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ABCCM TO Dedicate SECU Center of Hope at Transformation Village

abccm transformation village

Transformation Village is ABCCM’s newest residential facility for women and children. The SECU Center of Hope is part of Phase I that provides transitional housing for women who need a safe place for themselves and their children while their lives are transformed. Phase I will be able to house up to 240 women and children annually. Phase II will be the construction of six apartment buildings that will have permanent, deeply affordable homes for up to 300 residents.

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Speakeasy Improv Classes Begin in October

The Magnetic Theatre is thrilled to announce that Speakeasy Improv will offer two unique class series beginning October 3rd and 4th.   The Speakeasy is designed to use improv for positive change through fast-paced play and collaboration. Teaching the deeper nature of improv, The Speakeasy aims to inspire artists to stay actively engaged in their craft, grow as individuals, and contribute to the growth of their artistic community.

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75th Annual Asheville Holiday Parade Saturday, November 20

asheville holiday parade

The Asheville Holiday Parade, presented by Bojangles of WNC, rolls, dances and marches through downtown Asheville on Saturday, November 20 beginning at 11am. The parade features more than 100 entries including marching bands, dance and cheer squads, youth sports, nonprofits and businesses. This year’s parade theme is “Celebrating 75 Years of Memories and Magic.”

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The Magnetic Theatre returns with a half-season line-up beginning in July 2021 

The Magnetic Theatre is thrilled to announce its post-pandemic return to the stage with a half-dozen new theatrical works to fill out the remaining 2021 season. After fourteen months of waiting and planning, the venue delighted audiences with its first indoor production in May, and continues to offer original plays and performances, now with reserved seating and limited capacity. While 2020 pressed pause on so many events and venues, The Magnetic Theatre declares triumphantly, “These Shows WILL Go On!” 

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Citizen Vinyl & Session Café to Extend Hours this Week

Citizen Vinyl, located in the historic Citizen-Times building of downtown Asheville, will extend its hours of operation this week to 9:00 AM-9:00 PM Wednesday-Sunday. In light of recent progress the state of North Carolina has made in subduing COVID-19 cases, the record manufacturing facility, retail space and vinyl themed lounge & café looks forward to further expanding its programming to suit all that the Appalachian summer has to offer.

Among the bevy of forthcoming collaborations will be a special “Tasting at 10” event with North Carolina based coffee roaster Counter Culture Coffee taking place this Friday, June 4th. The program will include a curated tasting of the brand’s feature Idido blend, small bites courtesy of Session, a raffle-style giveaway including Session sandwich vouchers, Citizen Vinyl merch, and a bag of Idido coffee beans. Session will also unveil a limited edition Idido coffee special to debut at the event, with additional bar specials featuring the Ethiopian coffee blend to be announced soon. The “Tasting at 10” event will kick off at 10:00 AM on Friday.

Citizen Vinyl, Session Café, and Coda Analog Art Shop will begin operating Wednesday-Sunday from 9:00 AM-9:00 PM starting Wednesday, June 2nd. For more information, including new menu items, upcoming events, and up-to-date health and safety measures, visit www.citizenvinyl.com

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TIEC Competitions Opening to Public May 3 with Limited Capacity

conor swail

 
Tryon International Equestrian Center & Resort (TIEC) will welcome the return of spectators beginning May 3 at 40% capacity thanks to a protocol easement in a

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Mercy Urgent Care now offers COVID-19 vaccinations at South Asheville facility

covid-19 vaccine

Mercy Urgent Care is pleased to announce it will now provide COVID-19 vaccinations at the Mercy Urgent Care South location, 1833 Hendersonville Road in Asheville, beginning Thursday, April 15.

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20th Anniversary Bicycle Film Festival: Virtual Tour Lands in Asheville

Despite cinemas being shut, Bicycle Film Festival returns to Asheville with a curated virtual screening of short films. Available from February 19 - 28th, hosted by Asheville on Bikes.

