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NAR2070-Asheville_eviteAsheville Music Professionals, The Recording Academy®, and The Bluebird Cafe Present: The Craft of Songwriting Panel & Songwriters-In-The-Round on Monday, June 22, 2015 at The Altamont Theatre in Downtown Asheville

ASHEVILLE, NC — Asheville Music Professionals, The Recording Academy®, and The Bluebird Cafe Present The Craft of Songwriting Panel and Songwriters-In-The-Round on Monday, June 22, 2015 at The Altamont Theatre in downtown Asheville at 18 Church St. Doors are at 5:30 p.m. with the panel starting at 6 p.m., followed by a Songwriters-In-The-Round performance from the panelists.

For the panel, a group of accomplished songwriters have been assembled to discuss the different processes each use and how they work to perfect their craft. Panelists include multiple GRAMMY and Americana Music Association Award-winning artist/musician, Jim Lauderdale, GRAMMY and Americana Music Association nominee Tift Merritt, and Nashville Songwriters Hall Of Fame inductee and GRAMMY & Golden Globe nominee Gretchen Peters, as well as ASCAP Country Songwriter of the Year, Dave Berg. The panel will be moderated by producer, composer, engineer, and three-time GRAMMY Award winner, Steven Heller. 

The evening is capped off with the songwriters performing their favorite songs as part of a Songwriter-In-The-Round performance.

Special guest for the evening is Erika Wollam Nichols, COO/GM of The Bluebird Cafe.

Songwriter Panel includes Q&A with audience – Doors 5:30pm, Start 6pm
Songwriters-In-The-Round – Doors 8pm, Start 8:30pm
The Altamont Theatre – 18 Church St. | Asheville, NC 28801
http://thealtamont.com

FREE FOR RECORDING ACADEMY MEMBERS.
RSVP REQUIRED for members: RSVP_NASHVILLE@GRAMMY.COM
NON-MEMBERS (No RSVP needed for nonmembers): Panel–$10 | Songwriters In-The-Round–$15
Ticket Purchase Required: http://thealtamont.com/amp/

PARTICIPANTS INCLUDE:

Jim Lauderdale
Jim Lauderdale is a multiple GRAMMY and Americana Music Association Award-winning musician and one of the most respected artists working the Americana, Bluegrass and Country music communities today. His record Buddy and Jim [2013], which he wrote and recorded with longtime friend and collaborator Buddy Miller, was nominated this year for a GRAMMY in the Best Americana Album category and several Americana Music Awards, a show which he has hosted since 2002.

Lauderdale has always stayed true to his North Carolina roots but is influenced from the experience of his travels. He first immersed himself in the early country music scenes of both New York City and Los Angeles before breaking through in Nashville as a songwriter. He has helped pave the way of the current Americana Movement recording records and writing songs that cross genres from country, pop, roots, rock, folk and bluegrass.

Lauderdale, a master songwriter, has had his work recorded by artists such as Patty Loveless, Shelby Lynne, Solomon Burke, The Dixie Chicks and George Strait, who has had numerous hits with Jim’s songs. Lauderdale’s music has been featured regularly on the ABC hit show Nashville, and he has several tracks on the soundtrack of the successful film Pure Country.

Lauderdale is often called upon as a player and has toured with the likes of Lucinda Williams, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Rhonda Vincent and Elvis Costello. He also co-hosts a weekly radio show on SiriusXM with Buddy Miller called “The Buddy & Jim Show,” which NPR’s Fresh Air described as “…highly entertaining…” Lauderdale is also the host of the popular Music City Roots each week from The Factory at Franklin, near Nashville, TN.

He frequently collaborates with legends like Ralph Stanley, Elvis Costello and Robert Hunter and is also a critically acclaimed solo artist with dozens of studio releases, including his latest I’m A Song which is  Lauderdale’s latest country endeavor, his 26th album to date.

Tift Merritt
“I’ve always had a taste for traveling alone,” Tift Merritt sings in the title track of her fifth album. This time around, she got to prove it, “calling the shots myself and letting myself go wherever I needed to go” at a point in time when she was a free agent without label or manager. But the song does also conclude that “everybody here is traveling alone,” a realization that places as much value on community as iconoclasm. And Merritt put together her “dream cast” of fellow travelers to play on Traveling Alone, which found its happy home at her new label, Yep Roc. The road less taken doesn’t preclude good company.

