Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

County Holiday Closings

Saturday, December 20th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – Buncombe County Government Offices will be closed December 24-26 for Christmas, and January 1 for New Year’s.

Buncombe County Public Libraries will be closed:

  • Wednesday, December 24 - Friday, December 26
  • Closing at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, December 31
  • Thursday, January 1

The Landfill & Transfer Station will be closed:

  • Close at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, December 24
  • Thursday, December 25
  • Open regular hours on Friday, December 26, and Thursday, January 1.

Household Hazardous Waste Day and Electronics Recycling at the Buncombe County Landfill will be closed:

  • Friday, December 26


Community Development and Housing Trust Fund

Saturday, December 20th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – The City of Asheville’s Community and Economic Development Department is now accepting applications for CDBG and HOME grant funds, and for the Housing Trust Fund (HTF) for FY 2015-2016.

The Community and Economic Development Department manages and administers programs for Asheville and for a four county consortium, consisting of Buncombe, Henderson, Transylvania and Madison Counties, that provide affordable housing, economic opportunities and other benefits for low-income residents.

The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and the HOME Investment Partnership Program (HOME) are federal grant programs through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) which provide grant funds for eligible projects that serve Low and Moderate income residents, eliminate slum and blight, and create decent affordable housing for low-income households.

The City of Asheville’s Housing Trust Fund was created in 2000 to provide a source of local funding to assist in the development of affordable housing in Asheville. Assistance is available in the form of repayable loans at a low rate of interest.

To download the CDBG/HOME application documents and instructions visit the Community Development Funding Programs page. The deadline to submit an application for CDBG/HOME funds is February 6, 2015 at 12:00 noon.

To download the Housing Trust Fund documents and view the HTF policies, visit the Housing Trust Fund webpage. The deadline to submit an application for the Housing Trust Fund is January 5, 2015.

Have Coffee with a Cop

Saturday, December 20th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – On January 24, 2015 officers from the Asheville Police Department and community members will come together in an informal, neutral space to discuss community issues, build relationships, and drink coffee.  All community members are invited to attend. The event begins at 8:00am on January 24 at Bojangles restaurant located at 99 Merrimon Avenue. Please contact Officer Keith McCulloch with questions: 828-259-5834 or at [email protected]

Coffee with a Cop provides a unique opportunity for community members to ask questions and learn more about the department’s work in Asheville’s neighborhoods.  The majority of contacts law enforcement has with the public happen during emergencies, or emotional situations. Those situations are not always the most effective times for relationship building with the community, and some community members may feel that officers are unapproachable on the street. Coffee with a Cop breaks down barriers and allows for a relaxed, one-on-one interaction.

“We hope that community members will feel comfortable to ask questions, bring concerns, or simply get to know our officers,” said Crime Prevention Officer Keith McCulloch. “These interactions are the foundation of community partnerships.”

Coffee with a Cop is a national initiative supported by The United States Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. Similar events are being held across the county, as local police departments strive to make lasting connections with the communities they serve.

The program aims to advance the practice of community policing through improving relationships between police officers and community members one cup of coffee at a time.

UNC Asheville’s Great Smokies Writing Program

Saturday, December 20th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – Local writers will have the opportunity to hone their skills with UNC Asheville’s Great Smokies Writing Program (GSWP) workshops in poetry and prose. Classes will be held in Asheville, Black Mountain and Burnsville. Class size is limited, so early registration is suggested.

10-week courses for writers of various levels of experience:

Poetry – Tina Barr will lead “Sacred Questions,” which will explore poetry that engages with the idea of the sacred. Participants will study poetry from multiple points of view on concepts of faith, and will bring in their own poems and engage in a series of optional writing exercises. Barr’s latest poems have been published in Witness, Shenandoah, The Crab Orchard Review and elsewhere. She is the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards, including the Tupelo Press Editor’s Award for her book, The Gathering Eye (Tupelo Press, 2005). Class meets Mondays, 1-3:30 p.m. beginning Feb. 16, in Black Mountain.

