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The Lexington Avenue Arts & Fun Festival Scheduled for Spetember 6th

Monday, August 31st, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – Arts 2 People is excited to bring you the 8th annual FREE, Lexington Ave Arts and Fun Festival. Three blocks of N. Lexington Ave will be lined with all local art, food, beer and street performers on Sunday, September 6th from 11am – 10pm between College Street and the I 240 overpass. The street will be brimming with a celebration Asheville’s diverse and unique culture.

Three stages and two courtyards of music and performance include rock and roll, indie pop, funk, folk, ragtime, reggae, world beats, singer songwriters, bluegrass, old time, drummers, clowns, magicians, contortionists, belly dancers, modern dancers, vaudeville actors, fire dancers, break dancers, and hula hoopers. The complete lineup will be available within the next couple of weeks; stay tuned to our emails find out more details of the day’s events.

LAAFF is great for the whole family. Kids will love making art, dancing, and having fun all day long. Many kids’ performance acts include kids’ hip hop, break dancing, modern dance, jump roping, jazz and more. The big “kids” will enjoy the ever popular bicycle jousting, local brews, an eclectic culinary and artistic experience, as well as a selection of Big People Games.

Each year the festival grows larger and gets even better. We are now considered by the City to be Asheville’s largest independent festival! We grew by 30% last year, and expect a similar increase this year. This is truly the festival that showcases all of Asheville’s creative juices. With an attendance of about 12,000 people, LAAFF relies on community support to ensure our success each year. LAAFF is a volunteer driven event put on by and for the community. If you would like to get involved as a volunteer or as a sponsor please contact Festival Director, Frank Bloom at [email protected]

Your contribution of joining us and experiencing a fun day of creative expression will support local non-profit Arts 2 People and our many projects. Arts 2 People is devoted to promoting the role of the arts as an integral part of our culture by serving the entire community through arts outreach, bringing the arts to those in need, supporting the careers of artists, and through community cultural development. Arts 2 People’s many projects include The Pritchard Park Cultural Arts Program, The REACH Educational series, The Asheville Mural Project, Moving Women, The Faces of Asheville and more. To find out more, visit www.arts2people.org.

UNC Asheville Welcomes Freshmen

Friday, August 14th, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – UNC Asheville is preparing to welcome some 645 new Bulldogs to its ranks this Friday as freshmen move onto campus. Fall semester classes begin Monday, Aug. 17.

“The Class of 2013 is one of the larger classes,” noted Barkley Barton, senior assistant director of Admissions. “And the overall academic profile of this class is very strong – among their ranks are several valedictorians and many truly outstanding students with high grade point averages and great college entrance test scores.”

This new freshmen class will check into residence halls from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Friday, Aug. 14. Some 80 UNC Asheville faculty, staff, alumni, upperclassmen and College for Seniors members will be on hand to help freshmen and their parents with the move. Returning students will move in on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 15-16.

A highlight of the freshmen’s first day on campus will be a formal convocation ceremony at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 14, on UNC Asheville’s Quad. Initiated in 1985 at UNC Asheville, convocation is rooted in ancient academic tradition. The ceremony will include the presentation of the Class of 2013 pin to each freshman, as well as the class dogwood tree, which will be planted on campus. Sam Kaplan, associate professor of mathematics and 2009 recipient of the UNC Board of Governors’ Excellence in Teaching Award, will give the keynote address.

New this fall, students will have the option of choosing Religious Studies as their major field of study. The new program, under the direction of Rodger Payne, offers students classes in Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, Greek and Roman religions and a number of other courses that compliment UNC Asheville’s liberal arts mission, said Payne.

“Religious studies considers one of our oldest collective human experiences from a variety of academic disciplines,” Payne said. “From music to mathematics, from art and politics, and beyond, each can be examined through the lens of religion. It’s nearly the perfect way to encounter the liberal arts.”

Payne plans to continue building the program around classes that provide comparative examinations of faith traditions from around the world.

Students in the sciences will find themselves in new, state-of-art laboratories in the recently opened in the Zeis Science & Multimedia Building. While a few classes were held in the $24 million building last spring, this fall will be the first semester that all science and multimedia classes and labs will be held in the new facility, located adjacent to Ramsey Library on the Quad.

The University can now fully capitalize on “the collaborative learning style that showcases how we approach teaching the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics),” said Keith Krumpe, dean of Natural Sciences. “The labs are designed like labs in industry; they are all project-based so students can work in teams.”

A $9 million renovation to Rhoades Hall, including spaces that were previously occupied by the Chemistry and Biology departments, should be completed in 2011, giving UNC Asheville some of the best undergraduate science facilities in the Southeast, Krumpe said.

When not in class, freshmen – as well as upperclassmen – will be able to enjoy free events in the Weeks of Welcome series, designed to introduce students to campus life. Events this fall include a cookout, a block party, a performance by comedian Eddie Ifft, a rock climbing trip and a leadership conference.

