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Asheville, North Carolina News

Archive for May, 2013

Growing Minds at Markets This Summer

Friday, May 17th, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – With the school year coming to a close, ASAP’s Growing Minds Farm to School Program is looking ahead to summer programming, specifically their Growing Minds @ Market farmers market activity series. The summer series, formerly known as Kids Corner Market, will once again take place Saturdays, June-August, at Asheville City Market Downtown. This summer, the series also extends to North Asheville Tailgate Market and West Asheville Tailgate Market thanks to support from The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina. With this funding, ASAP has awarded both tailgates $700 to implement Growing Minds @ Market.

Growing Minds @ Market is a space at a farmers market set aside for children and families so that children can engage in fun projects focused on local food and farms. In other words, it’s ASAP’s Growing Minds program at tailgates instead of schools. Activities include fresh local food tastings, local food and farm-based art crafts, and physical activities and games. ASAP has offered the series at Asheville City Market with the help of other community organizations since 2009. “We’ve seen first-hand how the programming not only brings families to a market and helps children connect with the source of their food, but also helps a market successfully engage with the community and a wide variety of community partners,” says ASAP’s Growing Minds Director Emily Jackson.

Activities slated for June at Asheville City Market include a garden story reading and activity with Spellbound Children’s Bookshop, hula hooping with Hooping Hearts, edible plant parts education with the Girl Scouts, a collage craft with Rainbow in My Tummy, and more. For a complete schedule of Growing Minds @ Market activities at Asheville City Market, and to learn more about the programming, visit growing-minds.org. Organizations interested in participating at Asheville City Market should email [email protected]. To learn more about activities scheduled or to participate as a group at the West and/or North Asheville markets, contact the markets directly.

ASAP’s mission is to help local farms thrive, link farmers to markets and supporters, and build healthy communities through connections to local food. Growing Minds, ASAP’s Farm to School program, connects farms and schools to give children positive experiences with fresh, healthy local foods. Experiences include farm field trips, nutrition education, school gardens, and local food in cafeterias.

To learn more about Growing Minds, visit growing-minds.org. For information about ASAP’s work in the Southern Appalachians, visit asapconnections.org, or call 828-236-1282.

The Community Foundation is a nonprofit serving eighteen counties in Western North Carolina. The Foundation is a permanent regional resource that facilitates more than $8 million in charitable giving annually. CFWNC inspires philanthropy and mobilizes resources to enrich lives and communities in Western North Carolina. More information can be found at cfwnc.org.

Ben Lovett’s “Black Curtain” to Premiere at Isis Music Hall on June 8

Friday, May 17th, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – On June 8, Isis Restaurant and Music Hall is hosting an evening dedicated to the release of Ben Lovett’s newest work, “BLACK CURTAIN.”  The event is FREE and will feature live musical performances, behind-the-scenes footage and original artwork and photography from the production.  “Black Curtain” was filmed in Asheville with the support of nearly 200 volunteer cast and crew members.

About “Black Curtain”

“Black Curtain” is an eight minute narrative directed by Asheville filmmaker Paul Schattel and based on the song of the same name from Lovett’s album Highway Collection.  It is the 5th installment in the series from Lovett, who has been working with different directors for the past two years to create interpretations of each song from the album.

Lovett’s previous release for “Ghost Of Old Highways” screened at film festivals in 20 cities across 4 countries, winning 9 awards, including BEST FILM at the Asheville Cinema Fest and BEST SCORE at the Madrid International Film Festival.

“Black Curtain” features a prominently Asheville-based cast and production team which includes Schattel (Director),  Shane Meador (Production Designer), Christi Sue Whiteley (Art Director), Anna Stachow (Makeup Artist), and Kelly Denson (Producer).

Complete with elaborate costumes and sets, “Black Curtain” explores wealth and vice in the underbelly of high society during the Edwardian era of the early 1900’s, a time when the elegant upper classes were becoming fascinated with dark and mysterious spiritual activities.  The production was filmed at The Masonic Temple in downtown Asheville.

Dinner Reservations

Limited dinner reservations with VIP seating for the event are being accepted.  Call the restaurant at (828) 575-2737 to reserve your table for the evening.

Doors will open at 7pm with cocktails in the upstairs lounge and a gallery of themed portraits and photos by Nate Dorn. The debut screening of the evening’s feature presentation will be at 9pm, immediately followed by “The Making Of Black Curtain”.  “Black Curtain” leading lady Mandy Lauderdale will close the evening with a performance at 9:30pm.

About Ben Lovett

BEN LOVETT is an artist with a colorful panorama of music credits that range from songwriter and performer to record producer and film composer.  He is the founder of the indie record label, Lovers Label.

Lovett’s music has been called “supremely invigorating.” His videos are written about as tours de force. His film scores cross every genre but remain distinctly modern and untraditional.

As a composer Lovett composed original scores for 7 movies in 2012 alone including SUN DON’T SHINE -­‐ a Gotham Award nominee and special jury prize winner at SXSW -­‐ and Sundance favorite BLACK ROCK, a thriller by the Duplass Brothers starring Kate Bosworth which releases to theatres May 17th.

Previously, Ben completed and released a debut album of original songs entitled, Highway Collection.  The album was received with unanimous praise across the indie music spectrum, and earned a nomination at the 2012 Georgia Music Awards.  But the songs weren’t the whole story to the album project, and Lovett’s visual contributions to it are no less artistic and compelling- collaborating with a cadre of filmmakers, Lovett set out to create a visual counterpart for each song, providing the creative force at the helm of each: conceiving, coordinating, starring and contributing at every level. The result has catapulted the artist into worldwide viral recognition with each successive release, from the steam-­‐punk inspired “Eye Of The Stormwhich generated views well into the millions almost instantly, grabbing a 2012 Webby Award along the way, to director David Bruckner’s multiple award-winning take on Lovett’s song “The Fear”, which creatively sculpts a microcosm of society into one shot with over 400 volunteer extras.

About Mandy Lauderdale

Mandy Lauderdale was cast as a featured extra in the film ROADTRIP in 2000 which lead to a principle role on Fox’s Temptation Island in 2001.  She was featured on the cover of US Weekly and Jezebel Magazine and had spreads inside Glamour Magazine, Marie Claire, Shape Magazine, Atlanta Magazine, and Cosmopolitan and also made appearances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Live with Regis & Kelly, Howard Stern, and MTV’s TRL with Carson Daly.  Mandy became a VJ for MTV in 2001.  She hosted The Hot Zone and TRL, co-hosted Carmen Electra’s Hypermix, judged Sink or Swim and Say What? Karaoke, and was featured in 2 Pepsi commercials.  

She’s worked on camera with Usher, Mandy Moore, Alicia Keys, Dave Holmes, and many more.  An accomplished singer of her own, Mandy released her first LP in 2009, “I Done Done It” and was promptly featured in the books: 400 Years Of Music, Entertainment and Showbiz and The Cabaret World and Who’s Who from 1730 to the Present.  She was also awarded “Diva of the Year” by FAMSPA.  

Two of her songs, “Mister Stevens” and “Champagne Champagne,” are featured in the film Deeper and Deeper and “Champagne Champagne” is currently being featured internationally in all of the MAC Cosmetics stores.  

In 2010 Mandy joined the Dos Equis “Most Interesting Show in the World” tour.  Currently, Mandy is starring in a TV show called Rare Remedies, which she created and produces.


Take a Walk with the Doc

Monday, May 13th, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – Don’t miss Saturday June 1 for the next “Walk with a Doc” event sponsored by Buncombe County Parks, Greenways and Recreation Services.

Walkers will enjoy a refreshing walk with a Doctor on staff at MAHEC of Asheville.  Walkers can learn about important health topics, meet new friends interested in improving their health and have time to speak with the Doctor who will answer basic medical questions in an informal, relaxed and fun way.

The next “Walk with a Doc”  will take place on June 1 from 9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. at Karpen Soccer Field,  located in Weaverville.

Additional walk dates are:

  • August 3 at the Buncombe County Sports Park in Enka
  • October 5 at Hominy Creek Park

For more information please call Jay Nelson at 250-4269 or email him at [email protected].

Measure Up: How Much Do You Eat?

Monday, May 13th, 2013

Deck of CardsASHEVILLE NC – Here is a handy way to measure portion sizes:

  • 3 ounces of meat = deck of cards
  • 1 teaspoon of oil = quarter in diameter
  • 1 cup of raw vegetables = light bulb
  • 1 medium fresh fruit = tennis ball
  • 1 bagel or roll = 6 ounce can of tuna


Finance Executive Director Lauren Bradley to Take Position at Asheville Firm

Monday, May 13th, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – City finance director Lauren Bradley has announced that she will be leaving the City of Asheville organization in early June and taking on the role of Chief Operating Officer at the Van Winkle Law Firm.

Bradley made the announcement to fellow employees on Monday.

“The time I have spent at the City of Asheville has been the most rewarding in my career. It has been an honor to serve the citizens of Asheville and to work with a tremendous team of city employees,” Bradley said.

Bradley came to work at the City of Asheville in 2003, serving as the city’s Public Information Officer. From there, she moved into the role of Assistant to the City Manager, Finance and Management Services Director, and then into her current role as Executive Director of Finance and Strategic Planning.

Over the next 30 days, Bradley will work alongside the rest of the finance team to prepare and submit the Manager’s recommended budget for fiscal year 2013/2014 to Asheville City Council. A transition plan will be implemented within the upcoming weeks to ensure a smooth changeover when Bradley departs.

“Lauren has provided invaluable support to the organization in multiple roles, and her departure will be felt strongly.” said City Manager Gary Jackson. “She will be missed, but we wish her nothing but the best in her new endeavor.”

AVL Launches Passenger Reward Program

Monday, May 13th, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – The Asheville Regional Airport (AVL) has joined forces with Thanks Again to offer airport travelers valuable rewards when they park, shop and dine at the airport.

The new program allows airport passengers to automatically earn more frequent flyer miles or hotel points when they park in long- or short-term parking at AVL, or shop and dine at the Blue Ridge Trading + Tavern in the airport’s terminal. Travelers can also earn rewards at more than 160 airports and 20,000 neighborhood businesses across the U.S.

Enrollment in the program is free and easy – users simply register any credit or debit card at thanksagain.com/AVL and then use that card for purchases at qualifying locations to earn one mile or two points for every dollar spent.

“A lot of our passengers are very frequent travelers, and we wanted to reward that loyalty to the Asheville Airport in a way that would be meaningful,” said Tina Kinsey, Director of Marketing and Public Relations. “We love that passengers can now support our community by flying local and also get a little something back. It’s really a way for us to say ‘thank you’ to our frequent flyers.”

To learn more and to register for the program, visit flyavl.com/fly4biz.

Biltmore Summer Vacations Offer Something for Everyone in the Family

Monday, May 13th, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – Sixty-six percent of families say ‘togetherness’ is the essential element for a memorable family vacation (PGAV Destinations study, “The Art of the Family Vacation,” 2012). Addressing the need for a balance of itinerary options that families can truly enjoy together, Biltmore’s summer vacation experience has been designed to be active, fun and educational (don’t tell the kids!) for all. Adults and children are entertained with a slate of activities in Biltmore’s 8,000-acre backyard, while imaginations stay engaged with tours and historic exhibitions.

Summer travel deals

Travelers can plan a great summer day or getaway while stretching vacation dollars with deals at Biltmore. Kids 16 and younger receive FREE admission Memorial Day through Labor Day. Dad receives FREE admission on Father’s Day, June 16. Families can also purchase a ‘Summer Family Value Package that includes admission for two adults, two children and a family dining voucher, all for $140. Regular tickets purchased at least seven days in advance receive $15 off the price of admission.

Top eight Biltmore to-dos this summer
A destination for rejuvenation since the 1800s, George W. Vanderbilt chose the outdoor playground of Asheville to build his family estate. In the century that has lapsed since family and friends of the Vanderbilts came for long stays at Biltmore, time has seemingly stood still. Travelers today enjoy the slower pace of summer’s backyard season in Biltmore’s 8,000-acre landscape, a space that has been preserved and perfected over time for future generations.

1. Take the family time travelling.
Visit the 250-room Biltmore House, George Vanderbilt’s dream home that he lived in more than 100 years ago. Kids stay engaged with a NEW treasure hunt through Biltmore House. Kids marvel at the sheer size of Biltmore House, the bowling alley and pool in the basement, and the massive front lawn and backyard for playing.

2. Have a unique adventure.
Try your luck at outdoor sports like fly fishing or sporting clays, or go off-road behind the wheel of a Land Rover (our Land Rover Driving School offers courses for adults AND kids!). Go to an awe-inspiring location: the rooftop of Biltmore House. The guided Architect’s Tour takes families to the massive roof of America’s largest home for a look at architectural details, to count gargoyles, and for expansive mountain views of a spectacular backyard.

3. Reconnect with nature.

Set out on foot on a network of nearly 22 round-trip miles of hiking trails. Or, take in views from a bike, on the back of a horse, while floating down a river, on a Segway, or a carriage ride. Go rock-skipping at the lagoon or play hide and seek among rare and native trees.

4. Stop to smell the roses.
Biltmore’s renowned summer gardens are perfect for leisurely strolls and picnicking spots near tropical palms, roses, giant sunflowers, and colorful lily pads and koi in Italian Garden pools.

5. Set the kids free at Antler Hill Village.
Get lost together in a maze comprised of 500 trees. Kids run and climb in the NEW Pisgah Playground. At the barn, explore farming life at the turn of the century and antique farm equipment. Ask inquisitive questions to our staff and play with chickens, roosters, goats, horses and sheep in the farmyard. Demos, crafts and period games available select days.

6. Embark on a tasty tour.Taste wines at the most visited winery in America (complimentary grape juice for the kids). Restaurants offer a range of options from barbeque to fine dining. Pick up a family-themed picnic from the Creamery. And save room for the Creamery’s Winky Bar Sundae, a sweet treat for a summer day based on the Winky Bar produced by the former Biltmore Dairy.

7. Rock out!

Dance under the stars select summer nights during the concert series kicking off July 25. The 2013 line-up includes Heart, Sheryl Crow, Christian group Casting Crowns, the Four Tops and Temptations, the Beach Boys and comedian Bill Engvall. Local bands provide FREE entertainment Fridays June through August at the Antler Hill Village Green and Bandstand.

8. Make Biltmore your home away from home.

Extend your visit with an overnight stay at the Inn on Biltmore Estate or with our local accommodations partners and take advantage of packages on select dates this summer.

The North Carolina Arboretum Hosts Speaking of Gardening Symposium

Monday, May 13th, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – The North Carolina Arboretum proudly hosts the Speaking of Gardening symposium on August 23 and 24, bringing renowned speakers from across the country to Asheville.

The annual symposium is a popular event for horticulture and design professionals and garden enthusiasts, providing an unparalleled experience for participants. This year’s event is no exception, featuring nationally known experts presenting lectures on creative design and cutting-edge plants. Drawing from their work experience, talent and design philosophies the combination of presentations promises to feed the mind and soul of professionals and novices alike.

Speakers scheduled to appear at the Speaking of Gardening symposium include:

Rick Darke ― President, Rick Darke LLC, Landenberg, Pennsylvania
Rick Darke’s work is grounded in an observational ethic which blends art,ecology, and cultural geography in the design and stewardship of livable landscapes. His projects include parks, post- industrial sites, transportation corridors, corporate and collegiate campuses, conservation developments and botanic gardens. Rick is author and photographer of many books including The American Woodland Garden: Capturing the Spirit of the Deciduous Forest (Timber Press), In Harmony With Nature: Lessons from the Arts & Crafts Garden (Michael Friedman Publishing), The Encyclopedia of Grasses for Livable Landscapes (Timber Press), and The Wild Garden: Expanded Edition (Timber Press). His writing and images have been featured in collaborative works including Fallingwater (Rizzoli) and On The High Line: Exploring America’s Most Original Urban Park (Thames & Hudson). Darke accepts flux as the signature of today’s ecology and identifies creative strategies suited to an age in which the only constant is the accelerating pace of change.

Tony Avent ― Owner, Plant Delights Nursery, Inc. and Juniper Level Botanical Gardens, Raleigh, North Carolina
Nurseryman and hosta hybridizer, international plant explorer, author and plant ‘evangelist’, Tony Avent shares his passion for plants in a myriad of ways. His international mail order business featuring rare and unusual perennials, hostas and U.S. natives is widely known alongside Juniper Level Botanical Garden, home to a large collection of rare variegated Agave. Tony currently serves on the USDA-ARS Plant Hardiness Zone Map Revision advisory committee.

Steven A. Sanchez, ASLA ― Principal, HGOR, Atlanta, Georgia

Steven’s work is guided by an unmatched talent for defining a project’s designated character and sense of place through the choice and use of native plant material. He oversees the planting designs for each studio in the firm: Workplace, Campus, Community and Urban Design. His expertise ensures that each project’s unique opportunities and site requirements are met with a balance of visual identity and sustainability.

The NC Arboretum is located next to the Blue Ridge Parkway entrance at Milepost 393. From I-26, take Exit 33 and follow Blue Ridge Parkway signs for two miles to the entrance ramp. Visit www.ncarboretum.org/plan-a-visit for parking fees, property hours and building hours. For general information call (828) 665-2492 or visit www.ncarboretum.org.

Sandy’s Plants, Inc. is a family-owned perennial wholesale and retail nursery that has been in operation since 1979. What began as a hobby has evolved into an extraordinarily successful nursery that serves garden centers and landscapers in four states, boasting one of the largest selections of perennials on the East Coast. Sandy travels internationally to collect new plants for evaluation and production. Sandy will discuss some of her favorite plants for ‘throwing and going’ – plants that do their job well with minimal assistant from the gardener once planted.

Speaking of Gardening is supported in part by the following Community Partners: Hilton Asheville Biltmore Park; B.B. Barns, The Garden Company; Biltmore; French Broad River Garden Club; The Gardeners Cottage; Higgins Horticultural Services, LLC; JR Stone Sales; Reems Creek Nursery and Landscaping, Inc.; Siteworks Studio – Fine Garden Design; Thyme in the Garden, LLC; and Wilson’s Natural Landscaping, LLC. The program is developed and supported by an advisory committee of western North Carolina’s most passionate gardeners and horticulturists, alongside local green industry businesses. Speaking of Gardening qualifies for PLANET, NCBOLA and APLD continuing education credits with board approval. Registration for the symposium is $145 for Arboretum members and $170 for non-members through July 1, 2013. After July 1, registration is $160 for Arboretum members and $185 for non-members. The fee includes lectures, book signings, lunches and snacks for both days. Seating is limited and registration is required.

For more information, please call (828) 665-2492 or visit www.ncarboretum.org. The central mission of The North Carolina Arboretum, an affiliate institution of the 17-campus University of North Carolina system, is to cultivate connections between people and plants.

Online Photo Archive Grows through WCU-Great Smokies Partnership

Monday, May 13th, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – Western Carolina University joined forces with Great Smoky Mountains National Park for the latest addition to its digital collections, housed at Hunter Library.

“Picturing Appalachia” is a collection of more than 1,000 early 20th-century photographs that provides a glimpse into the life, culture and natural landscape of the Southern Appalachian mountains in and around Western North Carolina.

The collection includes images by popular Great Smoky Mountains National Park photographer James E. Thompson, whose work is housed at park headquarters in Sugarlands, Tenn. A memorandum of understanding between the university and the park allowed Hunter Library to digitize the historic photographs.

“It just makes them a lot more accessible to people around the world,” said John McDade, museum curator at the park. Not only can people access the images more easily, but it also protects the images from handling, McDade said.

Thompson and his brother, Robin (whose work also is in the new collection), ran the Thompson Brothers Commercial Photography business in Knoxville, Tenn., making images for park supporters and various other regional tourism and business interests.

WCU staff also selected groups of pictures from Hunter Library’s own special collections, including work by George Masa, who photographed and documented the Mount Mitchell Motor Road, giving tourists a glimpse of America’s highest peak east of the Mississippi. Masa is well known for working with Horace Kephart, an authority on the cultural and natural history of the region, to build support for establishment of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The collection also comprises the work of other, lesser-known photographers, including A.L. Ensley, a Jackson County farmer who photographed families in formal portraits at his home studio.

“It is these pictures – along with the growth of the railroad and the publication of various travel brochures – that have made Western North Carolina a popular travel destination,” said Anna Fariello, associate research professor at Hunter Library who coordinates digital archiving efforts.

Users can search “Picturing Appalachia” by photographer, source institution or by topic, which includes botanicals, cities and towns, portraits, industry, landscapes, transportation, and travel and tourism. Descriptions included in each entry include biographical information about the photographer and other facts.

Images from other photographers, including R.A. Romanes, who documented communities and towns in WNC and counties in north Georgia and east Tennessee, are planned for addition. To complete the collection, the library’s digital production team also will scan and upload a number of 19th-century travel brochures.

Functioning as an open-access database and interactive, educational Web-based resource, the images are part of a growing online archive resulting from the library’s digital initiatives program. “Picturing Appalachia” takes its place along with the library’s other digital collections, including ones for the craft revival, Cherokee traditions and Kephart, as well as the sound collection “Stories of Mountain Folk,” all of which can be accessed from www.wcu.edu/library/DigitalCollections/.

The digital collection has grown in large part through partnerships with entities including the WCU Mountain Heritage Center, John C. Campbell Folk School, Southern Highland Craft Guild, Museum of the Cherokee Indian, Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual and the N.C. Office of Archives and History.

“As a regional public institution and through collaboration with cultural partners, Hunter Library is committed to building regionally oriented, historically significant digital collections of broad research interest,” said Dana Sally, dean of library services.

The “Picturing Appalachia” project was made possible through an award of $71,574 from the State Library of North Carolina. The university and Great Smoky Mountains National Park will partner again for Hunter Library’s next digital collection, which will focus on the park’s history, Fariello said.

For more information, contact Fariello at 828-227-2499 or [email protected].

Biltmore Loves Mom, and She Gets in Free!

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – When George Vanderbilt brought his mother, Maria Kissam Vanderbilt, to the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina in the 1880s, it was to help restore her health. While she convalesced and took in the crisp Asheville air, George explored the countryside by horseback. It wasn’t long before the young man fell in love with the stunning views and began purchasing land that would become the Biltmore grounds and home to his 250-room chateau, Biltmore House.

Mother’s Day is May 12, 2013, and Biltmore honors mothers on their special day. Mothers will be admitted free with purchase of an adult or youth ticket. It’s an opportunity for mom to enjoy the beauty of Biltmore, and the fresh spring air, much like Maria Vanderbilt did.

A day with mom at Biltmore includes self-guided tours of Biltmore House, access to all of the estate’s blooming gardens, a visit to Biltmore’s award-winning Winery for complimentary wine tasting, and exploration of Antler Hill Village, Farm and Barnyard. Biltmore has miles of walking and hiking trails, and many spots for picnics. We offer specialty outdoor excursions such as horse-drawn carriage rides, horseback riding, land tours by Segway, fly fishing, kayaking and more (these are additional priced items). Click here for more about these specialty tours.

Savings: If you book your Mother’s Day visit seven or more days in advance, you’ll save $15 off the ticket price. Click here for more information.

The Inn on Biltmore Estate will serve a very special Mother’s Day Brunch, featuring a delectable selection of cooked-to-order omelets, Belgian waffles and elaborate buffet items. Click here for information on menu and how to book.

The Inn is also offering a “Stay Two Nights for the Price of One” deal. Arrive on Mother’s Day, May 12, or Sunday, May 19, and your second night is free (does not include admission to the estate or Biltmore House). Click here for more information and how to book. Or, call 866-336-1245 to make reservations.

Visit our website at www.biltmore.com.