Ride ART Buses Free and Get Free Breakfast May 20

May 16th, 2015

ASHEVILLE NC – National Strive Not to Drive Week runs Friday to Friday, May 15-22. It’s a great time to take the bus or ride your bike. Walk to a neighborhood business rather than hop in your car. And it’s a good time to think about carpooling to work.

Asheville Transit will offer free bus fares Wednesday, May 20. Also, as part of Strive Not to Drive, there will be free breakfast stations on Wednesday, May 20 from 7-9:30 a.m.:

  • River Arts District – At the Clingman Avenue roundabout, next to the bike “fix-it” stand.
  • Rainbow Community School – Students are hosting a breakfast station in front of the school for the first time this year.
  • UNCA Campus – Meet in front of the Bulldog for a campus thank you.

Find out more here.

Here’s more information about Strive Not to Drive events around Asheville.


Multimedia Paintings at UNC Asheville May 19

May 16th, 2015
ASHEVILLE NC – Homage to Life, an exhibit of 24 multimedia paintings by Hendersonville-based artist Cecilia R. Frederic, will open Tuesday, May 19, in UNC Asheville’s Ramsey Library Blowers Gallery. The exhibit is free and open to the public.

Frederic’s series was created in collaboration with the artist’s 28-year-old daughter, Abigail, who was diagnosed with Trisome 18, a genetic condition that is rarely survivable beyond infancy. Frederic used her daughter’s drawings as a foundation and point of departure for her work. “Her drawings are instinctive and intuitive which to me is where the essence of art lies,” Frederic said. “A primal human impulse is at the center of making art. My daughter has that essential impulse.”

Homage to Life will be on view in the Blowers Gallery through July 30 during regular library hours. For more information, including the library’s summer hours, visit the Library’s website or call 828.251.6336.


Find the Goats at Chimney Rock State Park!

May 16th, 2015

ASHEVILLE NC – Starting May 12, 2015, the ‘goats of the gorge,’ previously seen working along HWY 74-A last fall, will be working near the attraction at Chimney Rock State Park. The project is made possible by the partnership of Chimney Rock State Park (CHRO), Chimney Rock Management, LLC., the Friends of Chimney Rock State Park and the Weed Action Coalition of Hickory Nut Gorge (WAC-HNG). Goats, fence, and maintenance during the project are provided by KD Ecological Services (KDES), a local habitat management and restoration business out of Mill Spring, NC.

In order to accomplish this important conservation work, a partnership was formed. CHRO, Chimney Rock Management, LLC., and the Friends of Chimney Rock State Park were able to provide funds, advertising and approval of the project. WAC-HNG is a Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy-run program operating in HNG to support local landowners in managing non-native invasive plant species on their properties. WAC-HNG partners with CHRO frequently and presented and facilitated the project in an effort to further their mission of protecting “the natural communities and scenic beauty of the HNG by managing… non-native invasive plant species”.

Fifteen goats will be hard at work on a 2 acre plot near the upper parking lot of the attraction, beginning May 12, for about 3-4 weeks. This area of the park is a dense monoculture of non-native invasive species that out-compete native plants and contribute to hazards like erosion and landslide. Monocultures of non-natives prevent soil stability normally provided by a diverse group of native plants. The HNG is susceptible to such events because of steep slopes and heavy rain events.

CHRO falls into a significant natural heritage area (SNHA) known as Chimney Rock Natural Area, a SNHA of “outstanding” significance, the highest level of ranking. SNHAs are evaluated on the basis of the occurrences of rare plant and animal species, rare or high quality natural communities and special animal habitats, determined by the NC Natural Heritage Program within NCDENR. Because of this classification, it is imperative to preserve these natural communities and the animals and plants present.

The goats will devour anything in their sight, which was an important factor in choosing an area for treatment. The determined plot is home to mostly kudzu, one of the goats’ favorite meals, but also other invasive plants including Princess Tree, Oriental Bittersweet, Multiflora Rose and more. Goats are excellent candidates for this project because of their small body size, agility in navigating the uneven hillsides of the HNG, and preference for feeding on woody vegetation, including thorny plants. The goats will clear the 2 acres in about 3-4 weeks in May and June, and will re-treat the area again in the fall. The site will then be monitored for regrowth and the project will be reassessed for next year.

To learn more about herbivory, and to donate to support future projects like this, please visit www.wachng.org. To learn how you can donate to adopt a goat, go to www.wachng.org/Goats/adopts.

About Weed Action Coalition of Hickory Nut Gorge (WAC-HNG)

WAC-HNG is an initiative of the Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy that works as a coalition of area partners to protect the native habitat of the Hickory Nut Gorge. WAC-HNG does this by eradicating invasive species which threaten our natural communities.

About Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park

Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park is a developing international outdoor destination located 25 miles southeast of Asheville on Highway 64/74A in Chimney Rock, N.C. It is recognized as one of the Southeast’s most iconic sites and popular travel destinations. The Park’s 535-million-year-old monolith called Chimney Rock can be accessed via a 491-step Outcroppings Trail or a 26-story elevator and offers guests 75-mile panoramic views of Hickory Nut Gorge and Lake Lure. The Park features one of the highest waterfalls of its kind east of the Mississippi River, Hickory Nut Falls, at 404 feet. Hickory Nut Gorge, one of the state’s most significant centers of biodiversity, is home to 36 rare plant species and 14 rare animal species. The Rumbling Bald section of the greater State Park off of Boys Camp Road in Chimney Rock is the only other area of the Park that is currently open to the public. A destination for travel groups, weddings and special events, the Chimney Rock section of the Park also hosts innovative educational programs for schools, homeschoolers, scouts and summer camps. Visit Chimney Rock’s website at chimneyrockpark.com.

Kids Fishing Tournament May 9

May 8th, 2015

ASHEVILLE NC – Come out to Lake Julian Park on May 9 for the annual Spring Kids Fishing Tournament. Cost is only $10.00 which includes entry to the tournament, hot dog lunch and PRIZES!

Join us for the Kids Fishing Tournament!Prizes will be awarded in several age categories for the most fish caught, the largest fish and the smallest fish. You can try out your casting skills at our line casting station. Bring your own pole, we will provide the bait and a bucket for your fish.

The fishing tournament is open to ALL children ages 15 and younger. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Register the day of the event at Lake Julian Park. Fishing starts promptly at 8:30am. For more information, contact Lake Julian Park at (828) 684-0376. Lake Julian Park is located at 406 Overlook Extension in Arden, NC.


Monthly Movies in the Park Begins May 8

May 8th, 2015

ASHEVILLE NC – Grab a blanket, pack a picnic and bring the kids. The City of Asheville Parks and Recreation Department launches the 2015 season of Movies in the Park, a free monthly movie series in Pack Square Park beginning Friday, May 8.
Children’s craft activities begin at 6:30 p.m. and the movie begins at dusk on a giant screen on the Pack Square Park stage.
This month’s feature presentation is the animated, PG-rated Big Hero 6.
Food and beverages will be available at the park. Bring a chair or a blanket and come out for crafts, a movie under the stars, and an evening of fun, all for free.

More movies on the way
Movies in the Park continues monthly through September. Each month children craft activities begin at 6:30 p.m., followed with the movie at dusk. All movies are rated PG.
June 12: The Goonies
July 10: Surf’s Up, A Major Ocean Picture
August 14: Despicable Me 2
September 18: Into the Woods

For more information about this and all Asheville Parks and Recreation programs, visit www.ashevillenc.gov/parks, www.facebook.com/aprca, or by phone at (828) 259-5800.

Biltmore’s Concert Series Heats up the Month of August

May 8th, 2015

ASHEVILLE NC – Summer nights are set to sizzle at Biltmore when the estate’s 19th annual Concert Series begins Friday, Aug. 7. Ticket sales begin May 6, 2015.

Grammy Award-winning R&B/pop vocalists Natalie Cole and Peabo Bryson kick off the series on Aug. 7 on the South Terrace of Biltmore House. The South Terrace venue features expansive sunset views of the 250-room Biltmore House in one direction, and Mount Pisgah and the Blue Ridge Mountains in the other.

The 2015 Biltmore Concert Series line-up:

Aug. 7       Natalie Cole and Peabo Bryson

Aug. 9       Counting Crows: Somewhere Under Wonderland Tour with special guest Citizen Cope

Aug. 16     ZZ Top with Special Guest Blackberry Smoke

Aug. 21     Chris Tomlin and MercyMe

Aug. 22     Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers and Blues Traveler

Aug. 28     The Four Tops & The Temptations

On-sale dates

Tickets for Natalie Cole and Peabo Bryson; Counting Crows and Citizen Cope; ZZ Top and Blackberry Smoke will go on sale May 6.

Tickets for Chris Tomlin and MercyMe; Bruce Hornsby and Blues Traveler; and the Four Tops & The Temptations go on sale May 13.

All tickets may be purchased at www.biltmore.com/concerts; by calling 866-336-1255; or in person at Biltmore’s Reservation and Ticketing Sales Center.

A variety of ticket, dining and Inn on Biltmore Estate packages will be available for the concerts. Tickets do not include or require estate admission. Performers and dates are subject to change.

