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Verve Magazine Welcome to VERVE Find us on Facebook VERVE Magazine on Facebook Contact Us « Couch-Surfing in Cairo | Main | Hart of Darkness » Conceptual Models In its third year, the Asheville creative festival Hatch is hatching its biggest ideas yet. by Mick Kelly . photography by Stewart O’Shields

If it’s hard to get a grasp on Hatch, think of it this way: it’s like Asheville’s version of Austin’s South by Southwest. Both festivals are interdisciplinary, with panels and performances full of up-and-coming musicians, filmmakers and other creative types. Both happen in spring, just when the weather makes it an amazing time to spend a few days in Austin or Asheville. Both cities are already meccas for artists, fashionistas and tech-focused progressives, so the festivals play well—though the scale of each is hard to compare. Around 6,000 people attended last year’s Hatch events in Asheville, whereas South by Southwest in Austin last month drew more than 100,000 people and, in 2009, had an estimated $98 million impact on the Austin economy.

Hatch organizers can only hope. But while Hatch Asheville may share some similarities with SXSW, our local festival actually started in another arty city: Bozeman, Montana. The very first Hatch Fest (organizers have now dropped the “Fest” and simply call it Hatch) was in 2004 in Bozeman. Filmmaker Yarrow Kraner rolled out a film-heavy conference that included panels and talks about issues in other creative industries. By 2008, Sean O’Connell, CEO of Asheville’s Music Allies, and TV producer Alison Watson led the charge to bring Hatch Fest to Western North Carolina. The industries covered at the initial Asheville festival in 2009 were: music, architecture, fashion, design, journalism, photography and film. Local volunteers and board members reached out to people they knew in those industries to bring in superstar “mentors” who then work with “grounbreakers”—aspiring young professionals—in every field. Since then, Asheville Hatch has had the likes of CNBC producer Jeff Pohlman and fashionista Elisa Jimenez (of Project Runway fame) give talks, and in recent years, Jeff Bridges and Jackson Browne have participated in the Bozeman event.

This year, according to executive director Craig McAnsh, Asheville Hatch seems to have renewed momentum and bigger sponsors, like Intel, Canon and SanDisk. The Hatch board has been planning programming for months and will bring in mentors from far and wide. In fashion, Sonia Hendrix, who organizes Asheville’s annual PUSH Fashion Show, is flying in a Norwegian designer, Keyna Aranguren, along with Ayoka Lucas, one of the masterminds behind Charleston Fashion Week. In architecture, Clemson University professor Martha Skinner has cooked up a program that includes a visit from Spanish architect Jorge Raedó, who will lead children on a high-concept mapping mission around Asheville. Skinner’s partner, Clemson architecture professor Doug Hecker, has been working with his students to create the Hatch Pad, a futuristic structure that allows people inside to interact with donated Macintosh computers in various ways. After being invited to participate in Hatch Fest 2009, the couple decided to relocate from Clemson, South Carolina, to Asheville. For the second time during Hatch, Ashevilleans will see images projected onto the sides of buildings. This year, though, photography discipline heads Lynne Harty and Brie Castell will really make a statement. The pair, both Asheville photographers, will take over Pack Square Park the night of Friday, April 15, projecting photos onto a giant screen in the park. Their cronies will project other types of images onto surrounding buildings as a gallery of street perofmers dance in the background. They’ll also run the Hatch Lab, an exhibit of giclee prints that are submitted by members of the public and printed on site at the Parker Pfister photography studio in downtown Asheville. “What we’re seeing is that Asheville’s creative community is fueling the creative economy,” says McAnsh, noting that Hatch projects like the video-game-themed Design & Technology events have led to jobs for Ashevilleans. Hatch Asheville has a ten-year license from Bozeman to run the festival, and its aim is specifically to help entrepreneurs, artists and other creatives thrive. “Instead of [the festival] just being about sharing ideas, it’s about sharing ideas and moving them into a stage of action.” For more details about Hatch, which runs April 14-17, go to

Styling credits: makeup by Mendy Hoffman of Makeup at Grove Arcade hair by Guadalupe Chavarria of Studio Chavarria styling for Jane Izard, Carly Austin and Martha Skinner by R. Brooke Priddy special thanks to The Oriole Mill Posted on Tuesday, March 29, 2011 at 11:19PM by Registered CommenterVerve-acious | CommentsPost a Comment

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What is Asheville?_article by Verve (Asheville, Noth Carolina, USA)

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