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Asheville, North Carolina News

Archive for September, 2009

YWCA Hosts Annual Black & White Gala, October 1

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – The YWCA of Asheville’s fifth annual Black & White Gala will be held on Thursday, October 1, at 7:00 pm at the Orange Peel, 101 Biltmore Ave.

This FUN evening will feature silent and live auctions, food from local restaurants, and high energy dance music by Westsound. Festive black and white attire is encouraged. All event proceeds will go to support the programs of the YWCA of Asheville. Tickets are only $40/each or two for $75. PURCHASE TICKETS HERE.

Occasional and Asheville Community Theatres Present ‘Return of an Angel’

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – Asheville’s award winning Occasional Theatre and Asheville Community Theatre will co-present Sandra Mason’s riveting hit drama, Return of an Angel, in recognition of the 80th anniversary of the publication of Thomas Wolfe’s seminal novel, Look Homeward, Angel. With special permission from the Thomas Wolfe estate, Mason’s powerful play uses Wolfe’s own words to bring to life the “love – hate” relationship that Asheville had with its most famous son, Thomas Wolfe. Chris Morton, Operations/Interpretation Manager for the Thomas Wolfe Memorial said, “We are very pleased Occasional Theatre and ACT are once again bringing this wonderful play to the community.”

The world premiere of the play took place at ACT’s Heston Auditorium, adjacent to the Thomas Wolfe Memorial, during the 2007 Thomas Wolfe Festival. Each of the three performances played to nearly full houses and brought audience members to their feet, including Wolfe Festival attendee, Jan Hensley from Greensboro who wrote: “I was just entranced with the play, with the actors, with the set, the lighting, the musicians… it was all professionally done. I can only hope that you will bring it back to Asheville again and again.” Producer Brenda Lunsford Lilly added, “After the performances last year many audience members, including City Council Member Robin Cape, left the theatre and immediately walked over to the Thomas Wolfe Memorial.”

In 1929, not everyone in Asheville was thrilled with the newfound fame brought to them by Wolfe’s novel. Many in the town thought that Thomas Wolfe had exposed them to the world, warts and all. Of course now, Look Homeward, Angel is known for its compelling story of time lost, not the salacious gossip.

The Occasional Theatre is dedicated to bringing professional, premiere productions of plays – in particular plays written by North Carolina playwrights – to audiences. Over the years it has produced theatre in both Los Angeles and New York and now is based in Asheville. It is delighted to be partnering again with Asheville Community Theatre and will be donating a portion the ticket sales to the Wolfe Memorial. Sponsors for this production include PLI, Wake Robin Farm Breads, and Battery Park Book Exchange and Champagne Bar.

Return of an Angel will run October 2-11 with performances on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings at 7:30pm and Saturdays and Sundays at 2:30pm. All performances will be held at Asheville Community Theatre at 35 East Walnut Street in downtown Asheville.. Tickets are $22.00 for adults, $19.00 for seniors and students. Tickets are available online, by phone at the ACT box office (828-254-1320), or in person at the ACT box office, which is located on site at the theatre and is open from 10am-4pm Tuesdays – Saturdays.

The Grove Park Inn to Sponsor Holiday Fireworks

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – Asheville City Council has voted to accept a $40,000 donation from The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa to pay for fireworks during the upcoming holiday season. “Seasonal Sizzle at Seven” is a business stimulus campaign centered around three firework programs to be fired off at 7:00 P.M. on the first three Saturdays in December in downtown Asheville. This campaign will encompass the first 19 days of December with various customer oriented specials. The goal is to stimulate the local economy during the holidays.

“This is the second year we have sponsored the Seasonal Sizzle at Seven, and we believe it is a valuable economic tool for the local business community,” said Ron Morin, Executive Director of Operations at The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa. “Local merchants have told us that Seasonal Sizzle at Seven was very good for business last year because it brought more people to the downtown area for shopping and dining. We believe everyone will benefit again this year.”

In addition to the free fireworks sponsored by The Grove Park Inn Spa & Resort, Asheville residents and holiday visitors will also enjoy live entertainment, seasonal specials at local restaurants, and extended hours of evening shopping in downtown Asheville’s eclectic boutiques and craft galleries.

Newly Founded Echo Gallery Opens in Biltmore Town Square

Monday, September 21st, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – It’s undeniable that Asheville is inundated with talent, and the arts are the heart and soul of the city. From Appalachian crafts that have been carried down through generations to contemporary and novel creations, the galleries in the area host world-class offerings with a unique hometown twist. Biltmore Park Town Square is now adding to the mix as host of the newly-founded cooperative Echo Gallery, which opens on Friday, September 18th.

