Arts + Entertainment

fr cantonFree parking has its drawbacks, at least for the Country Music and Dance Parlor in downtown Canton.

art frBecky Seymour can see the bright lights of Hollywood from Haywood County.

“Right now we’re in the major infancy stage, but we want to basically put Haywood on the map in the film and television world,” she said. 

As video marketing manager for the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority, Seymour is leading a charge to tap the niche industry. 

art frThere’s a buzz going on at the Mahogany House in Waynesville.

Normally, one could attribute that to a woodturning tool, handheld blowtorch or whatever else an artist might need to turn one’s vision into a physical reality. But today, that buzz is hearty conversation about the upcoming exhibit at the Haywood County Arts Council up the road on Main Street.

Haywood’s elected leaders plan to invite their three General Assembly representatives to a March meeting in hopes of reviving a bill that would raise the tax on overnight lodging stays and using the additional money for capital projects to boost tourism. 

fr olddssHaywood County leaders have substantially lowered the asking price for the empty, run-down, old hospital — it’s now free.

The Haywood County Tourism Development Authority will see unprecedented turnover on its board this month, with five of the 12 seats being filled by newcomers.

fr aumenEditor’s note: Alice Aumen has been a major voice in Haywood’s tourism landscape for more than half a century — as a founder of Cataloochee Ski Area, operator of the third-generation family-run Cataloochee Ranch and a leader in the Maggie Valley Chamber of Commerce.

fr opendoorOn Sept. 12, Jeff Clontz walked out of Haywood County Jail a free man. It wasn’t his first time, though. Jail, release and failing to pay child support comprised a cycle he knew well, but this time was different. When Clontz left the jail, he left behind more than just physical bonds. His spiritual bonds were gone, too. 

coverA proposal to convert a closed-down state prison into a halfway house and homeless shelter in Haywood County is gaining steam.

The old prison was given to the county two years ago after the state shut it down, but the county has no real use for it. So it’s been sitting there empty, just beyond the backdoor of the county’s own jailhouse. 

SEE ALSO: Local churches lift the lives of homeless, incarcerated

Faith-based groups that regularly counsel and minister to inmates in the jail have come up with a plan to convert a section of the old prison into a halfway house — a place where recently released inmates can be reformed and remade upon release from jail.

art frWhat started as a backyard game one afternoon has turned into a passionate career for Nathan Lowe.

“I just got addicted to playing cornhole,” the 28-year-old chuckled.

Lowe was at his sister’s college graduation party at North Carolina State in Raleigh. He got teamed up with his father, Randy, to play in a casual cornhole tournament. Though the duo had never tossed previously, they ended up beating everyone that day.

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