Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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authentic_communities_asheville_2015This looks like a great event. Press release here:

The Authentic Communities Summit (ACS) takes place on March 24-27, 2015 at New Mountain AVL in downtown Asheville, NC. The four-day event kicks off at 5:30pm on Tuesday, March 24th with an Economic Symposium and Networking Reception, followed by the two-day ACS Summit on March 25th and 26th, and concludes at 12:30 pm on Friday, March 27th, with Explore AVL Day.

There has been a lot of momentum building around the local economies movement, but Authentic Communities Summit organizers Emily Breedlove and Cortina Caldwell saw the need to do more.

“We wanted to create an opening for residents to participate in targeted conversations around how we can all play a part in the process. We launched the Authentic Communities Summit (ACS) to activate the dialogue around economic opportunity, and to give locals the chance to share best-practices to help catalyze area initiatives,” said ACS co-founder and co-director Emily Breedlove.

The Authentic Communities Summit will host 45 hours of interactive workshops and roundtables with experts from all over Appalachia. The ACS Pre-Summit Economic Symposium will feature three keynotes in a TED style presentation on “Our New Economy: The Impact of Innovation, Collaboration + Authenticity on Local Economies.”

“We’ve built the event to be heavy on learning, sharing and connecting,” said Cortina Caldwell, ACS Co-Founder and Co-Director. “Our team is committed to ensuring that there are applicable takeaways for everyone in attendance, regardless of what they do and where they’re from.”

The 2015 featured keynote speakers are:

* Dr. Patricia Mitchell, Assistant Secretary, NC Department of Commerce Rural Economic Development

* Milenko Matanovic, Founder & Executive Director of the Pomegranate Center, a national speaker and catalyst for creative placemaking

* Carol Peppe Hewitt, Founder of Slow Money, NC which has facilitated $1.3 million in capital to sustainable farmers in North Carolina

In addition to the Pre-Summit Economic Symposium + Networking Reception, the two full days of workshops will focus on the five most prominent WNC economic clusters: Arts, Cultural Heritage & Creative Capital; Entrepreneurship; Innovation & Technology; Local Foods Movement; and Sustainable Living.

The multi-day event concludes on Friday, March 27th with an “Explore AVL” day offering hosted Meet-the-Maker tours and Community Discussions from 11-12:30pm.

About Authentic Communities Summit (ACS)

Authentic Communities Summit (ACS) is a multi-day event aimed at advancing the local economies movement through innovation, collaboration and authenticity. For tickets, lineup, and more information, please visit or call (828) 539-0559.

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1

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