2018 Presenters

See the full list and bios for the 2018 Project Connect presenters.


Mary Emma Harris

Keynote & Workshop Presenter

Historian Mary Emma Harris is the leading authority on the arts at Black Mountain College.  She is the author of the seminal text, The Arts at Black Mountain College (MIT Press 2002).

Harris is the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the William C. Whitney Foundation, and the John Dewey Foundation. In addition, she has written numerous articles, curated shows and organized panels and events on Black Mountain College. Harris earned a B.A. from Greensboro College and an M.A. from UNC Chapel Hill.

Mary Emma Harris served as the first Black Mountain College Legacy Research Fellow at UNC Asheville.

 Mary Emma Harris

Mary Emma Harris


Katherine de Vos Devine


Katherine de Vos Devine is the former executive director of Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center in Asheville, North Carolina. Devine earned her Ph.D. in art history at Duke University. While pursuing her doctorate, Devine worked with the Nasher Museum of Art on traditional and digital curatorial projects for temporary exhibitions and the permanent collection. She received her M.A. and B.A. in art history from Duke and her J.D. from the Duke University School of Law.
Devine lives in Asheville, where she writes about contemporary art, intellectual property, and free speech. She is also committed to engaging with these subjects in curatorial, educational, and community outreach projects for museums and other arts institutions.

Matt & Christine Jones

WorkShop Presenters

Matt and Christine Jones established Jones Pottery in January of 1998 when they purchased an old farmhouse on ten acres in Leicester's Big Sandy Mush valley. Matt shows his work primarily at their home, although his pieces are found in galleries and private collections across the country. 

Matt and Christine Jones both attended Earlham College.  In addition, Christine holds a Master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin.  She has been teaching in Asheville School’s Science Department for the past four years. 

Jones Pottery

I think most of my work honors our collective pottery past.
— Matt Jones
 Matt and Christine Jones

Matt and Christine Jones

 Keith Flynn (photo by Matt Rose)

Keith Flynn (photo by Matt Rose)

Keith Flynn

Workshop Presenter

Keith Flynn is the author of three collections of poems, The Talking Drum (1991), The Book of Monsters (1994), and The Lost Sea (Iris Press, 2000). He was lyricist and lead singer for the nationally acclaimed rock band, Crystal Zoo, which produced two albums, Swimming Through Lake Eerie (1992) and Pouch (Warhead Records, 1996). His latest album, a spoken-word and music compilation, is entitled Nervous Splendor, and was released in September, 2003 on Animal Records. His poems have appeared in many journals around the world, most recently in The Colorado Review, Shenandoah, Crazyhorse, Rattle, Poetry Wales, New Millennium Writings, and The Comstock Review. Flynn is founder and managing editor of Asheville Poetry Review.


Kathy Leiner

Workshop Presenter

Kathleen Meyers Leiner has been teaching, performing and creating dance for universities, national and international festivals, museums, non-profit organizations, private, and public schools for over 35 years . Kathy draws inspiration from literature, social issues, and personal stories as she works with movers of all ages and levels of experience. She brings visual artists, writers, musicians, dancers, and educators, of a variety of disciplines, into a collaborative conversation which explores process through structured questions and ongoing research. Currently, she co-teaches a seminar course on Black Mountain College, is the Dance Program Director, Graham Theater Manager, and Chair of Fine Arts at the Asheville School. In 2016 she began her in-depth research of Black Mountain College and continues to grow as an educator and artist as she pursues her Master of Fine Arts in Interdisciplinary Arts: Choreography & Visual Arts at Wilson College.


 Kathleen Meyers Leiner

Kathleen Meyers Leiner

Chelsea Ragan and Adam Void.jpg

Chelsea Ragan & Adam Void

Workshop Presenters

Chelsea Ragan & Adam Void are DIY artists and curators living and working in Black Mountain, NC. All of their projects aim to demonstrate passion and drive as prime motivators over resources or skills. They are Co-Founders of School of the Alternative, a collectively built, self-directed approach to learning, which gives opportunity for all participants to learn and teach.

Chelsea has spoken at the Museum of Modern Art, Wexner Center for the Arts, and Salem College. Adam has presented his work nationally at institutions such as The Brooklyn Academy of Music, Printed Matter, and The Steinberg Museum of Art, as well as non-conventional spaces including Anarchist Infoshops, Dive Motels, and Water Drainage Tunnels. Their work has been published in Art in America, Artforum, Artsy, Temporary Art Review, and Artribune.