Appalachian participation in {Re}HAPPENING 2019: “Returning to Lake Eden”

Saturday, March 30, 2019
3 - 10 p.m.
Camp Rockmount in Black Mountain, N.C.

About this Event
The {Re}HAPPENING is a one-day event at the historic campus of Black Mountain College, 15 minutes from Asheville. It is part art event, part fundraiser and part community instigator, providing a platform for contemporary artists to share their responses to the vital legacy of Black Mountain College by activating the buildings and grounds of the BMC campus with installations, new media, music and performance projects. For a full schedule of events, visit:

In 2009, Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center board member Jolene Mechanic developed a fundraising idea that grew into the {Re}HAPPENING, a dinner and performance event inspired by John Cage’s 1952 Theatre Piece No. 1, considered by many to be the first Happening. For the first six years, the Media Arts Project (MAP), an artist-run non-profit in Asheville, collaborated to organize and produce the event with BMCM+AC.

How Appalachian is Involved
The story of Erik Satie in America most notably begins with M.C. Richards’ translation of “The Ruse of Medusa,” and its historic performance at Black Mountain College during the summer of 1947. Since then the play has rarely been performed, however it is a significant cultural artifact of European and later American (specifically southern) avant-gardes. “The Ruse of Medusa: Intersections of Ethnography and a Surrealist Play” is a forthcoming book on the little-known life of this play. The project emerged from a performance at Appalachian State University in April of 2018 directed by anthropologist, Dr. Christina Verano Sornito as part of the campuses Black Mountain College Semester in spring 2018. For {Re}Happening 2019, Sornito will give a short reading from the forthcoming book and a performance of scenes from the play will be presented.

Founded in 1933, Black Mountain College was one of the leading experimental liberal art schools in America until its closure in 1957. After the Bauhaus in Germany closed due to mounting antagonism from the Nazi Party, Josef and Anni Albers readily accepted an offer to join the Black Mountain College faculty. During their 16-year tenure in North Carolina, the Alberses helped model the college’s interdisciplinary curriculum on that of the Bauhaus, attracting an unmatched roster of teachers and students including R. Buckminster Fuller, Elaine and Willem de Kooning, John Cage, Merce Cunningham and Robert Rauschenberg.

The Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center (BMCM+AC) was founded in 1993 by arts advocate Mary Holden to celebrate the history of Black Mountain College as a forerunner in progressive interdisciplinary education and to celebrate its extraordinary impact on modern and contemporary art, dance, theater, music and performance.

The Museum is committed to educating the public about the history of Black Mountain College and promoting awareness of its extensive legacy through exhibitions, publications, lectures, films, seminars and oral histories. BMCM+AC provides a forum for multifaceted programming in a dynamic environment in downtown Asheville, North Carolina.  General admission brings in hundreds of visitors annually. In addition to providing a forum for regional artists and an accessible, immersive, educational experience for attendees, every year this event, The {Re}HAPPENING is a community collaboration between local businesses and arts organizations.


About the Department of Anthropology
The Department of Anthropology offers a comparative and holistic approach to the study of the human experience. The anthropological perspective provides a broad understanding of the origins as well as the meaning of physical and cultural diversity in the world — past, present and future. Learn more at

Sornito Headshot from Black Mountain College site
Published: Mar 28, 2019 11:43am