ICYMI: Xpress longreads from the week

How's the air out there? According to environmental nonprofit The Canary Coalition, not so great. Read more in our story, "Taking a hard look: WNC’s sustainabi­lity report card." Creative commons image

The work week goes by fast and it’s not always easy to factor in time for a leisurely read. But if you’re looking to spend some time this weekend relaxing and getting caught up, we’re here to help. Here’s a roundup of Xpress‘ feature stories from the last seven days. Happy reading!


Gabriel Craig in his Detroit Studio.
Metalsmith Gabriel Craig comes to Asheville for a 10-day residency.

State of the Arts: Cairn Desk releases book albums
By Kyle Sherard
CDs are on their way out. For some music fans, they’ve been dead for years. As downloading and digital streaming continue to consume the music industry, more and more artists and boutique producers are embracing that transition by turning to alternative means of preserving the physicality of the album. Vinyl records have come back in a big way and cassette tapes have also made a substantial return. Now books are getting into the mix. (Continue reading)


Heavy metal: Sourcing the slow craft movement
By Kyle Sherard
Craft isn’t something most people commonly associate with performance, much less activism. But the two couldn’t be a better fit for Gabriel Craig, a Detroit-based metalsmith, jeweler, writer and, most importantly, a craft activist who uses performance to engage and educate audiences and fellow craftspeople on the environmental issues and ethics surrounding jewelry and metalsmithing. (Continue reading)



SPOTLIGHT ON CHEESE: Katie Moore, owner of the Asheville Cheese Store, and local cheese makers organized the Carolina Mountain Cheese Fest as a way to raise awareness of the region’s artisanal cheese crafters. Pictured are products from English Farmstead Cheese.
Katie Moore and other local cheese makers organized the Carolina Mountain Cheese Fest to raise awareness of the region’s artisanal cheese crafters.

Cultural affairs: Carolina Mountain Cheese Fest spotlights local cheesemakers
By Jonathan Ammons
You’ll rarely catch Katie Moore in her office these days; she’s in and out, always a blur. Since abandoning the idea of a fixed downtown location for her company, The Cheese Store of Asheville, and going mobile, Moore is much more likely to be spotted at tasting events and pop-ups around town. “There are a lot of great cheesemakers in this area, and it would be nice if people knew about them,” she says. Lately, Moore and her colleagues have been working hard on a project aimed at raising awareness of the region’s artisanal cheese crafters: the Carolina Mountain Cheese Fest. (Continue reading)


Dandelions for dinner: Foraging and preparing a prolific spring edible
By Carla Seidl
As a child, I knew nothing of the dandelion’s health or nutritional benefits. But when the season was right, I’d ruminate gravely on just the right wish and blow, hoping a seed from the wondrous, fluffy globe would somehow land in the right spot to fill my request. Now, after some research, I marvel once again at the dandelion. (Continue reading)



Coffee and connections: African Healing Exchange founder Sara Stender will return to Rwanda with Dynamite Coffee Roasting Co. this June to launch the crop-to-cup tour.
African Healing Exchange founder Sara Stender will return to Rwanda with Dynamite Coffee Roasting Co. this June to launch the crop-to-cup tour.

Transformative journey: Appalachian Trail thru-hiker reconsiders his life path
By Hayley Benton
“Hey, Hayley; It’s Henry,” Wasserman says excitedly as I answer the phone. “I’m looking out over this beautiful, absolutely stunning view of a valley going up into the various levels of the Smokies — just an amazing view.” Wasserman calls every Tuesday, provided he has good cell reception. He talks and talks and chuckles at his own jokes — updating me on his experiences and lessons from the trail over the past week. (Continue reading)


Africa Healing Exchange links Asheville with Rwanda
By Lea McLellan
Over three years ago, Asheville resident Sara Stender began formulating her plans for the nonprofit Africa Healing Exchange. Her passion for Rwanda has attracted a diverse group of local medical and nonprofit professionals to AHE, in part because the nonprofit focuses on human resiliency instead of trauma. (Continue reading)


Taking a hard look: WNC’s sustainability report card
By Carrie Eidson
As we celebrate Earth Day 2015, we take a look at the status of the sustainability movement in WNC. How far have we come, and how far do we have to go? We asked local nonprofits and regulatory agencies to take us to school by examining our environmental efforts — from our air to our water, from our successes to our failures — and giving us an honest assessment of how we’re doing. (Continue reading)


Third Messenger group explores the sacred art of being and dying
By Jordan Foltz
A growing movement in Asheville is seeking to make conversations about death more commonplace: Through an ever-evolving series of public art installments and performances that began in early 2014 , locally based Third Messenger has been offering Ashevilleans the chance to share their stories surrounding death and to contemplate their own mortality. (Continue reading)



Ashevilleans have raised almost $2 million to date for creative ventures funded via Kickstarter.

Merrimon madness: Addressing safety risks along Asheville’s major roadways
By Max Hunt
If you’ve lived in the Asheville area for any length of time, you know there are certain city roads that you simply avoid at key times of day. Prone to congestion, near misses and traffic accidents, thoroughfares such as Merrimon Avenue, Hendersonville Road, Patton Avenue and Tunnel Road can even be life-threatening for pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers alike. (Continue reading)


Nonprofits present budget requests, fire chiefs discuss issues with Buncombe County Commissioners
By Hayley Benton
Staff from 45 nonprofits packed into the crowded third floor commission chambers, waiting patiently for the chance to present their organization’s funding needs and which project(s) the county’s money would help fund. Combined, the list of nonprofit requests would cost the county $4.2 million if approved as-is. Last year, 48 nonprofits requested $6.6 million in funds from Buncombe County and received only $2.3 million — just more than one-third of the money requested and less than 1 percent of the county’s operating budget as a whole. (Continue reading)


Asheville’s Kickstarter report card
By Kat McReynolds
Friends, family and fools are frequently cited as the most promising sources of capital for small businesses. And that networking approach to financing — called crowdfunding when it’s leveraged online — seems to suit Ashevilleans, who’ve raised almost $2 million to date for creative ventures funded via Kickstarter. (Continue reading)


About Carrie Eidson
Multimedia journalist and Green Scene editor at Mountain Xpress. Part-time Twitterer @mxenv but also reachable at ceidson@mountainx.com. Follow me @carrieeidson

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