The 2018 Picks

/ Issue

Cover Design Credit:

Scott Southwick
For Xpress' last issue of the year, we present our picks of the stories, events, people and issues that defined 2018 in Western North Carolina


  • Outstanding local theater

    -by Kai Elijah Hamilton
    As this year comes to a close, it’s the perfect time to reflect on some truly extraordinary theater ranging from splashy musicals, moving dramas and locally written plays.
  • Best of Asheville Comedy

    -by Jeff Messer
    Asheville's thriving comedy scene remains active with local artists while also attracting major touring acts.
  • Noteworthy local album releases

    -by Bill Kopp
    The past year has brought forth a bumper crop of superb albums in every genre from artists local (or with strong connections) to Asheville and the surrounding region.
  • Creative resistance

    -by Ami Worthen
    In Western North Carolina, 2018 held numerous examples of the arts-infused actions aimed at collective liberation.
  • New Year’s Eve events around WNC

    -by Alli Marshall
    There are countless ways to see out the old year and welcome the new one. Read on for parties, concerts, dances and more.
  • Asheville’s inclusive art exhibitions

    -by Alli Marshall
    While this city still has a long way to go to when it comes to equity and representation of diversity within the local art scene, 2018 showed strides in that…
  • Six occasions when geeks ruled WNC

    -by Timothy Burkhardt
    Costumes and comic books Batman: 2018 was a big year for geek culture in Asheville.
  • Smart Bets: Jamie Laval’s Celtic Christmas

    -by Edwin Arnaudin
    The holiday program of music, dance, poetry and stories from Scotland, Ireland, Brittany and Iceland returns to Asheville Community Theatre on Dec. 29.
  • Social dance highlights

    -by Carla Seidl
    The Asheville area is blessed with opportunities to groove and shimmy, nearly every day of the week.
  • Smart Bets: Jangling Sparrows Duo

    -by Edwin Arnaudin
    Asheville-based roots rockers Paul Edelman and Dave Baker play Isis Music Hall on Dec. 29.
  • UPDATED: Xpress seeks art, writing for 2019 Kids Issues

    -by Tracy Rose
    Each year, Xpress publishes the thoughtful, vibrant and engaging creative work of Western North Carolina K-12 students, along with listings of local and regional summer camps. The 2019 theme is…




  • 2018 in review: The best of a bad year in movies

    -by Scott Douglas
    Scott Douglas and Francis X. Friel pick their way through "a reasonable overview of a perfectly acceptable year at the movies." 2018, they said, involved watching many good films but…
  • Screen scene: Local film news

    -by Edwin Arnaudin
    “Roma” wins SEFCA’s Best Film of 2018 award, Asheville comedian Hilliary Begley stars in Netflix's "Dumplin’" and more.