Recent Posts

CAT FLY RETURNS FOR THIRD ANNUAL FILM FESTIVAL

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Cat Fly Indie Film Fest is taking over Asheville, returning for its 3rd annual spring festival March 29-31. The three day event will include over 25 short films, 1 feature film spotlight as well as educational components and mixed media collaborations by local and regional filmmakers and performers of the southeast. Opening Night kicks off with a red carpet reception at the Asheville Masonic Temple and a screening of traditional narrative and documentary short films. The event is black tie optional and the reception includes craft beer provided by Wicked Weed Brewing, as well as wine, champagne and gourmet bites all included with your ticket. Immediately following is a 2nd block of programming called Cat Fly After Dark: a Collaboration of Film and Music at the Mothlight which will showcase live performances and serve as the premiere of “Disco Paw,” a 5 part music video series.  “Cat Fly does a great job of bringing together several different creative mediums (music, visual arts, etc.) to create an all-encompassing experience…. which push the boundaries on what a traditional film festival might include.” says graphic designer Emma Ensley. Saturday’s programming incorporates an acting workshop at the Asheville School of Film by Gunner Willis …

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HIGHLAND BREWING COMPANY ANNOUNCES TART SPRITZ ALE

highland brewing company

Highland Brewing Company announces the release of Slow Crush, Tart Spritz Ale, as the latest addition to the brewery’s year-round offerings this May.  The regional brewery is celebrating their 25th anniversary milestone with innovation, as evidenced by the release of this refreshing tart spritz ale, unlike any other in Highland’s year-round portfolio. Slow Crush is the brewery’s sessionable fresh take on kettle soured beers and their first to launch in a 16-ounce can format.  Inspired by the incredibly popular cocktail Aperol Spritz, Slow Crush features all-natural ingredients that mirror the Italian aperitif – botanicals like gentian root, cinchona bark and hibiscus flowers. These ingredients are then accentuated by the character from flaked rye and citrus-forward American hops like Citra and Amarillo – a very craft spin. At 5-percent ABV and 20 IBUs, this beer is effervescent with a refreshing acidity that makes a perfect libation for any occasion.  Highland’s R&D Brewer, Trace Redmond, said, “This is a dynamic time in the industry and at Highland. We are exploring what Highland beer can be and creating beers that are different from anything we have ever done before. Slow Crush refers to the tradition of gruits and aperitifs and the way that …

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Vegan Chili competition to benefit the nonprofit animal paradise, Sweet Bear Rescue Farm

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Love chili? Get ready to stuff yourself. For the fourth year in a row, an epic chili battle royale is coming to downtown Hendersonville. The fourth annual vegan Chili Cook-Off kicks off on Sunday, March 10th at 2 p.m. at Sanctuary Brewing Company (SBC), with all proceeds benefiting the amazing animals of local nonprofit Sweet Bear Rescue Farm.  The event will feature delicious chili entries from chefs, restaurants, and home cooks across the region. From sweet and spicy to wildly hot, from beans and veggies to beefy Beyond Meat, the chili varieties run the gamut. Attendees will get to taste each and every one, then vote for their favorite. With the help of special guest judge Dr Garth Davis, those who make the three top chilis will score Sanctuary Brewing Company gift cards and other prizes. Anyone is welcome to enter; contestants just need to bring a regular size crockpot of their most amazing vegan chili creation with a creative name and an ingredients list. (No animal products, but any other creative combination goes as far as ingredients!). All proceeds from this mouthwatering competition will benefit Sweet Bear, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit animal sanctuary founded by Sanctuary Brewing Company owners Lisa …

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Punch Brothers Begin March Tour; Play At The Orange Peel

Punch Brothers Begin March Tour Performing Music from Grammy Award-Winning Album, All Ashore “A deeply meaningful and downright gorgeous record.” —Boston Globe “There’s no one better at merging the past and the present.” —Rolling Stone “An album of rich instrumentation and understated beauty that reveals deeper nuances on each and every listen … Both forward-thinking and imbued with an appreciation of the traditional sounds of America.” —Independent   Punch Brothers, who recently won a Grammy Award for Best Folk Album for their 2018 release All Ashore, begin a spring tour of the United States; label-mate Gabriel Kahane joins as special guest along the way. The tour begins at the State Theatre in Ithaca, NY on March 14, and includes shows all along the East Coast and into the Midwest, with stops in New Haven, CT; Pittsburgh, PA; Asheville, NC; Athens, GA; and more, culminating at the Savannah Music Festival on March 30. Additionally, Punch Brothers join Chris Thile’s other longtime band, Nickel Creek, for the first time on May 8 at Carnegie Hall, as part of Thile’s season-long Richard and Barbara Debs Composer’s Chair residency at Carnegie Hall. Released last year on Nonesuch Records, All Ashore is the band’s first …

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BROTHER WOLF’S MOBILE CLINIC SURPASSES 1,000 SPAY AND NEUTER SURGERIES

Brother Wolf Animal Rescue is excited to announce that their mobile clinic has spayed and neutered more than 1,000 dogs and cats since the program launched in November 2018. The mobile spay/neuter clinic was founded to serve communities throughout western North Carolina who may otherwise not have access to local and affordable spay and neuter services. Through this new, lifesaving resource, Brother Wolf anticipates spaying and neutering approximately 6,000 dogs and cats in 2019. No-Kill community development is an integral part of Brother Wolf’s work, and launching the mobile clinic has helped advance their partnerships with other regional animal welfare organizations. Audrey Lodato, Director of Animal Care, says “Our goal is to provide the crucial services that these organizations and their communities may not otherwise have access to. By preventing unwanted litters, we can prevent thousands of animals from ever entering the overcrowded shelter system in the first place. Shelters should serve as resource centers first and foremost to provide their communities with the tools they need. That’s exactly what the mobile clinic does.” In addition to serving animals in their home community of Buncombe County, Brother Wolf’s mobile clinic also travels to Transylvania, Rutherford, McDowell, and Haywood counties, with …

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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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  • ACMS PRESENTS THE CALIDORE STRING QUARTET

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    Bob Moog Foundation Announces Trifecta Raffle

  • CITIZEN VINYL RECORD PRESSING PLANT TO OPEN IN ASHEVILLE, NC THIS SEPTEMBER

  • Diverse Group Of North Carolina Musicians Join Local Progressive Organizations in Launching VoteNC.org

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