PAYING TRIBUTE: "We are are asking for your donation to launch our Women Who Made Music History concert series," Peggy Ratusz, left, and Paula Hanke write online, "where we entertain and educate while we honor and pay emotional tribute to an array of influential divas, dames and darlings."

Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfundi­ng initiative­s

Each week, Xpress highlights notable WNC crowdsourcing initiatives that may inspire readers to become new faces in the crowd. This week features a female duo’s traveling tribute to iconic songstresses before them; a parent’s efforts to end lunch debt shaming in local schools; and a team of Erwin High track athletes’ trip to compete at nationals.

GROWING THE ARTS: "If the kids want to play basketball, they can go to that court over there, but what if they want to be a theater major or artist or performer?” asks Hood Huggers International co-founder DeWayne Barton, center in green shirt. “We want to create that structure in the neighborhood.” The collaborative Ancestors in the Garden event looks to provide such a solution.

Peace Garden partners with local theater for a community rejuvenati­on project

On Saturday, June 3, Hood Huggers will celebrate a new partnership with Voices United (a youth theater program that teaches young people to write, produce and perform in their own musicals) and Asheville Creative Arts (a local children’s theater company) by producing Ancestors in the Garden, a music and art event at the Peace Garden.