WRA Partners with Documentary Film Makers for Unique Opportunity

Our collections are used daily by all sorts of researchers.  Scholars, genealogists, historians and documentarians visit us on a regular basis and while we help all with their exploration into the past, it is rare that the archives (or archivist) plays a feature role in the project we assist on.  That’s what makes the new Danu Collaborative Fully Awake project so unique and exciting for the Western Regional Archives.

Fully Awake: Black Mountain College is a documentary film created nearly a decade ago by Cathryn Davis Zommer and Neeley Dawson.  Through archival research, photographic history, interviews with former Black Mountain College students, teachers, artists and historians, the film gives a glimpse into the progressive liberal arts school hidden in the mountains of Western North Carolina.

“Black Mountain College (1933-1957) was an influential experiment in education that inspired and shaped twentieth century American art.”  It was a special place that inspired all who experienced it, so much so, that the long-term impact is still being studied today by scholars and artists from across the country and literally around the world.

neeley, catherine and dan 1

Cathryn and Neeley research acting for part of their project. Cameraman Dan said he loved filming at the WRA.

While there are many BMC projects using the collections at the WRA for research, only the Fully Awake project has collaborated with the archives and integrated the archival collections as part of their endeavors.  Thanks to new collections coming to light and advances in technology, Cathryn and Neeley are embarking on a new project to take Fully Awake further.

There are several goals of this new ten-year anniversary re-imagining of the film.  Not only will they be telling more of the story in more clear and profound ways, the most thrilling element for the WRA is that they plan on digitizing over 100 hours of original interview footage to be donated to the archives for permanent public use!

For more information about the project, check out archivist Heather South on the latest campaign update- she is super excited about the collaboration with Cathryn and Neeley: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/fully-awake-a-black-mountain-college-documentary?c=activityheather- fully awake