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Connect Beyond Festival is back for its fifth year

Learn how you can experience the weekend of performances, panels, films, and workshops that explore the positive power of art.

Four panelists sitting on stage at a previous Connect Beyond Festival.

Here’s what to expect for the fifth annual festival.

Photo via Connect Beyond Festival

Connect Beyond Festival is returning this weekend, Friday, June 7 through Sunday, June 9, to explore the positive impact of music, art, film, and storytelling through the theme, “Connection To Deepen Resilience and Keep Moving Forward.” For the first time, Friday programming is free, so let’s dive into what you can expect on Friday and beyond.


  • The fest opens at 6:30 p.m. at the Wortham Center for the Performing Arts with a dance performance from the Carolina Diamond Divas before HBCU advocate and college funding expert Paula Dofat leads a financial literacy workshop for ages 16+. Then at 7:45 p.m., catch a screening of the award-winning documentary, “Step,” followed by a Q+A. The night’s events, co-curated with Slay the Mic Media, are focused on youth empowerment. Events are free to attend, but registration is required.


  • The second day brings a schedule packed with workshops, a fireside chat, performance, and film at Thomas Wolfe Auditorium. Begin the day making art from recycled materials with DeWayne Barton and learning the tools for tackling global issues on a local scale. Then spend the evening with acclaimed musician Lonnie Holley, and end the night with a screening of “We Are Guardians,” followed by a Q+A with the filmmakers. Experience the day’s events with a $50 one-day pass, or see the performance and film with $18 individual event tickets.


  • The last day is all about action. The free community volunteer day will involve a roadside cleanup around New Belgium Brewing, led by Asheville Greenworks — time and exact meetup location is still TBA. Stay up to date with Sunday’s activities on the festival’s website and social media.

Explore the detailed schedule for more info on the festival’s activities.

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