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SoundSpace @ Rabbit’s Now Open Inside Historic Rabbit’s Motel

A three year revitalization project taking place inside of Asheville, North Carolina’s historic Southside neighborhood has come to fruition with the opening of SoundSpace @ Rabbit’s, the city’s first public access music rehearsal facility. The studio space, which will soon include a soul food eatery and mixed medium artist amenities has taken residence inside the now-defunct Rabbit’s Motel, a Green Book site for African-American travelers which operated from the late 1940s until the turn of the 21st century. Repurposing the building to accommodate the influx of creatives who call Asheville home, co-founders Claude Coleman, Jr. (of the rock outfit Ween) and Brett Spivey hope to carry the legacy of the historic construction by providing functional practice quarters and an accessible gathering place for artists of all mediums. 

Established in 1948 by Fred “Rabbit” Simpson, Rabbit’s Motel was considered a crown jewel of Black-owned tourist courts in the segregation-era South. The inn provided lodging and dining for Black visitors, including such prominent figures as Chitlin Circuit entertainers, soul singer and performer Jackie Wilson, comedian Richard Pryor, race car driver Wendell Scott and baseball star Willie “Pops” Stargell. At the heart of Rabbit’s Motel was Lou Ella Byrd’s beloved soul food kitchen, a town favorite dining establishment which was famously known for its “pork chops the size of bibles.” Mrs. Byrd’s café operated for over half a century and was cherished by a cross-section of Asheville’s communities up to 2003. In late 2021, local chef Clarence Robinson (also known as The Flavor King) will bring his culinary chops and signature “Cooking With Comedy” flair to the SoundSpace facility. A lifelong Asheville resident and relative of Rabbit Motel’s original owner, Robinson is set to recharge the vacated kitchen space with a new soul food café that will pay homage to the accomplishments of Mrs. Byrd while informing a new vision for Western North Carolina’s rich food scene.  

In addition to providing a vital service to Asheville’s rapidly expanding music sector, SoundSpace will soon boast a series of workshops, events, and programs to foster the arts in underserved communities. Future plans include a livestream series called SoundSpace @ Rabbit’s Live which will feature Afro-centric performances broadcast directly from inside the facility, and a multi-artist mural project that will reinvigorate the building’s exterior. With equity and collaboration at the forefront, co-founders Claude Coleman, Jr. and Brett Spivey — both lifelong musicians and passionate community stakeholders — hope to establish SoundSpace as a longstanding resource that embraces a model of diversity through music, art, food, and collaboration.

For more information about SoundSpace, visit www.soundpaceavl.com. For a brief history of Asheville’s historic Southside district, see below.

For media inquiries and interview requests, contact Danielle Dror (danielle@teamvictorylap.com) at Victory Lap Publicity.

Southside: Lost Communities of Black Exceptionalism in Asheville
Rabbit’s Motel sat in the heart of Southside, a flourishing African-American neighborhood that was one of many Black communities burgeoning in Asheville, North Carolina. Southside contained a vital business district for the African-American community as much as The Block in the center of downtown, which was a nexus of Black commercialism and one of the largest Black-owned business districts in the South. The Block was adjacent to East End, home of Stephens-Lee High School, the only public African-American school in North Carolina.

Southside was a mixed district of businesses ranging from funeral homes and drive-in diners, and was an entertainment hub of hotels and bar-clubs frequented by Chitlin’ Circuit groups as well as supporting a robust local music scene of Black bands.

Municipal neglect to these communities allowed widespread blight. The practices of Urban Renewal upended these historic communities over a period of 30 years. Entire neighborhoods were dispossessed, roads were redrawn, and communities and their sense of belonging and connection were dismantled. In just the East Riverside area alone, “we lost more than 1,100 homes, six beauty parlors, five barber shops, five filling stations, fourteen grocery stores, three laundromats, eight apartment houses, seven churches, three shoe shops, two cabinet shops, two auto body shops, one hotel, five funeral homes, one hospital, and three doctor’s offices.” (Reverend Wesley Grant) During the East Riverside Redevelopment Project, an urban renewal effort targeting 425 across was completely demolished.

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The Magnetic Theatre 2021 Season Auditions

The Magnetic Theatre is pleased to announce its first round of auditions for the 2021 season!  Taking place over Zoom on January 9th, 10th, and 11th, these auditions will cover the first half of the season, which includes roles for actors age 18 and up.

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