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Asheville, North Carolina News

Archive for the ‘Pack Place’ Category

The Asheville Art Museum Plans to Expand

Monday, December 7th, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – The Asheville Art Museum, celebrating its 60th anniversary and its extraordinary growth and success since it relocated to Pack Square in 1992 as a founding partner in Pack Place, is pleased to announce plans for a future expansion. These plans were discussed at a meeting with the Asheville City Council and Buncombe County Commissioners on Tuesday, July 14, 2009.

As Pack Place partner The Health Adventure plans to leave downtown, the Asheville Art Museum is taking advantage of this opportunity to expand and create larger, state-of-the-art galleries, public art-filled space and education space to meet the demands of the large and diverse audiences it serves. With the agreement of all Pack Place partners, the Asheville Art Museum determined that it could develop its facility creating a central arts destination and 21st-century museum for the community by expanding in its current location.

“The new design will bring a contemporary feel to the most important corner of downtown. It will also honor our great history of architecture and the sense of place on Pack Square. My dad, Roger McGuire, helped found Pack Place, and he hoped that Pack Place would grow and change. This is exactly the kind of exciting evolution he would have wanted,” said Kim McGuire, a community leader and Museum supporter.

After an exhaustive recruitment process conducted by the Asheville Art Museum staff, board and a building committee of local design professionals including Jim Samsel, John Rogers, Peter Alberice and others, the renowned firm Polshek Partnership Architects of New York has been chosen to design the new Asheville Art Museum and restore the historic Pack Memorial Library building. Polshek is continuing to work with John Rogers, Beverly-Grant and the building committee.

The Museum needs to expand in order to better serve Western North Carolina and visitor audiences of all ages and to help Asheville remain competitive with other cities’ as a top arts destination. A study completed by the Asheville Art Museum documented the overall economic impact of the Museum’s current activities and the future increase that will be generated by the expansion. The Museum’s planned expansion project is anticipated to generate as much as $31.7 million in local economic impact with up to 80% of construction funds spent regionally. The new Museum will be a destination and art-filled civic center.

The Pack Place Board and the Asheville Art Museum are planning with all of Pack Place’s partners for a successful transition and even more success in the future. The new building will anchor the new Pack Square Park and continue to be the central arts destination spurring economic and cultural activity in the region and downtown Asheville.

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.

"HATCHfest- Asheville" Announces Dates

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – HATCHfest Asheville will launch its inaugural creative artists festival April 15-19, 2009, with events being held in prime downtown locations including Asheville Area Arts Council (front gallery), Echo Mountain Studios, Fine Arts Theatre, Pack Place and The Orange Peel. Film screenings, concerts and exhibits from groundbreaking artists from around the world will occupy these venues. HATCHfest’s mission is to encourage economic development through mentorship, educational panels and labs. All educational events will be free to the general public.

"The participation of some of the best artistic venues in Asheville is an exciting step towards this uniquely innovative and creative event," said Alison Watson, co-chair of HATCHfest Asheville. "The festival dates are set and we’re continuing to build our roster of emerging and established artists who will share their talents and mentoring abilities with aspiring artists from our community and beyond."

Watson said that the founding festival in Bozeman was an inspiration to her when she visited last October.

"The original HATCH is a great example of what creative minds can do when they collaborate. The founders are visionary and we really hope to develop a sister-city connection that nurtures artists and provides a platform for excellence."

The event will showcase some of the world’s best creative artists in film, music, architecture, technology, design, journalism, photography and fashion. Designed to develop and foster growth of creative minds through mentorship, HATCHfest has also become a catalyst for economic development.

"We hope HATCHfest is an event that contributes positively to Asheville not only from a cultural perspective but also as an economic driver," said Neal Reed, manager of the Fine Arts Theatre. "The artistic community of Asheville is a main attraction for visitors. The festival will highlight our thriving arts scene, reinforcing Asheville’s reputation as a creative hotspot."

The original HATCHfest was launched in Bozeman, Mont. and is held annually in the fall.

For additional information on HATCHfest Asheville, visit www.HATCHasheville.org