Monday, February 22, 2016

Arts After Dark a Special Evening in Hendersonville NC

April 7, 2016 - A very special treat awaits all lovers of the arts living here in Henderson County. Arts After Dark is a full evening of the finest music and entertainment available in Western North Carolina. Beginning at 5:30 PM in the Conference Hall at Blue Ridge Community College, Arts After Dark includes a terrific lineup for a very low price.

image courtesy of Hendersonville Chamber of Commerce
Those in attendance will enjoy a wonderful “sampler” of performances planned for the 2016 arts season, including the Hendersonville Symphony Orchestra; The Arts Council of Henderson County; The Carolina Concert Choir, the Flat Rock Playhouse; the Hendersonville Community Theatre and the Blue Ridge Community College Music Department.

A wide assortment of visual art will also be displayed and for sale. Tickets for this special evening are $25.00 per person in advance or $30.00 at the door. VIP tables for eight, including reserved seating, champagne and flowers are available for $200.00 (must be reserved in advance).

In addition to some great entertainment, those attending this celebration of the arts will enjoy great food and drink from many local “favorites” including Dickey’s Barbecue, The Green Room CafĂ© & Coffeehouse, Hannah Flanagan’s Pub, Kilwin’s, Lake Pointe Landing, Panera Bread, Season’s at Highland Lake Inn, Southern Appalachian Brewery, and Trinity View Retirement Community.

Additional supporters and sponsors include Brookdale Hendersonville East, Carolina Alliance Bank, FastCat Studio, Hendersonville Lightning, Morris Broadband, and Sam’s Club.

Arts After Dark was developed to recognize the significant impact the arts community has on the quality of life in Henderson County. It has grown into a nice opportunity for the business people and the arts community to meet and network. Arts After Dark is presented by the Henderson County Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with BMW of Asheville and Park Ridge Health.

Tickets are now on sale. To purchase tickets or to reserve a VIP table, please visit the Chamber office at 204 Kanuga Road in downtown Hendersonville NC, or call (828) 692-1413.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Carolina Public Press Reports Call for Recreation Areas Sparks Tensions in Forest Process

Written by Jack Igelman for Carolina Public Press

Tensions have boiled over within the Stakeholders Forum that has been seeking to build harmony on the Pisgah-Nantahala Forest plan revision after more than 40 organizations signed a memorandum of understanding supporting the creation of two National Recreation Areas in Western North Carolina.

The proposal caught some participants in the process off guard and has led them to question whether they can continue to work collaboratively with those who backed the initiative. The recreation areas proposal was submitted to the Forest Service on the final day of the public comment period regarding potential wilderness and wild and scenic rivers designations.

scene in Pisgah National Forest, Jack Igelman/Carolina Public Press.
One member of the forum, Steve Henson who represented the timber industry’s interests, resigned in protest. “My resignation was prompted by my refusal to work with people that, in my opinion, could not be trusted to move forward in good faith,” said Henson in a statement shared with Carolina Public Press.Jim Gray of Franklin, who represents the Ruffled Grouse Society on the Stakeholders Forum, also expressed concern about how the memorandum deviated from the process. 

“The (Memorandum of Understanding) was a surprise to me and several others on the forum,” Gray told CPP. “We will look at anything, but my position has been to put it on the table at the forum and let’s see the pros and cons.” Finding consensus in a room filled with dozens of people is never easy, particularly when it has to do with managing public land in Western North Carolina

The National Forest Foundation has been hosting Stakeholders Forum monthly meetings attended by groups with a foothold in the Pisgah-Nantahala National Forest plan revision that will guide the management of the region’s 1 million acres of national forest over the next two decades. NFF’s summaries of the December and January forum meetings indicate that some members were concerned that the release of the National Recreation Areas proposal and news media coverage that followed led to public confusion around the role of the Stakeholders Forum, the Nantahala-Pisgah Forest Partnership and other collaborative groups that have formed around the forest plan revision. 

At stake is the direction this revision will take. As part of the of the forest plan revision, the Forest Service must conduct a wilderness inventory and evaluation. Based on feedback from the public and the best science available, the Forest Service will make recommendations for lands that could one day be included in the national wilderness system.

