NPR’s Michel Martin, weekend host of All Things Considered, was at Diana Wortham Theatre on Tuesday, Feb. 7 to host Going There: When Your Hometown Gets Hot as part of the national touring series NPR Presents Michel Martin: Going There. NPR and NPR Member station WCQS collaborated on this unique live event to talk about what happens when the place you live suddenly becomes fashionable.
Chefs, brewers, artists and outdoor enthusiasts are flocking to Asheville, putting the city on the map as a food and craft-beer paradise. Affluent retirees are drawn by the state's low taxes and rich amenities: deep-rooted Appalachian culture, abundant recreation and mild climate. But “hotness” can have a downside: affordable housing becomes scarcer, especially for workers in the growing tourism industry. Longtime residents have begun to fear being displaced or priced out as more newcomers arrive.
The musical guest for the evening was River Whyless. Panelists for the event included:
- Ron Rash - Award winning author and professor at Western Carolina University
- Chris Cooper - Professor and head of the Department of Political Science and Public Affairs at Western Carolina University
- Oscar Wong and his daughter Leah Wong Ashburn - Highland Brewing Co.
- Julie Mayfield - Co Director of Mountain True
- Scott Dedman - Executive Director of Mountain Housing Opportunities
- Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle - Writer, English teacher at Swain County High School, and enrolled member of Eastern Band of the Cherokee.