The New Yorker has called Merritt “the bearer of a proud tradition of distaff country soul that reaches back to artists like Dusty Springfield and Bobbie Gentry,” a standard upholding that got underway in earnest with Bramble Rose, the 2002 solo debut that put her on the Americana map forever. As her sophomore album, Tambourine, was followed by Another Country and See You on the Moon, Merritt found acclaim coming not just from critics and awards orgs but her own heroes, like Emmylou Harris, who marveled that Merritt “stood out like a diamond in a coal patch.” Now a leading lady in her own right, Merritt is hardly one to hog the spotlight. She engages in dialogue with fellow artists of all disciplines on her public radio broadcast and podcast “The Spark With Tift Merritt,” bringing in fellow sojourners ranging from Patty Griffin and Rosanne Cash to Rick Moody and Nick Hornby (who devoted a chapter to Merritt in his 31 Songs book).

Merritt has released five studio albums to date and was nominated for a GRAMMY for “Country Album of the Year” for 2004’s Tambourine, which was also nominated for Americana Music Association awards “Album of the Year” in 2005. That same year she was also nominated for AMA’s “Artist of the Year.”  Two songs have also been nominated as AMA’s “Song of the Year”: 2005’s “Good Hearted Man” and 2008’s “Broken.” Merritt was born in Houston but her family moved to Raleigh, North Carolina soon after where he grew up and attending the nearby university of Chapel Hill.

Gretchen Peters
Gretchen Peters was twice nominated for a GRAMMY Award for Best Country Song and also nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Original Song. Gretchen Peters has long been one of Nashville’s most beloved and respected artists, known never to shy away from darkness and struggle in her writing. “If Peters never delivers another tune as achingly beautiful as ‘On A Bus To St. Cloud,'” People Magazine wrote, “she has already earned herself a spot among country’s upper echelon of contemporary composers.”

The latest accolade for the Nashville-based singer-songwriter was her induction into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in October 2014. She joined the 192 existing inductees including Johnny Cash, Rodney Crowell, Don & Phil Everly, Woody Guthrie, Merle Haggard, Tom T. Hall, Harlan Howard, Kris Kristofferson, Dolly Parton, Jimmy Webb and Hank Williams. At the induction ceremony in Nashville before a capacity audience, Rodney Crowell spoke on behalf of Peters, calling her “both a songwriter and a poet (who) sings as beautifully as she writes,” and said her song “The Matador”, “moved me so greatly, I cried from the soles of my feet.”

Peters has risen to the top of her craft by writing and recording songs that explore the deep corners of life with empathy and integrity. She has accumulated accolades as a songwriter for artists as diverse as Etta James, Bonnie Raitt, The Neville Brothers, Patty Loveless, George Strait, Bryan Adams and Faith Hill. Of her own recordings, the Associated Press said, “this is not jukebox music – the stuff that exists to fill in the pauses in conversation. This IS the conversation.”

Her latest album, Blackbirds, follows Peters’ 2012 album Hello Cruel World, which NPR called “the album of her career” and Uncut said “establishes her as the natural successor to Lucinda Williams.” If anything, though,  Blackbirds truly establishes Peters as a one-of-a-kind singer and songwriter, one in possession of a fearless and endlessly creative voice.

Dave Berg
Dave Berg is a singer/songwriter originally from Portland OR, now making his home in Nashville TN. His songs have been recorded by a wide variety of artists including Keith Urban, Bake Shelton, Carrie Underwood, Jimmy Buffet, Kenny Chesney, Jewel, Jimmy Buffett, Darius Rucker, Reba McEntire, Rodney Atkins and Meatloaf to name a few. He’s hit the top of the charts 5 times including the most played country song of 2008, “If You’re Going Through Hell” recorded by Rodney Atkins. Other hits include “Stupid Boy” by Keith Urban as well as the number 1’s “Somebody” by Reba McEntire, “These Are My People” by Rodney Atkins and “Moments” by Emerson Drive. In 2008 Berg was named Billboard’s Country Songwriter of the Year, as well as ASCAP’s (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) Country Songwriter of the Year. Berg has also released three independent singer/songwriter records of his own; “Three Perfect Days,” “Surface,” and “Not Quite So Alone”

Moderated by Steven Heller
Producer, composer, and engineer, Steven Heller,  has earned three GRAMMY Awards, five GRAMMY nominations, as well as a number of national awards for his music and recordings. His work encompasses music for artists, film, television, other media. Steven has secured options for feature film scripts as editor and producer. His produced and written story projects have garnered several GRAMMY nominations.

