Monday, February 1, 2016

Why Asheville

WHY ASHEVILLE? I could be the “most ethnic” human being doing active community projects in Asheville, especially around 2003/2012. I never saw it that way though. Really. I never considered my skin color or cultural truths when I skirmished myself in the city... When I produced my first or second all-day “Bonfires for Peace” community/family event at Pritchard Park in downtown, I was motivated by just one fire. Diverse people coming together for music and dancing is Peace. Plain and simple. Peace without is peace within. When I see Asheville people happy together, I see my barriopeople oceans away happy. When I see a mom and dad and child and pet dancing at the park, I see my own family relishing life as one... Not easy though, never a picnic. No sound equipment, no money. I didn't know many people, or musicians, in town and my gibberish/accent needed a translator that time. Yet I planned 11AM to 9PM series of events spring to end of summer, two concerts a month and 7 bands minimum.

       Then, there was The Indie. Newsprint, pulp, “non-traditional,” guerrilla-styled, unconventional (syntax, grammar, “rules”). That little tiny diminutive paper existed from 2000 to 2007, then some in 2011, and then 2013... My “crazy” projects never enjoyed and relished such quiet acceptance and approval than how Asheville took them in. It wasn't perfect. I had detractors, of course. But the good stuff upstaged the bad stuff. I don't think I still have mental energy and physical defiance to translate that “madness” in any other city or town in any part of the world. Asheville is it! The city is changing, continually changing—geography and people—but I still feel this is my home away from home.