It’s Happening Again!

Melissa Terrezza’s “Message in a Bottle” installation from last year’s event at the former Black Mountain College campus. Photo by Michael Oppenheim

Prepare yourself for Happening, a multimedia arts gala taking place Saturday, April 7 on the grounds of the former Black Mountain College campus. For one night only, 60-plus artists will dance, perform, sing, recite, collaborate and exhibit.

Based around the idea of the “happenings” that occurred back in the day at the now-legendary BMC, Happening is a loosely structured program that encourages collaborative art forms and redefines the boundaries between audience and artist. At any point, a procession of dancers might wind itself thru a gaggle of people, a poet might grab a bullhorn or a siren song may echo across the waters of Lake Eden. Those who desire a strict schedule of events will have to succumb to a go-with-the-flow approach to the night, and while it may be impossible to catch every single performance at Happening, what’s more important is the cumulative creative experience.

Since Happening is a semi-outdoor event, the weather is the ultimate backdrop of the night’s activities, and the early days of April are just as likely to bring warm temperatures and clear skies, as it is snow, chilly winds or rainfall. Last year an epic thunderstorm broke out over the festival, contributing to a foggy and mysterious evening, albeit a muddy one. This year, the event will take place on the evening of the full moon — a detail that several artists plan to factor into their pieces. 

Some performances on the Happening horizon: Excursus, a multimedia Butoh dance staged in four parts, all centered around a giant kinetic sculpture resembling a rickshaw. Can You Feel It, an interactive rave-music sound installation by sound artist John Brinker. Other performers include: R. Brooke Priddy, Xpress designer Nathanael Roney, Matt Schnable, Bridget Elmer, Claire Elizabeth Barratt, Elisa Faires, Janice Lancaster, Chad Adair, Ted Popes, John Seefeldt and the Easel Rider Mobile Arts Lab.


Happening dinner ticket $60 BMCM+AC members/ $50 non members
$18/$15 after dinner 8:30-11:45 p.m.
$7 tickets for Grayline Trolley Shuttle service.
Tickets can be purchased at BMCM+AC and Harvest Records. Or visit to purchase tickets online and for more details about shuttle pickup and dinner.

— ursula Gullow writes about art for Mountain Xpress and her blog,

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