Around town: The Odd Doll Exhibit

HELLO DOLLY: Keith Shubert of Toybox Theatre will host a local doll show at West Asheville's The Odd on Sunday, Dec. 17. Photo courtesy of Shubert.

The Odd Doll Exhibit, spotlighting several regional and local artists who specialize in unique dolls, will be held at The Odd in West Asheville on Sunday, Dec. 17, 11-4 p.m. The event is organized and hosted by toy maker, puppeteer and comedian Keith Shubert, who runs Toybox Theatre.

Attendees will be able to meet the artists as well as purchase items. The Odd’s brunch menu and bar will be available.

“I wanted to share with the Asheville community many of the amazing artists in the region specializing in one-of-a-kind figurative work for a holiday market,” says Shubert. “One of the things I do year-round in the community is curate eclectic casts of artists at different events, to spotlight a variety of unique voices [and] to promote creativity and support for independent artists.”

Shubert, who has lived in Asheville since 2009, is also involved with Asheville Vaudeville, Asheville Fringe Arts Festival, LEAF Global Arts and other arts and community events.

The Odd is at 1045 Haywood Road. For more information on Toybox Theatre, visit

Bask celebrates a decade

Bask, a heavy and progressive rock band from Asheville, will hold its 10th anniversary celebration at Burial Beer Co.’s Eulogy on the South Slope on Saturday, Dec. 16, 8 p.m. The free concert will open with punk band Zombie Queen and metallic hardcore group Serrate. Live visuals by local cinematographer Garrett Williams will accompany Bask’s set.

Burial Beer Co. will also release a new beer, Rid of You, in honor of the 10-year friendship between the brewery and Bask. The dry Irish-stout style was chosen as one of the band’s and brewer’s favorites and is named after a track on the band’s album III. The beer will be available on draft only at Eulogy.

Drummer Scott Middleton says the band is excited to mark the special occasion with a hometown show.

“We’ve been able to tour the States, Canada and Europe and play with many bands we love and admire,” he says. “When we first began, [we] had a modest goal of getting music onto vinyl. Fortunately, we accomplished that early on and were able to do some things that seemed like a pipe dream … while we were writing demos in basements and bedrooms.”

Eulogy is at 10 Buxton Ave. For more information, visit

Whirling dervishes at Warren Wilson

Asheville Wordfest will commemorate the 750th anniversary of poet Rumi’s death at “Remembering Rumi” on Sunday, Dec. 17, 7 p.m., at Bryson Gym at Warren Wilson College. The event is inspired by an annual event held each year in Konya, Turkey, by Rumi’s followers, the Mevlevi Dervishes.

“Remembering Rumi” will feature his poetry read by Laura Hope-Gill, founder of Asheville Wordfest. Asheville Percussion Festival director River Guerguerian and his longtime wind- and string-instrument bandmate, Chris Rosser, will provide musical accompaniment. A whirling workshop will be led by Erik Bendix, who trained in Mevlevi dervish whirling and has whirled with Mevlevis in Konya.

Bryson Gym is at 102 Upper College Road, Swannanoa. For more information, visit

Asheville FM record release and listening party

103.3 Asheville FM will release its second annual compilation LP, Real People Great Radio Vol. 2, at a listening party at Citizen Vinyl on Thursday, Dec. 14, 7 p.m.

Several of the collection’s 10 local bands and artists will perform at the free event. The collection features multiple genres and community voices.

“Throw an onion 10 feet in any direction in Asheville, and you’ll hit an artist,” says Bill Donovan, Asheville FM’s music director, in a press release. “But they’re also probably someone who supports their art by working in the retail or service industries, tourism or any number of occupations. This is our way of supporting the folks who keep us going, and who create excellent music that resonates far beyond the Blue Ridge Mountains.”

Citizen Vinyl is at 14 O. Henry Ave. For more information, visit

Nonprofits host The Star Market

Two local nonprofits are collaborating to host The Star Market, a free holiday market at Art Garden AVL in the River Arts District on Sunday, Dec. 17, 1 p.m.

FIRSTwnc works to empower neurodiverse people and people with disabilities through community connection, and Imprint Artists works to elevate the quality of life for artists. The Star Market will feature artists and craftspeople from both organizations.

Art Garden AVL is at 191 Lyman St. For more information, visit

Swannanoa Winterfest

The annual Swannanoa Winterfest, a free community celebration modeled on traditional European holiday markets, will be held in Grovemont Park on Sunday, Dec. 17, 2-6:30 p.m.

The event will feature 40 artisans and vendors, musical entertainment and jugglers, a marshmallow roast over an open fire pit, as well as food, holiday treats and hot drinks available for purchase.

New this year is the Holiday Trolley, available for a $3 donation, which gives a guided tour of the historic Grovemont neighborhood. Grovemont is celebrating its 100th anniversary as America’s first planned community.

Children’s games and activities will be available, including a visit from Olaf the Snowman and a booth for writing and mailing letters to Santa Claus.

Attendees are encouraged to bring nonperishables or monetary donations to support the Healthy Food & Fund Drive sponsored by local nonprofit Bounty & Soul.

Friends of the Swannanoa Library will also host a used book sale in the library’s basement throughout the event.

Grovemont Park is at 251 Stonewall Ave., Swannanoa. For more information, visit

Asheville author wins N.C. Fiction Prize

Local author Robert McGee has added a new title to his repertoire: winner of the N.C. State Shorter Fiction Prize. McGee’s short story “Why I Never Published My Novel” took home the top prize this year, as judged by Smriti Ravindra, who called it “funny, poignant, clever and meaningful.”

The story begins with a family death that alters the course of the narrator’s life, followed by a series of curveballs.

McGee has entered and been a finalist six times. Upon receiving this year’s news of winning, he says, “I danced around my living room for a few minutes and didn’t get much work done that morning.”

For more information, visit

Andy Hall, with additional reporting by Murryn Payne


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About Andy Hall
Andy Hall graduated from The University of North Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communication. After working at the United States Capitol for ten years, she has returned to her native state to enjoy the mountains — and finally become a writer.

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