While some historians were already telling fuller stories before the monument’s removal, others have been inspired by its absence.
“Many artists, creatives, musicians and performers are leaving due to the rapidly increasing cost of living, putting Asheville’s culture at risk,” says Stephanie Moore of the Center for Craft, Creativity and Design. Despite a flurry of concern and initiative, local leaders and developers are finding that providing affordable living and working space for the area’s working artists remains a difficult challenge as property values and rents continue to climb in the city.
The keynote address from the NPR host and panel discussions with local music industry representatives and advocates explore the arts’ economic impact on the Asheville area.
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.