ASHEVILLE NC – Heartbeat, an ensemble of young musicians from Palestine and Israel, will bring their dynamic blend of Eastern and Arabic music, Western rock, hip hop, jazz and reggae to UNC Asheville’s Lipinsky Auditorium on at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 19.
Heartbeat is an international nonprofit organization that offers musical workshops, camps, field trips, overseas exchanges, and the development of ensembles to young musicians living in conflicted and segregated cities. The organization unites Israeli and Palestinian youth to build critical understanding and transform conflict through the power of music.
This year marks the group’s fourth tour to the U.S., where they have performed and offered workshops at universities, music festivals, the State Department and Congress. The organization recently received funding support from Eddie Vedder and Pearl Jam, and from Neil Young, who announced his donation after he was forced to cancel a performance in Israel due to security concerns.
Concert tickets are $22; $13 for UNC Asheville faculty, staff and alumni; $8 for Asheville-area students; free for UNC Asheville students, and are available at uncatickets.com. The concert is sponsored by UNC Asheville’s Cultural Events and Special Academic Programs office. For more information, visit cesap.unca.edu or call 828.251.6674.
ASHEVILLE NC – Betsy Polk and Maggie Chotas, co-authors of Power Through Partnership – How Women Lead Better Together (Berrett-Koehler, 2014), will discuss their research about women business partnerships at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 22, in the Lauren Forum in Karpen Hall on the UNC Asheville campus. This event is free and open to the public.
Polk and Chotas are business partners who have operated The Mulberry Partners coaching and consulting business for a dozen years. Drawing upon their own experience as well as interviews they conducted with 125 women business partners, their book challenges myths about female leadership and competitiveness, and finds that women working together as equals enjoy advantages they rarely find in other work relationships.
This presentation by Polk and Chotas is co-sponsored by UNC Asheville’s Family Business Forum and the university’s Department of Management and Accountancy. Those wishing to attend should RSVP via email to Cindy Clarke, executive director of the Family Business Forum, at [email protected], or call 828.232.5091.
ASHEVILLE NC – UNC Asheville is once again among the top 100 “Best Values in Public Colleges” in the 2015 rankings released online by Kiplinger’s, advancing to number 51 nationally, up from number 58 last year.
In creating its rankings, Kiplinger started with a list of more than 1,200 public and private four-year schools. Academic quality measures are weighted at 55 percent in Kiplinger’s rankings, with affordability weighted at 45 percent.
Kiplinger includes competitiveness (acceptance rate and SAT scores of incoming freshmen), graduation rates (with the four-year graduation rate weighted most heavily), retention rates, and the student/faculty ratio in measuring academic quality.
UNC Asheville is ranked sixth nationally among public colleges ranked by Kiplinger in total cost of attendance for in-state students, 10th lowest average debt at graduation, and 11th for lowest cost after need-based aid for in-state students.
Schools in the University of North Carolina system made a strong showing in Kiplinger’s rankings, with UNC-Chapel Hill maintaining its spot atop the “Best Values in Public Colleges” list. NC State University, UNC Wilmington, Appalachian State University and Western Carolina University are also among Kiplinger’s top 100 public colleges.
The Princeton Review and The Fiske Guide to Colleges also ranked UNC Asheville as a “best value” this year. In addition, UNC Asheville was the only public university to be included by U.S. News and World Report on the “Best Undergraduate Teaching” list of national liberal arts colleges – placing eighth nationally.
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 namelos.com. 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 namelos.com. 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 BeloitPoetry 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.
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.
ASHEVILLE NC – UNC Asheville is partnering with Appalachian State University to increase the number of students in eight Western North Carolina counties who are prepared to enter and succeed in college, as part of the GEAR UP program funded by grants from the U.S Department of Education.
GEAR UP – Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs – is designed to support students as they progress through three distinct transitions: 1) college awareness and readiness; 2) college enrollment; and 3) college achievement, by employing evidence-based support services and resources that are early indicators and predictors of success.
UNC Asheville will offer services and resources to students, parents and teachers in Alleghany, Clay, Graham, Madison, Rutherford, Swain, Wilkes and Yancey counties. GEAR UP will begin with middle school students and expand one grade level each year as students advance through high school and into their first year at a community college or four-year university.
“We are excited to join in this multi-university effort to boost educational achievement across the region,” said UNC Asheville Provost Joseph Urgo. “Here in Asheville, our students and faculty have long been involved in boosting college awareness and readiness through the city school system’s AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) program. Now, we are moving forward with GEAR UP to expand our engagement with young people throughout Western North Carolina.”
As part of GEAR UP, UNC Asheville will offer its growing roster of professional development seminars, with topics including math, art, chemistry, genetics, and culturally relevant pedagogy to K-12 teachers in the eight target counties. The university also will make available its innovative precollege awareness programs that allow students and their families to think critically about college match and fit; and overnight summer enrichment programs will give students a sample of college life.
UNC Asheville will hire a GEAR UP coordinator to serve as the liaison to school districts connecting teachers, students and parents to campus resources. The GEAR UP grant will cover program activities for seven years; UNC Asheville’s annual GEAR UP budget will be $150,000.
Appalachian State University is coordinating GEAR UP project activities in a total of 11 WNC counties; other partners also include Western Carolina University, Isothermal Community College, Tri-County Community College, Wilkes Community College, Discovery Place and the Public School Forum of North Carolina.
