'Black Mountain' Documentary Airs Sunday Under the Oaks

"Fully Awake: Black Mountain College," a documentary co-directed by 2006 School of Communications graduate Neely House and sponsored by elondocs, will air at 8 p.m. Sunday Under the Oaks.

Hidden in the mountains of Western North Carolina, Black Mountain College (1933–1957) was an influential experiment in education that inspired and shaped several 20th century American artists. Through interviews with former students, teachers and historians, and archival photography, Fully Awake explores this vibrant community, focusing on the college’s unique educational style and the long reaching influence of its radical pedagogy.

In 1933, Black Mountain College opened as the realization of an experiment in education that would resonate through the literary, architectural, and modern art world. Despite being constantly plagued by financial problems and forever seemed at the edge of ruin, the school managed to attract some of the most revolutionary writers and artists of the time period including Charles Olsen, Robert Creeley, John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Robert Motherwell, and Jonathon Williams. Some of the charter advisors of BMC included John Dewey, Carl Jung and Albert Einstein. These teachers and students had the unique opportunity to be secluded in an environment that fostered interdisciplinary educational growth through experimentation in the arts. Throughout its 24-year run, the school shifted its ideals to a more liberal, art-driven college, contrary to the socially and politically conservative nature of the 1940s and 1950s. The legacy of Black Mountain College remains imprinted on the minds of intellectuals around the globe.

Ray Johnson, assistant professor in the School of Communications, served as House's mentor for the project. J. McMerty, coordinator of video projects in the school, is an associate producer.


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