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LOCAL BRIEFS: Saluda Arts Festival, ECCO divers head for Bahamas, scholarships

The Saluda Arts Festival returns Saturday with some 90 artists and crafters. The Saluda Arts Festival returns Saturday with some 90 artists and crafters.

Saluda Arts Festival returns

SALUDA — The 17th annual Saluda Arts Festival returns Saturday, May 21, to Saluda’s historic downtown.

The festival from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. features approximately 90 regional artists, children’s’ activities and live music and entertainment. For 16 years, the Arts Festival has drawn thousands of area residents and visitors to enjoy a spring day in the mountains.
Every art media is represented in this popular annual event stretching along Main Street including paintings, pottery, metal work, jewelry, sculptures, fiber, and more. Many of the artists who exhibit at the Saluda Arts Festival have participated since 2003.
Live music will be at different outdoor venues along Main Street and will include the Lonesome Road Band from Hendersonville, the Sufi Brothers from Asheville, Foster and Greene from Atlanta, and Life Like Water from Asheville.
A magician, balloon artist, stilt walker and face painter will also be on hand to entertain children at the Children’s Activity Tent. Kids will have a chance to create their own works of art at the Activity Tent, where volunteers will provide supplies and supervise projects.
The Saluda Arts Festival is sponsored by the Saluda Downtown Foundation with financial and in-kind support from RiverStreet Networks, Beverly-Hanks Associates, the Laurel of Asheville, Saluda Tourism Development Authority, City of Saluda, Heartwood Gallery, the Purple Onion, Don Mintz Builders, Barbara and Scott Cardais, Mary Jane and David LaFave, in memory of Lynne Jenkins, in memory of Barbara and Robert Seiler, John Case, Bryan Easler Toyota, the S.P.O.T., Wood Berry Gallery, James Carson Studio/Gallery, Charles Street Garden Suite, Lynn and Mike Cass, Gail and Jerry Greenhoot, Pam and Clark Thompson, St. Luke’s Hospital, River Dog Run, the Hendersonville Lightning, Feagan Law Firm PLLC, Green River Bar-B-Que, Mineral Spirits Gallery, Hall House, Solstice Construction Company, Mewdlic’s,, eARThly Minds Gallery, Edward Jones-Stephanie Winterrowd, Hendersonville Board of Realtors, and the many Saludans who volunteer.

Team ECCO divers headed for Bahamas

The research team from Team ECCO will head to Exuma Island, Bahamas July 16-23 on an expedition to work with the conservation agency Beneath the Waves. Led by Team ECCO founder BJ Ramer, nine young adults from Henderson, Buncombe and Gaston counties will work side by side with other researchers on
shark tagging and tracking buoys, weather buoys, oceanic blue carbon and microplastic testing, and sea grass ecology and oxygen release. Ramer will also lead a workshop/class on ocean ecology for local students and teachers.
The tagged sharks will be outfitted with transmitters which will allow the team to continue tracking even after they return to Hendersonville. A computer and monitor will be set up to follow the shark activity directly from the Aquarium & Shark Lab.
Blue Carbon testing will involve ECCO’s SCUBA team collecting ocean bottom core samples from various sites and looking at the absorption of carbon dioxide within the sediment. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that falls from the atmosphere into the oceans and contributes to global warming. The study is critical for looking at coral bleaching and oxygen decline in the oceans.

Mackenzie Sullivant wins STAR Scholarship


Mackenzie SullivantMackenzie SullivantThe prestigious P.E.O. STAR Scholarship for the 2022/2023 academic year has been presented to Mackenzie Sullivant, a senior at Hendersonville High School. The scholarship was presented at an HHS awards assembly by Jan Cheatle and Barb Guenther.

The daughter of Jodi and Mark Sullivant, Mackenzie will attend Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where she plans to pursue orthopedic medicine.

The P.E.O. STAR Scholarship is a $2,500 award based on excellence in leadership, extracurricular activities, community service, academics and potential for future success.

Applications open for emergency food

The Local Board for the Emergency Food and Shelter Program has been notified Phase 39 funding and ARPA-R funding is now available.

This federal funding is designated to supplement and expand the work of local social services agencies, both nonprofit and governmental, to assist individuals with emergency rent and mortgage payments. For Phase 39, Henderson County was awarded $22,081.00 in Federal Funds through FEMA.

Interested organizations may complete a fillable pdf application at
Complete the form and email with the required attachments to, or mail to United Way of Henderson County, PO Box 487, Hendersonville NC 28793. The deadline for applications to be received is 3 p.m. June 2. For more infromation contact Sarah Kowalak at

DAR honors Cadet Alisha Sullivan

Alisha Sullivan Alisha Sullivan The Abraham Kuykendall Daughters of the American Revolution awarded the National Defense Committee ROTC Medal and certificate to cadet Alisha Sullivan of North Henderson High School at the Military Ball on May 7. Sullivan demonstrated academic excellence, dependability, good character, adherence to military discipline, leadership and a fundamental and patriotic understanding of the importance of the Reserve Officers Training Corps. Regent Penny Summey made the presentation.





Safelight awarded $50,000

Safelight Inc. has been awarded a grant of $50,000 by the Perry N. Rudnick Endowment Fund of the Community Foundation of Henderson County, Safelight Executive Director Lauren Wilkie announced.

According to Wilkie, the grant will be used to assist with the cost of Safelight’s new facility.
“Our organization has evolved from crisis only to offering now a full continuum of services,” she said. “The grant from the Community Foundation of Henderson County will give us additional resources to house our Child Advocacy Center, Family Advocacy Center, Counseling Services and Outreach Programs. For the first time in our county, these programs will be together under one roof and within walking distance of our other programs on Fifth Avenue. This new space will help us further help survivors move from crisis to sustainability as it will be easier, faster, and safer for survivors to access multiple Safelight services while we streamline appropriate care.”