History of the "Asheville 1000" and the 1970s renaissance
She’d come here in 1977, making her one of the advance guard of “artists, entrepreneurs, and off-the-grid homesteaders” who “created a new sense of place” while having “learned from those people whose families had lived here for generations.”
“Over time,” Ball relates, “we (both newcomers and natives) came to be called the Asheville One Thousand.”
“One of the first gathering places was a café on Wall Street called High Tea,” we are informed. Poets, musicians, and theatre people gathered and, as Malaprop’s opened to provide another venue in 1982, the group became very conscious of their place in history.
“Saving Downtown Asheville,” under the leadership of native merchant Wayne Caldwell, galvanized the 1000 to preserve Asheville’s character against a city-supported effort to raze the northeast quadrant for a mall.
Ball provides I-was-there testimony to document the happening, which had included a coalition with Taxpayers against Bonds to defeat a spending referendum.
Ball also talks about Stone Soup; Manna Food Bank; Handmade in America; the River Arts District; Smoky Mountain Host; the Great Smoky Mountains Golf Association; and The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area; and two 21st century efforts, The Family Store, a history preservation project; and the revival of The Block.
Linked to a vision and perspective, “The Rise of Asheville: An Exceptional History of Community Building” (History Press, Nov. 2015) offers much fresh material about a key aspect of local history.