Culture watch

A Dunn Deal

For the past 30 years, the Fletcher School of Dance has stood guard at the gates of downtown Asheville, alerting all who drive up Patton Avenue toward the commercial row that ours is a city of arts as well as business. But, as is the case with so many long-established local businesses, tradition must give way to progress. Building owner Ann Dunn (who is also the school’s director) recently sold the building and plans to relocate the school to newer quarters in the yet-to-be-built Reynolds Village (north of downtown). According to a press release from Dunn, the new building will have a large studio area (roughly the size of the Diana Wortham Theatre stage), improved dressing areas and an in-house video system so that parents will be able to watch their children rehearse without disturbing them. The new space is set to open in January, according to Dunn.

The Price of Great Art? $429,079

The North Carolina Arts Council recently announced the recipients of its Grassroots Arts Program grants, and a substantial chunk of that cash has landed in WNC. A total of $429,079 will be distributed to area arts organizations in Buncombe, Haywood, Jackson and Transylvania counties, with more than half of the funds going to programs in Buncombe County. Local arts groups benefiting from the grant include a $3,500 grant to Terpsicorp Theatre of Dance for the staging of The Scarlet Letter, $14,000 toward general operations at the YMI Cultural Center, and a whopping operations grant of $50,000 for the Asheville Symphony. The NCAC distributed more than $6.5 million to N.C.-based arts groups this year, the majority of which comes from the North Carolina General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts. A complete listing of all grants is available at www.ncarts.org.

Life in Free Fall

New York City-based video artist William Lamson shot part of his latest video project in the Asheville area. The experimental video piece features a man in perpetual free fall as aided by a sky-diving simulator. Lamson’s other work explores similar themes, such as his photograph/video/sculpture series Flight, which features objects being launched and suspended in midair. For more information (and samples) visit www.williamlamson.com.

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