Climbing dogs and trampolines
The award-winning films from the 2003 Banff Mountain Film Festival — a celebration of outdoor adventuring — feature some unlikely subjects. Front Range Freaks: Biscuit profiles a small Jack Russell terrier with a big appetite for rock climbing. Extreme Tramping — The Lord of the Springs is a mockumentary that follows the exploits of extreme “trampers” in search of the perfect backyard trampoline. And then there’s The Other Final, the story of a soccer game between the lowest-ranked teams on the international scene — Bhutan and Montserrat — played against a mountainous Bhutanese backdrop.
Catch these and other outdoor-adventure films when the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour cruises into Brevard College for two screenings: Saturday, March 27 (beginning at 7 p.m.) and Sunday, March 28 (4 p.m.). Tickets for the general public are $12 at the door ($8 in advance). All films will be screened in Dunham Auditorium.
The festival’s 13 films explore virtually every corner of the globe, including Iceland, Norway, Mexico, Nepal, Siberia, Switzerland, Canada and the U.S. They also feature such diverse sports as paragliding, ice climbing, kayaking, mountain biking, skiing and vegetable-oil-powered trucking (OK, that one isn’t really a sport … yet).
For tickets, call 883-8292, ext. 2290. For more information about the films and schedule, visit www.brevard.edu/news/banff04.asp.
— Lisa Watters
Swannanoa woman makes Southern Lady
Harriet Styles is a little cross about the coverage she received in the March/April edition of Southern Lady magazine.
The article, she believes, gives her too much credit for the success of the Swannanoa Valley Museum (223 W. State St. in Black Mountain).
“I was not one of the original founders,” notes Styles.
But when she was asked to organize the exhibits and discovered that there wasn’t anything to exhibit, Styles was the one who began knocking on doors around the valley, searching for old artifacts and photos she could assemble into collections.
“I got roped into the job,” she says with a laugh. “But it’s been very rewarding, and I’ve gotten to meet some interesting people.”
Fifteen years later, the museum boasts a collection of some 5,500 pieces, some dating back as far as the Stone Age.
Styles is also modest about the Outstanding Achievement Award she recently received from the WNC Historical Association. “I feel like it was an achievement for the museum itself,” the octogenarian explains. “I got a lot of credit for the work a lot of other people have done.”
Museum administrator Jill Jones begs to differ. “If we didn’t have Harriet, we wouldn’t have a museum — and you can quote me on that.”
The two-story facility is housed in a circa 1921 fire station designed by Richard Sharp Smith, the supervising architect of Biltmore House. Exhibits cover everything from the lives of the original Native American inhabitants and early settlers to the coming of the railroad, tourism (the valley is home to three of the largest conference centers in the Southeast, notes Styles), Black Mountain College, the textile industry, and some of the well-known personalities who have called the Swannanoa Valley their home.
“We’re very proud of our museum,” says Styles. “The valley is unique for many reasons — mostly because of the people it has attracted here.”
The museum is open April 17 through Nov. 1, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and 2-5 p.m. on Sundays. For more information, call the museum at 669-9566 or visit their Web site (www.swannanoavalleymuseum.org).
— Lisa Watters
Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Peel
If you’ve seen a few Bob Dylan shows in big arenas, you know that modern music’s most mercurial mind often gets bored blowin’ his mighty wind at the masses. But fat chance of ever catching King Zimmy in a club setting, where an electric crowd can still set his proverbial wheel on fire and get his stone to royally rollin’.
Unless, of course, you’re in Asheville this weekend and are willing to stand in line — possibly all night — to get tickets. Because Bob Dylan and His Band have just been booked at The Orange Peel.
Yes, The Orange Peel.
“We’re the smallest venue that he’s played in some time,” notes a giddy Lesley Groetsch, who co-owns the club with husband Jack. The show happens Friday, April 9, starting at 8:30 p.m.
Tickets ($65) go on sale Saturday, March 27 at 10 a.m.; they’ll be available only at the box office (limit: four per person).
“We and Dylan’s management want to make sure that as many local fans get tickets as possible,” Groetsch explains.
For The Orange Peel, which opened in October 2002, this is what Groetsch calls “a dream-come-true goal” — a booking that can’t help but raise a few eyebrows nationally.
“A show like this is truly, honestly, not a moneymaker for the club,” Groetsch admits. “It’s just something we have to do.
“This is like having a blockbuster star in your film. It’s something that will last forever in the minds of fans here, and certainly in our minds.”
The club, which will provide coffee and doughnuts to those spending the night in line, anticipates running out of tickets that first day.
“Oh, Mama, can this really be the end?” His Bobness has famously asked.
So act fast, or risk being Stuck Inside of Asheville With the Sold-Out Blues (because, really, you may not get this chance) Again.
For info, contact The Orange Peel (101 Biltmore Ave.) at 225-5851.