Memoir – In “Remembering, Misremembering, Disremembering: Our Memories Have a Story to Tell” with Christine Hale, participants will explore the particular challenges and possibilities of writing memoir. Using brief examples from published memoirs and in-class writing exercises, participants will model some techniques for turning memory’s mischief to literary advantage. Hale’s novel, Basil’s Dream, (Livingston Press, 2009) received honorable mention in the 2010 Library of Virginia Literary Awards. Her short fiction and creative nonfiction have appeared in publications including Arts & Letters, Hippocampus and Still, among others. Class meets Thursdays, 6-8:30 p.m. beginning Feb. 19, in Asheville.

Fiction – Novelist Susan Woodring will lead “From Character to Plot: Creating a Story with Character at the Center.” The class will progress from each participant’s creation of multi-dimensional and compelling characters to devising a plot structure for a novel with these characters at the center. Woodring is the author of the novel, Goliath (St. Martin’s Press, 2012) and a short story collection, Springtime on Mars (Press 53, 2008). Her short fiction was shortlisted for Best American Nonrequired Reading 2008 and Best American Short Stories 2010. Class meets Wednesdays, 5-7:30 p.m. beginning Feb. 19, in Black Mountain.

Memoir – Brian Lee Knopp will lead “The Devil You Know: The Art, Skill and Thrill of Writing Your Memoir,” which involves in-class and at-home writing and reading assignments, and says Knopp, a chance for “a daring rescue of the truth trapped inside your life’s labyrinth.” Knopp’s memoir, Mayhem in Mayberry: Misadventures of a P.I. in Southern Appalachia (Cosmic Pigbite Press, 2009) was a Malaprop’s bestseller. He was the creator and contributing author of the collaborative 2012 novel, Naked Came the Leaf Peeper (Malaprop’s Bookstore/Café, 2011). Class meets Tuesdays from 6-8:30 p.m. beginning Feb. 17, in Asheville.

Fiction – Vicki Lane, author of the Elizabeth Goodweather mystery series (Bantam Dell) and the stand-alone novel, The Day of Small Things (Dell, 2010), will teach “Forty Pages.” Each student will submit forty pages of work for discussion and critique by the class and close editing with written comments by the instructor. The goal will be to polish those forty pages until they are ready to catch the attention of an agent, an editor or a publisher. Class meets Wednesdays from 6-8:30 p.m. beginning Feb. 18, in Asheville.

Children’s Books – Linda Lowery will lead “Writing Children’s Picture Books,” in which participants will learn specifics of the genre, including the art of weeding out words, of rhythm and rhyme, prose text and pacing for spot-on page turns, and the thinking process of an illustrator. Assignments include writing the text for two picture books, choosing one manuscript to revise and polish, and creating a 32-page book dummy. Lowery is an award-winning author of more than 60 fiction and nonfiction books for readers from preschool to middle grades. She has illustrated 13 of her books, including Trick or Treat, It’s Halloween(Random House, 2000), a bestselling picture book co-authored with her husband, Richard Keep. Class meets Tuesdays from 10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. beginning Feb. 17, in Asheville.

Children’s Books – “Heart of the Story,” with Joy Neaves and Frankie Bolt, is for writers who have prepared at least 45 pages of longer works of fiction intended for children. Participants will read and critique each other’s work, as well as develop the ability to examine their own work critically. The instructors will respond to all submissions and will cover topics from aspects of craft to ways to approach editors and agents. Neaves was senior editor at Front Street for a decade and is now a freelance editor of children’s books at Bolt has an MFA in creative writing from the writing for children and young adults program at Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her first novel, Minus, is forthcoming from Class meets Mondays, 6-8:30 p.m. beginning Feb. 16, in Asheville.