About the artists

Natalie Cole and Peabo Bryson
8 p.m., Aug. 7

Natalie Cole is one of our time’s best R&B/pop vocalists, with 21 albums selling more than 30 million copies, and winning nine Grammy awards. Her hits include “This Will Be,” “Miss You Like Crazy,” and “Unforgettable.” Two-time Grammy Award winner Peabo Bryson, whose career has spanned from the mid-1960s, has amassed critical acclaim with hits including “If Ever You’re in My Arms Again,” “Can You Stop The Rain,” and “Missing You.”

Counting Crows: Somewhere Under Wonderland Tour with special guest Citizen Cope
7:30 p.m., Aug. 9

Counting Crows have sold more than 20 million albums after exploding onto the music scene after their 1993 release “August and Everything After.” The band released its seventh studio album, “Somewhere Under Wonderland,” in 2014. Their hits include “Mr. Jones,” “Hanginaround” and “A Long December.”  Citizen Cope is an American songwriter, producer and performer. Touring professionally for 10 years now, his music mixes blues, soul, folk and rock. His hits include “Son’s Gonna Rise,” “Let the Drummer Kick,” and “Sideways.”

ZZ Top with Special Guest Blackberry Smoke
8 p.m., Aug. 16

ZZ Top’s music is instantly recognizable and 100 percent Texas American. Their hits include “Sharp Dressed Man,” “Legs,” and “Gimme All Your Lovin’.” The band’s three original members still perform together after more than 40 years of rock, blues and boogie.  Blackberry Smoke’s mix of bluesy rock, gospel soul, and country is further elevated by the band’s three-part vocal harmonies and arrangements that make judicious use of fiddle and added percussion. Their newest album, “Holding All the Roses,” includes such songs as “Too High” and “Rock and Roll Again.”

Chris Tomlin and MercyMe
8 p.m., Aug. 21

Grammy winner Chris Tomlin is among the most well-known and influential artists in contemporary Christian music. With 11 albums, selling more than 3 million copies, his hits include “Your Grace is Enough,” “Our God,” and “At the Cross.”  Contemporary Christian rock group MercyMe has released eight studio albums, garnered 26 No. 1 Christian radio singles, and four mainstream radio hits with “I Can Only Imagine,” “Here With Me,” “Homesick” and “So Long Self.”
Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers and Blues Traveler
8 p.m., Aug. 22

Bruce Hornsby has focused on projects that sparked his creative interest during his two-and-a-half decade recording career, including collaborations with the Grateful Dead, Bela Fleck, and Bonnie Raitt. Hornsby’s performance with his six-piece band The Noisemakers will offer a glimpse of a restless spirit who continues to push forward into exciting new musical terrain.  Over the course of their 25-year career, Blues Traveler’s 11 studio albums have sold more than 10 million copies. They received a Grammy Award for the hit “Run-Around.” Other hits include “But Anyway,” “100 Years,” and “Hook.” Their latest album, “Blow Up the Moon,” features collaborations with Hanson, Dirty Heads, Jewel and more.

The Four Tops & The Temptations
8 p.m., Aug. 28

In 1990, with 24 Top 40 pop hits to their credit, The Four Tops were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame. Some of their biggest hits include: “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch),” “It’s The Same Old Song,” and “Reach Out I’ll Be There.”  For more than 40 years, The Temptations have prospered, and over the course of their career have had 83 charted Billboard U.S. singles and 44 Billboard Top 10 Hits including “My Girl,” “Ain’t Too Proud,” “Papa Was a Rolling Stone,” and “I Can’t Get Next to You.”

About Biltmore
Located in Asheville, North Carolina, Biltmore was the vision of George W. Vanderbilt.  Designed by Richard Morris Hunt, America’s largest home is a 250-room French Renaissance chateau, exhibiting the Vanderbilt family’s original collection of furnishings, art and antiques.  Biltmore estate encompasses more than 8,000 acres including renowned gardens designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the father of American landscape architecture.  Today, Biltmore has grown to include Antler Hill Village, which features the award-winning Winery and Antler Hill Farm; the four-star Inn on Biltmore Estate; Equestrian Center; numerous restaurants; event and meeting venues; and Biltmore For Your Home, the company’s licensed products division. To learn more about Biltmore, go to www.biltmore.com or call 877-BILTMORE.

Local Strawberries – The First Taste of Summer

May 8th, 2015

ASHEVILLE NC – The return of strawberries announce that summer is not far away. Strawberries bring us out to farmers tailgate markets and herald the many good things to follow. In May, you can eat strawberries to your heart’s content at Appalachian Grown™ partner restaurants during ASAP’s Get Local strawberry month.