Founded by seven artists whose studios are currently headquartered in the River Arts District, Echo Gallery is a welcome expansion into South Asheville. While each artist is different in medium and style, each piece complements the other by showcasing skill, perspective, and method. Whether eager to observe a sample of what makes Western North Carolina such an appealing destination or shopping for your home, the quality of the paintings, ceramics, sculptures, textiles, and photography are sure to inspire.

The artists are excited about gaining more visibility in their new location, and Town Square couldn’t be more excited about their contributions to the area. Asheville is one of the Southeast’s most popular arts destinations, and Biltmore Park is glad to feature local culture and talent among its unique mix of national and local tenants. The founding artists of the Echo Gallery include Anna Kolosieke, Barbara Fisher, Susan Web Lee, Laurie McCarrier, Lori Therault, and Heather Tinnaro.

Echo Gallery is located in Suite 160 at Eight Town Square Boulevard across from the newly opened Barnes & Noble. The hours are Thursday-Saturday from 12 p.m. – 8 p.m. and Sunday 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., making it a wonderful destination for restaurant and movie-goers in Biltmore Park. Learn more at www.echoasheville.com

Reel Rock Film Festival Comes to Asheville Pizza and Brewing

Friday, September 18th, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – On October 1 at the Asheville Pizza and Brewing Company, the fourth annual REEL ROCK Film Tour will launch the year’s most exciting climbing and
adventure films.

tour is the largest international climbing celebration delivering to
audiences in over 100 cities around the world. More than just film
screenings, REEL ROCK shows are festive events where climbers and outdoors
lovers gather to celebrate their shared passion for adventure.

Presented locally by Asheville Pizza and Brewing Company, REEL ROCK events
feature the latest releases from the award-winning filmmakers at Sender
Films and Big UP Productions as well as the winning short films from this
year¹s REEL ROCK Filmmaking Competition. Gear giveaways, appearances by top
climbers, and fundraising for non-profit organizations always add to the fun
and community spirit of REEL ROCK events.

UNCA Women’s Soccer to Play in Catamount Classic

Friday, September 18th, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – The UNC Asheville women’s soccer team travels to Cullowhee this weekend to take part in the Catamount Classic. The Bulldogs play Elon on Friday starting at 5 p.m. and battle Western Carolina Sunday at 2:30 p.m.

Asheville enters the tournament with wins in three of its last four matches. The Bulldogs rallied for a 2-1 victory over Tennessee Tech on Sunday. Michele Cornish’s team scored twice in the final 20 minutes to get the victory and raise the Bulldogs record to 3-2-0.

However, Cornish wants a better performance this weekend than the one against the Golden Eagles on Sunday.

“We found a way to win last Sunday and that was good to see but we didn’t play very well,” stated Cornish. “We were fortunate to only be down 1-0 in the second half and then fortunate we were able to get those two goals. We’re going to have take things up a notch this weekend.”

Elon is 2-2-1 on the season and its two wins are over Big South teams in Coastal Carolina and High Point. Western Carolina has been playing very good soccer this year. The Lady Catamounts are 2-3-1 on the season but have narrowly missed upsetting ranked teams such as Tennessee and Dayton.

“We’ve got our hands full with both of our opponents,” commented Cornish. “Both are very good teams that have posted impressive results this year. Elon is a well-coached team that doesn’t make many mistakes. Western Carolina has been impressive in its play this year. We’re going to have to play smart for 90 minutes.”

Freshman forward Chole Mcleary-Small has been a real spark for the Bulldogs in the early part of the season. She has scored three goals and added an assist for a team-leading seven points. Two of her goals have been game-winners.

NC Arboretum Gets Small During During the 14th Carolina Bonsai Expo

Friday, September 18th, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – The city of Asheville, NC, transforms into the bonsai capital of the Southeast the second weekend every October when The NC Arboretum hosts the Carolina Bonsai Expo. Visitors to the show will find an abundance of miniature trees and landscapes, creatively displayed at the Arboretum’s Education Center.

This two-day horticultural extravaganza on October 10 and 11, situated in the midst of the colorful mountains during fall foliage season, features a juried display of bonsai by clubs from across a six-state region, a renowned bonsai marketplace, workshops, free demonstrations, and a popular Ikebana exhibit.
The expo is also a perfect occasion to explore the Arboretum’s Bonsai Exhibition Garden, which offers a world-class display that innovatively establishes bonsai in the context of the Southern Appalachians.

Now in its 14th successful year, the Carolina Bonsai Expo includes an expanded bonsai and ikebana exhibit and a live auction of bonsai plants and related materials.
The two-day event features juried exhibits by bonsai enthusiasts from throughout the southeast including Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia, Pennsylvania and the Carolinas. In addition, workshops are available for those interested in learning bonsai and ikebana techniques from master artists.

“Bonsai are amazing, and there’s more to it than most folks know,” said Arthur Joura, The NC Arboretum’s Bonsai Curator. “The Carolina Bonsai Expo is the largest and finest bonsai show in the Southeast. Whether you know something about bonsai or not, it’s a fun and fascinating world to lose yourself in for awhile, and the Expo offers the best opportunity to do just that.”