Heller’s clients include MTV, 20th Century Fox, Miramax, Rhythm and Hues, National Public Radio (NPR), Public Radio International (PRI), and many others. He has served as music supervisor and producer for the Miramax film, “The Journey of August King,” and composed and produced music for the film. He has also composed, orchestrated, and adapted the music package for the Animal Planet Network, a division of Discovery Network, Inc., as well as scored numerous award-winning films, including features, documentaries, and children’s films garnering numerous Telly and Addy Awards for television and radio commercial music compositions.

Heller has also been honored with Golden CASE Awards, three American Library Association Notable Recording Awards, several NAIRD (National Association of Independent Record Distributors) Awards, Parent’s Choice Gold Awards, National Association of Parents’ Publications Awards. Heller is based in Asheville, NC.

Erika Wollom Nichols
President/COO of The Bluebird Cafe, Erika Wollom Nichols oversees all operations including marketing, sponsorship and brand development of The Bluebird Cafe name. She is also co-director of the Tin Pan South Songwriters festival. Past experience: Director of Development for NSAI, handling fundraising, marketing and community relations and VP of Marketing & Community Outreach at The Country Music Hall of Fame. She served on the Board of Leadership Music (2007-2010), and currently serves on the board of the ACLU of Tennessee and Folk Alliance International. She received her BA in philosophy from Belmont University and her MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts.

This Event is Presented by:

Asheville Music Professionals:
1506769_281022212106422_8110020515083775748_nAsheville Music Professionals (AMP) aims to set the standard for good music business practices while acting as a common voice for the Asheville music industry. Together we can inform the community about the intrinsic worth and economic impact of music in our region. One of AMP’s main beliefs as an organization is that music is worth paying for. AMP also offers membership educational workshops, fun events and socials all targeted at advancing local music business.

With a focus that extends from touring bands to recording studios, venues to festivals, and gear manufacturers to instrument repair shops, this hard working group of volunteers intends to make a positive impact on the lives of musicians and music lovers like you. The Mission is to provide education, advocacy, connection and collaboration for the people who work and thrive in music in Buncombe County.

The Recording Academy:
10468628_649674061777788_23871908955537625_nEstablished in 1957, The Recording Academy is an organization of musicians, producers, engineers and recording professionals that is dedicated to improving the cultural condition and quality of life for music and its makers. Internationally known for the GRAMMY Awards — the preeminent peer-recognized award for musical excellence and the most credible brand in music — The Recording Academy is responsible for groundbreaking professional development, cultural enrichment, advocacy, education and human services programs. The Academy continues to focus on its mission of recognizing musical excellence, advocating for the well-being of music makers and ensuring music remains an indelible part of our culture. For more information about The Academy, please visit www.grammy.com. For breaking news and exclusive content, follow @TheGRAMMYs on Twitter, like “The GRAMMYs” on Facebook, and join The GRAMMYs’ social communities on YouTube, Tumblr, Foursquare, GetGlue, and Instagram.

The Bluebird Cafe
COMPRESSEDCIRCLELOGO[1]The Bluebird Cafe is one of the world’s preeminent listening rooms and the venue has gained worldwide recognition as a songwriter’s performance space where the “heroes behind the hits” perform their own songs; songs that have been recorded by chart-topping artists in all genres of music. Located in a small strip mall outside of downtown Nashville, the 90 seat venue is unassuming in appearance but some of the most significant songwriters and artists have performed on their stage. Their reputation as a listening room is based on the acoustic music that is their signature style. Their patrons repeatedly say that they are captivated by hearing songs performed by the creators themselves.

In 2008, original owner and founder Amy Kurland sold the legendary venue to the Nashville Songwriters Association International, (NSAI) a 40+ year old, not-for-profit organization devoted to the service of songwriters and the craft of songwriting. More of a donation than a corporate sale, Kurland saw NSAI’s mission to “educate, elevate and celebrate songwriters” as a way to continue the Bluebird’s relationship to songwriters and to the community. In 2012 The Bluebird Cafe made its primetime debut on the ABC drama Nashville, where it plays a key factor in the show’s plotline which deals with both the music industry in Nashville, the political climate in Nashville and the key players in both these “worlds,” which often collide.

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The Asheville Mural Project, a program of Arts 2 People, exists to beautify and diversify Asheville’s urban landscape, providing artists and local community members with the opportunity to implement their own public art. AMP believes that murals enhance quality of life and create an artful metropolitan experience through the transformation of conventional architecture. The murals are both the testimony and celebration of a lively local arts culture.