Poetry– Poet Brian Sneeden will lead “Articulate Wildness: Poetry as Creative Force.” In this workshop, students will explore the work of a different poet each week, combining close reading with interactive writing exercises. Sneeden’s poetry has appeared in Beloit Poetry Journal, Harvard Review Online and Ninth Letter, among others. His manuscript, Ithaka, was a finalist in the 2013 New Michigan Press/DIAGRAM Chapbook Award for Poetry. Class meets Tuesdays from 3-5:30 p.m. beginning Feb. 17 in Burnsville.

Poetry– English teacher Eric Steineger will lead “Poetry Made Accessible—A Timeline.” This course will examine important developments in poetry over the last two centuries and lead up to modern day. There may be short writing exercises; however, the focus is learning about this often-misunderstood genre. Steineger teaches English at A-B Tech Community College and Mars Hill University and is the senior poetry editor for The Citron Review, an online journal. Class meets Tuesdays from 6-8:30 p.m. beginning Feb. 17 in Asheville.

Short Fiction – “The Short Stories of Franz Kafka and Anton Chekhov: What They Have to Teach Us about Writing, Being Human, Being Bugs, and Being Kissed,” with Emilie White, is designed primarily for fiction writers, and will look to Kafka’s and Chekhov’s short stories as models to be emulated. White has served as an instructor of art history, composition, and creative writing at U.C. Berkeley, New Mexico State University and Warren Wilson College, where she was the 2001–02 Beebe Fellow. Her fiction has appeared in Colorado Review and has received two nominations for a Pushcart Prize. Class meets Thursdays, 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. beginning Feb. 19 in Asheville.

15-week courses:

Creative Prose Workshop with Tommy Hays – For advanced prose writers who have projects underway (or who want to start something new) GSWP Executive Director Tommy Hays offers “Keeping Ourselves Company: An Advanced Creative Prose Workshop.” Emphasis will be on reading and critiquing each other’s work. The instructor will respond at length to submissions. Instructor’s permission is required for admittance. Hays is the author of What I Came to Tell You (EgmontUSA, 2013), a SIBA Okra Pick and chosen by the Atlanta Constitution as one of best books for children for 2013. His novel, The Pleasure Was Mine, has been chosen for numerous community reads and was a Finalist for the SIBA Fiction Award. His In the Family Way (Random House, 1999) was winner of the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award. Class meets Thursdays from 6-8:30 p.m. beginning Jan. 29, in Asheville.

Prose Master Class with Elizabeth Lutyens – Elizabeth Lutyens, editor-in-chief of The Great Smokies Review, presents this master class for experienced writers seeking an intensive writing and critiquing experience in a small-group workshop. Master Class members will begin the semester with pages ready for critique and will submit three times during the 15-week course. Admission is by invitation; for more information, contact Tommy Hays ([email protected]) or Elizabeth Lutyens ([email protected]). Class meets Tuesdays from 6:00-8:30 p.m. beginning Jan. 27, in Asheville.

The 10-week courses qualify for two UNC Asheville credit hours in Literature and Language; the 15-week courses earn three credit hours. For in-state residents, the cost is $279.68 for 10-week courses and $419.52 for 15-week courses. The costs are higher for out-of-state residents. A $20 non-refundable application fee for new students also is required. For more information or to register, visit the program website or call 828.250.2353.

January and February Events at Chimney Rock State Park

Saturday, December 20th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – Winter is the perfect season to explore all Chimney Rock has to offer; from catching miles of views to seeing which birds are nesting here during the colder months, learning how to identify trees without their leaves to kicking off the New Year with an invigorating hike, there’s no need to suffer from cabin fever during these chilly days!


HNF half frozen cropFirst Day Hikes
Date/Time: Thursday, January 1; 1pm hike at Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park, 3pm hike at Rumbling Bald
Location: 1:00pm hike meet at Hickory Nut Falls trail; 3pm hike meet at Tunnel Entrance at 2:30pm for shuttle to Rumbling Bald. Shuttle will return to the Park at 4:30pm.