Early in the month, strawberries are primarily coming out of upstate South Carolina, largely from Cooley Farms. As the month progresses and spring creeps up the mountain, more Western North Carolina farms will have them. Get Local participating restaurants and chefs will be serving up these local strawberries in a variety of ways:

•       Season’s at Highland Lake has a new lineup of exciting spring desserts including a strawberry shortcake with macerated berries and mascarpone cream.

•       Guadalupe Café features strawberries from Shelton Family Farm (Jackson County) and Darnell Farms (Macon County) inside pancakes for brunch and in salsas this month. For desserts, strawberries are featured atop tres leches with whipped cream and in a strawberry rhubarb cobbler.

•       William Dissen of The Market Place is preparing a local strawberry and arugula salad with shaved fennel, Marcona almonds, chèvre, onion marmalade, and an aged sherry vinaigrette.
Bread and butter pickled “green” strawberries will adorn their pickle plate. For dessert, they will serve a strawberry and rhubarb crisp with lemon curd, almond crumble topped with crème fraiche.

•       Philip Bollhoefer of the Edison Craft Ales + Kitchen (Omni Grove Park Inn) is using strawberries in their Edison salad – Appalachian Grown greens, local  strawberries, goat cheese, candied pecans, and ricotta white balsamic dressing. 

•       UNCA Dining is featuring local strawberries this month as part of their Create station, made to order salads and healthy meals that are made out of local ingredients in season. 

•       Warren Wilson College is making a spinach and local strawberry salad wrap in the dining hall with strawberry cupcakes and cake for dessert. At the college’s vegetarian café, they are cooking up local strawberry pancakes for breakfast. For dessert, they offer a strawberry trifle and a strawberry vegan mousse.

A great way to welcome the season is with local strawberry salsa, a favorite recipe courtesy of ASAP’s Growing Minds Farm to School program. The recipe utilizes some of the best that spring has to offer by combining local strawberries, spring onions, and cilantro. May is also strawberry month for the Get Local @ School program and area schools will be seeing local strawberries on the menu and served in school-wide taste tests! Find the strawberry salsa recipe at growing-minds.org.

Visit ASAP’s website at asapconnections.org, and find Get Local under the “find” tab to find details on what’s happening this month. You can also Get Local at home: Find each month’s featured food—and other seasonal products—at your neighborhood farmers tailgate market, roadside stand, or grocery store. Browse for markets, stands, and stores via ASAP’s online Local Food Guide at appalachiangrown.org.

ABOUT ASAP (Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project)

ASAP’s mission is to help local farms thrive, link farmers to markets and supporters, and build healthy communities through connections to local food. To learn more about ASAP’s work, visit asapconnections.org, or call (828) 236-1282.

Run for Shindig on the Green 5K Race

May 8th, 2015

ASHEVILLE NC – The Folk Heritage Committee, which produces Shindig on the Green, is excited to announce the fourth annual Run For Shindig on the Green, a fun and healthy way to help support Shindig, featuring a 5K Race and one mile Fun Walk. The event takes place Saturday, June 27, 2015 at Carrier Park in Asheville with the 5K Race beginning at 8:30 a.m. and the Fun Walk beginning at 8:35 a.m. The Run for Shindig on the Green 5K kicks off the 49th season of Shindig and is a key element in securing necessary funding for the free and beloved Shindig on the Green summer Saturday evenings in Asheville.

Two overall winners will be recognized at this year’s first Shindig on the Green, on the evening of June 27th, and all race participants are encouraged to attend. The overall male and female winners of the 5K will each receive a beautiful mug featuring the Folk Heritage Committee logo and handcrafted by Mangum Pottery in Weaverville, NC. There will be additional medals and ribbons awarded to the winners of age divisions of the 5K Race. Race management timing and finish line services are performed by Right On Time Productions; race results will be available five minutes after the last runner finishes.

Over 30,000 people attend Shindig on the Green for free throughout the summer. While the crowds of locals and visitors at Shindig have grown over the years for the free evenings, so have the costs. The non-profit Folk Heritage CommitteeTM must raise funds to cover the costs at Shindig on the Green for goods and services such as sound equipment and technicians. All proceeds from the June 27th 5K and Fun Walk will help to cover the “free” Shindig’s very real operating costs, which average several thousand dollars per evening. The Folk Heritage Committee produces Shindig on the GreenTM and the Mountain Dance and Folk FestivalTM in order to support the preservation and continuation of the traditional music, dance and storytelling heritage of the Southern Appalachian Mountains. Shindig takes place in the heart of downtown Asheville at Pack Square Park’s Roger McGuire Green, on the Bascom Lamar Lunsford Stage.  Dedicated to the celebration and preservation of the region’s rich cultural heritage, Shindig on the Green’s 49th summer season is scheduled for June 27; July 11, 18, 25; August 15, 22, 29; and September 5. For more information, visit www.folkheritage.org or call the Folk Heritage Info Line: 828-258-6101 x345.