ASHEVILLE NC – Structural Abstraction, an exhibition of synthetic polymer and mixed media on canvas and panel by Ian Cage, will open on Nov. 3 in Blowers Gallery in UNC Asheville’s Ramsey Library. A reception with a lecture presentation by the artist will be held from 6-7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 6 in Ramsey Library, Whitman Room. The events are free and open to the public.
Cage’s work examines the interplay between expressive gestures and the sculptural forms that comprise an assortment of abstract figures recurring throughout Cage’s recent work. Cage has exhibited his work in galleries throughout the region, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree from UNC Asheville.
Structural Abstraction will be on view in Blowers Gallery through Nov. 24 during regular library hours. For more information, including library hours, visit Ramsey Library’s website or call 828.251.6436.
ASHEVILLE NC – UNC Asheville will host an observation event to safely view the partial solar eclipse occurring just before sunset on Thursday, Oct. 23. This free, public viewing event will begin at 5:58 p.m. in UNC Asheville’s parking lot P8, uphill from the Reuter Center.
Participants will have the opportunity to watch the partial solar eclipse using telescopes equipped with solar filters. The location also provides a low view of the western horizon, which is difficult to find in the Asheville area and necessary for viewing this eclipse. The event will end with the sunset at 6:44 p.m.
This event is sponsored by UNC Asheville’s Physics Department and the Astronomy Club of Asheville. For more information, including the latest updates regarding cloudy weather and possible cancellations, visit the Astronomy Club of Asheville website.
ASHEVILLE NC – The first professional company in the world dedicated to the tradition of stepping, Step Afrika! will bring it’s high-energy percussive dancing to UNC Asheville. Originating from the song-and-dance tradition created by African-American college students, stepping uses the body to create sound and rhythm through hand clapping, foot stomping and spoken word. Step Afrika! will be offering a performance at 8 p.m Thursday, Oct. 23 in UNC Asheville’s Lipinsky Auditorium. Their performance is free and open to the public.
Although stepping began with historically black Greek letter college fraternities, Step Afrika! has taken its exciting dance style to a wide variety of audiences. On top of its annual 50-city tour of American colleges and universities, Step Afrika! partners with the U.S. State Department, Navy Entertainment and other international organizations to hold performances and workshops for communities around the world.
Step Afrika! is known for bringing its art into the classroom and will lead a free masterclass from 12:30-2:00 p.m. in UNC Asheville’ Humanities Lecture Hall.
Step Afrika! events are co-sponsored by many UNC Asheville offices and programs, including the Office of Multicultural Student Programs, the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life, Africana Studies, Connections Peer Mentoring Program, the Center for Diversity Education, the Black Student Association, International Student Services, Campus Recreation, the Department of Education and Transition/Parent Programs.
UNC Asheville also is included on the U.S. News & World Report list of national liberal arts colleges, private and public, “where the faculty has an unusually strong commitment to undergraduate teaching.” Based on surveys of college presidents, provosts and admissions deans, UNC Asheville is tied for eighth in the nation in this category and is the only public university on this exclusive list.“Self-discovery and intellectual exploration are what define a great liberal arts college experience,” said UNC Asheville Provost Joseph Urgo. “I see that happening at UNC Asheville with our small classes and with so many students engaged in undergraduate research with a faculty mentor. The faculty works continually to reexamine and improve student learning and the overall student experience, especially when it comes to fostering critical thinking and creativity.”
U.S. News & World Report ranked 236 national liberal arts colleges, 212 private and 24 public, in its survey, using a weighted formula that includes academic reputation, graduation and retention rates, commitment to instruction and class size, student abilities and admissions selectivity, college financial resources and alumni financial support.
The U.S. News & World Report rankings are among several accolades UNC Asheville has recently received. In August, The Princeton Review noted the “top-notch academic experience” that UNC Asheville students receive and ranked the university 14th nationally on its “Town-Gown Relations are Great” list.
In July, the Fiske Guide to Colleges named UNC Asheville a “Best Buy” among the nation’s top colleges, and for the 11th consecutive year, UNC Asheville’s Environmental Studies Program was highlighted as showing unusual strength in preparing students for careers.
In the past year, UNC Asheville also was cited as a “best value” by The Princeton Review and by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine.
ASHEVILLE NC – Works by Latino artists in Western North Carolina will be on view at UNC Asheville as the university celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month from Sept. 15-Oct. 15. The exhibition is free and open to the public in the adjoining galleries in Highsmith University Union: the Highsmith Art and Intercultural Gallery and the Intercultural Center Gallery. A public reception with the artists will be held from 6-7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 17 in the galleries.
Victor Palomino, a native of Colombia who has worked as an artist and journalist in North Carolina for more than a decade, will display his works in wire sculpture, mixed media and ink in the Intercultural Center. Sandra Garcia will also display the Kaleidocycle, a project that documents the lives and journeys of immigrants in Western North Carolina.
In the Highsmith Art and Intercultural Gallery, works in a variety of media will be on view by Luis Martinez Cruz and Victor H. Verde of Mexico, Chris Corral of Texas, and Gustavo Villota of Ecuador. The exhibition will also include Mi Historia, stories of the lives of Latinos in Western North Carolina that have been collected at prior exhibits.
UNC Asheville’s Office of Multicultural Student Programs and the student organization HOLA (Hispan@s Orgullos@s en las Americas) are joining to present the university’s Hispanic Heritage Month activities, which include discussions, videos, food events, fairs and parties for students, and this art exhibition.