Tensions already existed between those who favor a substantial expansion of wilderness areas and who oppose some or all expansion. The memorandum added a new the rest of the article


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The Asheville Wine and Food Festival Announces “Asheville Cocktail Week”

The Asheville Wine and Food Festival  announces its celebration of spirits and mixology to a dedicated week-long event, crowned “Asheville Cocktail Week”.

In partnership with Spirit Savvy Events and sponsor support by Beam Suntory, makers of Jim Beam, Makers Mark and Knob Creek, among others. Festivities include national book authors and mixology gurus, an expanded “ELIXIR” event highlighting an ever expanding pool of local talent, as well the largest industry-only Distilling Expo in the Southeast.

images courtesy of Asheville Wine and Food Festival
Asheville Cocktail Week Schedule:

May 1 – 8, 2016 (Tickets go on sale February 15) Asheville Cocktail Week is a celebration of the art of mixology and craft spirits, combining the best talent and trends the industry has to offer. Various locations, Asheville, NC. Presented by Asheville Fest and Spirit Savvy

May 1-8, 2016 Best Bloody Mary Contest (Full Week) (supported by Cathead Vodka) Numerous Asheville Bars will be serving their very best bloody mary to claim the title of Asheville. Cocktail Week “Best Bloody Mary”, all culminating end of week for final results.

May 4, 2016 Cocktail Theatre Featuring Rob Floyd at The Historic S &W Cafeteria.  With Beam Suntory The week kicks off with Cocktail Theatre featuring “Molecular Mixologist” Rob Floyd. Recently recognized as one of the top mixologists in the world by Savory and Luxe Magazine, Rob has been featured in major publications including the Wall Street Journal, Times of London, People Maxim, Huffington Post and Esquire. Rob’s traveling troupe will entertain the crowd while serving creative concoctions.

May 5, 2016 Book signing with Warren Bobrow at Malaprop’s. Asheville’s own Malaprop’s Bookstore will host a reading and signing with this well known cocktail author. Bowbrow, known as the “Cocktail Whisperer” among being a notable writer featured in Saveur and many other publications, is the author of three books: Apothecary Cocktails: Restorative Drinks from Yesterday and Today (2013), Whiskey Cocktails: Rediscovered Classics and Contemporary Craft Drinks (2014) and Bitters and Shrub Syrup Cocktails: Restorative Vintage Cocktails, Mocktails & Elixirs (2015).

May 5, 2016 Spirit Dinner with Warren Bobrow with Beam Suntory at the Historic S&W Cafeteria. The renowned mixologist, chef and author will join us with his cocktail -themed books to share his lifetime of secrets and stories. Enjoy a meal prepared by locally renowned Asheville chefs, for an intimate, yet lively gathering.

May 5, 2016 Cinco de Mayo Tequila Tasting and After-Party with Beam Suntory. Celebrate in true Cinco de Mayo style with tequila tastings and an after- hours “fiesta”. Start the evening with a Beam Suntory Tequila master leading a customized tequila tasting. After being educated, enjoy a specialty craft cocktail derived from the night’s theme. Continue on in to a Cinco de Mayo bar -crawl to enjoy unique preparations using various tequilas. Of course no tequila tasting would be complete without an exclusive after-party to round out the evening.

May 6, 2016 Southeastern Distilling Expo.  Simply the largest gathering of Southeastern Distilleries in one location. This invite- only industry expo for owners, managers and bar tenders gets product front and center of the people who are purchasing and using the spirits. Distilleries can share the details of their products and showcase their company, while the industry representatives get to sample, see possible uses and develop homegrown relationships with their products roots. Industry luminaries will provide additional value for bar staff with classes and instruction on shrubs, bitters, batching and more.

May 6, 2016 Asheville Wine and Food Festival ELXIR bar competition at the historic S&W Cafeteria. In its fourth year, ELIXIR promises to bring yet another exciting evening of collaboration between the distilleries and local bar talent. Open to the public, this event provides a fun environment for the public to get in front of bartenders while they demo and provide sample drinks in a structured, competition-style forum. It’s a great way to support your local favorites and well as discovery new talent! Check out the exceptional pricing!

