Friday, February 25, 2011

Sacred Embodiment Center in Asheville - events from Feb 26 - Mar 2

Lots of things happening at the SEC Asheville, check it out

Saturday, February 26
Healing Arts Expo ~ Raising Health, Wealth & Wholeness Fundraiser

Sunday, February 27
Silent Darshan (Meditation) with Charlie
Spiritual Undertones- Singer Songer Writer Workshop w/Asher

Monday, February 28
Totally Awesome QiGong & Meditation with Pheonyx Roldan
Laughter Yoga with Lisa Harris
Feldenkrais Method/Anat Beniel Method Healing Movement with Lara Polsky Gillease

Tuesday, March 1
Divine Energy Share with Frank Connally
Flowy Yoga with Frank Connelly
Kirtan with Sangita Devi

Wednesday, March 2
Totally Awesome QiGong & Meditation with Pheonyx Roldan
Interplay Asheville at the SEC

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Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Ask Asheville blog. Memories...

AskAsheville has been blogging for years and having fun doing it. It was never really a requirement, but a channel of expression for all of the information Asheville provides. We did not start years and years ago like some others, so they had seniority; but as far as we knew, we did not need a "license to blog." Maybe we blogged too much for some, and too little for others. It does not matter. We have grown and we are now ready to go in bigger, better and different directions with Ask Asheville. Thank you to all of our contributors over the years. Keep your eyes open. This will be one of the last times you will see the blog site pictured above.

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The Evolution of Green Man Brewery in Asheville

In culture, the Green Man is typically a sculpture or a drawing of a face surrounding by leaves that is seen on churches or public houses throughout Europe. It is usually interpreted as a symbol of rebirth, or renaissance, representing the cycle of growth each spring.

Green Man asked Big Bridge to give a rebirth to its logo and branding last Fall. For the project, Big Bridge modified the original logo by clearly defining the Green Man, introduced the Fall version with leaves changing color and developed a modification of the Green Man for small batch brews. We also designed associated identity visuals that are being implemented throughout the brewery including growlers, signage, gift cards and t-shirts. The gift card design recently won a Silver ADDY with the American Advertising Federation Asheville (AAFA).

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Elevate School of Life and Art in Asheville NC – just $5 lesson

So what can you learn for $5 a lesson? Elevate is a new school of life and art offered by local Asheville artists and teachers who are passionate about their subjects, excited about sharing, and happy to teach both children and adults. Elevate was conceived by artists from the Highland Acting Company, who performed the popular Broadway musical “Godspell” for over five thousand people in the Asheville area beginning in 2009.

Elevate will be offering weekly classes beginning the week of March 7th for 10 weeks in downtown Asheville at 34 S. Lexington Avenue. Classes can be joined “in process” if there is availability during the first two weeks. Classes are being offered for various ages and skill levels in: Drama, Guitar, Graphic Design, Hip-Hop Dance, Sewing, Creative Writing, Math Tutoring, Programming, Crochet, Biblical Greek, Worship Dance, Book Binding, Paper Making, Intro to Art, Shoe Making, and more.

Asheville is known to be a unique city for both the visual and performing arts so it seemed only natural to offer classes to our community for those who would like to be taught a particular subject at an affordable rate. So, for only $50, based on ten weeks at $5 per lesson, students can expose themselves to various art and life subjects, learning new skills and knowledge. Our hope is that this learning experience will be both fun and rewarding.

50% of the proceeds go directly to the teachers, and 45% goes toward building a full-time community center for downtown Asheville. It is the dream of Elevate School of Life and Art to one day have its own permanent location where art and life skills can be shared and taught to the community.

To register and/or view class schedules and descriptions, as well as teacher bios, visit or call (828) 318-8895

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Buried Beds perform at Stella Blue on March 14th with Murder By Death!

