August tends to throw the last of summer’s wearying heat at us, but there is, too, the wistfulness of one season dissolving into another, the sense that time is slipping away. When our stories are written and in layout for each issue, I never cease to marvel at how fortunate we in Western North Carolina are to be surrounded by such a richness of the arts. What better way to stay that relentless march of time for a little while than by roaming through a new exhibition, listening to a concert or an author reading, or watching a stage performance? What a relief to feel that, in these times—troubled in other ways, to be sure—we can look to the creative arts for joy and meaning, and a little diversion, too.
August days may be hot and muggy, but galleries, auditoriums and concert halls are cool and welcoming. Asheville Chamber Music Series, Bardo and Tryon Fine Arts Center announce new seasons. At American Folk Art & Framing, a pop-up flower show complements the exhibition of artists creating on the theme In Full Bloom. Brevard hosts a plein air festival and the Come to Leicester Studio Tour reminds us that art exists beyond gallery walls.
Asheville’s East End/Valley Street community has seen a lot of history through the years—not all of it the best of times what with urban renewal projects heedlessly taking homes and businesses in the 1970s. Still, the area exists to this day as a close-knit, friendly neighborhood where residents celebrate joy in so many ways, including with the annual East End/Valley Street Community Heritage Festival. This year’s festival is dedicated to the memory of Mack Moore, of whom Renée White says: “Mack promoted unity, peace and love in the City and worked until his death to bring people together in fun and love.” A worthy example for us all.
For those who haven’t heard, the Society of Happy People proclaims August Happiness Happens Month. Its website lists 31 kinds of happiness—from amused to valued. And, yes, the happiness that creativity brings is there, too!
Gina Malone can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.