In a year marked by crisis, the history and legacy of Black Mountain College has been a source of insight and motivation for thousands of supporters like you around the world, whether visiting in person or engaging with us online. The historic perseverance and inventiveness of the BMC community during some of the most difficult times in American history continues to inspire us. They defied financial and political challenges to become a renowned incubator of arts and education, forging new paths forward. In 2020, we’ve sought to do the same by supporting innovative artists, curators, and scholars through commissions, exhibitions, publications, and programs.
From new models for artist residencies to delving into less-known aspects of history, BMCM+AC continues to extend the legacy of Black Mountain College. This year, UK-based participatory artists/teachers Leap Then Look’s digital residency connected participants across the globe through creative challenges and collaborative works produced over Zoom and Instagram. A series of discussions shed light on subjects like BMC’s first African American student, Alma Stone Williams; Ruth Asawa’s scientific inspiration; John Cage’s love of mushrooms; and more. Performances by Sofia Jernberg, Bana Haffar, Brooklyn Rider, Kimathi Moore, Asher Gamedze, and others connected us to the contemporary legacy of experimentation that BMC engendered.
As we look ahead to 2021, we’ll continue offering inspiration and presenting new ways to engage with this legacy. Our plans include the postponed, highly anticipated Faith in Arts Institute in partnership with UNC Asheville, bringing together academics, artists, and spiritual thinkers to explore how creative and contemplative practices intersect. The institute will include the opening of a new exhibition on John Cage and Buddhism, a new musical commission by composer John Luther Adams, and dance by choreographer/former Cunningham Dance Company member Kimberly Bartosik.
Will you contribute so that we can extend Black Mountain College’s profound legacy of creative innovation? Your generosity this year will make a crucial, lasting impact. Your support, alongside funding from the Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Amphion Foundation, Beattie Foundation, Horowitz Foundation for the Arts, Luce Foundation, Marion Stedman Covington Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, North Carolina Arts Council, Windgate Foundation, and others will ensure another year of meaningful exploration and discourse, no matter what challenges we face.
Donations can be received by mail at BMCM+AC P.O. Box 18912, Asheville NC 28814
Image credits: Lawrence Kocher and architecture students at BMC, ca. 1941-1942. Western Regional Archives. | Active Archive digital residents Leap Then Look, courtesy of the artists. | Alma Stone Williams, photographed by Kevan Ward. | Asher Gamedze and Another Time Ensemble, courtesy of the artists.