Buried Beds are currently wrapping up their tour supporting Dr. Dog all over the East Coast and we're happy to announce that they'll be hitting the road shortly thereafter with Murder By Death for three weeks! The tour will take them through the Midwest and back up the East Coast and, in the midst of it, their sophomore album, Tremble The Sails, hits stores nationally on March 1st! The band crafts upbeat and off-kilter songs that are as heavily percussive as they are nimbly orchestrated. Live, they perform as a five piece featuring a raucous mix of big drums, electric guitars, viola, piano and and heavy doses of three-part harmonies that mesh together with a mesmerizing chemistry. See the Buried Beds website.

1st Annual Asheville Bellydance Festival April 15-17, 2011

Mahsati Janan & Lisa Zahiya present:
The 1st Annual
Asheville Bellydance Festival

April 15-17, 2011
Three days of fun including a hafla, gala show & workshops all day Saturday & Sunday!

Questions: Email or call 828-242-7595

Friday, April 15th: Hafla & Bellydance Party!
Join us for a night of socializing, open dancing & performances. Would you like to perform? Please email us at Location TBD.

Saturday, April 16th: Gala Show!
Join us for a night of amazing professional bellydance performances!
$12, $15 at the door, Location TBD

All workshops are $20/$25 at the door. All workshops will be held on Carolina Lane in downtown Asheville. See full workshops schedule and/or register here.

Mahsati Janan, Lisa Zahiya, SamiTe, Sparrow, Sara Beaman, Natalie Brown, Kaitlyn, Asharah, Reyna of the Rising Sun Tribe, Annie of Ancient Moon Bellydance

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tony Griffin: Paintings and Drawings - Gallery Opening in Asheville

Gallery Opening on March 11, 5:30-7:30pm
115 O'Henry Street in the Grove Arcade, Asheville, NC

Asheville, NC - The Fine Arts League of the Carolinas will host a gallery opening for the exhibit, Tony Griffin: Paintings and Drawings, in their downtown gallery located in Asheville's Grove Arcade on March 11, 5:30 to 7:30pm. The exhibit coincides with a Charcoal Drawing workshop being taught by the artist at the Fine Arts League in the River Arts District.

Tony Griffin is a classically-trained perceptual painter. While Griffin remains faithful to the principles and ideals of his classical training, his work has developed into a looser, more confident voice - a testament not only to his skill, but to his personal vision.

While attending the American International School of Florence, Tony lived and apprenticed with fresco artist Ben Long. During this time, he received training from the atelier of Sigorina Nera Simi at the recommendation of the Italian master, Pietro Annigoni. Griffin’s early artistic training was heavily influenced by the Italian Renaissance masters - a set of artistic ideals that was enjoying another renaissance in Florence’s dynamic community of expatriate artists of the 1970’s . With a solid foundation in academic drawing, Tony briefly returned to the United States in 1974 to attend the North Carolina School of the Arts and was to permanently return later to attend the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art. The Academy offered a broader range of instruction and focused more on contemporary realist painting. Here he was able to study with the likes of Ben Kamihira, Sydney Goodman, Arthur De Costa, Seymour Remenick, and Louis Sloan.

Currently, Tony divides his time between his studio in Charlotte and his summer home in the mountains of North Carolina. 

The Fine Arts League is dedicated to teaching in the tradition of the old masters within a master/apprentice learning environment. The course schedule includes: core apprentice track classes, adult workshops, and after school youth workshops. Curriculum details are available online at The school was founded in 2001 by Benjamin F Long IV, an Arthur Ross Award winner for Excellence in the Classical Tradition, a Distinguished Alumnus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and an Art Renewal Center "Living Master".

For more information about the Fine Arts League of the Carolinas visit:, or contact Sheri Kahn at (828) 252-5050,

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Monday, February 21, 2011

WNC Author Gary Stamper Needs Your Help to Win "Next Top Self-Help Author" Title

Asheville, N.C. - Nationally known men's workshop facilitator Gary Stamper of Whittier is a finalist for the distinction of "The Next Top Self-Help Author," a competition created by James Twyman and Robert Evans, founder of the Messenger Network. The winner receives a book contract courtesy of Conari Press.

