Filed under: Civic Center
ASHEVILLE – This year’s Asheville Film Festival: “A Day at the Movies” celebrated productions that were filmed in and around the Asheville area.
The one-day, free event showcased “Patch Adams,” “28 Days” and “In Dreams.”
Sam Powers, director of Economic Development and of the Asheville Civic Center, described the festival as “a way to fulfill the Civic Center’s mission to [serve] the community at-large.”
“Patch Adams,” starring Robin Williams, was the first movie of the day. The 1998 comedy-drama is based of the life story of Dr. Hunter “Patch” Adams and his untraditional approach to practicing medicine. Adams founded The Gesundheit! Institute, which its website describes as “a project in holistic medical care based on the belief that one cannot separate the health of the individual from the health of the family, the community, the world, and the health care system itself.”
Professional movie location scout Michael Bigham talks about his work on "Patch Adams," as industry colleague Pam Lewis looks on.
Michael Bigham, an Asheville-based film location scout, greeted moviegoers at the first film. He worked on “Patch Adams,” as well as “The Last of the Mohicans,” “Forrest Gump” and “Hannibal,” among others.
“Patch Adams” filmed on the grounds of the Biltmore Estate, and several scenes of the Appalachian Mountains were shot off the Blue Ridge Parkway on Elk Mountain Highway in Asheville.
Bigham said he very much enjoyed his experience on the “Patch Adams” set.
“Out of all the movies that I have done, Patch Adams was the most fun,” he said. “The people that work, like the director and the assistant director, and especially Robin, can make something fun or arduous. Because of the amount of hours you put in to make a movie, it’s a lot better when it’s pleasant than when it’s not.”
The second movie featured was 2000’s “28 Days,” starring Sandra Bullock as an alcoholic forced to choose between jail or rehab. It was filmed largely at a Black Mountain conference center that stands in as the rehabilitation facility in the movie.
Commentary was done by Lee Nesbitt-Madison who has been in the film industry for more than 30 years and who has worked on movies such as “Smokey and the Bandit” and “The Hunt for Red October.”
The final film was “In Dreams,” a 1999 psychological thriller starring Robert Downey Jr. and Annette Bening, filmed in part at Fontana Dam. Commentary was provided by Pam Lewis, current director of entrepreneurship at the Asheville Area Chamber of commerce and former director of the WNC Film Office. She has assisted with recruitment and fulfillment on projects such as “My Fellow Americans,” “28 Days” and “Digging to China.”
October 5, 2011
ASHEVILLE – About two dozen people came out to Tuesday’s official launch of the city’s new interactive recycling kiosk at the Asheville Civic Center.
The kiosk – which urges people to “be social, do good” – was funded by a grant from the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and was created through a partnership between the city’s Office of Sustainability and Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College’s Sustainable Technologies Program.
The kiosk also features a quiz to test users’ “green” knowledge and a video on recycling.
Users can take advantage of single-stream recycling at the kiosk, and can also take a picture in its photo booth and share it via email, Facebook and other social media.
To learn more about the Office of Sustainability, its goals, green initiatives and projects, visit: http://1.usa.gov/bKKaUZ.
Attendees take the quiz and upload photos to social media on the city's new interactive recycling kiosk, which was officially launched Tuesday at the Asheville Civic Center.
Rachel Rogers, city sustainability outreach specialist; Bradley Barrett, an A-B Tech student who worked on the kiosk's creation; and Maggie Ullman, energy coordinator for the City of Asheville, gathered for the kiosk's official launch.
Rachel Rogers, who leads outreach for the city's Office of Sustainability, speaks about the interactive features of the new recycling kiosk at the Asheville Civic Center.
September 7, 2011
In an organization of more than 1,000 people, speedy and accurate information flow means not only increased efficiency but also real dollars. That’s an underlying theme that emerges when City of Asheville employees talk about the recently launched technology upgrade that provides not only swifter access to data but also easier communication between city departments and city customers.
The Munis system purchased by the City of Asheville from Tyler Technologies grew out of a 2009 commitment by Asheville City Council to fund a Business Technology Improvement Project to replace the organization’s aging mainframe-based system with a state-of-the-art streamlined tech upgrade.
The new system is targeted to business transactions within the city’s financial, human resources, contract management, purchasing and inventory, and utility billing functions. Dramatically eliminating paper forms in favor of digital ones reduces the time spent on each step of a transaction such as a business license application, as well as the time it takes to navigate the approval process. In a summary he wrote for the City of Asheville’s E-News in 2009, Information Technology Services Director Jonathan Feldman noted that experts estimate the switch can save more than $3 in staff time and material costs per form.
