Meet the AVLtoday team

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AVLtoday editors Ali (left) and Audra (right)

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TGIF, Asheville. Audra here. Ha, you might be tired of my email introductions *usually* starting out the same way, but you know consistency is key. It’s been a while since Ali and I introduced ourselves to you – probably since the launch of AVLtoday back in Feb. 2018 – and we know there are plenty of new shining faces who have subscribed to our newsletter since then. 🤗

AVLtoday editors
AVLtoday editors Ali (left) and Audra (right)

Since this AVLtoday duo is out and about in the community so much, we figured it was time to treat you to a formal introduction. I mean, come on, you guys trust us to deliver news + guides to your inbox at 6 a.m. every morning Monday-Friday, so it’s only fair to pair a face with the name. 

So who are the folks behind AVLtoday? Well, the day-to-day work is helmed by Ali and me (officially known as co-Editors). We take turns writing the email and sharing what’s happening in Asheville on social. We also have a pretty cool intern named Evan, who is a senior at UNC Asheville and helps us out tremendously. Believe me when I say helps us out tremendously. And, the bigger picture folks include Mary (who started out as AVLtoday’s Engagement Editor) and the rest of the crew at 6AM City

So without further ado, keep on reading to meet Ali + I (oh, and Evan too) and find out what we do when we’re not creating the newsletter, plus some of our favorite things about Asheville, and a few fun facts about each of us. ⬇️  

Meet Audra

AVLtoday Editor Audra
AVLtoday Editor, Audra

Hiya, Asheville!! Audra here. So here’s a little bit about me…

I moved to Asheville in 2015 (from Hickory, N.C.) to attend college at UNC Asheville. Go Bulldogs!! Asheville was instantly home to me, growing me into the person I am today. I studied Mass Communication, focusing on journalism + studying Environmental Studies, and graduated at 19 in May of 2017. During college and the summer after, I freelanced and interned at places around town such as The Laurel of Asheville, WNC magazine, Mountain Xpress, UNC Asheville magazine + more.  AVLtoday became my first real job in Dec. 2017, and I have loved every minute since. 

When I am not working in the office, my second job is teaching yoga – at Asheville Community Yoga, Wave Dance Studio, Namaste in Nature, and teaching to a couple of apartment complexes around the city. And, when I’m not in downward facing dog or zenning out, I enjoy hiking, night life, attending sporting events, exploring the city I call home, meal prepping, keeping an active lifestyle, and of course visiting with family + friends. Especially my niece, Stella. She’s my mini-me.  

Some of my favorite go-to spots in Asheville would be…

  • Food: Bomba, Cúrate, Buxton Hall BBQ, Rocky’s Hot Chicken Shack, Daphne at Twisted Laurel, Simple, BimBeriBon, Liberty House Coffee and Cafe, The Greenhouse, Biscuit Head, Nick’s Grill, Foggy Mountain + China Wok.
  • Drinks: Antidote + The Chemist, Hemingway’s Cuba, Capella on 9, Sovereign Remedies, Thirsty Monk, Sierra Nevada, The Times at S&W, Trade and Lore + Summit Coffee Co.
  • Night Life: Ben’s Tune Up, AUX Bar, Room Nine, The Imperial Life + Polanco. 
  • Recreation: Mount Pisgah Trail/Frying Pan Tower, Catawba Falls, walking around Beaver Lake + the Bird Sanctuary, visiting the WNC Nature Center, walking at Biltmore Estate, and driving on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
  • DYK: Basketball is my favorite sport, I wear too much cheetah print, my favorite comfort meal is buffalo chicken + french fries, my go-to beverage is an iced chai latte with oat milk (hot or cold), I am left handed, I have five tattoos, and love when people make puns with my last name “Goforth.”

And, If you want to keep up with me, you can always give me a follow on Instagram.