"What good is it if the Goddess returns and there's no Divine Masculine to hold space for her?" Stamper questions in the first sentence of this ground-breaking work of men's spirituality, Awakening the New Masculine: The Path of the Integral Warrior.

In its pages, he offers the work as an antidote to an alternative landscape filled with publications and programs by women for women, instead offering a stand-out alternative uniquely for men stepping powerfully into 21st century life and relationships.

Stamper's live workshops incorporate cutting edge technologies combined with ancient, shamanic altered states wisdom, initiation and ritual. Men looking for solutions to personal dilemmas arrive at a new way of being giving them access to the freedom they seek. Many cite a deeper connection in personal relationships, and increased enjoyment of their work and life as a whole. The book is based on this incredible personal work.

Gary Stamper
"When you step into the truth of who you are, speaking from your heart, everyone with whom you are in relationship will relax and trust you," says Stamper. "We want to change the world, and we begin by changing ourselves."

Western North Carolinians can support Stamper by visiting his My Author Page online. Watch the video, vote for the book, and follow the simple instructions to receive the first three chapters of the book *F*R*E*E* as his thanks for your support. Find out more about Gary Stamper by visiting his personal website and blog at

Sherri L. McLendon is a freelance writer in Weaverville, N.C. Find out more about her by visiting her media services website,

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Friday, February 18, 2011

Please say "no" to Ingles request to exceed our lighting ordinance

For those of you who live in the City of Asheville, please let the Asheville City Council know that you do not approve of an exemption to the outdoor lighting ordinance recently granted to Ingles for a new grocery store/gas station in West Asheville along Smokey Park Highway. This exemption (granted by the Planning & Zoning Commission) would allow Ingles to illuminate its gas station canopy at levels that are 4 times greater than allowed by the city's lighting ordinance!

This decision will go up for public input before the City Council this Tuesday (Feb. 22nd) at 5:00 p.m. In 2008, the city revised it's outdoor lighting ordinance and set more restrictive (but hardly "dark-sky") standards for the City. Ingles wants to completely ignore these. And this not only creates light pollution but also unsafe glare and loss of night vision -- a leading cause of nighttime auto accidents.

To take action:
* Email Asheville City Council at: (Copy & paste the letter below into your email if you want to save time)
* Speak out at City Council's public hearing on the Ingles conditional-zoning request on Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2011, starting at 5 pm, fifth floor of Asheville City Hall.


Subject: Please say "no" to Ingles request to exceed our lighting ordinance

Madam Mayor and City Council members:

Earlier this month the Planning and Zoning Commission approved a conditional zoning request for a new Ingles grocery store/gas station on Smokey Park Highway in west Asheville. Against the recommendations of the City's Planning Department staff, the P&Z granted extraordinary exemptions to Ingles in this matter, especially in the area of outdoor lighting. Ingles will be allowed to illuminate their gas station canopy with 4 times the maximum allowed by the City's outdoor lighting ordinance. This is unacceptable as there is no justifiable reason to have that much lighting and this exception creates an unusual precedent for other businesses to make similar requests.

Ingles' reason for the exception request is for "visibility and safety". Indeed Ingles would become the most "visible" gas station in Asheville. But the excessive lighting causes a loss of visibility and night vision as well as enormous glare and a risk to the safety of drivers at night. As drivers leave the gas station canopy with diminished night vision from the glaring light and enter the less illuminated highway, accidents are much more likely to occur. This is a common occurrence that everyone experiences when moving from a brightly lit location to a darker one at night. And this problem is more prevalent in the aging population.

It's not clear why Ingles wants to light its gas station canopy beyond the generous allowance of 20 foot-candles in the Asheville ordinance -- other than to increase its visibility to customers from miles around. All other gas stations in town will then want the same treatment!

