Connect Beyond The Page is hosted around town April 20-22, 2018

For what seems like most of her life, Jessica Tomasin, Festival Founder of Connect Beyond The Page, has been a storyteller and writer.  She has even spent the last 16 years telling stories to the same preschool here in Asheville.  Jessica has a deep sense of community and a passion for bringing people together. 

Jessica Tomasin Founder of Connect Beyond The Page

She is heavily involved in the music scene in Asheville from managing Echo Mountain Recording Studios, to being on the Board of AMP(Asheville Music Professionals) to running and assisting with festivals such as Asheville Goombay, Beer city, Brewgrass and much more.  Many who know her would agree that she is a staple to the Asheville Community as a whole.  When I asked her what made her decide to create Connect Beyond the Page, it was clear that she was connecting together all of the things she is passionate about: Music, Film, and Storytelling.  

In a city like Asheville where so much is going on, I asked Jessica why THIS Festival? Why NOW?  Jessica wanted to do something different.  She wanted to create something that was entertaining but also had a deeper meaning. 

When I asked her what she hoped attendees would leave the festival with, she responded that she wanted people to “Leave with some tools and resources that can help them to do what they want to, to help leave the world a better place.”  She hopes they will leave with a “Deeper understanding by hearing other people’s stories and sharing their own.  I want people to get connected.  That’s where the name came from.  I hope people feel connected to other people in their community and beyond.”  

When I asked Jessica WHY Asheville?  She said, “It’s because the people that are here.  It’s full of creators of all walks of life.”  She feels that Asheville needs something like this.  “If you live here, you enjoy living here for a reason, but there is also this other thing where we’re not connecting in a lot of ways. Our communities are very much separated and I think that Asheville needs something like this where everyone can take some sort of ownership and feel included.”  

Connect Beyond The Page will offer panels, screenings, and performances on topics ranging from social action to the creative process to interviews with iconic artists.  

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Asheville’s Newest Festival Premiers Next Weekend!  

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Marisa Blake is a bilingual actress, blogger, mom and wife.

Marisa Blake

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