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June 14, 2021

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'Engage & Invite More Diverse Audiences':
What Does It Mean?

As discussed last month at our Tourism Summit webinar series, Explore Asheville is charting a new course for tourism aligned with broader community priorities. These efforts are being organized around four strategic pillars, one of which is Engage & Invite More Diverse Audiences.

What does that mean? For Explore Asheville, it means we aim to: Extend a genuine invitation to Black (BIPOC) travelers and other diverse audiences including LGBTQ visitors – connecting them with local neighborhoods, businesses and entrepreneurs – creating more opportunities for all to win.

It also means we will: Support product development, place making and community connections, enabling new experiences and business opportunities throughout our community.​ (Examples include Explore Asheville's support of the YMI Cultural Center and the African American Heritage Trail through our community grant program).

We’re pleased to support several events this week that are consistent with this strategic imperative, and to share information about some other community opportunities. Read on to learn more!

Resources & Events to Commemorate Juneteenth

What is Juneteenth?

Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States, dating back to June 19, 1865 and also known as Emancipation Day, Freedom Day and Jubilee Day, among other names. Buncombe County's Communications & Public Engagement team has prepared one-sheets to help raise awareness of the importance of this historic and important holiday. The sheets are available in English and Spanish. Download the info sheets here >>

Juneteenth Flyers

Roundup of Juneteenth & other related events this week

JUNE 15-17 | COMMUNITY CELEBRATIONS AT PACK MEMORIAL LIBRARY: Buncombe County Library System events include the opportunity to view historical documents related to enslavement and emancipation.

JUNE 18 | REPARATIONS SPEAKER SERIES: Phase 1 of the City of Asheville's process to deliver community reparations for Black Asheville.Community discussions hosted by the City of Asheville and sponsored in part by Explore Asheville.

JUNE 18-20 | GRINDFEST 2021: New festival in the River Arts District celebrates Black business and Black entrepreneurs, highlighting the progress made by people of color. Sponsored in part by Explore Asheville (see poster below).

JUNE 19 | CITY OF ASHEVILLE JUNETEENTH CELEBRATION: The 2nd annual Celebration of Freedom event at Martin Luther King Jr. Park will feature food trucks, pop-up vendors, bouncy houses, live performances, and more.

JUNE 19 | JAMES VESTER MILLER HISTORIC WALKING TRAIL: New walking trail features a tour of buildings and churches crafted by the African American master brickmason during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

GRINDFest Poster
More Cultural Happenings This Week:
Hola Asheville Festival on Saturday

The sights, sounds, music, pageantry, costumes and talents of Latin America will come alive in downtown Asheville on June 19, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., with the Hola Asheville Festival. The event is produced by Hola Carolina, which Explore Asheville has supported through the Festivals & Cultural Events Support Fund as well as through the Tourism Jobs Recovery Fund. More about the event >>

Save The Date: Blue Ridge Pride Festival Returns in September

June is Pride Month and local organizers have announced the return of the Blue Ridge Pride Festival & Welcoming WNC Procession. Save the date: Saturday, September 25 in Pack Square Park. Explore Asheville has been a supporter of this event.

Meanwhile, check out the Strength in Pride Project here >>

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Explore Asheville Convention & Visitors Bureau
27 College Place, Asheville, NC 28801 | (828) 258-6109

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