AMP is making Asheville a city where the mural arts are celebrated and has joined forces with local professional muralists to create the highest  quality art which will serve as lasting monuments. This is testified to in a recent article from Kent Ohio point directly to inspiration from AMP’s Lexington Gateway Mural for the making of their own city mural. Read below for more info a new mural that was just comissioned by The Cotton Mill Studios in Asheville!

A Case using Murals to Beautify and Revitalize: AMP hired to paint a Mural on the Historic Cotton Mill Studios:

The Historic Cotton Mill Studios, located in the River Arts District of Asheville, NC is what remains of the Cotton Mill Complex which was destroyed by a devastating fire in 1995. The building was purchased by potters Eileen & Marty Black (The Potter’s Mark Ltd.) in 2002 and is the home to nine artists.

The North side of the building indicates where the fire stopped, burning up to the wall.  The building was saved both by an operating sprinkler system and a shift in the winds away from the building.

pre-mural &post-fire view of the old Cotton Mill's north side

Unfortunately, this was the view [Left] of the River Arts District to passersby’s on the Smokey Park Bridge over the French Broad river. It made the River Arts District look like a burned out slum. After Purchasing the building Marty & Eileen began a facelift to improve the image and Identity of the River Arts District. They started by cleaning and painting the burned out side wall so the view from the bridge would be more appealing, hopefully attracting more visitors to the area.

Symbol for the River Arts District and view of the north side of the Cotton Mill now

The mural symbol they added to the building now identifies the River Arts District. [left].

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The front of the building [below] also showed signs of the devastating fire and, after many years of looking at it, Eileen and Marty decided that it also needed a facelift.

Front of the Cotton Mill Studio now. Site for the new AMP Mural

Investigating many possibilities the Blacks decided on a mural, but not just any mural, they wanted a “Trompe l’oiel”. Trompe l’œil, (French for ‘deceive the eye’, pronounced [tʁɔ̃p lœj]) is an art technique involving extremely realistic imagery in order to create the impression that the depicted objects appear in three dimensions.

Ian Wilkinson the Mural Program Director of the Asheville Mural Project, a program of Asheville’s  non-profit Arts 2 People came up with the ideal solution. This mural [rendering shown below] should be completed  by mid-October 2010.

Projection of what the new AMP Mural will look like on the Cotton Mill Studio

Eileen and Marty hope that this will become a landmark and the beginning of many similar murals on the old buildings of the river Arts District (RAD), resulting in attracting many more tourists to Asheville and the RAD.

____________________________________________________________________

AMP Director Ian Wilkinson hard at work on the Lexington Gateway Mural

About AMP’s Director: Ian Wilkinson has been a professional muralist for fifteen years. He was the lead mural artist for the Holocaust Museum of Virginia. Ian painted murals depicting the Ipsen Family’s escape from the Holocaust, and worked directly with other Holocaust survivors to make detailed drawings that would be used to recreate key points in the museum.  Ian went on to earn his BFA in painting from Adams State College in Colorado. Ian shows his personal work in Santa Fe and private collections across the country. Ian specializes in portraits, realism, and large format work. He is currently the Director of the Asheville Mural Project (AMP), which is a program of Arts 2 People. Ian lives in Asheville with his wife Angeline, daughter Ella and son Augustus.

It is AMP’s goal to make murals an affordable and lasting solution for beautifying and revitalizing buildings, homes, and businesses. The AMP team works closely with clients in the proposal phase of the project. AMP works hard to meet budgetary requirements and navigate the permit processes. All works are created using state-of-the-art materials. The AMP team offers a number of different service agreements for clients to assure our works will stand the test of time and weather. AMP also specializes in child directed murals and offers free lectures and workshops. To find out more about AMP, please visit http://www.arts2people.org/amp.html or email Ian Wilkinson at info@ianthepainter.com.

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Asheville Mural Project: A Sneak Peek!
Saturday, June 19, 2010
7-10 pm
19 Carolina Lane, Grace Studios

Arts 2 People has officially announced a sneak-peek event unveiling the finished “Chess Players” piece of the Lexington Gateway Mural destined for the Broadway/Merrimon side of the project.

The mural for the Broadway/Merrimon side has been done using a technique known as merouflage, painting on cloth, and will be hung to be viewed for the first time at Grace Studios for the event.

The $25 event ticket includes catering by Mela and locally crafted beer from the Lexington Avenue Brewery, and one raffle ticket for a beautiful piece of furniture donated by Terra Nostra Decor.  Entertainment by members of Seduction Sideshow and The Pond Brothers. The muralists will be present to meet and greet supporters. All proceeds from the event will be used to complete the mural!