Asheville's allowance in its ordinance of 20 foot-candles for vehicular canopies comes directly from the IESNA (Illuminating Engineering Society of North America) recommendations. It is a national standard and not a dark-sky standard. Dark-Sky standards would allow less than 20FC, closer to 10FC. So 20 FC in the city's ordinance is plenty of light, and it is the standard used by hundreds of lighting ordinances around the country. Brevard only allows 10 FC and Waynesville 15 FC for vehicular canopies. Asheville's standards here of 20FC are not too harsh and provide plenty of light.

A quote from a study done in Vermont is clear: (page 8 of this linked .pdf file)

"Research compiled by the Chittenden County (Vermont) Regional Planning Commission on gasoline station lighting suggests that average illumination levels in excess of 10 foot-candles serve no purpose other than attracting attention to the site. The IESNA guidelines recommend an average illumination level of 20 foot-candles."

The City must stand firm on the 20 FC standard as it is very generous and creates no hardship. Any light above this level only creates unsafe glare. The reality is that Ingles' only reason for this request is to attract attention to its gas station and, ironically, the only "visibility and safety" that it creates is impaired visibility and a safety problem.

With P&Z granting such outrageous exceptions with no justifiable reasons, the City's ordinances will become a sham, and many other businesses will be lining up for their chance to out-light Ingles.

Please do not allow Ingles this unsafe exception to our outdoor lighting ordinance.


(Your Name)

Small Footprints is the author of Reduce Footprints, a blog about the easy ways that we can reduce our footprint on the earth.

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Asheville Savings Bank receives Spirit of North Carolina award

ASHEVILLE – Asheville Savings Bank has been named a Spirit of North Carolina award winner for its creative commitment to supporting United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County.

The bank receives the award for it’s commitment to increasing employee giving to the United Way campaign - up 20 percent in the past two years - making it the top Financial Services Giving Company in Buncombe County. In addition, senior management participates in imaginative incentives to encourage 100 percent staff participation in the campaign, including dancing the Thriller dance, performing the hula and undertaking Survivor-style competitions.

The company embodies the message of LIVE UNITED, not only by giving, but also through advocating and volunteering in the community. Staff advocate on United Way’s behalf by holding a change drive with their customers during campaign season, creating awareness and explaining our work in the community.  They also volunteer through Day of Caring, regular Hands On Asheville-Buncombe volunteer projects, an annual backpack drive and at United Way on the board, strategic planning committees, focus area groups, leadership giving societies and other roles. Suzanne DeFerie, Asheville Savings Bank CEO, served as 2010 Campaign Cabinet Chair and is a big part of the company’s enthusiasm.

“Asheville Savings Bank has been an outstanding corporate citizen, and I am thrilled it is being recognized for its support of our community,” said David Bailey, United Way president and CEO. “We look forward to attending Asheville Savings Bank’s celebration each year. It’s always a surprise, and you never know what they are going to do next!”

The Spirit of North Carolina Awards provide statewide recognition for organizations, local government, healthcare and educational institutions and large and small businesses offering outstanding commitment and support to communities through local United Way involvement. The award will be presented by United Way of North Carolina at its annual meeting Feb. 18 in Pinehurst.

United Way mobilizes people into collective action through Giving, Advocating and Volunteering in the areas of Education, Income and Health. We believe these are the building blocks of a good life for everyone. That’s what it means to LIVE UNITED!

By making results-based investments in our community, we support long-lasting, measurable change in people’s lives, right here in Asheville and Buncombe County. You can be part of the change. Join the movement at

For more information, contact:
David Bailey, President and CEO- 255-0696

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

‘Navitat at Night’ New for 2011 Season

Exclusive nighttime canopy tours begin in April

BARNARDSVILLE, N.C. – NAVITAT CANOPY ADVENTURES, a world-class zip line canopy tour near Asheville, has just announced nighttime tours new for the 2011 season.

“NAVITAT AT NIGHT” promises an entirely new perspective on the exhilarating experience of zipping through the trees. Tours start in April and will be offered Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings beginning at dusk. Night tours go on sale Feb. 15.

