May 12th – 15th, 2020
Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center is partnering with UNC Asheville for a multi-day Faith in Arts Instagram takeover, presented in the spirit of the forthcoming Faith in Arts Institute. This takeover will feature emerging and established scholars, theologians, and artists exploring the themes of faith and arts within the history of Black Mountain College, as well as their own work and evolving spiritual and creative processes.
Tuesday, May 12th – Molly Silverstein
Wednesday, May 13th – Morning: Richard Chess / 7PM: Spiritual Cooking in the Time of the Plague with Danny Maseng (Virtual Discussion over Zoom, hosted by UNC Asheville)
Thursday, May 14th – Alicia Jo Rabins
Friday, May 15th – Kimberly Bartosik
Molly Silverstein is a poet, writer, and student at Harvard Divinity School interested in comparative mysticism, contemplative care, the relationship between religion and psychology, and reimagining Jewish identity in our time. She previously served as the Development Manager for Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center, and loved working at the museum, both learning and sharing about the artistic and philosophical innovators at Black Mountain College. Her poetry has been published in Sheila Na Gig, Typoetic, and Ant vs. Whale, and she has both performed and curated for Asheville’s Juniper Bends Reading Series.
We’ll spend the day looking at some of Black Mountain College’s innovative spiritual thinkers, Molly’s favorite memories from her time at the museum, and the relationship between religion and the arts in her current studies as she wraps up her final assignments of the semester at Harvard Divinity School.
Richard Chess is the author of four books of poetry, Love Nailed to the Doorpost (University of Tampa Press 2017), Third Temple (University of Tampa Press 2007), Chair in the Desert (University of Tampa Press 2000), and Tekiah (University of Georgia Press 1994; reissued by University of Tampa Press 2002). His essays have appeared in Stars Shall Bend Their Voices: Poets’ Favorite Hymns & Spiritual Songs, The Carolina Table: North Carolina Writers on Food, 27 Views of Asheville, and elsewhere. He has been a regular contributor of IMAGE’s blog “Good Letters” for many years.
He has served as writer-in-residence at the Brandeis Bardin Institute and as a member of the faculty of the Jewish Arts Program at Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center. He has directed UNC Asheville’s Center for Jewish Studies since 1992. At UNC Asheville, he is the Roy Carroll Professor of Distinguished Arts & Sciences. He was one of the founders of UNC Asheville’s contemplative inquiry initiative.
Born in Israel to American parents, Danny Maseng first came to the United States to star on Broadway in Only Fools Are Sad. A playwright, actor, singer, and composer, Danny has served as Evaluator of New American Plays/Opera-Musical Theater for the National Endowment For The Arts, as the Director of the Spielberg Fellowships for the FJC, as Spiritual Leader of URJ congregation Agudas Achim in NY, and as Cantor of Temple Israel of Hollywood in California. Danny is the founder of Makom LA, a new, dynamic, post-denominational Jewish Community, in Los Angeles, where for the past three years he has been the Chazzan and Spiritual Leader. A much sought after Scholar/Artist-in-Residence, Danny travels the world, inspiring, teaching and rekindling the love of Judaism through Torah, Hasidut, Jewish Culture, and the Arts.
Alicia Jo Rabins – A writer, musician, composer, performer and Torah teacher, Rabins creates multi-genre works. Her first collection of poetry, Divinity School, won the 2015 APR/Honickman First Book Prize and was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award. She also is the creator and performer of Girls in Trouble, an indie-folk song cycle about the complicated lives of Biblical women with accompanying curriculum, and A Kaddish for Bernie Madoff, a chamber-rock opera about the intersection of finance and spirituality which is currently being made into an independent feature film.
The Faith in Arts Institute is presented by UNC Asheville and Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center with support from the Center for Jewish Studies at UNC Asheville, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UNC Asheville, a grant for the humanities from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Henry Luce Foundation as part of their Theology Responsive Grant program, the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society, Bob and Carol Deutsch, and the Asheville Jewish Community Center.