New Asheville arts festival dubbed Xpand Fest set for June on South Slope

Jason Sandford

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

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Xpand Your Vision, an Asheville-based planning and marketing company since 2012, has announced that it is organizing a nonprofit and launching a new summer arts festival on the city’s South Slope.

The festival is called Xpand Fest, and it’s scheduled for June 10. Organizers include Executive Director Johanna Hagarty, a former program manager with the Asheville Area Arts Council, festival director Morgan Markowitz, an event planner who has experience working with LEAF art and music festival in Black Mountain, and creative director Jen Gordon, who has led the Arts 2 People nonprofit in Asheville.

Xpand Your Vision describes itself as a community organizing nonprofit that creates products and invents “that inspire innovation and fund creative programming,” according to its website.

“It is our vision to be funding and producing creative arts programming for the underserved populations of Asheville and beyond within the first two years of operating,” according to the website.

Xpand Fest will be “a platform for creative community expression which is proven to promote positive self growth, actualization and change,” according to a press release. Here’s more:

Inspired by the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, Xpand Fest will focus on local performers and community members who remind us of the powerful ability to transform through creativity. The festival was created to encourage Asheville to expand their vision of all art disciplines and celebrate their societal impact. Xpand Fest will set the stage for honest community conversation and fun by showcasing the arts as a tool for change and providing a platform to feature local creatives who are galvanizing advancement.

The press release explains that Hagarty noticed a lack of affordable creative programming and therapeutic outlets during her work in Asheville. “In response to that, she has spent the last six months re-envisioning XYV, her sole proprietor marketing company, into a community and arts organizing social enterprise,” the release notes.

These organizational changes include fiscal sponsorship and development opportunities, new products to launch in June, a grant and special events including Xpand Fest, according to the release.

For more information on participating as a sponsor, nonprofit, performer or vendor at Xpand Fest on June 10, 2017, please visit:

Xpand Fest Performer Application here.

Jason Sandford

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

  • 1

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  1. Curious February 9, 2017

    What will this be doing what the Asheville Fringe Festival or Black Mountain College Museum’s Re-Happening aren’t already going?

    1. Peter Robbins February 11, 2017

      Uh, yes and no?


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