“We are thrilled to be offering this exclusive new adventure in our second season,” said Abby Burt, Branding & Marketing Leader at NAVITAT.

“Our tour site, located in beautiful and secluded Moody Cove, takes on a whole new life after the sun goes down. Guests will find themselves surrounded by the sights and sounds of nighttime while zipping under a blanket of stars. It is truly breathtaking.”

On the “NAVITAT AT NIGHT” tours, guests travel by lamplight on a series of artfully constructed zip lines, sky bridges, trails, rappels and platforms high in the treetops. Along the way, they learn about the natural and cultural history of the area and have opportunities to stargaze and spot some of the many nocturnal creatures living in the cove, including barred owls, brown bats, raccoons, opossums and fireflies.

Throughout the tour, guests are attached to a redundant safety system at all times while off the ground and accompanied by two highly trained Canopy Guides. Guests will be strongly encouraged to complete Navitat's daytime tour prior to doing the nighttime tour.
“NAVITAT AT NIGHT” tours start in April and will be offered Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings beginning at dusk. Reservations are required. Tour price is $109 per person. Guests must be 16 years of age or older to participate. Book your tour beginning Feb. 15.

NAVITAT CANOPY ADVENTURES showcases the breathtaking natural beauty of a 242-acre serene mountain cove, located just 20 minutes north of downtown Asheville. The canopy tour course is entirely tree-based and features two sky bridges, two rappels, and 10 zip lines ranging from 120 to 1,100 feet in length -- including one that sends guests soaring more than 200 feet above the forest floor. Visit to learn more.

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Choose Your Own Adventure Writing Workshop at Spellbound

On Saturday, February 19, local author Matthew Damon is leading a writing workshop for kids of all ages at Spellbound Children's Bookshop downtown. From 1 to 5 in the afternoon, Damon will guide kids through the art of dreaming up and creating their very own Choose Your Own Adventure story. More interactive than other types of books, CYOA books allow kids to make choices and explore the consequences of their actions.

Earlier this month, Damon read from his own CYOA book, The Shadow Keep, and gave kids a sneak preview of his upcoming zombie CYOA adventure, co-authored by Emily Breckheimer. His audience ranged in age from about four years old to 19, and both stories held the interest of all the kids-and the parents, too. Damon approaches writing with humor and the attitude that life is an adventure, so you might as well write it down. The lucky kids at this workshop will be up and moving, laughing and stretching their imaginations as far as they can. After attending the workshop, kids have the option to sign up for additional 2-hour classes to continue working on their stories and turn their adventure into a finished book.

The cost of this workshop is just $15 if you pay in advance (call Spellbound at (828)232-2228 or visit the bookshop in person to make reservations)and $20 if you pay at the door. Cost includes all materials, healthy snacks and a drink.

Spellbound Children's Bookshop is located at 19 Wall St. in downtown Asheville. To learn more about Matt Damon and what he does visit his web site, Rogue Dream Press.

april is a freelance writer from asheville. read more of her work here or follow her on facebook. her first book is available on

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Friday, February 11, 2011

Affordable Website Setup and Optimization Offer Solutions for Entrepreneurs

WEAVERVILLE, N.C. - February 11, 2011 - Enterprising entrepreneurs can now easily enter the online marketplace with the advantage of new affordable website launch and optimization packages, thanks to McLendon Bylines and its team of writers, designers, and optimization specialists.

"Many entrepreneurs want to spend their time doing what they love, not figuring out how to deal with marketing their business online," says Sherri L. McLendon, a communication strategist and copywriter. "We basically take them away from all that, providing them with the foundation they need at an investment which makes good sense from a small business perspective."

Websites Must Work For the Business

Most clients ask for a website that's user friendly, that is, one which they can update themselves once it's up and running, says McLendon. Often, they've had a starter website hosted by a designer, but found the process of getting the site updated time consuming, tedious, or expensive." Conversely, the McLendon Bylines approach is utilitarian. If the website doesn't work for the business, it isn't working at all in our view, she explains.