Description: Did you make a 2015 resolution to exercise more? Get off to a great start with an inspiring hike at Chimney Rock State Park, and see what makes winter the perfect time to explore our area. First, discover the beauty of the Hickory Nut Falls trail at Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park. Afterward, catch a shuttle at the Tunnel Entrance for a hike at Rumbling Bald, where you’ll be treated to views of Lake Lure and see the progress being made as State Parks works to reroute this trail. Be sure to bring water and wear comfortable hiking shoes. Both hikes will be led by a Park naturalist or State Park Ranger and are considered moderately difficult.
Cost: Included with Park admission

Naturalist Niche: Winter Birding
Date/Time: Saturday, January 17; 10:30am-12pm
Location: Meet at Tunnel Entrance
Description:  Not all of our feathered friends fly south for the winter! Colder months are an excellent time for birding; leafless trees and open viewsheds provide ample opportunity to observe birds that don’t mind chilly temperatures. Grab your binoculars and a field guide and join a Park naturalist to see which birds have stuck close to Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park for the winter season.
Cost: $22 Adult (includes Park admission), $7 Annual Passholder, $12 Youth (ages 5-15), $5 Grady’s Kids Club Member


Grady sweet potato10th Annual Grady’s Groundhog Day
Date/Time: Monday February 2; 10:30 – 12:00
Location: Meadows
Description: Last year, Grady saw his shadow, correctly predicting six more weeks of winter. Will he be right again this year? Join our furry Park mascot on Groundhog’s Day to find out! Kids’ crafts will be offered; you can make it a day of fun for the whole family by rounding it all out with a hike to the top of Chimney Rock or down the Hickory Nut Falls trail.
Cost: Free with Park admission

PROMO: Valentine’s Day Special: Buy 1, Get 1 Free

Date/Time: February 13-15

Description: What better way to show your sweetheart some love than by bringing him or her to see beautiful, 75-mile views from the top of Chimney Rock? (Hint – we’ve had quite a few proposals on the Rock over the years; Valentine’s Day might be your day!) Download the special coupon from our website. Coupon must be presented to the Ticket Plaza at the time of purchase. Valid February 13-15, 2015, if Park is open.

Naturalist Niche: Winter Tree ID
Date/Time: January 21; 10:30am-12:30pm
Location: Meet at Grady’s Animal Discovery Den
Description: Think leaves are the only way to identify trees? Think again! Local naturalist Ron Lance leads this guided hike where he’ll explain how to use twigs, bark and buds to identify trees. Hike will be moderately difficult.
Cost: $22 Adult (includes Park admission), $7 Annual Passholder, $12 Youth (ages 5-15), $5 Grady’s Kids Club Member




Mission Employees Receive WCU Certificate in Health Care

Saturday, December 20th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – Nineteen employees of Asheville-based Mission Health received certificates Thursday, Dec. 11, as members of the first cohort to complete a new graduate certificate program in health care innovation management offered in partnership with Western Carolina University.

Funded by Mission Health, the WCU program consists of four courses that employees take over a span of 21 months. Those who complete the program earn credit toward bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

The program is a component of Mission Health’s budding Center for Innovation, which was established to foster a spirit of advancement in health care throughout Western North Carolina. It combines entrepreneurial and innovation content with health care-specific modules. Courses focus on the skills of thinking creatively to implement new opportunities of value in the workplace, working effectively within a multidisciplinary team and leading through a culture of innovation.

“Mission Health is very proud of our caregivers who completed the WCU healthcare innovation management certificate program,” said Marc B. Westle, senior vice president for innovation for Mission Health. “We know they will use their new skills to help Mission Health find innovative and creative ways to be even more efficient and effective, and deliver a more exceptional experience for our patients and families.”

