EVENT POSTPONED: “Celebrate the Block” aids revitalization of historic Eagle and Market Streets neighborhood

Update: This event has been postponed until the end of the summer

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From a press release:

“Celebrate the Block” aids revitalization of historic Eagle and Market Streets neighborhood

Downtown neighbors are celebrating the revitalization of the block at the intersections of Eagle and Market Streets!  Asheville Lyric Opera (ALO) and Eagle Market Streets Development Corporation (EMSDC) are partnering for an event Friday, May 30 to recognize the revitalization of the historic buildings at this intersection.  Celebrate the Block will be an evening of musical entertainment and dinner, while the proceeds benefit the YMI Cultural Center.

A slew of inspiring things have been taking place in this corner of downtown Asheville.  The YMI Cultural Center celebrated 120 years at the Founders’ Day Celebration last September; then shortly after that, EMSDC started construction on the surrounding buildings.  As ALO moves into its 15th Anniversary the organization also commemorates its third year residing in the National Registered historic building that is the YMI Cultural Center.  South Market Street neighbors EMSDC and ALO recognize that now is the perfect time to celebrate the revitalization of this historic community.

The community built its foundation in 1893 with the construction of the YMI Cultural Center.  Funded by George W. Vanderbilt, African American craftsmen, who also helped construct Biltmore Estate, built the center as the focal point for the community.  With the growth of the neighborhood came construction of the surrounding buildings in the 1950s.  Revitalization of this neighborhood has been 20 years in the making.  EMSDC formed in 1994 when the City of Asheville recognized the area had been neglected during the preceding decades.  Several years later EMSDC purchased the “Dr. Collette”, “Del Cardo”, and 3 Wilson Alley buildings that are the prime focus of the new project.  Towards the end of 2014, Eagle Market Place will be complete, and ready for the mixed-use of community, commercial, and residential spaces.

Bringing recognition to this exciting new venture, Celebrate the Block will entertain guests during dinner with local oboe and flute classical duo Floboe, and international gospel, jazz, and opera singer Audrey DuBois Harris.  Proceeds from the event will go towards updating the lighting in the auditorium at the YMI Cultural Center.  Among the invitees for Celebrate the Block are local and state leaders, board members of YMI Cultural Center, EMSDC, and ALO, as well as others who have an interest in revitalizing the historic community.
About Eagle Market Street Development Coorperation:  Founded in 1994 as a non-profit organization, EMSDC’s mission is to develop people, property and businesses and envisions economic and social justice and growth for all.  ESMDC strives to develop a cooperative an collaborative environment that fosters local, regional and global healthy, sustainable communities.  For more information about EMSDC, contact Stephanie Swepson-Twitty, President/ CEO at 828-281-1227.

About Asheville Lyric Opera:  ALO is a professional, non-profit opera company celebrating its 15th Anniversary.  ALO’s mission is to build a professional opera company in Asheville and present an educational outreach within area school and universities, thereby becoming part of and enhancing the life of the family of arts and culture in Western North Carolina.  For more information about ALO, contact David Starkey, General and Artistic Director at 828-236-0670.


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