Asheville contingent in the spotlight at Montana festival

A performance-art piece by Asheville fashion designer Brooke Priddy will take center stage Oct. 2 at a multidisciplinary arts-and-cultural event in Montana that a group of organizers plans to replicate in Asheville next April.

Stitching together art and fashion: Asheville designer Brooke Priddy fashions a dress on a live model during a HATCHfest introductory party at the Grove Park Inn this past spring. Priddy will present a performance piece at this year’s HATCHfest in Bozeman, Mont., on Oct. 2.  Photo By Jason Sandford

HATCHfest, held in Bozeman each year since 2003, pairs well-known mentors in eight disciplines (film, music, design and technology, fashion, photography, architecture and journalism) with rising stars. The Asheville festival is scheduled for April 15-19, 2009. Attendees will network, take classes and enjoy film screenings, fashion shows and concerts. The goal is to foster the growth of artists and spur economic development in the Asheville area, according to organizers.

AdvantageWest, an economic-development agency in Western North Carolina, and the WNC Film Commission are sponsoring the night in Bozeman that will feature Priddy, the Asheville-based Moog Foundation and King Britt, a Grammy Award-winning artist handled by the Asheville-based Music and Art Management.

“Showcasing our talent and overall creative industry on an international platform, such as HATCH, proves to continually be a vital aspect toward future economic development among multiple innovative industries,” said Sam Neill, chairman of the WNC Film Commission, in a written statement.

Priddy told Xpress she’s excited about the opportunity to explore her work as both an artist and a designer, which she believes is what HATCHfest is all about. “I noticed that often women will create an opportunity to buy something nice, so I’m working on that idea and thinking that if the dress is directing your life, why doesn’t it have a life of its own? So I’m making a dress that has an automaton aspect to it.” Music and big-screen projections will also be incorporated into the piece, said Priddy.

Sean McDonald, co-founder of the Asheville software company Jute Networks and a Bob Moog Foundation board member, says he’ll be taking advantage of HATCHfest’s networking opportunities, noting, “I think there’s a lot of inspiration to be found out there from the people who attend and the people who create.” Planning for Asheville’s version of the event is going well, he reports.

Although few details have been announced, Asheville’s HATCHfest board has been working to nail down funding, secure local venues and hire an executive director/development director. The group plans to hold a fundraising event in November.

For more information on Asheville HATCHfest, stay tuned to


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