We were so lucky to have shared a beautiful day at Lake Eden with 650 members of our community, celebrating the legacy of Black Mountain College at this year’s {Re}HAPPENING! Below we share our memories, including an album of some of our favorite photographs!

Since 2010, BMCM+AC has hosted the {Re}HAPPENING inspired by John Cage’s 1952 Theatre Piece No. 1, an unscripted performance at Black Mountain College considered by many to be the first Happening. The annual {Re}HAPPENING brings together dozens of contemporary artists whose work responds to and extends the legacy of Black Mountain College visionaries such as John Cage, David Tudor, Merce Cunningham, M.C. Richards and Robert Rauschenberg. The 2019 {Re}HAPPENING celebrated the influence of non-western music on such legendary artists by showcasing contemporary musicians who continue the legacy of experimental music within a global context. Featured performers included Arooj Aftab, Anjna Swaminathan & Rafiq Bhatia Trio, Free Planet Radio and Kiranavali Vidyasankar, Sandhya Anand, Vinod Seetharaman.

“Quiet House Doors” an installation by Adam Larsen. Photo by Ken Fitch.

As part of the international Merce Cunningham Centennial Celebration, BMCM+AC juxtaposed these contemporary performances and installations alongside projections of historic Cunningham dance footage, including Variations V, a collaboration with Cunningham, John Cage, Nam June Paik and former BMC student Stan VanDerBeek. Connecting us back with the history of the BMC campus, the location where Cunningham founded his dance company, these large scale projections could be found throughout the event, with multiple screens in the Dining Hall, the space where the Happening occurred in 1952. Continuing in this idea of projecting history onto the present day, artist Adam Larsen installed Quiet House Doors, a recreation of the iconic photograph by Hazel Larsen Archer, in the interior of the Quiet House. A space for reflection, Larsen’s installation not only brought back the visuals of the original Quiet House doors but offered a contemplative space in the spirit of the building’s initial intent. New spaces like the gymnasium built as part of Camp Rockmont, were also activated with sound and synth performances from Eric “Rodent” Cheslak and Michael Johnson and a visual installation from Laura Sellers and Eric Harrison.

“Nothing’s Happening: A Black Mountain College Project” was presented by UNC Asheville students, working with the New York City based SITI Company, as part of the BMC Legacy Fellowship. Photo by Michael Oppenheim.

Students from UNC Asheville and Appalachian State presented theatrical works in the spirit of Black Mountain College. Nothing’s Happening: A BlackMountain College Project was presented by UNC Asheville students, working with the New York City based SITI Company, as part of the BMC Legacy Fellowship. Meanwhile, students from Appalachian State University, studying with Christina Sornito, explored the ethnography of the surrealist play in their rendition of The Ruse of the Medusa, Erik Satie’s play performed at BMC during the legendary Summer of 1948.

It wouldn’t be a {Re}HAPPENING without interactive works and this year truly had something for everyone: from natural building to an all day Draw-a-Thon to sharing family histories through poignant vignettes found around the shore of the lake. We are so grateful to all of you who not only spent your day and evening with us but who participated in making art and celebrating Black Mountain College. Your support is crucial to another year of groundbreaking performances, programs, and exhibitions here at BMCM+AC. We are so grateful!

None of this would be possible without the support of our sponsors: The Asheville Area Arts Council, North Carolina Arts Council, Explore Asheville, Blue Ridge Public Radio, Asheville Grit, WNC Magazine, 828:design, MAP/REVOLVE, Pisgah AVL, Michael Oppenheim Photography, Merce Cunningham Centennial, Henco Reprographics, Fine Arts Theatre, The Hop Ice Cream Cafe, Asheville FM, Robert + Karen Milnes, Camp Rockmont, Ananda Hair Studio, Harvest Records, UNC Asheville Steam Studio, Mellow Mushroom, Lake Eden Events and Lodging, Gray Line Trolley, Samsel Architects, Helga + Jack Beam, Chai Pani, Cecilia’s Kitchen, The Hop, Wedge Brewing Co., Mountain Valley Spring Water, and Four Points by Sheraton. 

Special Thanks to: Virginia Knight, JaneAnne Tager, Edward Leoshko + Camp Rockmont, Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center Board of Directors, the Asheville School Theater Department, and all of the incredible volunteers who helped make it happen!