— Frank Rabey
Art will bring us together
You’re never too young to think about what makes a healthy community. And what better way to express those thoughts than through art?
With that in mind, Asheville and Buncombe County pupils in grades K-8 are invited to enter a poster contest sponsored by the Asheville-Buncombe Community Relations Council and the Mountain Area Health Education Center.
The theme of the contest is: “What brings us together as a community?”
Besides the satisfaction of winning, three young artists will take home prizes including a LeapPad interactive learning package (for K-2 students); and a computer (for those in grades 3-5 and 6-8). An anonymous private donor is underwriting the awards.
Students may choose any art medium, as long as they use poster board measuring 22 by 28 inches. All submissions must include the student’s complete name, address, phone number, grade and homeroom or art teacher, as well as the school’s name.
Don’t delay — posters are due at the Asheville-Buncombe Community Relations Council office by 5 p.m. on Friday, April 16.
For more info, call Carolyn Stanberry at the Asheville-Buncombe Community Relations Council (252-4713). You can also stop by the group’s office in Room 214 of the United Way Building, 50 S. French Broad Ave., Asheville (9 a.m.-5 p.m.).
— Tracy Rose
A phone book of one’s own
When Bridgette Cannon moved to Asheville last year, she was surprised to discover that Asheville didn’t have a gay-friendly business directory. “I was looking for an accountant and a real-estate agent. Suddenly I was worried about having to explain to a stranger that I’m gay,” she recalls.
Certain business situations can be awkward for a gay person, Cannon explains. “You might have to explain you have a ‘roommate’ or partner or however you decide to put it … [or] you’re going to have to explain that ‘Oh, yeah, my girlfriend and I have the same account,’ or why there are two female names on your checks. … It’s an unnecessary stress.”
A number of other cities in the region, notes Cannon, already have some sort of gay-supportive business listing. “I’ve used the gay-community yellow pages in [places] like Atlanta, Charlotte and Raleigh,” she reports. “It just makes sense. … The gay community lives in a world of discrimination.”
So Cannon, a graphic designer and advertising consultant, decided to take matters into her own hands and create the Purple Pages, Ashville’s first gay-friendly business directory. It will have a look and feel similar to a more traditional phone book, she says, but it will list gay-friendly businesses exclusively — plus, of course, information about local attractions, venues, seating charts, emergency phone numbers, schools, zip codes, maps and more.
“Asheville has a large gay-and-lesbian population, due in part to the outstanding support for the gay community from local organizations and businesses,” says Cannon.
And she hopes the Purple Pages will return the favor by helping support those organizations and businesses. Advertising rates have been set low, Cannon notes, with special discounts for founding advertisers. All advertisers will also be included in the online version.
The directory will be published and distributed to consumers free of charge. The first edition is due out in July; the advertising deadline is Tuesday, June 1.
Cannon hopes the directory “will be a one-stop information resource for gay/lesbian and gay-friendly residents, tourists and [people thinking of moving here] alike.”
To learn more about the Purple Pages, contact Cannon at 350-9970 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
— Lisa Watters
Music to downtown’s ears
In the age of Tower Records going belly-up and record-store chains being piecemealed off, Kevin Cassels is bucking the trend and opening a music shop.
Cassels officially welcomes Asheville into his new Good Music & Other Stuff at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 27, before capping off his first day of business with a bluesy bang — a 6 p.m. set by the North Mississippi Allstars, who are headlining The Orange Peel later that same night.
Though Cassels’ new shop was still pretty spartan when I first stopped by last week, the track lighting, wood floors and few pieces of cozy furniture lent the 1,440-square-foot space an immediate, warm charm. Display racks, then empty, were soon to house upwards of 5,000 CDs and DVDs, with more than 1,000 of them jazz.
Too, the store is going heavy into jam-band titles from the Homegrown Music Network, revealed Cassels, co-author of The Pharmer’s Almanac: The Unofficial Guide to Phish, Vol. 6.
But Good Music will run the gamut, he emphasized: “I want someone to be able to leave here with the Bad Brains, John Coltrane and Jimmy Bufffett.”
His shop will likewise carry concert art and photography, with plans to add books, magazines, jewelry, clothing and video games as well. And Cassels hopes the Allstars’ appearance will be only the first of many such tie-ins with local clubs.
The free in-store show on Saturday will include a couple of drawings — for four CDs chosen by Allstars members as personal faves, and for two pairs of tickets to the group’s 10 p.m. Orange Peel show.
The band’s Good Music set will be all-acoustic. And even though it’s liable to be sardine-can packed in there, you’re unlikely to again see the Allstars in such an informal setting.
“They’re gonna sit on the couch,” Cassels revealed with a grin.
Good Music & Other Stuff is at 55 Broadway (the former site of Reflections of Nature); call 258-0641 for more information.
— Frank Rabey