Category Archives: Community

“Blue Ridge Craft Trails” to Link WNC Artists, Studio’s, Schools and More

55420x20334-305x184(News-Herald of Morganton) The Burke Arts Council and South Mountain Arts Co-op are now featured on the Blue Ridge Craft Trails, (www.blueridgecrafttrails.com), a new website and marketing initiative developed by the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Partnership, linking 75 craft sites across the 25 counties of western North Carolina.

“Our region is celebrated for its authentic craft traditions, one of the heritage assets recognized by Congress in forming the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area in 2003,” said Angie Chandler, BRNHA executive director. “With the new Blue Ridge Craft Trails, we want to direct more visitors to connect with our local makers.”

Over the next two years, another 125 artists, studios, craft schools and other arts organizations will be added to the website, branding western NC as a must-see destination for the best in traditional and contemporary crafts.

With curated itineraries and printed map brochures, visitors will enjoy new opportunities to visit small towns, travel back roads, meet artists, and purchase handmade crafts directly from the studio. They can also enjoy the best that western NC offers in authentic mountain music, Cherokee culture, craft breweries and savory foodways, along with outdoor activities.

Read the complete article HERE>

Meet the red pandas!

9fd82e2e-f5c6-4789-9ae4-fecc40ee8012-nature_center_red_panda(Citizen-Times) As you may have heard, red pandas have recently arrived at the WNC Nature Center! Our newest residents, Leafa and Phoenix, give the Prehistoric Appalachia exhibit an exciting start! The female, Leafa, is 10 years old and the male, Phoenix, is 7. They have lived together and have had offspring. They are busy settling into their new home with us at the Center, purposefully away from the public, as they acclimate to their new surroundings.

The introduction of red pandas to the Nature Center may come as a surprise, but a direct relative of the red panda, Bristol’s Panda, was found to live in the Appalachian mountains nearly 5 million years ago. The Prehistoric Appalachia exhibit is a step into the past brought to life by the Miocene epoch uncovered at the Gray Fossil Site in Tennessee. This dig site is filled with the remains of species that we can no longer find around us such as tapirs, rhinoceros and alligators.

Read the full article <HERE>

Diversity Productions promotes harmony

ae-diversity-productions-1100x1002(Mountain XPress)  A chance encounter with a cosmic composer was a turning point in Rah Amen’s dynamic career as a musician, event producer and DJ. The founder of Diversity Productions, he draws on his cumulative experiences to curate a series of unique musical and educational events around Asheville.

“Is your space intuition up?” renowned bandleader Sun Ra asked Amen on New Year’s Eve 1985. Amen had loaned his percussion instruments to Sun Ra’s Arkestra for a show in Atlanta. When that band’s percussionist didn’t show up, Amen offered to fill in. Assured the drummer’s space intuition was indeed up, Sun Ra told Amen he could play and handed him a uniform. “They put me in a big robe with a bunch of stars and planets on it, and a big gold hat on my head with a big crystal in the third eye of the hat,” he recalls.

Read the full article by Ami Worthen HERE>