Editor’s note: This is part of “Four of a Kind,” a new Arts & Culture feature. Each month, four new artists share their takes on the local art scene. In addition to individual online posts, you can find all four features as a single spread in this week’s print edition.
Becky Stone is a Fairview-based storyteller who also performs at a number of Chautauqua festivals, portraying various historical figures.
Xpress: Is there an upcoming storytelling event happening in Asheville that you’re looking forward to seeing?
Stone: On Wednesday, Aug. 3, the Weaverville Community Center is hosting another storytelling concert produced by Chuck Fink — a fine teller of personal tales himself who has pulled together several concerts of tellers over the last few years. He brings together the best in the region, and the audiences are wonderful. They only ask for donations, so everyone has access to these concerts. You get to hear four tellers, and he doesn’t ask you to be a part of the concert unless you have something to offer. You’ll come away excited by what you hear.
Outside of storytelling, what other upcoming local arts happening intrigues you?
I love music, and when I get the chance, I try to take advantage of the music series offered in the area. There are two chamber music series that never fail to entice and entertain: the Chamber Music Society of the Carolinas [which has Saturday performances July 8, 15, 22 and 29 at Warren Wilson College’s Kittredge Theater] and the Asheville Chamber Music Series [a five-concert season, which begins in October]. I love chamber music because I can hear the different voices of the instruments, how each instrument contributes to the piece and the artistry of the instrumentalist. All music is thrilling, but I especially enjoy the intimacy of chamber music.
What current project are you working on that you’re especially excited about?
I am taking on a new Chautauqua character, Mary Fields. She was the first African American woman to be a star route carrier in this country. She was born into slavery, but after emancipation, life led her to Cascade, Mont., where she died in 1914. She was a part of the settling of the frontier, and researching Fields is going to lead me to a close examination of the African Americans who lived in the Wild West and made significant contributions — Black settlers, male and female; Black cowboys; Black entrepreneurs; Black sheriffs and marshals; Black wranglers. Oh, the stories that are waiting to be told!