The Lexington Gateway muralists are Trish Tripp, Kurt Thaesler , Harper Leich , Melissa Glaze, Steve Lister, Daniel Beck, Molly Must, and Ian Wilkinson

The Asheville Mural Project , a program of Arts 2 People , exists to beautify and diversify Asheville’s urban landscape, providing artists and local community members with the opportunity to implement their own public art. Murals enhance quality of life and create an artful metropolitan experience through the transformation of conventional architecture. The murals are both the testimony and celebration of a lively local arts culture.

They are working to complete a section featuring two chess players engaged in play. The inspiration for this work comes from two gentleman that play in Pritchard Park daily in the warm months. The idea is to celebrate and sort of deify these two fellows for being a fundamental but potentially overlooked aspect of Asheville’s Downtown culture . It is a goal of our artist designers to accentuate things that are defining elements  of Asheville. The large format of our public works is a great way to magnify important things that normal passersby might miss.

The opposing mural on Merrimon’s west side will celebrate our agricultural importance, viability, and  how sustainability is an important part of Asheville culture. This mural designed by Trish Tripp , and Melissa Glaze is underway in our studio in the River Arts District.

Recently the mural project as a whole has switched mural techniques . The first half of the project was completed using  a more  traditional approach of painting directly on the surface of the bridge. Now we have adopted an old technique called marouflage.  This method of painting murals on canvas like materials and laminating to a prepared surface has been improved greatly with the  advent of modern materials. It creates a strong, long lasting mural and allows artist to work continuously through months when weather wouldn’t usually permit. There are numerous benefits to this technique  and it has greatly improved the production and efficiency of our work. The Mural Project artists are too many to list because we employ the help of many different groups; from graffiti artist, to volunteers, Warren Wilson students and local “at risk” youth groups etc. Above is a list of our core artist that  can be accredited not only with designing and painting for this project, but really giving their hearts and souls to this endeavor.

The Asheville Mural Project is Directed by Molly Must and Ian Wilkinson.

Contact:

Arts 2 People
The Asheville Mural Project
Kitty Love, Executive Director
kitty@arts2people.org
(828) 216-8815

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By Carol Motsinger • August 30, 2009 12:15 AM
Asheville Citizen Times Sunday Edition
www.citizen-times.com

At the Lexington Ave. Arts and Fun Festival in 2007, Megan and Leslie Abernathy (sisters) hula-hoop.  At the Lexington Ave. Arts and Fun Festival in 2007, Megan and Leslie Abernathy (sisters) hula-hoop. (Paul Balicky/special to the Citizen-Times)

At the Lexington Ave. Arts and Fun Festival in 2007, Megan and Leslie Abernathy (sisters) hula-hoop. At the Lexington Ave. Arts and Fun Festival in 2007, Megan and Leslie Abernathy (sisters) hula-hoop. (Paul Balicky/special to the Citizen-Times)

ASHEVILLE — For Frank Bloom, directing the Lexington Avenue Arts and Fun Festival (LAAFF) is more than a day job. The festival, which is taking over a few blocks downtown Sept. 6, is one of the reasons he moved to Asheville.

Before making the permanent move, Bloom traveled from his home in Charlotte to help with the sound for the festival’s stages. One group turned out to be a sound engineer’s nightmare: There were more people than square footage on the stage. The group of dancers and drummers had never performed together.

“They weren’t even a band,” Bloom said. “They were more like an experiment.” But despite Bloom’s handwringing, the performance went off without a hitch.

“It was really cool…it was a little welcome to Asheville,” Bloom said. “It was one of those experiences that was a decision-maker for me moving here.”

Four years later, Bloom is no longer behind the sound board; he’s up front at the helm of the 8th annual event celebrating all things arts, music and Asheville. The free festival will fill three blocks of N. Lexington Avenue between College Street and the I-240 overpass from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sept. 6.

And in a lot of ways, Bloom’s new gig isn’t too far removed from the afternoon he made sure the sounds of that 20-person band got the crowd dancing. “It’s organized chaos,” Erin Scholze, who booked the bands, said of the planning process.

The art at LAAFF, as seen at a previous festival, isn't dominated by paintings of fall colors and the Flat Iron Building.

The art at LAAFF, as seen at a previous festival, isn't dominated by paintings of fall colors and the Flat Iron Building.

But organized it is. In just one day, the festival will showcase more than 30 bands and 70 artists. Not to mention a kids area, a circus side show, street performers, a new stage in the La Zoom purple bus and whatever other spontaneous acts of creativity decide to show up.

