Engaging Through the Arts

It is my belief that the arts are essential for healing and transformation, that it takes creativity and creative expression to bring new paradigms into being. In that spirit, today’s post focuses on local arts-related events and news. So much goodness! I am looking forward to an inspiring week (and beyond).

Pictured: Kibwe. Photo by Michael-Jamar Jean Francois.

Kibwe: A Marionette Puppet Performance
Thursday, June 1, 7:30 pm
The BLOCK off Biltmore, 39 S. Market St.
Alli Marshall wrote a great cover story for Mountain Xpress about this event, “‘Kibwe’ convenes marionettes, myth, music and visual art.” Excerpt: “Of note, the collective…is ‘pretty much an all-black ensemble,’ as Jean Francois explains. Together, they felt that performing at The BLOCK off Biltmore would be a way to pay tribute to Asheville’s historic black business district.” (Facebook event link.)

quantasiaQuantasia Williams Art Opening
Friday, June 2, 6 – 8 pm
YMI Cultural Center, 39 S. Market St. 
“Please come out and support Quantasia Williams at her very first art exhibit!…There will be a reception and Quantasia Williams’ original artwork will be displayed and for sale. This is an exhibit open to the public, the more the merrier!” Quantasia is part of the Word on the Street/La Voz de los Jovenes squad. (Facebook event link.)


JCC CommUNITY Market
Saturday, June 3, 1 – 4 pm
Asheville JCC, 236 Charlotte St.
This event will feature a diverse collection of vendors and entertainment. Looks like it will be a sweet opportunity to make connections. Kudos to Monica McDaniel for her hard work and vision in organizing this!

Photo of DeWayne Barton teaching in the garden by the Carnival de Resistance.

Ancestors in the Garden
A Hood Huggers Event
Saturday, June 3, 3 – 7 pm
garden tours starting at 1 pm) 
Burton Street Peace Garden, 47 Bryant Street
“Join us for interactive performances, music, food, and more. Help celebrate the infrastructure improvements we’ve made in the garden. We’ll be entertained and engaged by Capoeira Asheville, MOOK!, Voices United, Santos, Melody, Yahshua Russell, members of Natural Born Leaders, Spaceman Jones, B-Love, and more!” More info at hoodhuggers.com.

This week’s Mountain Xpress also has a story about Ancestors in the Garden. I encourage you to read “Art in Action: Peace Garden partners with local theater for a community rejuvenation project.” Excerpt: “[DeWayne] Barton sees the collaboration between Hood Huggers, Voices United and Asheville Creative Arts as a big step toward bringing art and theater to his neighborhood, but also as a way to unite with other black residents of Asheville who are also working to revitalize their neighborhoods.

‘This isn’t just us doing this [community building],’ says Barton. ‘They’re doing it on the East End, they’re doing it in Shiloh and at the [Residents Council of Asheville Housing Authority], but how do we connect those communities? This is what we’re hoping to do.'”

victor-palaminoArtist Victor Palomino
My friend Victor Palomino is featured in the latest issue of  Hola Carolina Magazine. From his website: “I’m taking a big step by dedicating all my time to my creative business. You can support my projects by visiting my website vaptart.com, listening to La Radio every Monday from  6 to 7 pm, checking my visual work at Mary Frank Salon, True Ridge Foundation in Hendersonville, and coming to my opening at DeSoto Lounge July 6. Contact me for commissions for murals and portraits. You can also call me if you have story ideas for La Radio or freelance writing. Another way to support is to follow and book my music band “Los Bad Hombrxs” and stay tuned for the Global Art Department. I hope to see you soon and keep living the dream.”

Artist Jenny Pickens
Jenny Pickens recently shared this announcement, “My 3rd Art Exhibit this year is currently on display till July 27th at the MAHEC Resource Center, 121 Hendersonville Rd behind Double Tree on the hill.” She’ll also be selling her handmade dolls at The Big Crafty on July 16. Here is an example of her wonderful work:




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