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Putting the Arts Center Stage

Article Published: Sep. 6, 2012 | Modified: Sep. 16, 2012

What do quilts, farmers and art galleries have to do with a literary festival?
A lot, if you know anything about Ashe County’s love of the arts and its On the Same Page literary festival.

On the Same Page will celebrate its fifth anniversary in 2012 with a wide week of showcase events.
According to Jane Lonon, executive director of the Ashe County Arts Council and festival chairwoman, a full schedule of readings, discussions and other events will be held Sept. 12 to 15, featuring Libby Bagby, Tim Gautreaux, Georgann Eubanks, Gyleen Fitzgerald, Vicki Lane, D.G. Martin, A.J. Mayhew, Jim Minick and Lee Smith.

“This year’s festival, however, with the theme of ‘Journeys,’ casts a much broader net in bringing a complete arts experience to festival attendees,” Lonon said.

Those events include:

‘Tongues of Fire’

On Tuesday evening, Sept. 11, a theatrical and musical production of Lee Smith’s “Tongues of Fire” will be performed by the Touring Theatre of North Carolina at the Ashe Civic Center.

Book Fair

On Wednesday afternoon, Sept. 12, On the Same Page for the first time offers a book fair, featuring regional authors and publishers who will showcase their published works, be available to talk with festival attendees and sign copies of their books.

Book Release: ‘Mountain Memoirs’

On Thursday morning, Sept. 13, contributors to this new collection will read “An Ashe County Anthology: Essays and Poetry About Ashe County.” The anthology features contributions from Clyde Edgerton, Lee Smith and D.G. Martin, along with 17 other local and regional writers.

Quilt Fair
The Ashe County Piecemakers Quilt Guild celebrates a decade of quilting with its 2012 Quilt Fair on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 14 and 15. A colorful display of handmade quilts, a guild shop with quilts for sale, a boutique of handcrafted items and a “small quilt” silent auction are among the offerings to attendees.

Gallery Crawl
The Ashe Arts Council’s September Gallery Crawl takes place on Friday evening, Sept. 14. Downtown West Jefferson galleries will throw open their doors, offering hospitality and unique displays of works from local artists and friends. Street readers and performers will add to the fun.

Farmers’ Market
On West Jefferson’s Backstreet, the seasonal, weekly farmers’ market will offer local produce and craft items on Saturday morning, Sept. 15, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Page Crafter’s Award

Winners of the On the Same Page Festival Literary Competition share their writings in the categories of fiction, non-fiction and poetry on Saturday afternoon, Sept. 15.

“These events will further incorporate the theme of ‘Journeys,’” Lonon said. “With Gyleen Fitzgerald’s presentation of her book, ‘Quilts: Unfinished Stories with New Endings at the Ashe County Piecemakers Quilt Fair,’ Jim Minick’s presentation of his book, ‘The Blueberry Years at the Farmers’ Market,’ and with poets and musicians performing on the streets during Friday night’s Gallery Crawl, everything is connected to the festival.

“It will be a great time for a group of friends, a family or a book club to enjoy time together. All of these events and the wonderful outdoors experience Ashe County offers every day will combine to provide a truly incredible week. And it’s cooler here. That will be welcome relief to our friends from the Triangle, the Triad, Charlotte, Atlanta and beyond.”

For more information about the festival’s history, Ashe County and more, visit

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