Matt Peiken

CULLOWHEE -- Picture in your mind a traditional Cherokee Indian basket. You can see its shape, the bands of bundled pine needles or rivercane wicker, the painted patterns drawn from tribal imagery.

 

But when you these baskets, do you reflect on treaty violations, the appropriation of Native names and imagery or forced removal from ancestral homelands?

Waynesville has more galleries per capita than Asheville. BPR Arts & Culture Producer Matt Peiken captured a view from Waynesville's Main Street, meeting artists and gallery owners along the city's monthly visual arts showcase "Art After Dark."

In John Hall’s classroom at ArtSpace Charter School, in Swannanoa, there’s an equation stamped in dark capital letters high up one green wall: Vision + perseverance = impact.

Hall teaches social studies, not math, so perhaps that’s why he’s found this equation elusive in his own life. He’s pursued some things and persevered in others. They just haven’t always aligned.

By many measures, including his own, David Hopes is a successful poet and playwright. He’s certainly an influential one, at least to those who have studied with him over the years at UNC-Asheville.

But by other measures, including his own, Hopes hasn’t achieved the notoriety one might expect of someone with so many works published and produced.

In “Rapture, Blister, Burn” at NC Stage, Rebecca Morris stars as a strong, independent woman quick to stand her ground. In many respects, she’s the woman Morris wishes to be.

“So in the rehearsal process, there was a lot of drawing that out (of me),” Morris said. “Your personal power or potency, standing on my own two feet and speaking my mind, whether I think people are going to agree with me or not, is very difficult for me to do.”

The Asheville Contemporary Dance Theatre is rehearsing a piece that depends on props and costuming that aren’t quite holding together.

At this point, performances are two weeks away, and Susan Collard doesn’t appear too worried. After 38 years of ups and down and dips and turns she could never have choreographed, Collard responds to these malfunctions with a smile.

“You have these visions of what you want to create,” Collard said. “And then (you have) the bill, and then ‘how do you raise your money?’”

NOTE: This is the second in a two-part series on the Asheville Symphony Orchestra's search for its next music director.

 

Here’s an interesting situation that become a piece of obscure trivia:

Daniel Meyer was among six finalists this past season to become the next music director of the Fresno Philharmonic, in California. The person who won the position is Rei Hotoda. Now, Hotoda is one of six finalists to succeed Meyer on the podium of the Asheville Symphony.

NOTE: This is the first in a two-part series about the search for the Asheville Symphony Orchestra’s next music director.

 

The Asheville Symphony is a part-time orchestra. Everyone responsible for the music has another job, or two jobs. So it’s a little stunning to learn how many people applied to become the orchestra’s next music director.

 

437.

 

Wiley Cash grew up in a solid, supportive family, attended great schools and is quick to say he is the product of a sheltered, all-American privilege.

 

So even though he sets his stories in his native North Carolina, Cash is writing as an outsider.

 

“I had to go to graduate school in Louisiana, however many decades removed from the event itself, to learn about the defining moment in my hometown’s history,” Cash said.

 

Jarrod Perkins

Female readers of young adult fiction have lifted Stephanie Perkins onto the list of New York Times Bestsellers, an appearance on “The Today Show” and other notoriety most young authors would covet. For Perkins, that meteoric success triggered a crippling bout of depression.

 

Some might wonder why there’s an annual conference dedicated to a tiny college that shut down 60 years ago. That conference, “ReViewing,” going into its ninth year, until now has been the sole domain of arts professors with particular interests in multidisciplinary practice and the groundbreaking history of Black Mountain College.

Murphy Funkhouser Capps begins writing her plays by living her life.

That’s why it’s impossible to separate the writer and performer from the teenage runaway, the former solo parent, the woman whose husband is battling bone cancer.

The Altamont Theatre is one of Asheville’s most celebrated music venues, and the people who own it say they’re being forced to close at the end of this year.

The original owners of the Altamont, husband-and-wife Brian and Tiffany Lee, still own the brick building housing the theater on Church Street. That building also features two floors of condos above the theater.

Ann Dunn has spent her entire life in motion -- by necessity, force of will, restlessness and, through it all, a curiosity that refuses to sit still.

At age 71, Dunn has so many active elements in her life: She has a fulltime teaching schedule at UNC-Asheville. She’s working on her fourth book of poetry. Every summer, she dives into culturally immersive travels the world over, and she’s eager to share what she sees and learns both in her classroom, with her 11 grandchildren and anyone she has time to sit with.

 

 If you want people to hear some new songs you’ve written, there’s an open-mike around Asheville almost any night of the week. But for songwriters who want to put a little more on the line, the One Stop hosts a songwriting competition every Wednesday night throughout the fall.

 

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