In the initial meeting, McLendon personally assesses the needs of each client, and recommends the best solutions based on the client's own criteria. Then, working with an eye to the future, the website is created to attract the client's ideal customer base, including design choices, content marketing, and launch promotions. The value of this intensive level of personal mentoring, included as standard in the website service, actually exceeds the entire cost of the startup package, she explains.

"The bells and whistles are pretty standard for us," says McLendon. "We include the site setup, content, research, tags, SEO keyword placement, links, and an online press release when we provide this service."

Local Optimization Builds Traffic Online and Off

What's new is the additional option of local optimization, which makes it easier for customers to find the business they're seeking - even if that business does not currently have a website. This strategy is affordable and useful, even for bootstrappers.

"The result of localized optimization is that it significantly increases the likelihood of the client's business appearing at the top of the page of search returns," says McLendon. "This tactic is particularly valuable when one's business serves a geographically defined area."

Local optimization increases visibility with less effort. "This service is one which my clients have often requested, but which we did not previously offer," McLendon says. "Now, we can increase new traffic online and on the ground, and that's a good thing for everyone concerned." As a bonus, clients are also listed on leading location-specific social media sites.

For more information on website launch and optimization packages for your business, contact McLendon Bylines at

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Saturday, February 5, 2011


Rounding out the Center's holistic offering for the body, mind, and spirit. The Center for Holistic Medicine has expanded its offerings with Lisa Besses, Licensed Professional Counselor. Lisa has been licensed in the state of North Carolina since 1998. She has a BA in Psychology from the University of Nevada and a MA in Counseling Psychology from the University of California. She has worked in a variety of settings throughout her career with adults, children, adolescents and families. The counseling philosophy of her practice is one of viewing the individual as a whole person, meaning that you are so much more than the symptoms you present. This holistic approach is a therapy process that honors all the dimensions of the individual and families. Lisa will also be collaborating on cases with other holistic practitioners at the Center, combining counseling with therapies like acupuncture and massage. 

About the Center for Holistic Medicine: Located at 779 Haywood Road in downtown West Asheville, 28806. It has been open for three years and was voted #1 Alternative Healing Center in WNC in 2009 and 2010. The Center was founded by Acupuncturist Nancy Hyton who has a special interest in working with health care practitioners from other fields. In addition to Counseling, the Center also offers Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Medicine, Naturopathic Medicine, Osteopathic Medicine, and Therapeutic Massage. The Center's website is

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Asheville street food and carts - meet Wanderlust Cafe of AVL

When you walk around downtown Asheville, you will usually see one or two street food carts and most of the time, it is a hot dog stand. Then you have the street merchants set up outside the Grove Arcade.

Today while driving up Wall Street, I noticed a cart near the climbing wall. I backed up and took a quick photo, shown above. It turns out that this is the new Wanderlust Cafe of downtown Asheville selling coffee and a few other items. Nice sunny day to be out there today, and look forward to more street food options as it gets even warmer this Spring.

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Friday, February 4, 2011



Asheville Wordfest and YMI Cultural Center join hands to bring artist Edwin Gil and the Flag of Hope to Asheville on Saturday March 19 between 11 and 4 p.m. People from all walks of life, all nationalities, all cultural backgrounds are invited to participate in this state-wide art project. People will first sign a giant 6' x 20' canvas and provide their name, date, and birthplace and then place their handprint on top of their signature. The Asheville canvas will be connected to canvasses created in the Piedmont and Coastal regions, forming a 36 x 70 foot “flag” representing the diversity within North Carolina. 