“It’s a showcase,” Scholze said. “For us, it’s really about maxing it out and sensory overload.”

Forget the stages: Scholze’s favorite part of the festival is the “fabulously freaky” characters who make up the crowd.

“I always love seeing the people in costumes,” she said. “You might see the person who just served you at Zambra walking around in this random costume.”

“That’s the spirit of LAAFF…it’s very eye-opening,” she added.

Bloom’s primary goal this year “was to continue the spirit and the atmosphere of the festival,” he said. And what is that spirit? It’s celebrating everything that makes up Asheville: Local art, food and beer, he said.

“This has a party atmosphere,” he said. “We definitely want to keep that identity.”

A street performer entertains the crowd at last year's Lexington Ave. Arts and Fun Festival.  A street performer entertains the crowd at last year's Lexington Ave. Arts and Fun Festival. (Erin Brethauer/Asheville Citizen-Times)

A street performer entertains the crowd at last year's Lexington Ave. Arts and Fun Festival. A street performer entertains the crowd at last year's Lexington Ave. Arts and Fun Festival. (Erin Brethauer/Asheville Citizen-Times)

That certainly doesn’t mean there haven’t been changes. “In eight years, the area around the festival has definitely changed,” he said. “The festival celebrates that indie spirit that was the beginning of the re-birth of downtown.”

As the city center has flourished, so has the festival. When Scholze started working with LAAFF in its second year, some 3,000 people came out to the party. The event now draws 12,000 people downtown, she said.

Festival organizers also try to “integrate the evolution” of Asheville, Bloom said. For instance, they will be serving six local beers instead of just one, as they have in previous years. When the festival started, Asheville wasn’t known as a beer city, Bloom said.

There will be some subtractions this year as well. Michael Mooney will not be attempting to ride the world’s tallest bike this year, a stunt that’s so fundamental to the festival that it’s part of the official poster. They also won’t paint a donated car this year, Bloom said. But bicycling jousting (another Mooney original and crowd favorite) is still planned and they have some new surprises Bloom wanted to keep hush-hush.

But the most unique part of the festival may not be the break-dancing pirate or the kooky couple hula-hooping to funky beats. What makes this event special is the personal investment of the people who volunteer their time to make it happen, Scholze said.

“The community really takes ownership of it,” she said.

The same folks show up year after year. “It’s like a big family reunion,” Scholze added.

A kooky cast of characters entertain the crowds at last year's Lexington Ave Arts and Fun Festival. (Erin Brethauer/Asheville Citizen-Times)

A kooky cast of characters entertain the crowds at last year's Lexington Ave Arts and Fun Festival. (Erin Brethauer/Asheville Citizen-Times)


Lexington Avenue Arts and Fun Festival performers
Blue Rags, Dehlia Low, Eymarel, Hunab Kru, Jen and the Juice, Mad Tea Party, Melmacpink, Roberto Hess, Swayback Sisters, tHE POLES, U-N-I verse, Zabumba!. Asheville Dance Revolution, Baraka Mundi, Blackjack, Brushfire Stankgrass, Ceol Leinn, Galen Kipar Project, Modo, Now You See Them, Runaway Circus and Loose Caboose, Taylor Martin, The Chx, Velvet Truck Stop, Angi West, Arundas, Dip-N-Flip E.Normus Trio, Lulo, Pierce Edens, Pilgrim, Poetix Vanguard, Secret B-Sides, Ash Devine w/ Quetzal, Hillbillionaire$, La Feral Zoom: Rollin’ Barks of Laughter, LEAF in Schools and Streets: Youth at Jazz, Oso Rey, as well as a bluegrass jam, celtic jam and old-time jam.

LAAFF Performers Schedule

IF YOU GO
What:
8th Annual Lexington Avenue Arts and Fun Festival.
When:
11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sept. 6.
Where:
Three blocks of N. Lexington Avenue between College Street and the I-240 overpass.
Cost:
Free.
For more
about LAAFF 2009 www.lexfestasheville.com
about Arts 2 People www.arts2people.org

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by Rebecca Sulock in Spork

Mountain Xpress Vol. 15 / Iss. 50 on 07/08/2009
http://www.mountainx.com/ae/2007/070809spork/

Photo By Jonathan Welch

Photo By Jonathan Welch

AMPlight shines: Harper Leich, Steve Lister and Kurt Thaesler paint on the Lexington Avenue mural.

