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.

TRUTH IS STRANGER THAN FICTION: "Malverse is an urban legend/ghost story, and there’s a fair amount of twisted humor in it," says playwright John Crutchfield. "But, basically, it’s a straight-up social drama dealing with the theme of race relations in the context of urban gentrification." Pictured, clockwise from top, are Darren Marshall, Andrew Gall, Laura Tratnik, Valeria Watson and Gary Gaines.

Theater review: ‘Malverse’ explores race relations at The Magnetic Theatre

The show, onstage at The Magnetic Theatre through Saturday, June 3, deals with a white couple who’ve settled in a predominantly black neighborhood in hopes that, as the area gentrifies, their investment will pay off handsomely. But in this play, systemic racism plays out not through dreams deferred as much as through nightmares, real and imagined.