Gil who was born in Itagui, Colombia, South America, has done similar projects around the world. He documents these experiences through a blog, video, pictures and personal interviews with participants. Readers can visit his website at His goal for the project is to promote hope and understanding within North Carolina’s diverse communities, as well as raise awareness around diversity and acceptance. Through his recently completed social service project, Nuestra Bandera, Nuestro Pais, Nuestro Hogar (Our Flag , Our County, Our Home), Gil saw firsthand "the struggles, sacrifices, determination and above all else, the hope, that we use as tools to support one another." He contends that "we all have different backgrounds and that North Carolina was built by each of us." Therefore, a flag made of handprints will serve as a reminder of interconnectedness within diversity. Gil, who has completed similar projects around the world, intends to bring the word diversity to life and tell the numerous stories of hope behind each handprint. He documents these experiences through a blog, video, pictures and personal interviews with participants. Readers can visit his website at

Wordfest director and marketing director at Grateful Steps Publishing House and Bookshop, Laura Hope-Gill, received a message from Banu Valladares of the North Carolina Arts Council announcing Gil’s quest. “I said yes without hesitation. Wordfest and the YMI have just recently joined hands for Wordfest 2011, and I contacted them right away. We share the goal of bringing everybody together. This is a powerful way of really throwing the doors wide open.” Hope-Gill is working with Ron King, Tydarryl Bailey and Dan Johnson of the YMI to reach out to all individuals and communities to fill the canvas. Music and food will also be part of the day’s events. There is no charge to participate. Wordfest and YMI welcome donations to cover expenses. Grateful Steps Publishing House and Bookshop is a co-sponsor of the event.

Contact for more information.
tel: 828-277-0998

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Children's Author Matt Damon at Spellbound on Saturday

Local author Matthew Damon will appear at Spellbound Children's Bookshop on Saturday, February 5 at 1 pm. He'll be reading from "The Shadow Keep," the first in his series of Choose Your Own Adventure books for children and young adults. "The Shadow Keep" is a beautifully illustrated adventure, and Damon's lively writing style will captivate everyone from elementary-aged kids to adults. Matt himself is a character worth getting to know, so come out and have a few laughs, meet the guy and remind yourself why you loved CYA books as a child.

Spellbound Children's Bookshop is located at 19 Wall Street in downtown Asheville.

To find out more about Matt Damon and his books, visit his web site, Rogue Dream Press.

april is a freelance writer from asheville. read more of her work here, or follow her on facebook. her first book, "between the stars," is available on

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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Comedy Classic Weekend at the Grove Park Inn


ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA (January 31, 2011) ---  The 23rd Annual Comedy Classic weekend at The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa just got a lot funnier with the addition of three of the nations top comedians.  It’s a weekend of a thousand laughs as nationally syndicated radio personalities John Boy & Billy host two nights of laugh out loud comedy on March 11 and 12.  Don’t miss the chance to see headline act Jon Reep take the stage at 8 p.m. on Friday March 11.  Reep is known as the "That thing got a Hemi?" guy in Dodge commercials, and as the winner of the fifth season of Last Comic Standing on NBC. Reep will be joined by Keith Alberstadt and Jimmy Shubert. Alberstadt has appeared on Late Night with David Letterman and is a writer for Saturday Night Lives’ Weekend Update. Shubert has built an impressive resume as an actor, both in film and on television. He is recognized as one of the most successful comedians working today.  Tickets for the Friday night show are $45.

On Saturday March 12, the laughs keep on coming as Elon Gold headlines the show. Gold has established himself as one of the top comedians in the country, having appeared on numerous television shows, including four recent appearances on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno." Gold will be joined by Tommy Johnagin and Reno Collier. Johnagin's television credits include Comedy Central's Live at Gotham, CMT Comedy Stage and The Late Show with David Letterman. Collier gained celebrity as the opening act for Larry the Cable Guy and with his own Comedy Central Presents special. Collier was also featured on the Blue Collar Comedy Tour: The Next Generation. Tickets for Saturday are $50.

For more information on Comedy Classic 2011, please contact The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa at 800.438.0050 or 828.252.2711; visit, or follow us on Twitter at and Facebook at

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