville Brewing Co. brand as a whole.

The North Asheville theater is also rolling out some new offerings, such as a lunch buffet and free family movies playing every day on the screen in the arcade room.

Asheville Pizza & Brewing Co.’s North Asheville location is at 675 Merrimon Ave. For more information, contact

New painting exhibit by Aaron Fields

Painter Aaron Fields has opened a new exhibit titled Hidden Colors at Marquee Asheville, running through Sunday, Sept. 1.

The paintings in the Hidden Colors collection are bright and minimal, according to Fields, meant to evoke a perfect summer day in the Appalachian mountains with pink skies and misty green hills. The works are done with acrylic, paint marker and spray paint, and often incorporate reclaimed materials such as doors and wood panels — a technique that connects Field’s art to his mission. “While living here, I’ve wanted to re-create experiences I’ve had in nature and to ethically bring them to life using recycled materials,” he says.

Fields has lived in Asheville his whole life. He studied fine art at A-B Tech and has been creating art for over 15 years. He has previously worked with New Morning Gallery and The Foundation.

Marquee Asheville is at 36 Foundy St. Field’s digital collection can be viewed on Instagram @aaronfields24.

New book explores labyrinths

Asheville native Jim Gardner has released a new book titled Short Circuits: Brief Takes on Labyrinths in Popular (and Unpopular) Culture.

The book explores artistic and philosophical representations of mazes and labyrinths, emphasizing their appearances in popular culture, including works by Pablo Picasso, Taylor Swift, F. Scott Fitzgerald and the Wu-Tang Clan. It also follows such figures as Jesus, Icarus and Pocahontas as they navigate the labyrinths of their lives. “Gardner draws on a wide swath of sources, peppered with his own hard-won wisdom, to fashion a captivating path through the twists and turns of labyrinthine mythology, scholarship and pop culture,” says L.D. Russell, senior lecturer emeritus at Elon University, in a press release. The book also explores an urban design component and includes an interview with professional labyrinth designer and builder Lars Howlett.

Gardner has written for Goldmine, Beat Magazine, CMJ, Spectator Magazine, Indy Week and Asheville’s Green Line (the precursor to Xpress), among other publications. He makes music under the moniker Jr. James & The Late Guitar. He was a humanities instructor at Asheville School and is a substitute teacher for Asheville High School/SILSA.

The book is available for purchase from Malaprop’s Bookstore & Cafe.

For more information, visit

Fundraiser combines art, garden tour

Black Mountain Center for the Arts presents the 18th annual Art in Bloom fundraiser and exhibition.

The fundraiser combines two gallery exhibits of art by regional artists, live floral arrangements inspired by the artwork, and a local garden tour, combining nature and art to support working artists in the Asheville community.

The Art in Bloom preview party on Friday, June 13, 5-7 p.m., will give visitors an opportunity to see the floral interpretations in advance and speak with the designers. Drinks, hors d’oeuvres and music will be provided.

On Saturday, June 14, and Sunday, June 15, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., the work of ikebana and Western floral designers will be on display in the gallery for a limited two-day show. A self-guided local garden tour from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. will feature diverse gardens from around town with plein air artists creating works of art in each one. A garden tour ticket includes a map and directions to each garden as well as access to the main Art in Bloom gallery exhibit.

On Friday, June 21, 5-6:30 p.m., Black Mountain Center for the Arts will host a post-exhibit reception to review the works created by the plein air artists during the garden tour. Complimentary refreshments will be provided along with the opportunity to mingle with the artists.

The other exhibit, Art from the Garden, will remain on display through Tuesday, July 16, and is free and open to the public.

Black Mountain Center for the Arts is located at 225 W. State St., Black Mountain. For more information, visit

Fae Summer Solstice planned at brewery

Sweeten Creek Brewing will host A Fae Summer Solstice on Saturday, June 15, 5-10 p.m.

The brewery invites fantasy fans and “fellow bookish babes” to celebrate the beginning of summer by connecting with other fantasy lovers. Participants are invited to dress up as any type of fae and to bring along their favorite books to swap at the brewery’s free on-site library. There will be outdoor dancing and a menu of themed drinks such as sparkling faerie wine and small bites. Vendors will be selling magical items. Admission to the event is free.

Sweeten Creek Brewing is at 1127 Sweeten Creek Road. For information visit


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One thought on “Around town: Marion plantation recognizes woman of color as descendant

  1. Voirdire

    Great piece about the Carson House and the DAR. This is the way to move forward with all of it. Looking forward to the completion of the new interpretive center!

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