{Re}HAPPENING 2017: In the Spirit of Black Mountain College


{Re}HAPPENING 2017: In the Spirit of Black Mountain College

  • Ali McGhee

    Ali McGhee is a journalist, creative writer, and academic. Her work has appeared in The Edgar Allan Poe Review, Romantic Circles, Symbiosis: A Journal of Anglo-American Literary...

Dance Heginbotham

Artists involved in this year's {Re}HAPPENING, which will be held on Saturday, March 25th from 3-10 p.m., at Lake Eden, will participate in a unique event that, through its early iterations, helped create the arts and culture scene of today's Asheville. The full day of immersive creativity will include performance art, music, visual art, and more. 

Artists from the area and from the wider world will gather to create an interdisciplinary experience that, according to Jeff Arnal, Executive Director of the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center, will "investigate the past and look to what's happening, how it's happening, and the future" of the arts.

The {Re}HAPPENING will do this by bringing artists together, creating a synthesis between works on the program and the spirit of Black Mountain College. The College hosted the original Happening in 1952, when John Cage held his first "happening" on the campus. The piece was collaborative and included music, performance, and visual art with audience participation. Cage's Theatre Piece No. 1 laid the groundwork for future Happenings.

This year, homage will be paid to Cage with a set from Chicago's Third Coast Percussion, experts on Cage's work, who will play his music along with selections by Lou Harrison, Steve Reich, and their own commissioned pieces. A talkback will follow their performance.

Also on the agenda: a performance from Dance Heginbotham, created exclusively for the {Re}HAPPENING by NYC choreographer John Heginbotham, a Sound Sanctuary from local producer Samuel Paradise and "post-rock drip noise band" Kavalactones designed to stimulate theta and delta brainwaves through improvisational performance, a participatory printing project, "Horti-Counterculture," from the Burron Project, an interactive collage from genome9, and much more. The Asheville Percussion Festival's River Guerguerian and members of the Asheville Rhythm Ensemble have created an interactive sound installation, Resonating Forest, which will be located by the edge of Lake Eden. River Guerguerian. Photo: Jesse Kitt


Arnal points out that the Black Mountain College and its legacy are "such a part of why Asheville is Asheville. People talk a lot about the energy here, and a large part of that energy came from those folks. And we're asking: how do we invite leading innovators, thinkers, and musicians to Asheville right now? And how to the sum of those parts, those performances, equal something greater?"

Advance tickets to the event are on sale now ($20, available until 3/23), and student and youth tickets are available at a discounted fee. You can also purchase a parking pass or a round-trip shuttle pass for the day. Children under 10 get in free with a ticketed adult. 

The {Re}HAPPENING organizers are also looking for volunteers. Volunteering includes perks like free admission to the event and a food voucher. For more information on volunteering, click here