Musician Justin David to Perform at Diana Wortham Theatre

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009


ASHEVILLE, NC – Kick off the new Mainstage season at the Diana Worthum Theatre by catching a rising star. Justin David, a songwriter, guitarist, mandolinist, fiddler and singer, is among the fastest-rising performers on the pop/country circuit, a top-five finalist of TV’s “Nashville Star,” and a featured artist for several years on tour with the legendary Roy Clark. His spotlighted performances and onstage charisma bring lines of folks to meet him after the show. David continues to tour with Clark when he’s not on the road with his own band as he will be for this tour date in Asheville.

This concert takes place on September 11th at 8pm and tickets go on sale August 18th. For more information call, 828-257-4530 or visit, www.dwtheatre.com

Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Leonard Cohen Books the Thomas Wolfe

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – Leonard Cohen, the Canadian singer-songwriter whose dark, poetic songs made him a 1960s cult hero, will make a rare Asheville concert appearance November 1st, at the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium.

The 74-year-old Cohen will be backed by a highly regarded, jazz-influenced band that includes bassist Roscoe Beck, keyboardist Neil Larsen, guitarist Bob Metzger, multi-instrumentalist Javier Mas, drummer Rafael Gayol, saxophonist Dino Soldo and vocalists Sharon Robinson and the Webb Sisters.

Tickets for the show go on sale at 11 a.m. Monday, Aug. 3rd and can be purchased by visiting www.ticketmaster.com.

Cohen, a native of Montreal, started out as a poet and novelist before releasing his debut album, “Songs of Leonard Cohen,” in 1968. His best-known songs include “Suzanne,” “Hallelujah,” “First We Take Manhattan” and “Everybody Knows.”

The cult hero’s moody tunes have been covered by everyone from Judy Collins to the late Jeff Buckley. His latest album, “Leonard Cohen: Live in London,” is a 26-track document of his current world tour. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008.

Mountain Dance and Folk Festival Returns to Asheville, July 30 – Aug. 1

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009


ASHEVILLE, NC – The 82nd annual edition of the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival comes back to Diana Wortham Theatre this weekend in Asheville.

This three-day event showcases an amazing repertoire of mountain performers — old-timers as well as the newest generation of bluegrass and mountain string bands, ballad singers, big circle mountain dancers and cloggers who share music and dance that echo centuries of Scottish, English, Irish, Cherokee and African heritage.

The Festival begins Thursday, July 30 with Hometown Appreciation Night; in keeping with the grassroots flavor of the festival, local families and individuals are encouraged to attend to help kick off the first night of the Festival. Continuing throughout the weekend nightly from 7pm-10pm, this mountain tradition promises to offer a good time to all who attend.

For more information, visit www.dwtheatre.com.

NC Mountain State Fair Encourages Residents to Check Deadlines for Competitions

Monday, July 27th, 2009

NC Mountain State Fair

ASHEVILLE, NC – Typically summers are reserved for vacations and a little “R and R”, but the folks from the Mountain State Fair want to remind you that the fair is less than two months away and time is running out to get your competitive entries ready and submitted for this year’s fair. Deadlines come as early as July 31 for the Mountain Music Competition, or as late as August 31 for categories such as arts, crafts, gardening, and baking; the key is knowing the entry deadline for your specific competition.

There are many different categories of competition from livestock to photography. The easiest way to get more information is to go online and view the premium book through the fair’s website, www.mountainfair.org. From there you can download or view a copy of the premium book and you can even submit your entries electronically. Premium books are also available in print at the WNC Ag Center in Fletcher and at the WNC Farmers Market on Brevard Road in Asheville.

“We try real hard to have the premium books available before school ends in the spring so that we can get them in the hands of the kids before the summer, but there is a lull in between that time and the start of the fair in September,” says Tamara Crain, Entries Coordinator for the NC Mountain State Fair. “The good thing is that competitions and competitive exhibits at the fair make for an excellent summer project for most children,” Crain adds. “We realize how busy everyone’s summer can be; we just want to remind everyone not to let the dates sneak up on them.” The NC Mountain State Fair will be held this year from September 11 through 20 at the WNC Agricultural Center in Fletcher.

In addition to all the arts, crafts, and competitive exhibits, the fair will have lots of games, rides, and food. Drew Expositions is returning to the NC Mountain State Fair this year to provide the carnival and they will be bringing back their popular attraction, the chairlift, which will stretch from one end of the fairway to the other. The fair will also host musical acts such as Jake Owen, Randy Houser, 33 Miles, and The Travelin McCoury’s in McGough Arena.

Discounted advance tickets are on sale now at the WNC Ag Center and at the WNC Farmers Market. Ingles supermarket stores will have discounted tickets available in stores beginning on August 1. They can also be bought online starting August 1.

To learn more about the NC Mountain State Fair, visit www.mountainfair.org or call 828-687-1414.

