SOUND AS A HEALING TOOL: “There are ways to show people how to pull sound out of their instrument,” says local percussionist River Guerguerian. “You have to find the keys that help people open up.” Photo by Yve Adams

Sacred music retreat welcomes musicians and nonmusicia­ns alike Dec. 8-10

Local professionals within the Western North Carolina healing arts and music circuits — Jeff Schmitt, River Guerguerian and Caroline Padgett — will join together to hold an immersive sacred music-making retreat. The three-day event takes place Friday-Sunday, Dec. 8-10, at Laughing Waters Retreat Center in Gerton. “About a year ago, I started a conversation with the three […]

DIE WISE: Stephen Jenkinson, who has ministered to thousands of dying people, will speak on grief, death and life on Nov. 6. Photo courtesy of Said Osio

End-of-life activist Stephen Jenkinson to speak at Masonic Temple Nov. 6

Are you prepared to die wise? According to speaker, activist and death educator Stephen Jenkinson, it is our life’s work to learn how to do so. In collaboration with Third Messenger, an Asheville organization dedicated to facilitating conversation about death and dying, and in conjunction with the release of his latest book, Die Wise: A […]

Image courtesy of Rooted in the Mountains

Rooted in the Mountains conference will integrate Western and Cherokee ideas

“Rooted in the Mountains,” a conference that explores the intersection of Western and native traditions that’s now in its eighth year, will take place at Western Carolina University on Thursday and Friday, Sept. 28-29, and includes a trip to the sacred site of Kituwah, the Cherokee “mother town.”

TO YOUR HEALTH: Jasmine Beach-Ferrara leads the 400 to 500 people at Monday's swiftly organized health care rally in William Barber's signature call-and-response chant:  "Forward together — Not one step back!" Photo by Able Allen

Rally against Senate health care bill brings hundreds to street in Asheville and fires up base

Just three days before Monday’s rally in Asheville’s Pack Square Park to oppose the U.S. Senate’s version of a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Lindsay Furst, a local teacher and activist, went to a coffee shop with her fellow organizers who shared her lack of sleep, she told the crowd in front of […]

Through Saturday, Jan. 7, the Asheville Area Arts Council is hosting the second annual Ceramics Invitational, titled 'Beauty + Function: Ceramic Arts in Western North Carolina.' Photo credit: Josh Copus, Linda McFarling, Will Dickert, William Baker

Weekend Picks: Friday, Dec. 30, 2016 – Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017

Check out this list of weekend highlights and visit the Mountain Xpress Community Calendar for a complete list of weekend events! EXHIBITIONS ‘we’re not who we thought we were’ at Ramp Studio Gallery 821 Riverside Drive Through SA (12/31) – we’re not who we thought we were, exhibition of the multimedia sculpture by Jameid Ferrin. […]

WILLING SUBMISSION TO GOD: Local Muslims gather every Friday for fellowship, a short sermon and salah (pictured here), the act of wor- ship that combines physical, mental and spiritual elements — reciting verses and praying along with different postures. Photo by Able Allen

Diverse Muslim community finds common ground in Asheville

“You could say I was hungry for the truth without even realizing I was searching for it,” says Western North Carolina native Joseph (Yusuf) Gantt, “and that led to a journey of maybe 10 or 15 years in which I finally recognized Islam. It satisfied my hunger.” Two of Gantt’s family members, his mother and […]

SERVING OUR SERVICEMEN & WOMEN: Photos taken while at ABCCM'a Veterans Restoration Quarters in Asheville NC, where they have a comprehensive restoration program that addressees the needs of homeless veterans.

Brothers in arms: Local nonprofits give back to WNC veterans

With Veterans Day fast approaching, the customary forms of American celebration will be prominently on display: parades through city streets, moments of silence briefly interrupting broadcast media, solemn ceremonies at landmarks across the country, special discounts at restaurants and shops. Beyond those symbolic gestures, however, stands a large and growing need to support the many […]

Photo of pottery demonstration during the 2013 WNC Pottery Festival courtesy of the WNC Pottery Festival

Weekend Picks: Friday, Nov. 4 through Sunday, Nov. 6

FRIDAY Downtown Asheville First Friday Art Walks downtownashevilleartdistrict.org 1st FRIDAYS, 5-8pm – Downtown Asheville museums and galleries open doors to visitors. Visit the website for participating venues and full details. Free to attend. Culture Vulture Film Festival 692-8062, saveculture.org FR (11/4), 6pm – Proceeds from this film festival benefit the Center for Cultural Preservation. $25. Held […]

LESSON IN IMPERMANENCE: Tibetan lamas constructed an intricate sand mandala at a week-long ceremony at Urban Dharma, which ended in the dissolution of the mandala. Here Khenpo Chopel uses a dorje to bring sand to the center of the mandala from all four directions. Photo by Emily Nichols

A photo essay: Urban Dharma celebrates fifth anniversar­y in Asheville with sand mandala ceremony

Last week, Urban Dharma, the Tibetan Buddhist Center on Page Street in downtown Asheville, celebrated its fifth anniversary with a week-long schedule of programs, including the construction of a special Vasudhārā sand mandala. In Tibetan Buddhism, Vasudhārā is the deity of abundance, openheartedness, generosity and magnanimity. Throughout the week, the Asheville community was invited to watch […]