Art Teacher Cheers Up Stressed-Out Students By Hosting ‘Bob Ross Flash Mob’ With Wigs and Paints

bob-ross-students-krbc-screenshot-324x160(Good News Network)  As a means of rewarding her hardworking students, this middle school teacher gave them the chance to experience the joy of painting – all while they were dressed as Bob Ross.

Brady Sloane is an eighth grade art teacher at Madison Middle School in Abilene, Texas. She teaches 48 students between two pre-Advanced Placement classes, and the majority of her pupils are low-income.

Sloane recently began to notice that a lot of the kids were stressed out over their workload, and she wondered how she could reward her students for their hard work and offer them a break from the stress – and that’s when she got the idea to draw some inspiration from the artistic zen master himself: Bob Ross.

Red the full story and see a video HERE>


“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, (, 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>

The Fritz ready to bounce their disco/funk/soul into the Orange Peel

the_fritz_asheville-768x591(AshVegas) With a new EP out, and yet another nationwide tour in the works, The Fritz have plenty to be excited about. Friday night they will bring their dance-inducing mix of disco, funk, and rock to a sold-out Orange Peel in support of Pigeons Playing Ping Pong.

For long-time fans of the Asheville-based The Fritz, it doesn’t get much better than this. Pigeons is the perfect band to pair with them, the pungent cheese to The Fritz’ funky grenache, a grenache, by the way, that is loaded with songs that have not yet been performed at a show in Asheville.

Read the full article by Caleb Calhoun HERE>

In pursuit of the moment: Greg Ormont of Pigeons Playing Ping Pong

507816f6e2a1fcd62a25c7ed37056935_xl(Smoky Mountain News)  In a day and age where everything that glistens and captures society’s short attention span is seemingly a smoke screen blurring the lines between appearance and reality, one of the most intricate and sacred of human experiences remains pure and untouched — live music.

At the core of the art of musical performance is the idea of improvisation. It’s a moment in the heat of a show where the energy on both sides of the microphone — between the artist and its audience — pulsates in this ebb and flow that circulates and swirls around the event itself.

Read the full feature by Garret K. Woodward 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>

Everything AVL with Michele Scheve

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