Members of the first graduating cohort are: Susan Anderson, supervisor of respiratory therapy at Mission Hospital, from Mills River; Jody Bender, independent project management consultant, from Asheville; Cynthia J. Brown, physician at Mission Children’s Hospital, from Asheville; Beth Cirillo, privacy officer at Mission Hospital, from Asheville; Ed Coye, director of information technology, western region, from Brevard; Nancy Critcher-White, manager of employee engagement at Mission Hospital, from Asheville; Rodney Foushee, regional director of marketing, western region, from Etowah; John Grindstaff, nursing unit supervisor at Mission Hospital, from Weaverville; Danny Gualano, systems engineer at Mission Hospital, from Leicester; Pam Hardin, coordinator of pet therapy at Mission Hospital, from Asheville; Alice Iannetta, laboratory manager at Mission Hospital, from Asheville; Caroline Lieberman, supervisor of inpatient rehabilitation services at Mission Hospital, from Asheville; John Locke, business performance coach for the Carolinas region at Dixon Hughes Goodman, from Arden; Megaan Lorenzen, director of clinical outcomes administration at Mission Hospital, from Asheville; Lakesha McDay, consultant for the Center for Leadership and Professional Development at Mission Hospital, from Asheville; Brandy Mills, manager of nursing professional development at Mission Hospital, from Arden; Maryalice Mobley, system manager for revenue cycle education at Mission Hospital, from Leicester; Maureen Winkenwerder, registered nurse at Mission Hospital, from Asheville; and Mary Ellen Wright, nurse researcher at Mission Hospital, from Fairview.

Hi-Wire Brewing to Add 15 Jobs New Brewing Facility

Saturday, December 20th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – In conjunction with the Buncombe County Commission, Asheville City Council, and the Economic Development Coalition for Asheville-Buncombe County (EDC), Hi-Wire Brewing announced today it will add 15 jobs and invest $1.62 million in a new brewing facility and equipment.

Hi-Wire’s investment will increase capacity from 4,000 to 17,000 barrels, with the potential to grow to 50,000 barrels a year. The new facility, which includes a tasting room, will enable increased statewide distribution and significantly higher production of its six-pack products with a new bottling line. Hi-Wire’s current brewery with seven employees at 197 Hilliard Avenue on Asheville’s South Slope will focus on featuring more special releases of unique styles and barrel-aged beer.

Since opening in June 2013, Hi-Wire Brewing was named Best New N.C. Brewery in 2013 by RateBeer and was awarded the most medals at the 2014 N.C. Brewer’s Cup. Hi-Wire’s light-hearted circus theme and artist-drawn labels embody the fun, authenticity, and creativity of its deep-rooted handmade craft.

“Hi-Wire is one of the success stories in the emergence of the City’s South Slope as a major economic engine. The City of Asheville’s focus on revitalizing this district will stimulate more private capital investment and employment, along with public improvements to infrastructure and walkability,” said Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer.

“We are grateful to the City of Asheville and Buncombe County for their support. And we wouldn’t be where we are today without all of our loyal fans in Asheville and across North Carolina. We’re excited about the opportunity to produce a lot more of our popular Hi-Wire LAGER and flagship beers,” remarked Adam Charnack, co-owner and Ringmaster of Hi-Wire Brewing.

“In the tradition of Asheville’s brewing community, Hi-Wire opened on day one with great beer and high demand. It’s exciting to see the company growing fast and adding good jobs,” commented David Gantt, Chairman of the Buncombe County Commissioners.

“The future is bright for young entrepreneurs like Adam at Hi-Wire whose dedication to quality and high growth elevate Asheville’s reputation as a national leader in craft brewing. The community’s sustained efforts to grow strategic target clusters have reached critical mass in the brewing industry,” said EDC Chairman Paul Szurek.

Hi-Wire Brewing, located in downtown Asheville, N.C., embraces its craft from top to bottom, from its hand-produced beers to its artwork, hand-drawn by a local artist. Hi-Wire was awarded the most medals at the 2014 N.C. Brewer’s Cup and the Best New N.C. Brewery for 2013 by RateBeer. Hi-Wire’s award-winning beers are available on draft at North Carolina bars, restaurants, and its downtown Asheville tasting room, as well as in 6-packs at retail outlets. Featuring four year-round beers—Hi-Wire LAGER, Prime Time PALE, Bed of Nails BROWN, and Hi-Pitch IPA—as well as a rotating selection of seasonal offerings, Hi-Wire Brewing invites you to “Walk on the Wire Side.” For an up-to-date listing of places to find Hi-Wire’s beer, visit

