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Going There: When Your Hometown Gets Hot

Those who live there already know this: Western North Carolina is "hot."

Trendy restaurants, breweries and shops are popping up throughout this part of the state, while outdoor enthusiasts and artists flock to Asheville to take advantage of all the city's perks and undiscovered treasures.

But with these benefits come drawbacks. Housing costs are rising dramatically. As the population surges, there are new demands on the natural resources that make the area so appealing. As more newcomers arrive, will there be conflicts between them and those who have made the mountain region their home for generations?

Together with 88.1 WCQS Western North Carolina Public Radio, we'll moderate discussions with the community about what it really means to live in a city that's become "hot."

Join us at 7 p.m. ET tonight by streaming the live event on this page or via NPR Extra on Facebook.

If you also live in a city that's changing rapidly, we want to hear from you. You can join the conversation by tweeting with the hashtag #HotHometown.

Featured Social Media Guests

Franzi Charen, @franzicharen and @ashevillegrown, Asheville local business owner, founder and director of Asheville Grown Business Alliance

Natalie Cofield, @ncofield, founder and CEO of Walker's Legacy (@walkerslegacy), Walker's Legacy Foundation (@WalkersFnd) and Urban Co-Lab (@UrbanCoLabATX), an expert on diversity and inclusion in the workplace in Austin, Texas, and Washington, D.C.

Jeremy Jones, @thejeremybjones, North Carolina native, author of Bearwallow: A Personal History of a Mountain Homeland which documents the cultural and economic changes in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Appalachia

Fred McGhee, @fred_mcghee, historical archaeologist and urban and environmental anthropologist, advocate for affordable housing, education, community policing and environmental justice in East and South Austin, Texas

Jason Sandford, @ashevegas, founder and editor of ashvegas.com — an Asheville independent news blog, Asheville native and 20-year veteran journalist

Featured Panelists

Leah Wong Ashburn and Oscar Wong, president and founder, Highland Brewing Company, @HighlandBrews

Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle, writer and teacher, enrolled member in the Eastern Band of Cherokee, @abirdsaun13

Chris Cooper, professor, Department of Political Science and Public Affairs at Western Carolina University, an expert on state politics and policy in the South

Scott Dedman, executive director, Mountain Housing Opportunities, @MtnHousingOpp

Julie Mayfield, co-director, Mountain True, @MtnTrue

Featured Performers

Ron Rash, award-winning poet, short story writer and novelist

River Whyless, Asheville baroque folk band, @RiverWhyless

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