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Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center At Home Announces Latest Commissions

As COVID-19 restrictions continue to affect arts institutions and performance venues across the globe, Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center takes inspiration from its namesake, the legendary experimental community that survived the Great Depression and WWII through innovation and community building. Embracing new opportunities online, BMCM+AC has established their 2020 programs around free and open access to top tier performances, artist residencies, and scholarship.

In March of 2020, BMCM+AC launched its Museum from Home initiative (, a hub for those interested in the legacy of Black Mountain College to enjoy historic resources and contemporary works in the tradition of the college's visionaries such as Anni and Josef Albers, Merce Cunningham, John Cage, Robert Rauschenberg, Ruth Asawa and M.C. Richards. In 2020, BMCM+AC has:

  • Commissioned 8 live stream performances from artists including Brooklyn Rider and Matana Roberts, Asher Gamedze, Sofia Jernberg, and Turning Jewels Into Water

  • Facilitated 11 conversations that shed light on subjects like BMC's first African American student, Alma Stone Williams; artist Ruth Asawa's scientific inspiration; and composer John Cage's love of mushrooms

  • Hosted a digital Active Archive residency with UK-based participatory artists Leap Then Look

  • Published the 11th volume of the open-access online Journal of Black Mountain College Studies

  • Made accessible over 1,000 works from our permanent collection, the largest collection in the world dedicated to BMC with 3,000+ objects and artworks.

These efforts have allowed us to stay in touch with and build our community while providing much needed support for artists and scholars.

Since March 2020, BMCM+AC has been awarded grant funding that went directly to local and international creatives, while ensuring that no content is held behind a paywall. Our vision has been shared by funders 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 individual supporters. With this support, BMCM+AC is moving into 2021 with its full staff.

They have announced two of the latest commissions to premiere on BMCM+AC Museum from Home: A performance at Gränslandet Symfonisk Fest by experimental vocalist and composer Sofia Jernberg and a digital exhibition curated by 2020 Active Archive digital residents Leap then Look.

December Premieres

Sofia Jernberg at Gränslandet Symfonisk Fest:

Experimental composer and vocalist Sofia Jernberg presents two solo performances at Gränslandet that avant-garde icon Laurie Anderson calls "extraordinary" and "transcendent." Sofia Jernberg is a Swedish experimental singer, composer, improviser, and performer. She grew up in Ethiopia, Vietnam, and Sweden. Since 2011, she lives in Oslo, Norway. This program is introduced by Cameron Beauchamp, member of the Grammy award winning ensemble Roomful of Teeth.

Leap Then Look Digital Exhibition:

This digital exhibition brings together images and texts from Leap Then Look's BMCM+AC Active Archive Digital Residency. Leap Then Look is a collaboration between British artists Lucy Cran and Bill Leslie. Together the duo creates artworks, participatory projects, workshops, and events for people of all ages and abilities. Over the 10 days of the Active Archive residency, Leap Then Look responded to the history of BMC-the images, stories, happenings, and people. They used Instagram (@bmcmuseum / @leap_then_look) to post archival images and quotes, and to create new work in response to the college's diverse history. Their focus was on process, experience, and material exploration. It was an invitation to the public to join in actively engaging with the archival material, opening up the historical archive and practices of Black Mountain College, making them relevant and accessible for the twenty-first century.

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