The Economic Development Coalition (EDC) for Asheville-Buncombe County is a public-private partnership committed to: creating and retaining high quality jobs, community leadership, and being a resource for better business decisions.  The EDC accomplishes this mission through its four core services: business retention and expansion, small business and entrepreneurship, research, and marketing and recruitment.  The EDC is funded by Buncombe County, the City of Asheville, the Town of Weaverville, the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce and the AVL 5×5 Campaign. Visit

The Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce is a member organization with over 1,800 member businesses and organizations. Chamber members collaborate with community organizations and coalitions to support the community and each other with the mission of building community through business. The Chamber is home to a 4,000 square foot Visitor Center which welcomes over 200,000 visitors per year. To get active in the Chamber, visit

Big Brothers Big Sisters of WNC Celebrates National Mentoring Month

Saturday, December 20th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – Big Brothers Big Sisters of WNC marks National Mentoring Month in January with a call to action to mentor and help youth become successful and productive citizens. Independent studies find Littles are more likely than their peers to show improvement in academics, behavior, self-esteem and aspirations. The designation of National Mentoring Month, established by the Harvard Mentoring Project of the Harvard School of Public Health, MENTOR, and the Corporation for National and Community Service, sets out to energize citizens to become mentors.

The agency will hold “Mentoring Works” information sessions on January 15th and 29th from 12:00-12:30 at their office in the United Way building downtown at 50 South French Broad Avenue in Room 213. Staff will share details about the program, the needs and volunteer opportunities. The community is invited to drop by, enjoy some snacks and learn how little steps lead to a big impact. Hi-Wire Brewery will also be holding a benefit night for Big Brothers Big Sisters in honor of National Mentoring Month. The event will be held at Hi-Wire Brewery on January 22nd from 4:00-11:00 PM.

The Buncombe County office has over 80 youth on the waiting list for a Big Brother or Big Sister. Jacob, a 13 year old Little, does not have a male role model in his life and hopes to be matched with a Big Brother who enjoys hiking, fishing and sports of all kinds. He wants his future Big Brother to know that he is smart, kind and athletic. Big Brothers Big Sisters staff carefully match children who face adversity with caring mentors in long-term, professionally supported one-to-one mentoring relationships.

Littles are not the only ones who benefit; mentors receive intrinsic rewards and often comment to our staff that they feel they get as much out of the relationship as the child does.  Mentors in the Community-based Program enjoy activities together two times a month with a young person from a single-parent home. Big Brother Ramin Sadeghian says “being a Big is an outlet from my otherwise busy and stressful life. When I hang out with my little brother, we’re just happy to be in the moment.  My Little grounds me, so I leave the encounter feeling both positive and relaxed.  Our activities are much simpler than I expected.  I pretty much do what I would normally do and my little brother is just happy to be out ‘n about. Our favorite activities lately have been graffiti hunting (finding beautiful sites and admiring the art).”

Mentors also impact students through the Site-based Program where they share one hour a week with a student at their school or after-school. Big Sister Lia Kaz shares one hour each week with a student helping with math, reading, and games to build her social skills and confidence. She shares that “one of the highlights of our time together was when I overheard her telling her dad that she wanted to stay late every week when we hung out.”

Big Brothers Big Sisters, the nation’s largest donor and volunteer supported mentoring network, holds itself accountable for children in its program to achieve measurable outcomes, such as educational success; avoidance of risky behaviors; and higher aspirations, greater confidence and better relationships.  Partnering with parents/guardians, schools, corporations and others in the community, Big Brothers Big Sisters carefully pairs children (“Littles”) with screened volunteer mentors (“Bigs”) and monitors and supports these one-to-one mentoring matches throughout their course.