May 7, 2016 Hangover Brunch with Cathead Vodka Bloody Mary Bar.  The best cure for days of celebration with libation is a Bloody Mary Brunch. Keep the week moving forward with this mid-day boost with Cathead Vodka showing us how the Bloody Mary is done right.

May 7, 2016 Asheville Cocktail Tours guided by Eating Asheville.  This long time established Asheville food tour group has stepped up to the challenge of leading leading patrons for an immersive, knowledge- based bar hop. Offering specially designed tours to suit your cocktail style, will provide variety at its best.

May 7, 2016 Asheville “Derby” Party with Beam Suntory at Smoky Park Supper Club. Who says you can’t throw a party in a recycled shipping container? Smoky Park Supper Club is the largest shipping container restaurant in the U.S. and has the perfect riverfront expansive lawn to boot. Showing full Southern roots, party-goers will imbibe in the the “Derby-style” mint juleps front row derby viewing, and more. Celebrate for hours for the best minutes in horse racing excitement. Big hats encouraged.

May 7, 2016 Old Fashioned Nightcap with Beam Suntory at Ole Shakey’s. The perfect way to round off a Saturday evening with a lovely nightcap at one of Asheville’s favorite feel good bars. A mixture of soul and grunge, relax with specially prepared nightcap among friends.

May 8, 2016 Best Bloody Mary Contest Results. Ballots will be collected and tallied so that the very best can be named, tasted and celebrated by all.

TICKETS/DETAILS: Times, additional details and ticket purchase are available through Brown Paper Tickets here and at

Monday, February 1, 2016

Stecoah Valley Cultural Art Center Prepares for Fundraiser and 2016 Summer Concert Series

The Stecoah Valley Cultural Art Center, located at 121 Schoolhouse Road in Robbinsville NC, is now accepting donations for Stecoah’s Spring Yard Sale Fundraiser — household items, dishes, linens, books, furniture, tools electronics, toys, small appliances, and baby items. (Sorry, no clothing, car seats, shoes, knives or guns.)

Throughout February, you may make an appointment to drop off your salable items. Beginning March 1, donations may be dropped off on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4 - 6 pm; on Saturday, March 12 from 10 am - noon; and on Saturday, April 9 from 10 am - noon.

Fundraisers are the lifeblood of Stecoah Valley Center. And the quality and quantity of your donations will have a positive impact on our ongoing operations. This year’s Yard Sale is Saturday, April 23 from 7 AM to 1 PM.

Tickets are now on sale for the Center's 2016 Summer Concert Series. The 2016 Season of An Appalachian Evening promises to be the best ever — ten great Saturday evening shows in the air-conditioned Lynn L. Shields Auditorium, June 25 thru August 27, 2016.

Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen
Three outstanding groups will be taking the Stecoah stage for the first time — Front Country, Lonesome Ace String Band, and closing out the season will be the 2014 IBMA instrumental group of the year Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen .

Perennial favorites The Kruger Brothers, Balsam Range, The Snyder Family, Mac Arnold and Plate Full O’Blues, and Jeff Little Trio are all returning. And by popular demand, two of last year’s most entertaining groups — Buncombe Turnpike and The Walking Roots - will be returning.

6/25 - Kruger Brothers                        
7/2 -  Buncombe Turnpike                
7/9 -  Front Country                            
7/16 - Mac Arnold and Plate Full O’Blues             
7/23 - The Snyder Family                           
7/30 - Balsam Range                           
8/6 -   Lonesome Ace String Band     
8/13 - The Walking Roots Band         
8/20 - Jeff Little Trio
8/27 - Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen

The Stecoah Valley Cultural Art Center is an Arts, Crafts and Educational Center and a non-profit organization formed by a group of local citizens dedicated to the preservation of mountain culture, the community and the old Stecoah School. Built about 1927, the rock school buildings and grounds have been restored to their original role as the center of the community. The Center includes performing arts, dining, an art and crafts gallery, classes and workshops and a variety of community and arts events. Your tax-deductible donation to the annual General Fund campaign will help meet the on-going costs of operations and help assure the continuation of the important programs at the Center.