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Elaborating on Faustine’s creative focus on history, identity, and representation, the three-day retreat aims to evoke an emotional understanding of the past and offer an examination of today’s racial and gender stereotypes. Through workshops, talks, and activations, guests can celebrate local artists, build relationships, and propel a new creative community focused on a supportive, collaborative tomorrow.
“Gatlinburg and Arrowmont have a long-standing tradition and history as a community that welcomes and promotes artists from all walks of life,” said Trudy Hughes, Arrowmont’s CEO. “We are honored to host ‘A Moment in the Mountains’ and add to the narrative that Gatlinburg is an inclusive hub of art-loving people and a community that welcomes all who seek expression through nature and creativity.”
Throughout the three days, attendees will discuss and explore an array of topics—from identity and process to femininity, craft, and race—and enhance the BIPOC community’s relationship with the great outdoors. Foustine, as well as the acclaimed photographers Renee Cox and Justine Kurland and poet Pamela Sneed, will share stories and recount their experiences alongside a selection of work. In hopes that these personal recounts spark conversation and create empowering connections, guests and artists will be offered eight in-person classes hosted by Arrowmont, as well as panel discussions, intimate performances, podcasts, studio visits, shared meals, and trips to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park for poetry readings.
Brian Gorman, managing partner at visionary company Army Of Moon People, acted as the concept creator for “A Moment in the Mountains” alongside Faustine to construct a weekend program that will remain unforgettable for attendees, artists, and visitors alike.
“I can confidently say this is the most heartfelt project of my career,” said Gorman. “This is my third time working with Nona and her work, and her as a person. It has been such a source of inspiration. I am so excited for more people to get to have that experience. This is truly an important program and part of what I see as an Appalachian Renaissance—being led by a dynamic mix of institutions like Arrowmont and individuals such as Mahavir Patel, a local hotelier, Arrowmont board member, and the person who connected all the dots and financed this event; forest ranger Antoine Fletcher of the National Park Services and a host of artists; musicians like Yoyo Ma; and Appalachian poets such as Nikki Giovanni."
Out-of-town visitors will also have the opportunity to experience a new caliber of Appalachian hospitality at the reimagined Rocky Waters Motor Inn in Gatlinburg. At the gateway of the Great Smoky Mountains, the charming hotel will greet guests with a moment to slow down, disconnect, and appreciate the great outdoors.