Big Brothers Big Sisters provides children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one mentoring relationships that change their lives for the better, forever.  This mission has been the cornerstone of the national organization’s 100-year history.  With 334 agencies across the country, Big Brothers Big Sisters serves nearly 630,000 children, volunteers and families.  The local BBBS of WNC agency served 582 youth in 2013.

Winter Squash Wonderland in December

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – Red Kuri, Blue Hubbard, and Candy Roaster are just a few of the varieties of winter squash found in the Appalachian Grownregion. Vividly colored, they are flavorful, and brighten up fall and winter meals. From main dish to side dish to dessert, these hearty fruits become sweet and rich on the palate as they cook and take well to a variety of seasonings.

Appalachian Grown partner restaurants have sweet and savory plans for ASAP’s Get Local campaign in December. Cúrate is featuring Appalachian Grown squash from New River Organic Growers and Rise Up Rooted Farm in a butternut squash soup with Spanish paprika and candied pumpkin seeds. West End Bakery purchases winter squash from R Farm for their many menu items this month including a blue Hubbard black eyed pea soup, and pumpkin chili. Desserts at West End Bakery include pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin mousse, and pumpkin pie brownies. Over at The Market Place, look for a roasted pumpkin soup, with pepitas and cave aged blue cheese using candy roaster squash/pumpkins also from New River Organic Growers. Maple lacquered bacon, acorn squash, cast iron roasted Brussel sprouts, with candied pecans will also be featured at The Market Place; or try the roasted beet & chèvre ravioli with butternut squash.

Visit ASAP’s website at to find more 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


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, or call (828) 236-1282.

Diana Wortham Theatre Swannanoa Solstice Holiday Concert

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – Award-winning recording artists Al Petteway, Amy White, and Robin Bullock lead the annual holiday concert A Swannanoa Solstice, Sunday, December 21 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. at Diana Wortham Theatre in downtown Asheville, with festivities beginning in the lobby prior to the performances with complimentary wassail and cookies, and music by The Piper Jones Band during intermission. In this annual winter holiday celebration, now in its 12th year, world-renowned musicians Petteway and White along with Bullock and a host of special guests share holiday songs old and new, religious and secular, joyful and poignant, in a warm and intimate winter concert.

Presented in partnership with The Swannanoa Gathering at Warren Wilson College, A Swannanoa Solstice again offers two performances in order to meet the audience demand for this popular winter gathering and concert.

This year’s special guests include:

  • Sheila Kay Adams, National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship winner, world-renowned Appalachian storyteller, traditional ballad singer, banjo player and author;
  • The Twisty Cuffs, local Cape Breton-style stepdancers;
  • The Piper Jones Band, featuring E.J. Jones on Highland bagpipes, Rosalind Buda on bombarde, and Frances Cunningham on bouzouki
  • Matthew Bell on the Irish bodhrán and the Scottish marching snare drum
  • Host and emcee Doug Orr, president emeritus of Warren Wilson College and founder of A Swannanoa Solstice

A Swannanoa Solstice showcases all manner of seasonal sounds and festivities, with well-mastered Celtic and Appalachian songs and music on guitar, mandolin, fiddle, piano, Celtic harp, Irish bouzouki, vocals and world percussion. Through music and storytelling and poetry, the featured artists explore shared winter traditions from the area, the country, and from around the world. The melodies played by Petteway, a virtuosic acoustic guitarist, draw from a broad variety of cultural influences from Middle East tonalities to Scottish jigs. White, on piano, mandolin, guitar, Celtic harp and percussion, draws on her classical background to create beautiful and compelling original compositions and arrangements of traditional favorites. Bullock, a multi-instrumentalist who plays the guitar, mandolin and bouzouki is hailed as a master musician whose style skillfully embraces Celtic and Classical music.