Walking from midtown (the nickname I’ve tried and failed to give the land between Merrimon and Broadway, but it never catches) to downtown has gotten a lot different over the years. Used to be, you’d walk past punk/art houses and under the blandy I-240 overpass into what was really just prime hobo territory. Now you’ve got the Pioneer Building and this bright, sparkly mural gracing the concrete of those freeway pillars.

That mural is growing larger and bolder even as I type. Three deft painters are working to finish the Lexington side — watch for them up on the scaffolding, bikes parked beneath. And now the Asheville Mural Project has been awarded a $5,000 grant from the small, family Chaddick Foundation. Organizers hope to raise another $5,000 to match that grant and finish both Merrimon Avenue sides.

“It’s incredible, so awesome, we’re so grateful,” says Molly Must, AMP’s director, of the grant money. AMP is a giant community project that couldn’t exist without the talent and labor of many artists, and the money from dozens of sponsors. It took years to navigate the red-tape involved in painting a mural on N.C. DOT property, but now even the DOT is singing praise for the project.

“Asheville is a beautiful place, and this effort helps us celebrate that beauty, writes operations engineer Ken Wilson, who says he hopes the mural inspires graffiti artists (once frequenters of the same area) to use their talent and energy in creative, constructive ways. A few updates:

• If you’ve walked or driven past the project during a summer storm, you may have seen the water pouring off the overpass. A break in the roadway meant water was dousing the mural. AMP has found someone to build flashing and caulk the whole thing to where that should be solved.

• After Must took a trip to learn about Philadelphia’s massive, $6 million-per-year mural program, she brought back some tricks for AMP. The Merrimon sides of the project will be created with a new, less-expensive and more collaborative technique that may actually be more durable, too. It involves painting squares of parachute cloth and gluing (OK, it’s really strong glue) to the side of the piers.

• The Merrimon murals have more decidedly Asheville themes. One side will be devoted to our local agricultural community, and will focus on the farm-to-market movement and local farmers markets. The other will showcase the chess players in Pritchard Park, including Charles O’Kelley, who plays the outdoors boards every day the sun shines (he shows up playing chess in the movie Searching for Bobby Fisher).

• Soon enough, Harper Leich, Kurt Thaesler and Steve Lister will have finished the Lexington side, and the dialogue between the two murals will begin. Check out the drum circle theme that builds between them.

• Along with Arts 2 People, the city of Asheville and the Chaddick Foundation, sponsors include the Asheville Downtown Association, Greenlife Grocery, Downtown Asheville Residents Association, Julie Vann, EcoBuilders, Ted Warner, the Lexington Avenue Bizarre Bazaar, Public Interest Projects/The Orange Peel, Rosetta’s Kitchen, Ken Sehested, Jason Rector, Whitt Rylee, On a Roll Screen Printing, Bionic Man Painting, Izzy’s, Henco Graphics, Shanda Christian, Asheville Pizza and Brewing Company, Malaprop’s, Asheville Arts Council, Sherwin Williams, Stephen Jones and Joan Goodman.

Sponsors could also include you. If you’d like to get involved, donate money or equipment (AMP is currently setting up an office in Riverview Station and needs a computer, scanner and digital projector), check out http://www.arts2people.org/amp.html or e-mail Must at molly@arts2people.org

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Macon News

http://www.maconnews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=5110&Itemid=85

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ASHEVILLE – As motorists drive down heavily traveled Lexington Avenue in Asheville, they will see something other than graffiti.

The I-240 bridge underpass is now home to the Asheville Mural Project. It strives to replace the graffiti with elaborate and colorful paintings, which reflect the unique history, context and culture of Asheville.

The project is an unprecedented collaboration between the N.C. Department of Transportation, the city of Asheville and the non-profit organization Arts 2 People. To date, 11 local artists have volunteered to work on the project.

Before the project began, commuters driving on Lexington Avenue under the I-240 bridge saw concrete “tagged,” or written on, with offensive graffiti. Despite efforts by NCDOT and the local police to stop the graffiti, the “taggers” continued to deface the property.

“We hope this mural inspires graffiti artists to use their talents and energies in other ways,” said NCDOT Division 13 Operations Engineer Ken Wilson. “Asheville is a beautiful place, and this effort helps us celebrate that beauty.”

Asheville artists have painted a mural on the I-240 bridge underpass that had previously been defaced by graffiti. Eleven different artists have worked on the project. A local non-profit called Arts 2 People is raising money to complete the project.

The Asheville Mural Project was proposed in May 2005 by Project Coordinator Molly Must. She became inspired after seeing concrete art in Canada. A little over a year after approaching the city of Asheville and NCDOT, she received permission to start the project.

