Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Asheville Gallery of Art celebrates grand opening - April 6th

Asheville Gallery of Art will celebrate the opening of its new space at 82 Patton Avenue in downtown Asheville with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday, April 6, at 4 p.m. 

Ambassadors from the Asheville Chamber of Commerce will preside, with refreshments and a gala reception to follow. The artists will be present to answer any questions about their work.

The space represents a new chapter for AGA, Asheville’s longest-established gallery.  Founded as an artist co-op 28 years ago, AGA presents the work of 30 local artists.  The gallery’s diversity of styles, ranging from representational landscapes, to figurative work, to colorful abstracts, showcases the incredible range of talent in the region. 

Regular gallery hours are Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and, beginning April 1, Sundays 1 to 4. You can contact the gallery at 828-251-5796 or by visiting their website at

OnTrack Financial announces April classes

April Financial Education Schedule
Classes are free unless noted. Pre-registration required. Call today at 255-5166.
Class 1: Creating an Open Money and Family Environment:
- Learn to maintain and create an open family environment to share and discuss money needs and issues.
Class 2: Childhood Development Stages of Money:
- Learn ages and stages of money understanding.
- Learn activities to do with your child to promote money development.
Class 3: Putting it All Together:
- We will discuss practical ways to incorporate all of the ideas from class in your day to day life with your child.
  • Thursdays, April 7, 14 & 21 from 12:00 to 1:30 pm - offered through the Women's Financial Empowerment Center  
Savings & Goal Setting - Learn how to create realistic savings goals and plan the steps needed to reach them! 
  • Tuesday, April 12 from 12:00 to 1:00 pm - offered through the Women's Financial Empowerment Center 
  • Monday, April 18 from 5:30 to 7:00 pm  - offered through the Women's Financial Empowerment Center
Understanding Reverse Mortgages: Learn the basics about Reverse Mortgages. This class will help you:
- Finally understand what a reverse mortgage is and how they work.
- Learn about how reverse mortgages can provide cash to homeowners over age 62.
- Understand how the loans are paid back.
- Learn about different scenarios and how a reverse mortgage can be helpful; and
- Determine if you have enough equity in your home for a reverse mortgage to be a good solution for you by getting a free estimate at the end of the class.
  • Wednesday, April 13 from 5:30 to 7:00 pm
  • Wednesday, April 20 from 9:30 to 11:00 am (Hendersonville)
Homebuyer Education Series - ($50.00 participant fee) Our HUD-certified course provides a step-by-step explanation of the home-buying process, a fantastic resource book, and an opportunity to interact with local real estate / lending / legal professionals so that you can make an informed decision about the biggest investment you will probably ever make. Certificate received upon completion.  
  • (4-part class) Wednesdays and Thursdays, April 20, 21, 27 & 28 from 5:30 to 8:30 pm
Manage Your Money Series - Our most popular seminar deals with the basics of budgeting, setting goals, planning spending to realize goals, saving strategies, and tracking spending.
  • Saturdays, April 23 & 30 from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm
Understanding Credit. Get it. Keep it. Improve it. - Find out what you know about credit!  Learn what credit is, how to fix your past credit mistakes, read your credit reports, understand credit repair, and more.
  • Wednesday, April 6 from 5:30 to 7:00 pm OR
  • Friday, April 15 from 12:00 to 1:30 pm OR
  • Friday, April 22 from 12:00 to 1:30 pm OR
  • Tuesday, April 26 from 5:30 to 7:00 pm
Emotions & Spending - This class explores the powerful role of emotion in our use of money, and provides  tools  for understanding those connections and working with the influential pull our emotions have on our spending patterns.

·         Tuesday, April 26 from 12:00 to 1:30 pm - offered through the Women's Financial Empowerment Center

Pre-registration required.  Call OnTrack WNC today at 255-5166.
All classes listed are held at OnTrack WNC offices - 50 South French Broad Ave. Second Floor

Soundtrack for the City - Symphony and WNC musicians unite on new recording

The Asheville Symphony and leading musicians from Asheville’s music scene—including Lizz Wright, Free Planet Radio, Rising Appalachia and Steep Canyon Rangers—have collaborated on an innovative new album to be released in May 2016.

Celebrating the diversity of music in Western North Carolina, The Asheville Symphony Sessions features songs that combine the unique styles of locally based musicians, with the Asheville Symphony. The album was produced by Michael Selverne of Welcome to Mars, at Asheville’s Echo Mountain Recording Studios. 

“This album serves as a soundtrack for the city,” says ASO Executive Director David Whitehill. “The Asheville Symphony champions great music, and we’re very fortunate that there is great music being made here. Not many communities of this size have the kind of resources—including the symphony musicians, recording engineers, producers, publicists, arrangers, session musicians and recording studios—that we have in Asheville.”

Featured artists are Ben Lovett, Doc Aquatic, Electric Owls, Free Planet Radio featuring Lizz Wright, Matt Townsend, Rising Appalachia, Shannon Whitworth, and Steep Canyon Rangers. The album synthesizes a variety of genres including folk, country, roots, rock, pop, bluegrass, R&B, and jazz, with each track featuring ensembles from the ASO ranging in size from 9 players to 24.

“This album is life-sized art, produced here in our community.  After 32 years of making records in NY and LA, this is one of the coolest projects I have worked on,” says producer Michael Selverne. “Working together, I believe that we have created an incredibly musical record that reflects the spirit and the soul of our community.” 

A number of notable arrangers worked on the project including Michael Bearden, who works with Lady Gaga and Neil Young and was Michael Jackson’s musical director for the This Is It tour; Van Dyke Parks, who composed and arranged the score for Disney’s The Jungle Book (1967) animated film and composed Smile with Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys; and Jonathan Sacks, a composer and orchestrator who has worked on many blockbuster films including The Princess and the Frog (2009), Disney’s Cars (2006), and Seabiscuit (2003).

“It was amazing to see the bands’ reactions as they heard the symphony musicians bring the orchestral arrangements of their songs to life. This project is the collaborative effort of more than 150 people coming together to create something that is uniquely Asheville,” says Jessica Tomasin, Echo Mountain Recording’s studio manager. “I love the idea that we are connecting musicians from varying backgrounds and musical genres in our own community.”

The Asheville Symphony Sessions will be available through a variety of points of sale, including a number of local retailers, and worldwide through iTunes and Visit for more information.

The Asheville Symphony Orchestra performs and promotes symphonic music for the benefit, enjoyment and education of the people of Western North Carolina. The ASO presents concerts in the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium in Asheville’s U.S. Cellular Center. Related organizations include the Asheville Symphony Guild, Asheville Symphony Chorus, Asheville Symphonettes, and education initiatives such as the Asheville Symphony Youth Orchestra, Music in the Schools, MusicWorks!, Spotlight on Young Musicians, Symphony Talk and pre-concert lectures.