More about the artists:

Grammy winner Al Petteway and his wife and musical partner Amy White perform an exciting blend of original, traditional, contemporary Celtic- and Appalachian-influenced music.  Their repertoire offers extensive instrumental work featuring acoustic guitars, mandolins, Celtic harp, piano and world percussion as well as a fine touch of vocals. They have been Artists in Residence at Warren Wilson College and The Kennedy Center Millennium Stage. Their award-winning signature sound is heard often on public radio programs and has been used in the soundtracks for a number of Ken Burns’ films, most notably the Emmy-winning PBS documentary, The National Parks-America’s Best Idea. While living in the Washington, D.C. area, Al & Amy won a grand total of 50 Wammies from the Washington Area Music Association in the Folk, Celtic and New Age categories. They received a coveted Indie Award for their CD Gratitude (2001) and Al won a Grammy for his solo fingerstyle guitar rendition of Henry Mancini’s The Thornbirds Theme featured on the pop instrumental compilation, Pink Guitar (2004). The readers of Acoustic Guitar magazine voted him one of the top fifty guitarists of all time. Al is the coordinator of Guitar Week for the world famous Swannanoa Gathering at Warren Wilson College, and was given the “Master Music Maker” award for his contributions to the program in 2013. Amy’s 2012 release, Home Sweet Home, was in the top ten on the national folk/roots charts and held the number one spot in North Carolina for more than a month in 2012. Al’s 2014 release, Mountain Guitar, features solo acoustic guitar and paints a musical portrait of the southern Appalachian Mountains. Al and Amy are both stock photographers with National Geographic Creative, and their photographs are represented in The National Geographic Society’s Image Collection, where Al worked as an image editor for 18 years. These photos are translated onstage during A Swannanoa Solstice in photographic backdrops of the Southern Appalachians in winter repose. Al and Amy make their home on top of the Elk Mountains range in nearby Weaverville, NC.

Hailed as a “Celtic guitar god” by the Baltimore City Paper, guitarist/mandolinist/citternist Robin Bullock is a winner of Editor’s Pick and Player’s Choice Awards from Acoustic Guitar Magazine, the Association for Independent Music’s prestigious INDIE Award (with the world-folk trio Helicon), multiple Washington Area Music Association WAMMIE Awards, a Governor’s Award from the Maryland State Arts Council, and a bronze medal at the National Mandolin Championship in Winfield, Kansas. His twelve solo and collaborative recordings include two holiday CDs, A Guitar for Christmas and Christmas Eve is Here, and Majesty and Magic: Music of Bach, Dowland and Carolan for Solo Guitar. His most recent release, Alone and Together, is a collaborative effort with fingerstyle guitarist, Steve Baughman. Robin also tours internationally as sideman with Grammy-winning folk legend Tom Paxton, including Tom’s “Together at Last” tours with Janis Ian. A native of Washington, D.C. and a longtime resident of France, Robin now makes his home in Black Mountain, NC.

A Swannanoa Solstice is presented annually in partnership with The Swannanoa Gathering at Warren Wilson College, and is made possible by Performance Sponsors Dan & Anna Garrett, Bill & Marilyn Hubbard, and Marrion & Rockwell Ward; and by Mainstage Special Attractions Series Sponsors Joel & Deborah Bohan Berkowitz and Wells Fargo; with additional support from Media Sponsors The Laurel of Asheville, WCQS 88.1 FM, and WTZQ AM 1600.

The entrance for the Diana Wortham Theatre is marked by the location of the theatre’s marquee between 12 and 14 Biltmore Avenue. Patrons enter the theatre through the breezeway between Marble Slab Creamery and White Duck Taco restaurants, and into a large interior courtyard with multiple glass doors to the theatre’s lower lobby and box office. The intimate theatre seats just over 500 and boasts exceptional acoustics and sightlines, making it the premier performance space in Western North Carolina. The Mainstage Series is supported by a grant from the North Carolina Arts Council, a state agency. The Mainstage Series 2014/2015 Season Sponsors are the Asheville Scene, Blue Moon Water, Creative Energy, Laurey’s Catering and Gourmet-to-go, the North Carolina Arts Council, and the Renaissance Asheville Hotel. To obtain more information on the Mainstage Series or to purchase tickets, call the theatre’s box office at (828) 257-4530 or visit