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.
Keynote & Workshop Presenter
Mark Hanf is an artist and a teacher that loves to explore the mysteries of Geometry. In 1995, Mark was nominated to attend the NC Governor’s School in both Art and
Mathematics and ultimately chose to study Fractal and Non-Euclidean Geometry. He received a BA in Visual Arts from Davidson College in 2000 exploring both two and three-dimensional forms through acrylic painting, glass and wood. His love of aesthetics, structure and creating space led him to study environmental architecture.
From 2006-2012, Mark was part of a team that created Our Living Spaceship, a special project of the Buckminster Fuller Institute that integrated global geography, Earth science, geometry, and service learning. Inspired by Buckminster Fuller’s World Game, this program was presented on Fuller’s Dymaxion World Map that shows a unique, undistorted projection of our planet as one island in one ocean.
For 10 years, Mark has taught at the Rainbow Community School in Asheville, NC. During his tenure there, he has taught middle school math, science and physical education and developed a unique curriculum called Polymath that integrates environmental science, art history, astronomy, music, cosmology, as well as synergetic and ancient geometry.
Mark is on the faculty of the Academy of Sacred Geometry and the New York School of Feng Shui along with some of the world’s leading teachers in the field. Mark is also a professional artist and creates work that explores Nature’s architecture and symmetry.
Matt & Christine Jones
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.
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.
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.
Chelsea Ragan & Adam Void
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.
Asheville Art Museum
Hilary Schroeder joined the Asheville Art Museum in January 2018 as a curatorial assistant and the project coordinator for the reinstallation/reinterpretation of the Museum’s Collection in its new facility opening in early 2019. She received an undergraduate degree in art history with a minor in German studies from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, and a graduate degree in art history from the University of Georgia in Athens. Her primary research interests concern the intersection of art history and dance from the 1950s to the present, and she maintains a personal practice in modern dance and aerial arts.
Asheville Art Museum
A professional art-museum educator since 2003, Kristi McMillan joined the Asheville Art Museum’s staff in 2015 as adult programs manager. In this role, she plans and implements programs for college-age through older adults, including tours, talks, classes, films, performances, travel, and more. She also oversees the internship and docent programs, and has particular interests in interpretation, accessibility, collaboration, and technology. She holds an undergraduate degree in art history and French, and a graduate degree in art history, from the University of Virginia.
Mike Clarke (with his wife, Amy) arrived in Asheville in the 1970s, teaching and serving as Upper School Director at Asheville Country Day School (now Carolina Day School) as a result of his reading of Duberman’s Black Mountain book. Although he has enjoyed interludes in other parts of the country, he has returned to this love of BMC (and Asheville) for his retirement from schools. Mike began his professional career as a social worker at the Berkshire Farm for Boys, where he was supervised by BMC alumnus David Resnik. Mike has worked in management as well as serving as Head of the Darrow School (NY) and, most recently, Principal at Thayer Academy (MA).