Biltmore’s Summer Concert Series Starts July 23

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009


ASHEVILLE, NC – Experience the exhilaration of a live concert at Biltmore. Enjoy star performances on the South Terrace, while savoring breathtaking sunset views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Tickets on sale now.

Savings Tip: Spend a day at Biltmore and enjoy a live concert on the estate for one low price.

Summer Evening Concerts Lineup

* MercyMe – July 23rd

* ABBA The Music—A Tribute – July 24th

* BRUCE HORNSBY & THE NOISEMAKERS – July 25th

* Tom Jones – July 39th

* RICK SPRINGFIELD with special guests LOVERBOY – July 31st

* The Oak Ridge Boys and Doc Watson & David Holt – August 1st

Concert tickets permit estate entry at 5:30 p.m. Tickets being held must be picked up at the Welcome Center by 7:30 p.m.

For more information visit, www.biltmore.com

Spaces Still Available for August Session of Summer Theatre Camp at ACT

Monday, July 20th, 2009


ASHEVILLE, NC – A popular summer theatre camp returns for Summer 2009 at the Asheville Community Theatre. Younger students will have a chance to work with acting, music, movement, and improvisation through innovation and imagination. Along with developing other skills, older students will also explore courses that delve deeper into scene and monologue work and split their days between the two major producing theatres in downtown Asheville. Each two-week session culminates with a performance showcase, so that each child will have a chance to perform for an audience of family and friends.

Classes include:

Acting and Improvisation

And … Cut!

Movement & Choreography

Musical Theatre

Design Crew

To receive a brochure, please contact Jenny Bunn at 254-2939 x21 or email her at [email protected] Or, click here to read the Frequently Asked Questions about Backstage Pass Summer Camp, http://www.ashevilletheatre.org/Classes/documents/FAQsonSummerCamp_000.doc

Winner of Bele Chere’s ‘Last Band Standing’ Selected

Thursday, July 16th, 2009


ASHEVILLE, NC – Now You See Them is the winner of Last Band Standing Road to Bele Chere! Out of 52 local bands that applied for the battle of the bands-style competition, Now You See Them is the victor, winning a performance slot at Bele Chere, a day of recording at Echo Mountain Studios, and a professional photo shoot by lydia see.

Now You See Them will kick off Bele Chere on Friday, July 24th at 3:30 pm on the Rock n’ Kiss Stage. Bele Chere and the City of Asheville would like to thank all of the fans that showed overwhelming support for local music and WNC magazine for making Last Band Standing possible. We’d also like to give a special shout out to all of the bands that applied, especially the four bands that gave us an incredible night of music at the Orange Peel for the final round of Last Band Standing: Buster, Brushfire Stankgrass, Now You See Them, and A.C.E.

Asheville-Based Band, Steep Canyon Rangers and Steve Martin Form Unexpected Team

Thursday, July 16th, 2009


ASHEVILLE, NC – Last September, a surprise guest banjoist joined the Steep Canyon Rangers bluegrass band onstage at the Mountain Song Festival in Brevard.

Steve Martin.

Yes, that Steve Martin. The wild and crazy comedian from “Saturday Night Live.” The actor, writer and now musician with a new CD of his banjo music.

It was no one-time fluke. The Asheville-based band since has joined Martin on stage in Los Angeles, New York and, just last month, on radio show “A Prairie Home Companion.”

More shows are in the works, some possibly overseas.

“It’s definitely a bolt out of the blue,” Graham Sharp, band banjoist and Greensboro native, says about the success of the unexpected collaboration.

“It’s a chance to go to some of these venues, and put our music and his music in front of bigger crowds,” he says. “It is going to be huge for us.”

The Steep Canyon Rangers still do gigs on their own, and Martin won’t join the band when it performs Saturday at Triad Stage as part of EMFfringe, but the band might perform one of his songs, Sharp says.

That hasn’t hurt ticket sales. The band long has filled seats on its own merits. As of last week, just a few of the theater’s 300 seats remained unsold.,/p>

The acoustic quintet has been a popular act at the Eastern Music Festival’s summer series of alternative music since 2005.,/p>

Since then, it has won the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Emerging Artist of the Year in 2006 and received more nominations since, including one for 2008 Album of the Year for “Lovin’ Pretty Women.”

The band met Martin a few years ago through Martin’s wife, Anne Stringfield. She is a friend of the brother of band guitarist Woody Platt, Sharp says.

The band, which also features Nicky Sanders on fiddle and Charles R. Humphrey III on upright bass, hosts the annual Mountain Song Festival to benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Transylvania County. Last year, Martin joined the band for the first time onstage. When he performs with the Steep Canyon Rangers in concert, “We do about three or four of our songs and probably like nine or 10 of his,” Sharp says.

The Steep Canyon Rangers’ latest CD, possibly titled “Have Mercy,” will come out in the fall, and Martin will write its liner notes.