Vance Monument removal

Vance Monument removal begins

Work started May 17, and demolition of the 123-year-old monument to Zebulon Baird Vance in downtown Asheville is expected to take two weeks to complete, says city spokesperson Polly McDaniel. Costs to take down the structure block by block will reach roughly $114,000, while an additional $25,500 has been allocated for site restoration following the monument’s removal.

Around town: Actors and poets needed, plus new art exhibits and online events

Want to dance? The Wortham Center for the Performing Arts is hosting a virtual ballet workshop. Want to act? Montford Park Players is currently seeking actors for the 2021 season. Want a free stay at a local bed and breakfast? Submit your poetry to The Writers’ Workshop’s annual contest and see if you win.

Nina Simone and Langston Hughes

New digital archive examines Nina Simone’s relationsh­ip with Langston Hughes

In 1949, poet Langston Hughes spoke at the Allen High School in Asheville. One of the students in attendance was Eunice Waymon, later known professionally as Nina Simone. In time, the poet and the singer developed a unique relationship, which author and N.C. State University professor W. Jason Miller is currently documenting in an online archive, Backlash Blues: Nina Simone and Langston Hughes.