People often ask Joura where they can purchase a bonsai, and he highly recommends the marketplace at the Expo, adding, “There are only two days each year to find such a diverse selection, and we are proud to host such a rare offering.”

Joura, a nationally recognized expert who is dedicated to making the art form of bonsai accessible to all audiences, has developed one of the finest public bonsai collections in the country since the Arboretum received its first bonsai donation in 1992. The collection is particularly distinctive because it artfully blends traditional bonsai with plants native to the Southern Appalachians such as American hornbeam, red maple and eastern white pine.

There is no charge for visitors to attend the Carolina Bonsai Expo although usual parking fees apply. Visitors can purchase lunch items from the Arboretum’s Savory Thyme Café, open during Expo hours. To register or for more information about the auction, workshops and presentations, call 828-665-2492 or visit www.ncarboretum.org

Film Series Art:21 Premieres at the Asheville Art Museum this October!

Friday, September 18th, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – The Asheville Art Museum is pleased to once again be the official Asheville site for the premiere of Season 5 of the exciting bi-annual film series, ART:21 — Art in the Twenty-First Century, screening Saturday and Sunday, October 10 and 11, 2009 at 2:00 p.m. each day. These screenings are free with Museum Membership or admission.

Compassion, Fantasy, Transformation and Systems are the four themes explored this year. Each one-hour episode profiles contemporary artists loosely organized around each theme.

Fascinating and intimate footage allows the viewer to observe the artists at work, watch their processes as they transform inspiration into art and hear their thoughts as they grapple with the physical and visual challenges of achieving their artistic visions.

Episode 1: Compassion will be screened on Saturday; Episode 4: Systems on Sunday. Compassion features artists including William Kentridge, Doris Salcedo and Carrie Mae Weems. Systems features John Baldessari, Kimsooja, Allan McCollum and Julie Mehretu. For a sneak peek of Season 5, visit www.art21.org and watch the trailer.

Grove Park Inn Offering Resort Memberships

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

ASEHVILLE, NC – For the first time in almost a decade, The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa opening up memberships for its award winning golf and sports facilities to members of the Asheville community and surrounding areas.

The facilities and services which are now available to the public include an 18 hole Donald Ross golf course, tennis and racquetball courts, a 50,000 square-foot sports complex with men’s and women’s locker room facilities, fitness center, tennis and golf pro shops and an indoor and outdoor swimming pool.

Designed by the legendary Donald Ross, the Grove Park Inn Resort Golf Course is rated as one of the best in North Carolina. Golfweek magazine included the course in its 2005 “America’s Best” listings and Golf Digest named it in 2004 as “one of the ten best courses in the United States that is 100 years old or more.” Other awards include “Top 100 Golf Courses” by the North Carolina Golf Panel in 2009 and a ranking of 48 in the “Top 100 Golf Resorts” by Conde Nast in 2007.

In addition, those who purchase a Grove Park Inn Resort Membership will receive special rates for accommodations and a 15% discount when dining at any of Grove Park Inn’s four award winning restaurants.

For more information about purchasing a Grove Park Inn resort membership, please contact Bernard Chandler at The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa at 800.438.5800 or 828.252.2711 or visit www.groveparkinn.com.

City of Asheville Calls for Public Comment on Public Transit Master Plan

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – The City of Asheville is seeking public input through Sept. 29 on its draft transit master plan.

The proposed master plan includes a new route structure, Sunday service for six routes and thirty minute trip frequency along main corridors like Tunnel Road, Haywood Road, Merrimon Avenue, Patton Avenue and Biltmore Avenue. The plan also includes two new routes. A north Asheville loop would connect Charlotte Street and Montford Avenue via UNC Asheville, and a crosstown route would connect west Asheville to Biltmore Village and areas in east Asheville.

“Our goal for the proposed route structure is to provide more options and improved service for riders,” said Transit Manager Mariate Echeverry. “We are asking the public to comment on these recommendations to get additional input before the overall plan is complete.”

The master plan can be found at www.ashevilletransit.com. The document will also be available on the mezzanine level of City Hall; at the Pack Place, East, North, West, Oakley and Skyland public library branches; at the Asheville Transit Center on Coxe Avenue, and; at the city’s transportation planning division offices at 45 Wall St.

Comments can be submitted to the city in writing to City of Asheville, ATTN: Transit Master Plan, P.O. Box 7148, Asheville, NC 28802 or via e-mail [email protected]

The city of Asheville currently operates 21 buses. According to research completed for the master plan, ridership trends in the last five years have increased by about 10 percent. The majority of riders, about 68 percent, are dependent on bus service as their only form of transportation, while about 27 percent prefer or choose to ride transit.