Must held a “call to artists” and selected six artists who volunteered to work on the project. They worked collectively to design and paint the mural. Five more artists are now working to complete the project.

In contrast to graffiti, these artists do not use spray paint. Instead, they use a specialized form of acrylic paint, which is expensive. To afford supplies for the remainder of the project, they are accepting donations on these two Web sites, www.ashevillemuralproject.org or www.arts2people.com.

For more information on the Asheville Mural Project, contact the NCDOT Communications Office at (919) 733-2522.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Asheville Mural Project – seated dinner at the YMI Cultural Center December 20th, from 7 – 10pm – 39 South Market St (corner of Eagle St)

http://www.ymicc.org/ 828-252-4614
$35, 160 seats available
http://www.ashevillemuralproject.org/

www.arts2people.org/amp

http://www.arts2people.org/

www.myspace.com/arts2people.org

(Asheville, NC) Assist The Asheville Mural Project (AMP) in fulfilling the dream of creating more community-made public art, creating new spaces, and revitalizing old by attending the AMP’s Silent Art Auction and Banquet on December 20th at the YMI Cultural Center, on the corner of Eagle and Market Streets downtown. This will be a seated banquet dinner from 7pm until 10pm. There will be music, a silent art auction, live painting and auction, cultural arts speakers and a slide show on the creative culture in Asheville, focusing on the mural project. Be sure to get your tickets early as there is limited seating; tickets are $35.

Supporting the arts by attending this banquet also means getting a taste of some of the finest food that Asheville Culinary Artists have to offer. This buffet-style dinner consists of food contributed from over 15 of the areas finest independent restaurants, including Table, Mela, Bouchon, Heiwa, Zambra, the Marketplace, Salsas, The Lobster Trap, Jerusalem Garden, Early Girl, Thai Basil, the New French Bar, MoDaddy’s, Laurey’s Gourmet Catering, Barleys, Doc Cheys, amongst others.

Entertainment for the evening includes classical guitar, members of the Asheville High School Choir, as well as other local music acts. Mingle about as you bid on the art donated to the silent auction by local artists. Four AMP Artists will also be painting live on stage throughout the evening and will auction of the finished pieces. There will also be guest speakers and a slideshow presentation about the history of murals, as well as cultural and community development of murals. Guest speakers will give a narrative about the importance of grassroots arts in Asheville and how art can be used a positive force in every-day experience. Speakers include AMP Director Molly Must, AMP Artist Dan Beck, Arts2People’s Executive Director Kitty Love and others to be determined.

This banquet is a fundraiser for the completion of the Lexington Gateway Mural, located on the support pillars of the I240 overpass marking the Northern Corridor into downtown Asheville. Moneys raised will go to support AMP artists and buying the remaining necessary materials, including the high cost of scaffolding, to complete this cultural heritage mural. After having raised $10-15k for the implementation of this project, an additional $10,000-15,000 is needed to complete this mural, including the painting of the Merrimon Ave side of the support pillars.

Any extra funds raised will go towards several of AMP’s newest potential mural sites, including the Asheville Public Library, the Asheville Transit Center (bus station downtown), and the Montford Corner Store; and to pay staff to sustain the program, write grants, and other administrative details. Help AMP fulfill the dream of creating more community-made public art, creating new spaces and revitalizing old. Private Donations are always welcome.

If all goes well, AMP will begin painting again on the Lexington Gateway Mural as soon as it gets warm enough in the spring, and will simultaneously begin coordinating the Montford Corner Store Mural (under the direction of Dan Beck).

The Asheville Mural Project, a branch of Arts 2 People, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, exists to beautify and diversify Asheville’s urban landscape, providing artists and local community members with the opportunity to design and implement their own public art. AMP believes that murals enhance quality of life and create artful metropolitan experience through the transformation of conventional architecture. AMP’s murals are both the testimony and celebration of a lively local arts culture.

Arts 2 People also houses the Lexington Ave. Arts and Fun Festival (LAAFF), the REACH Programming series, the new Pritchard Park Cultural Arts Program, Moving Women, the Faces of Asheville and more. LAAFF has played in integral role in the fundraising and awareness raising efforts to support AMP for the past six years; we are all excited to see this vision turn into reality. Arts 2 People is devoted to promoting the role of the arts as an integral part of our culture by serving the entire community through arts outreach, bringing the arts to those in need of the healing power of art, supporting the careers of artists, and through community cultural development. To find out more, visit http://www.arts2people.org/.

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