Meet Ali

AVLtoday Editor, Ali
AVLtoday Editor, Ali

Hey, AVLtoday readers. Thanks for making my every day with your messages, comments, and feedback. I’m excited to give you some insight into who I am

I was born + raised in Asheville (yep, true native over here) and moved away for college at UNC Chapel Hill (Go Heels!!), where I majored in English and minored in Religious Studies. Then, I moved to the wintry wonderland of Rochester, N.Y. for a PhD program at the University of Rochester (Go Yellow Jackets?!). I completed my PhD in English in 2015 (I studied literature of the Caribbean in the 19th century). I moved back to Asheville because I’d always missed the mountains and my community here, and I am still so excited to be back home

Since then, I’ve taught writing at UNC Asheville and Warren Wilson College, worked at Malaprop’s Bookstore & Cafe, and was the Editor of an online arts + culture website, Asheville Grit. I also worked as a Contributing Editor for WNC magazine and as a freelance writer and editor for other area publications and projects. I joined AVLtoday in Dec. 2017 and have loved every minute of it. Besides my daily editorial duties here, I also run 6AM City’s Mentorship Program, which we launched earlier this year. It’s a great way to get back to my teaching. 

The stress of grad school got me into yoga, and I’ve been teaching Baptiste-inspired hot power yoga at Pure Yoga Asheville since 2015. I also co-host a weekly radio show, Slumber Party, on 103.3 Asheville FM (Wanna be a guest? Let me know!). And, I’m a member of Asheville’s Public Art and Cultural Commission. In my spare time (ha) I’m finishing my novel, which is about people turning into trees, and making collaborative artworks with my partner, Justin Noah Wells. We have a show opening today at Izzy’s Coffee downtown (74 N. Lexington Ave.), as a matter of fact.  

Here’s where you might find me out and about in Asheville – 

  • Food: AUX Bar, RosaBees, En La Calle, Addissae, Daphne at Twisted Laurel, Red Ginger, Itto Ramen, Gan Shan West
  • Drink: Cúrate’s vermouth bar, Hillman Beer, District Wine Bar, plēb urban winery, The Black Cloud, Ginger’s Revenge, Urban Orchard, Summit Coffee, Dobra Tea, Battlecat Coffee, Flora
  • Shop: Malaprop’s, Bagatelle Books, Elementality, Raven & Crone, Earth Magick, thriftin’ at Goodwill, and probably the grocery store because I buy a lot of food 
  • Play: Events at REVOLVE, Malaprop’s, Sly Grog, Crow & Quill, the Wortham Center for the Performing Arts, and The Mothlight (and other venues around town), plus getting outside in Pisgah National Forest/the Big Ivy, Hot Springs and Marshall, and probably trying to identify mushrooms + plants in my own yard 
  • DYK: I’m a horror movie fiend, and October is my favorite month because I get to force everyone to watch scary movies with me. I sometimes review horror films for Mountain Xpress.

Check out my personal writing website here. (I’m adding this because it’s incentive to update it. No promises, though.)

Meet Evan

AVLtoday Intern, Evan
AVLtoday Intern, Evan

I moved to Asheville in 2016 (from Chapel Hill, N.C.) to attend college at UNC Asheville. Go Bulldogs! (But also Go Heels.) I am currently a senior studying Psychology + Mass Communications. I’m looking to get a job in the marketing/advertising field after college. AVLtoday is my first internship, and I have loved and learned so much in my short time here. I’m a big fan of basketball, finding new places to eat + drink and listening to music. It’s been great to live in Asheville, and I hope to continue to do so after graduating.  

My Favorite go-to spots in Asheville are:

  • Food: Itto Ramen, Waku Waku, 828 Pizza, The Noodle Shop, Green Tea, Papas and Beer, Hana and Bellagio
  • Drink: Antidote, Burial, Catawba, The Vault, Ben’s Tune Up, Skybar and Crow and Quill
  • Record Shops: Voltage, Static Age and Harvest Records