PAINT THE TOWN: Dozens of artists will contribute to a collaborative mural-painting event in the River Arts District this May.

Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfundi­ng initiative­s

Each week, Xpress highlights notable WNC crowdsourcing initiatives that may inspire readers to become new faces in the crowd. This week features the collaborative project more than 50 mural artists have planned for the River Arts District plus a Burnsville-based family farm’s business expansion.

RIVER RUNS THROUGH: Looking south, a calm French Broad flows well within its banks, with New Belgium Brewery under construction on the right. Drone photography by Dan Caylor

Costs and benefits: What’s the price of riverfront revitaliza­tion?

In her landmark 1955 book, The French Broad, Asheville author Wilma Dykeman said the river was “above all, a region of life, with all the richness and paradox of life.” She described a watershed rich in flora and fauna, ranging from the “fertile fields and gentle fall” through Transylvania and Henderson counties to the sudden “plunge between steep mountains” around Asheville, “strewn with jagged boulders.”

BIG RIVER: Flooding concerns have played a pivotal part in the recent debate over redevelopment plans for the River Arts District. Photo by Xpress.

If the creek don’t rise: Flooding, money and politics in the River Arts District

City plans to improve infrastructure, expand public space, increase access and encourage private development in the River Arts District have triggered considerable controversy. Xpress reached out to the city, RAD business and property owners, and organizations involved in the now flourishing area’s revitalization to try to answer some key questions.

FOOD CORNER: Asheville Food Park, slated to open in June across from Carrier Park, will feature parking for three food trucks, local art, food carts, a bonfire area and a full bar.

Asheville Food Park to offer year-round food destinatio­n, social space

The floods of 2004 brought 8 feet of water into the building — previously a bar built in 1948 — sealing its fate after already being shuttered for five years. Slowly, the space hobbled back into the world of commerce as a small produce stand, but it’s now being primed to return to its former glory as a social hub, family gathering place and food spot.