Black Mountain School, is an experiment in education and community in the spirit of Black Mountain College, the residence was open in May 2016. The new school, which has been founded by two North Carolina artists, is inspired by Black Mountain College, where Fuller was a key faculty member.
Black Mountain School cites extreme tuition costs, corporatized profit-driven learning, and a one-size-fits-all curriculum as the reasons to resurrect a school that embodies the principles that governed Black Mountain College. The initial two summer sessions will each offer 22 classes and run for two weeks. Reviving the same communal lifestyle at Black Mountain College, thirty instructors will live, work, and create with the students.
Classes at the school range from theoretical and text-based to hands-on and outdoors. There are no academic prerequisites for enrolling as a student, and those participating will also have the opportunity to teach if so desired. Students and guest lecturers at BMS are young and old, and come from within institutions (such as Wendy Woon from the Museum of Modern Art) and outside of them. Drawing on the original Black Mountain College, students help with different administrative tasks, while staff are free to take classes.
When it came time to develop a framework for the curriculum at the Black Mountain School, it quickly became apparent that a flexible approach would be needed to encompass the full spectrum of learning opportunities we wanted the school to provide. The solution was to adopt a multi-tiered curriculum in which class structure varies depending on the nature of the class and the goals of both teachers and learners. Fittingly, it was nature that provided a template in the form of the four principle states of matter:
Gas courses are experimental, free form, and student-driven learning experiences. Unlike Solid and Liquid courses, Gas courses derive their structure entirely from students, empowering them to assume the role of experts and educators on any topics or ideas they are interested in exploring. A Gas course can be a recurring activity or an impromptu event, it can be a skill-based workshop or a forum of equals.
Plasma courses are intensive, experiential, and event-based learning experiences that are intended to punctuate the Black Mountain School curriculum. Singular in nature, Plasma courses provide unique opportunities for both teachers and students to share and explore through a broad range of performances, workshops, and events.
The cost to attend Black Mountain School is $1,600 for four weeks or $800 for two weeks.
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