“It reduces the staffing needed for these processes, and it reduces redundancy.” Feldman says, adding that more accurate and accessible data means that city departments can close revenue gaps that may have been difficult or impossible to find with a paper-based system.
The system has been deployed in all city departments, with department heads and employees meeting with the IT department and experts from Tyler Technologies to determine how best to apply the software in their departments. In January, the city’s payroll division will join the offices using the system, followed by utility billing in July.
And like the city’s MapAsheville GIS mapping system developed in 2006, the city’s use of the Munis system will continue to evolve as more and more applications for the technology emerge.
“It’s pretty massive,” Feldman says. “It’s not just IT doing this. It’s a huge collaboration. Each department has to take ownership of how it applies to their product.”
Development Services Director Robert Griffin praised the upgrade as a boon for his department, which is in charge of processes like construction permits and business licenses. Griffin says the Munis system cuts down on the time it takes for a business privilege license to be processed, and even sends him emails when there is a form that needs his attention.
“It allows us to be more efficient and more responsive to the outside customer,” he says.
November 5, 2010
From the Asheville Civic Center blog:
The Asheville Civic Center has been awarded a $2 million dollar grant, to be funded over a 4-year period, from the Tourism Product Development Fund of the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority, the City announced today. The grant will help fund a proposed $5.45 million dollar renovation of the Asheville Civic Center. The Tourism Product Development Fund, which is funded through the Buncombe County hotel occupancy tax, is dedicated to projects that will increase tourism and overnight lodging.
Asheville Mayor Terry Bellamy noted: “This is an incredible opportunity. The Asheville Civic Center is an important economic engine for our city and our region. These funds will allow us to greatly improve the facility — and these improvements will benefit local residents and tourists alike.”
The proposed Civic Center improvements include new seating for the lower level of the arena, renovating the balcony seating and flooring, improving the locker rooms and dressing rooms, upgrading the lighting, messaging and sound systems in the arena, concourse renovations, and information technology improvements. The City of Asheville recently issued a Request for Qualifications for architectural and engineering services to begin the renovation process.
Sam Powers, Director of the city’s Office of Economic Development and Director of the Asheville Civic Center, commented: “This grant will play a major role in making our facilities better for fans, performers and promoters. We attract more than 200,000 patrons a year — and our research shows that over 70% of our ticket sales come from outside of Buncombe County. These visitors stay in local hotels, eat in local restaurants and support local businesses. The Civic Center generates a substantial economic impact. It is an asset worth investing in. We are thrilled that the Tourism Development Authority, Buncombe County and the City are coming together as partners in this project.”
The Asheville Civic Center first opened its doors 36-years ago and has hosted everything from concerts, plays, trade shows and sporting events to local high school graduations. Mike Burke, Chairman of the Asheville Civic Center Commission, noted that, “Even though the arena is in its fourth decade of use it has good bones. Our project will add new life to the building and allow us to be even more competitive as a regional entertainment venue.”
Recently the Southern Conference named Asheville as the host city for its men’s and women’s college basketball tournaments beginning in 2012. The games will be played at the Asheville Civic Center and at U.N.C. Asheville’s Kimmel Arena.
Click here to see the original post at the Asheville Civic Center blog.
July 29, 2010
Beginning July 1, a revision to City of Asheville’s no smoking ordinance prohibits smoking on all city owned and occupied property. The new language applies to all City of Asheville parks, greenways and the grounds of city municipal facilities.
The move is intended to provide a healthier environment for City of Asheville employees and the general public and reduce exposure to secondhand smoke. With cigarette butts constituting a large portion of litter in the City of Asheville, the non-smoking ordinance is expected to contribute to the overall cleanliness of the city as well.
The revised ordinance will not apply to city sidewalks and streets except where sidewalks are inside park boundaries. The sidewalk surrounding downtown’s Pritchard Park, for instance, is within the park’s borders and therefore will be subject to the non-smoking ordinance.
The law allows for designated smoking areas at city facilities, to be determined by the Asheville City Manager. A designated smoking area for the Asheville Civic Center will be determined in the near future.
Enforcement of the ordinance will rely on community policing and will be complaint-based. Violation of the ordinance could result in a fine up to $50. City crews will soon be installing signs clearly marking areas where smoking is prohibited.
The amended ordinance was passed by Asheville City Council in April, enabled by 2010 legislation by the North Carolina General Assembly.
June 15, 2010
The City of Asheville, NC is excited to share content though this new blog. We hope that you find the content useful and informative. Thanks for reading.
May 12, 2010