Corrective lens: Edwin Arnaudin’s favorite articles in 2020

Photo by Cindy Kunst

“The carpet, too, is moving under you” — Bob Dylan, “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue”

Reporters have to be nimble and ready for constant change, but when the COVID-19 pandemic temporarily closed Asheville-area arts and entertainment venues in March, it was difficult not to feel a bit at a loss regarding how best to cover what was happening. The focus quickly shifted to checking in with representatives from various arts sectors to see how they were adjusting to operational challenges, plus documenting “the new normal” facing musicians and writers as they released books and albums without in-person events.

In addition to profiling artists and organizers I’d long wanted to interview, the creative work that emerged from local social justice advocates in the wake of this summer’s protests following the death of George Floyd proved especially inspirational. Though the local scene remains largely in a holding pattern and is likely to shift a few more times before returning to its former glory, the innovation and sense of community from this wacky year feels destined to endure and make Asheville even better than before.



Photo by Gus Cutty


Storefront solidarity: Local artists paint downtown businesses to show support for protests

Gus Cutty, Kathryn Crawford, Ian Wilkinson and Dustin Spagnola have teamed with downtown businesses owners on the provocative art project.






Amanda and Jon Hency; Photo by Edwin Arnaudin


Fade to black: The Mothlight closes after seven years of innovative programming

Amanda and Jon Hency reflect on their difficult decision, standout moments and their next chapter.








Peter Smith-McDowell; photo by Cory the Gardener

A laughing matter: Asheville stand-up comedians prepare comebacks as COVID-19 restrictions lift

Hilliary Begley, Moira Goree and Peter Smith-McDowell discuss life as a stand-up comic during a pandemic.






Lo Wolf; photo by Delaney Storm Brown


Righteous howl: Lo Wolf releases debut full-length album

The Asheville-based singer-songwriter discusses making her debut LP, social justice and her hopes for the local music industry’s future.








Steve White, left, and Davida Horwitz; photo by Cindy Kunst



Cinematic dilemma: Movie theaters reopen: Is it too soon?

Gov. Cooper’s Phase 3 allows North Carolina movie theaters to reopen at limited capacities and with significant restrictions.




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About Edwin Arnaudin
Edwin Arnaudin is a staff writer for Mountain Xpress. He also reviews films for and is a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association (SEFCA) and North Carolina Film Critics Association (NCFCA). Follow me @EdwinArnaudin

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