Registration: Registration is open! Register for the “Run for Shindig on the Green” 5K Race and Fun Walk/Run online at www.active.com. Online registration closes Thursday June 25th. T-Shirts will be available for pre-registered participants only. There will be no T-shirts available for race-day registrants. Day-of-race registration is 7:30-8:15 a.m.

Carrier Park: The June 27th 5K and Fun Run fundraiser takes place at Carrier Park at the intersection of Amboy Road and Michigan Avenue in West Asheville.

From I-240 East: Take Exit 1C.

From I-240 West: Take Exit 1B. Take a left at the light and your next left after that, back onto I-240 East.  Stay on the ramp to take Exit 1C onto Amboy road. Carrier Park will be on the right after about .25 miles.

Parking: Parking is limited to 280 spaces at Carrier Park so please carpool if possible.

Loretta’s Big Hug Super Saturdays: On Saturday, June 27th, Shindig on the Green will be the beneficiary of Loretta’s Café’s Big Hug Super Saturday. Loretta’s will donate 10% of all sales on June 27th from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. to the Folk Heritage Committee. More information at www.lorettascafe.com/events.html.

Annual Controlled Chaos Film Festival May 1 at WCU

April 17th, 2015

ASHEVILLE NC – Films created by Western Carolina University students will be screened at the seventh annual Controlled Chaos Film Festival in the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center on Friday, May 1.

The festival, which begins at 7 p.m., will feature short works in a range of genres created by students from the Film and Television Production Program and the School of Stage and Screen.

“It’s our premiere,” said Kasey N. Summers, event organizer and senior from Phillipsburg, New Jersey. “We all dream of having polished work on the big screen, and this is the opportunity to celebrate the hours of hard work put in by each student. From horror movies to silent films, our top-notch programs encourage film-lovers to come experience the talent, art and entertainment they’ve come to expect from Western Carolina University’s School of Stage and Screen.”

The senior thesis short films “Lost Soles” and “Cold Coffee” will be featured at the event.

“Lost Soles,” a dark comedy, introduces Neil Garrison, an unassuming college freshman who has his world turned upside down when the search for a missing shoe turns into more than he could have possibly anticipated. With the help of his childhood friend Gideon, Neil is faced with a decision that will change his life – for better or worse.

“Being the director of photography, or DP, for ‘Lost Soles’ was one of the greatest learning experiences I’ve encountered,” said senior Samantha Hunt. “You really have to throw yourself into the filmmaking process. At first, I was definitely worried that I wouldn’t be able to understand the full work ethic of being a DP. However, by the time we wrapped, I ended up walking away with so much more confidence and knowledge, especially after working with such a talented and supportive crew.”

The second film, “Cold Coffee,” is based on the theme that the day after a break-up is always the hardest. The dramatic comedy follows college student and resident assistant Gwen Easton as she goes through the first 24 hours after heartbreak.

For the Controlled Chaos Film Festival, students raised between $4,000 and $6,000 to create each senior project, filmed and shot with a state-of-the-art F65 CineAlta camera that was donated to WCU by Sony.

“Working on the Sony-donated F65 was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life,” said camera operator Nicole Baskin. “To work with such quality and clarity was challenging and expanded my skills. I hope to one day work with the F65 professionally.”

Advance tickets to the Controlled Chaos Film Festival can be purchased for $10 each in the School of Stage and Screen office located on the second floor of the Stillwell Building in Room 233. Tickets are $10 cash at the door. Proceeds and donations benefit the Motion Picture Student Project Fund, which helps students with the cost of creating their senior thesis films.

For more information, contact Jack Sholder, director of the Film and Television Production Program, at 828-227-2324 or [email protected].

Free Shred Day! 4/18

April 17th, 2015

ASHEVILLE NC – Want to dispose of your confidential documents safely? The Better Business Bureau (BBB), OnTrack WNC and American Security Shredding have the answer for you: the BBB “Shred Day/Secure Your ID” Day!

Bring up to 50 pounds of confidential information to the BBB’s office at Executive Park – College Street parking lot in Asheville and take an important step to protect your identity.

Saturday, April 18, 2015 from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm