Blog :: 09-2011

Hot Entertainment Picks This Weekend



9/30/2011 - Hot Entertainment Picks This Weekend
by Tony Kiss - Asheville Citizen Times


Happy holidays

It's not too early to be thinking Christmas. Tickets are on sale today for The Christmas Music of Mannhein Steamroller Nov. 15 at the Asheville Civic Center. Prices are $47.50, $57.50 and $67.50 at the Civic Center box office and

48 Hours

Spend this weekend with everybody's favorite playwright, William Shakespeare, at N.C. Stage Company's fourth annual Bard-a-Thon play reading. Starting at 8 tonight, performers will be reading Shakespeare classics around the clock through the same hour Sunday. It's free to watch, but they will happily to take a love offering at the door. You can also watch online at

From Broadway to Waynesville

Haywood Arts Regional Theatre keeps landing big blockbusters from the Big Apple. Tonight, it's opening "The 25th Annual Putman County Spelling Bee," about a middle school spelling bee, with the youngsters played by adults. Performance are at 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday and Oct. 6-8, 14-15 and 3 p.m. Sunday and Oct. 9 and 16 at the Performing Arts Center in Waynesville. Call 456-6322.

Beer Guy picks

Saturday is a great day for new Asheville beers. Green Man Brewing, 23 Buxton Ave., has a Hop Fest Tap Takeover from 2 p.m. until closing. They'll serve 14 small-batch highly hopped beers. They're $2 a pint.

Asheville Brewing releases the 2011 Moog Filtered Ale at the downtown location, 77 Coxe Ave.

And Highland Brewing will tap into its new pink brew at 6 p.m. at the tasting room, 12 Old Charlotte Highway. The Blood Gypsys perform.

Three films for free

See three great movies that were shot around Western North Carolina. The Asheville Film Festival features "Patch Adams" at 2 p.m., "28 Days" at 4:30 p.m. and "In Dreams" at 7:30 p.m., all at Thomas Wolfe Auditorium.

Prepare for the parade

Get your applications in by Monday for the 65th annual Asheville Holiday Parade through downtown on Nov. 19. This year's theme is "Days Gone By." Download those forms at or get more at 628-2403 or 251-9973.




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Moog Mountain Clothing Drive to Highlight Sustainable Clothing Emphasis



9/30/2011 - Moog Mountain Clothing Drive to Highlight Sustainable Clothing Emphasis
by By SustainU - PR Newswire

It's always great when festivals and events in Western North Carolina couple their activities with charitable efforts!!  Read the article below for what MOOGFEST will be contributing locally later this month!

/PRNewswire/ -- SustainU, a leading producer of high quality apparel using fabrics made from 100% recycled materials manufactured in the US, has been announced as the official apparel provider for Moogfest, a 3-day music festival in Asheville, NC honoring music visionary Robert Moog.

"SustainU is honored to be the official apparel provider for Moogfest," said SustainU CEO, Chris Yura. "Robert Moog was ahead of his time, opening new frontiers in the music world. Our mission at SustainU is to transcend what has been done before in sustainable apparel."

As a North Carolina-based manufacturer, SustainU has created hundreds of new jobs in the Carolina textile region and hopes to give consumers an environmentally and socially conscious alternative when it comes to clothing.

"We are proud to partner with SustainU because we understand the positive impact something as simple as a concert T-shirt can have on the environment and in bringing jobs back to the US," said Jeff Cuellar, Director of Connectivity for AC Entertainment, producer of Moogfest and also the well-known music festival, Bonnaroo. "Many Americans don't know the difference they can make with their clothing, old and new."

As part of the Moogfest activities, SustainU and AC Entertainment are encouraging attendees to bring old clothes and shoes to the registration area. Donations to the "Moog Mountain" will benefit local charities who give items for those in need or even recycle the textiles for other uses.

"It is estimated that the average American throws away sixty-eight pounds of clothing each year," said Yura, "and that accounts for about 10% of all waste in our landfills. The great thing about textiles is that almost all of it can be reused somewhere and many of the organizations that collect clothing use donations to also support job training programs."

As an incentive to donate to the Moog Mountain, participants will be entered in a drawing to win VIP passes to Moogfest 2012, Moogfest 2011 merchandise and invitations to secret shows during the festival.

About SustainU (

SustainU is an American clothing company focused on changing the way clothes are made to improve the environment, reinvigorate America's manufacturing sector, and educate the world about how clothing can positively impact people's lives. By creating 100% recycled apparel that's made in the USA, we want people to change the way they think about their clothing, and how they live their lives.

About Moogfest (

Moogfest is the annual event that honors the remarkable vision of Robert Moog and his amazing musical inventions that changed the course of music.  Moogfest is a 3-day, multi-venue event held in Asheville, NC - the place Bob Moog called home for the last 30 years of his life.  The 2011 festival will be held the weekend of October 28 - 30.  Moogfest will host artists and audiences from throughout the world in different venues across Asheville's beautiful, historic downtown.

About AC Entertainment  (

AC Entertainment is internationally recognized as an innovative leader in creating, producing, booking, and marketing first-class live entertainment experiences - from festivals and concerts to all types of special events. As founders and producers of the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, the Big Ears Festival, and Moogfest, we take special pride in those unforgettable, spine-tingling moments that everyone remembers, long after the lights have come up.


Media Contact: Trey Dunham, SustainU  

Read more:

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A colorful journey on Highway 276



9/28/2011 - A colorful journey on Highway 276
by Clayton Hensley, Knoxville Day Trips Examiner

Journey through the Mountains of Western North Carolina and enjoy the scenery that Fall is offering - starting now!

      Along US 276 in Western North Carolina, Mother Nature is starting to show her true colors as we head into October.  This winding road that stretches from I-40 near Maggie Valley to Brevard, NC remains one of the best places to enjoy a Fall Color drive. 

Over the last full weekend of September it was easy to see what is going to be happening the next few weeks.  At the Big East Fork Trailhead near Cruso hues of golden yellow, deep reds and vibrant greens mixed together to start to whet your appetite for Mother Nature's annual Fall presentation. 

As you wind through the dozens of curves from the river up to the Blue Ridge Parkway the colors become even richer, especially when the sunlight beats down on the treetops amplifying those golden colors.  Just before the Big East Fork Trailhead you enter the Pisgah National Forest, a legacy of the famed Biltmore Estate.  This is where the modern day American Forestry program began.

While you can continue this great Fall Drive without getting on the Blue Ridge Parkway, exiting here is a great diversion as there are many great overlooks and attractions just minutes away.  Going north on the BRP takes you to Mt. Pisgah, once the boundary line for the Biltmore Estate.  Today, you will find a quaint inn there with breathtaking views, a campground, a small gift shop and a relatively short trail to the top of the peak, one that offers 360 degree views.

Taking the BRP south brings you a top of the world view of Cold Mountain (made famous by the novel and movie of the same name) and of Looking Glass Rock, a massive rock face that actually has roots in volcanic activity.

Continuing on U.S. 276 toward Brevard you will find yourself tempted by places like Sliding Rock, a natural waterslide and Looking Glass Falls, a 65 foot high waterfall flowing right beside the road.  At this point you are in Transylvania County, "The Land of Waterfalls."   In all there are some 250 waterfalls in the county, dozens of which are on public lands and easy to access.  Brevard is also home to the White Squirrel.

The Cradle of Forestry, the Pisgah Wildlife Center and the Pink Beds Picnic Area are other attractions along the way.  All of these attractions are worth the trip anytime of the year, but Fall colors work to enhance the sheer joy of seeing them.

To start your journey on U.S. 276, take Exit 20 off I-40 and just follow the 276 signs through Waynesville. If you don't stop too much you can make it all the way from Knoxville to Brevard in less than three hours.  However, with so much to see, just plan on making a day of it.

Continue reading on A colorful journey on Highway 276 - Knoxville Day Trips |

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Asheville-area colleges get funds for worker retraining



9/28/2011 - Asheville-area colleges get funds for worker retraining
by Dale Neal - Asheville Citizen Times

SO many good reasons to invest in the people of Western North Carolina and beyond!


                      WAYNESVILLE -- Haywood Community College won a $2 million share of federal workforce development funds awarded to 10 North Carolina community colleges to retrain displaced workers for advanced manufacturing jobs.

Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College will receive $357,645 to better support workers returning to school for new job skills.

Officials said the money would be used to train low-skilled workers with basic computer skills and other job skills while boosting their graduation rates.

"Haywood Community College is extremely pleased to have received funding that will enable the college to expand its advanced manufacturing educational opportunities," said Rose Johnson, the college president. "As one of 10 community colleges in the N.C. Advanced Manufacturing Alliance, HCC will participate in the creation of a new learning model to place the unemployed, dislocated workers and others in viable advanced manufacturing jobs."

The schools in the consortium will share $18.8 million over three years, part of $500 million in federal grants that went to 32 community colleges and partnerships nationwide. More than 200 schools had applied for the competitive grants.

"Workforce development is the key that drives our local economy," said A-B Tech President Hank Dunn.

"Area manufacturers are in need of skilled employees, and A-B Tech provides the training tools needed in order to meet the demand. The grant we received with the N.C. Advanced Manufacturing Alliance from the U.S. Department of Labor will allow our program to grow and train displaced and underemployed manufacturing workers. This, in turn, will add to positive economic growth."

The alliance aims to quickly assess, train and certify displaced manufacturing workers in 17 counties across North Carolina. Besides accelerating job training for low-skilled workers, the colleges will build new programs to meet industry needs and bolster online learning.

Other schools involved in the alliance are Robeson, Beaufort County, Craven, Fayetteville, Nash, Edgecombe, Davidson County and Surry community colleges.

"I am pleased that this announcement provides North Carolina community colleges -- the best in the country -- with funding that will expand their ability to place more people in high-quality jobs in fields ranging from welding to health care to biotechnology," said U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, who has championed the alliance.

The money can only be used for retraining workers, A-B Tech officials said. The school is seeking approval from Buncombe voters in November for a quarter-cent sales tax to finance improvements for the school's buildings.

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Frazier comes down from 'Cold Mountain,' into 'Nightwoods'



9/27/2011 - Frazier comes down from 'Cold Mountain,' into 'Nightwoods'
by Bob Minzesheimer, USA TODAY

Oh, we love a good book in the Fall!  Especially by a world-renowned writer.  Who lives in Asheville.  And writes about our area with amazing detail and love. 


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Announcing the 2011 Taste of Asheville



9/27/2011 - Announcing the 2011 Taste of Asheville
by Amy Garcia - Asheville Independent Restaurants

ONE spectacular foodie event in's a "don't miss", showcasing so many talented folks, using their skills for a one-of-a-kind fundraising effort. 


Asheville's premier food event, the Taste of Asheville, will be held on November 17, 2011 at The Venue at 21 North Market Street from 7:00pm - 9:00pm. This highly anticipated annual fundraising event, held by the members of Asheville Independent Restaurants (AIR), will feature food from 37 restaurants as well as wine tasting and beer tasting from local breweries. " We are very excited about this year's event as it has a record number of participating restaurants and will feature some of Asheville's top chefs," says Steve Frabatore, AIR's president. "These same restaurants are participating in our 2012 AIR Passport, which will be kicked off that same evening ". The AIR Passport program offers discounts at many of Asheville's top restaurants while encouraging passport holders to try new restaurants.

This year's AIR restaurants who are participating in the Taste of Asheville and The AIR Passport are (alphabetically): Avenue M, Blue Ridge Dining Room, Blue Water Seafood, Boca, Bouchon, Chai Pani, Chef Mo, Chelseas Tea Room, City Bakery, Corner Kitchen, Creperie Bouchon, Curate Tapas Bar, Dining Innovations, Fiore's, Frankie Bones, The French Broad Chocolate Lounge, The Green Sage, Homegrown, Horizons, Jack of Hearts, Jack of the Wood, Laughing Seed, Lexington Avenue Brewery, The Lobster Trap, Luella's Bar-B-Que, Mamacitas, The Market Place, Mela Indian Restaurant, Neo Cantina, Olive or Twist, Pack's Tavern, Pomodoros , Sunset Terrace, Tupelo Honey Cafe, Ultimate Ice Cream, Vincenzo's and Vinnies Neighborhood Italian.

A portion of the proceeds from the evening and the sale of the Passports will go to benefit AIR's "Chefs of Tomorrow" scholarship at AB Tech. Tickets for the event are $70 for a single ticket and $125 for a pair. Tickets will go on sale October 3rd on the AIR Website.


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Autumn in Asheville



9/26/2011 - Autumn in Asheville
by Lindsey Tanner | Associated Press





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Asheville Greek Festival back with tasty treats, music, dance and more



9/23/2011 - Asheville Greek Festival back with tasty treats, music, dance and more
by Tony Kiss |

The Asheville Greek Festival features lots of music, dancing and food all weekend long. 

The Asheville Greek Festival features lots of music, dancing and food all weekend long. / John Coutlakis/


What: Asheville Greek Festival.
When: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. today and Saturday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday.
Where: Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, 227 Cumberland Ave.
Tickets: Admission free. www.holytrinity

ASHEVILLE -- Count on this: The Asheville Greek Festival will have plenty of tasty food to go around this weekend. Last year, the festival moved to Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, drawing bigger-than-expected crowds and selling out some of most popular items.

"We ran out of a few things (last year) on Friday night, and prepared more food and ran out again Saturday," said longtime festival organizer Dino Zourzoukis. The festival is fixing "25 percent more" food this year to keep festival-goers filled and happy, he said.

Food is the centerpiece of this party, presented by Holy Trinity Church. The feast includes gyros, spanakopita, pastichio, moussaka, lamb and baklava. Food prices are mostly the same as last year, though lamb has increased. For fans of Greek fare, the festival is more important than ever since the closing earlier this year of the Three Brothers restaurant which Zourzoukis helped operate.

It wouldn't be a Greek Festival without music. Nick Demos and the Greek Islanders will perform. And there's dancing, crafts, cooking classes and demonstrations. The Agora marketplace is the spot to get real Greek olive oil or Greek/Russian Orthodox gift items.

It's also a good time to tour Holy Trinity. Tours will be offered at 1, 3, 5 and 7 p.m. today; 1, 3 and 7 p.m. Saturday and 1, 3 and 5 p.m. Sunday.

As for parking, it can get tight around the church on Cumberland Avenue. Zourzoukis recommends checking out some of the surrounding streets, especially on Montford Avenue. Be careful not to block anyone's driveway.

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Asheville area festivals and expos



9/23/2011 - Asheville area festivals and expos
by Entertainment


 "Wings Over The Smokies" Honda Goldwing Rally, today and Saturday, WNC Agricultural Center, 1301 Fanning Bridge Road, Fletcher. Admission charged. Call 687-1414, 295-6856 or visit

 Sunset Stroll 5:30-8 p.m. today and Sept. 30, downtown Blowing Rock. Free. Lawn games, outdoor bars and restaurants, meet artists, gallery owners and business people who will be open late. 877-750-4636.

Bakersville Creek Walk Arts Festival, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, along the banks of Cane Creek, N.C. 261. A juried fine art show. Also local food and music. 216-9929 or

Mountain Heritage Day, Saturday, Western Carolina University, N.C. 107, Cullowhee. Combination of old fashioned mountain fair and showcase for Southern Appalachian folk arts. 227-3193.

French Broad Fall Fest, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday in Hot Springs, featuring breweries, music, outdoors. $75 includes souvenir sampling glass and unlimited beer samplings 4-11 p.m. $60 for music and camping only.

Henderson County Curb Market Old Timey Day, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, 221 N. Church St., Hendersonville. Sausage & ham biscuits cooked on wood stove, music, antique display, demonstrations and more. 692-8012 or

Heritage Crafts Day, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, N.C. Arboretum, 100 Frederick Law Olmstead Way, Asheville. Featuring artists and crafters whose work reflects the heritage of WNC. Free for Arboretum Society members or with the standard parking fee ($8 per personal vehicle). 665-2492.

Annual Fall Militia Encampment with the Catawba Militia, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Saturday, 1-3 p.m. Sunday, Vance Birthplacae Historic Site, Reems Creek Road, Weaverville. Free.

Shamboozle Fest, 3 p.m. Saturday, Pisgah Brewing, 150 Eastside Drive, Black Mountain. Gates open at 3 p.m. Performing are Gaelic Storm, The Movement, Big Daddy Bluegrass Band, Scott Munns and more to be announced. Also gam es and face painting. $22 advance, $25 day of show, free age 11 and younger. Brewmaster VIP ticket extra $30 in addition to admission, includes early entry to festival, catered dinner, tour of Pisgah Brewing Company, meet and greet with Gaelic Storm, one copy each of Gaelic Storm's albums, "Cabbage" and "What's The Rumpus?", and entry to VIP viewing area with access to private cash bar and private restrooms. Tickets at or

Mabon Ritual of Harvest Home, 2 p.m. Sunday, French Broad River Park, Amboy Road, Asheville. Hosted by Mother Grove. Children's activities 2 p.m., family friendly ritual 3 p.m., followed by potluck. Donations accepted. 230-5069 or


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City of Asheville new state artist grant administrator



9/21/2011 - City of Asheville new state artist grant administrator
by Carol Motsinger - Asheville Citizen Times

The arts are alive in the mountains of Western North Carolina! 


 ASHEVILLE -- The City of Asheville has about $50,000 to give away to artists this year. For the first time, the Parks, Recreation & Cultural Arts Department is supervising the awarding of subgrants from the state's Grassroots Arts Program.

 To help artists apply for the funds, the city will host its first in a series of free workshops about the application process from 12:30-2 p.m. today at the Black Mountain Center for the Arts.

The subgrants were previously administered by the Asheville Area Arts Council, but the N.C. Arts Council stripped the city nonprofit of that responsibility earlier this year due to concerns about the organization's vitality.

According to the Janie Wilson, the Arts in Communities director at the N.C. Arts Council, the panel that recommends grants administrators for each of the state's counties "felt that the (Asheville arts council) should focus on rebuilding itself."

Wilson noted that the city group has gone through "a lot of changes in the last three or four years."

The changes included the closure of its downtown offices and gallery in June 2010. The organization also was without an executive director for more than a year.

But the council has a new leader -- interim director Graham Hackett -- who has spearheaded a new chapter for the nonprofit in its new home since January: the Artery in the River Arts District. In August, he brought back the Color Ball, the group's signature fundraiser that wasn't produced for the last three years.

Wilson isn't sure how many times the Arts in Communities panel has denied the application of a returning grants administrator, a recommendation that has to be approved ultimately by the secretary of the Department of Cultural Resources.

"Any time that an arts council has two to three years of great change and financial issues," Wilson said, "it's not unusual for the N.C. Arts Council to work with another organization in the community."

Council still involved

Since 1977, the N.C. Arts Council's Grassroots Arts Program provides funding for the arts in all 100 counties of the state through partnerships with local arts councils.

Hackett said the Asheville arts council is still operating in "a supportive capacity" with the City of Asheville during the process, including "promoting the grant program and alerting people about the workshops."

He noted they are "taking a lot of strides," which include adding board members and programs, "and have done quite a lot to put the arts council back on its feet."

But, he said, "we don't have the organizational vitality that they were seeking for that (Grassroots) allocation at this time."

After the state panel made its decision to not recommend the city arts council as Grassroots administrator, Wilson approached the City of Asheville to assume the responsibility.

"They are identified as a neutral party and have the administrative staff to manage the money," she said.

The grant allocator can keep up to 10 percent of the grant allocation to cover the time and costs of the project, said Diane Ruggiero, superintendent of the City of Asheville Cultural Arts. This year's grants total $49, 850.

The application and grant process will not change under the city's direction, she said. "The process is dictated by the state," she said.

"We are just really glad that we can have a role in making sure the money allocated for us" can be distributed, Ruggiero said. "It's not a matter of who does -- we just want to make sure that happens ... that money is going to have a significant impact on the programming we are able to see in this country."


Grassroots grants workshops

12:30-2 p.m. today, Black Mountain Center for the Arts, 225 W. State St., Black Mountain. 
12:30- 2 p.m. Thursday, Weaverville Public Library, 41 N. Main Street, Weaverville. 
12:30-2 p.m. Friday, Recreation Park Offices, 72 Gashes Creek Road, Asheville.

Applications for North Carolina Arts Council Grassroots Arts Program subgrants are due to the City of Asheville Cultural Arts Division by 5 p.m. Sept. 30. Applications may be mailed or hand-delivered but must be received by the deadline. Faxed or emailed applications will not be accepted. Application forms and guidelines are available online at or may be picked up at the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts office at City Hall, 4th floor (70 Court Plaza, Asheville, NC 28801), 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday. The Cultural Arts Division will also mail applications and guidelines upon request. To learn more, contact Diane Ruggiero at 259-5815 or

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