HOLIDAZE: John Waters has been performing his Christmas-themed stage show for 12 years, and he knows a thing or two about handling the holidays. From ornaments with pictures of ugly relatives to a decorated electric chair, “I think that you just can take the traditional things about Christmas and have a little more fun with them,” he says.

Filmmaker John Waters talks Christmas, career, criminals and more

“I’ve been doing this Christmas show for 12 years,” Waters says. “Even when I made all the movies, I use to always do a show called This Filthy World or An Evening with John Waters. It began when I use to tour with the movies to introduce them. I’ve always had a stage show of some kind or other — I never gave up on Vaudeville.”

TO LEARN FROM THE PAST: Darin Waters, UNC Asheville assistant professor of history, opens the 2016 African-Americans in WNC and  Southern Appalachia Conference at the YMI Cultural Center. This year's event starts on Oct. 19. Photo courtesy of UNC Asheville

Conference ties African-American past with future

The African Americans in WNC and Southern Appalachia Conference returns to Asheville for its fourth year Thursday, Oct. 19, through Saturday, Oct. 21. Originally organized to highlight research on the historical African-American presence in the region, the conference is broadening its scope this year with the theme, “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.”