Many Ashevilles

There are many Ashevilles. As I write this on Sunday morning, so far this weekend I have experienced beauty and power at Southside Rising’s Black Nativity: Liberation Holiday and Nuestro Centro‘s annual Posada. This afternoon I’ll attend the 2nd Annual My Sistah Taught Me That (MSTMT) Gospel Fest. I am deeply grateful for the Ashevilles that hold these cultural riches, and am in awe of the resilience that imbues them. While the dominant narrative of white, resource-rich Asheville has consistently ignored our communities of color, these communities continue to create their own narratives, seeding incredible possibilities that I weep to witness. May my tears (and actions) help to water them as they grow.

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Scene from Black Nativity: Liberation Holiday. Photo by Tiece Ruffin.

Black Nativity: Liberation Holiday is “an artistic production in celebration of black heritage, contributions, creativity, and community, featuring music, dance, and poetry woven into a dramatic story.” I found the show incredible moving for many reasons, including the joy radiating from cast whose creative collaborations it is fertilizing.

Click here to read the story I wrote about the production for Mountain Xpress.

Black Nativity: Liberation Holiday is not to be missed! You can see it at the Asheville Community Theatre this Friday, December 21 or at the YMI Cultural Center on Sunday, December 23. Find the full show schedule and reserve tickets HERE.

While I’m talking about cultural riches, I also want to note the Asheville Through Brown Eyes multi-artist exhibit which is up until January 11 at the Asheville Area Arts Council. Also well worth checking out.

As always, you can find upcoming diverse cultural events on this Calendar.

ROSES campers 2018
YTL’s new R.O.S.E.S. program, 2018. Photo by Tony Shivers.

Every season is a season of giving

In 2018, I had the honor of working closely with three transformative organizations –  YTL Training Programs, the Center for Participatory Change – CPC, and JMPRO Community TV.

YTL and CPC both put out inspiring end-of-the-year letters I encourage you to read, and, after reading, to push the “donate” buttons contained within: click here for YTL’s letter and here for CPC’s. You can click here to donate to JMPRO TV.

Here’s to these groups’ ongoing positive influence on our community.

cartoon by steve cutts
Christmas cartoon by Steve Cutts.

Xmas Wish

I’m not a fan of the December holiday you can’t ignore even if you try. I considered writing a post entitled “Christmas Kills,” discussing environmental issues and other ills connected to heightened consumerism around this holiday. However, instead of complaining about what I oppose, I will take a moment to ask for what I want, namely for a widespread shift to sustainable, equitable ways of being that enable us humans to be in right relationship with nature and each other.

Putting it out there, open to miracles.

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Krekel and Whoa. Photo by Sandlin Gaither.

In Between

Much of my life is spent being an accomplice to groups and people marginalized by white supremacy. This is a calling I am dedicated to and humbled by. While I don’t write about it often, another part of my life is playing music with my sweetie Jason Krekel. When we perform we go by the name Krekel and Whoa. This fall we put out an EP called Warm Up Bones, which you can find here. We had an online release show for the EP – this video from it is of us playing a song I wrote this year called In Between.

Thank you for reading (and clicking the links!). Much love.

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