Here are twelve organizations in Cascadia that engage art and faith in interesting, thoughtful and innovative ways. These organizations are vastly different from one another and come from various perspectives, but together they reveal a mosaic vision of what the intersection of faith and art can offer for Cascadia.
Image was founded in 1989 to demonstrate the continued vitality and diversity of contemporary art and literature that engage with the religious traditions of Western culture. Now one of the leading literary journals published in English, it is read all over the world—and forms the nexus of a warm and active community. Through workshops, readings, concerts, lectures, and seminars, Image invites local, national, and international communities to experience art that renews the soul, work alongside some of the finest contemporary artists of our time, and build camaraderie with others interested in art and faith.
The Grünewald Guild is a retreat center on the Wenatchee River in the Plain Valley, 14 miles northwest of Leavenworth, Washington where people come to learn, to grow, and to explore the relationship between art and faith. In order to facilitate and serve as a resource for this exploration, throughout the year we offer various art classes and workshops, in particular our summer season which features 10 consecutive sessions of weeklong classes. When we do not have scheduled offerings our facilities are available to be booked for retreats, workshops, reunions, etc. The Grünewald Guild was founded upon the idea of artists living together and creating art within the context of community and relationships. We invite people of all journeys to come and participate in workshops, classes, and retreats.
The Kindlings are an intergenerational, grassroots, relational movement of thoughtful creatives for whom God is of central importance; who together with others desire to rekindle our spiritual, intellectual and creative legacy in culture by helping each other become the fullest expression of who God created us to be. Through podcasts, live events, festivals, and artist retreats, where intelligent, imaginative and hospitable discourse is encouraged and facilitated, the Kindlings seek to rekindle the spiritual, intellectual, and creative legacy of Christians in culture.
Cascadia Worship and Arts Conference
Cascadia Worship & Arts is a conference worship directors, artists, pastors, and all those who share a passion for worship and the arts for a weekend of inspiration and imagination. Attendees will have the chance to learn from nationally-recognized theologians, worship directors, and pastors; witness the creative and thoughtful work of leading Christian artists, worship with a community of Christians who believe in the transformative power of worship and the arts; and cultivate a renewed vision for the power of worship and the arts for yourself and your community. Teaser alert: this year’s conference features Sara Groves and Tony Hale, among others.
Taproot Theatre Company was founded in 1976 by six friends, five of them graduates from Seattle Pacific University. From its humble beginnings as a touring group, the company is now Seattle’s largest mid-size theatre company. Today Taproot Theatre serves over 150,000 people annually throughout the Pacific Northwest with its Jewell Mainstage season, Isaac Studio Theatre season, Touring programs and Acting Studio. Taproot Theatre Company creates theatre experiences to brighten the spirit, engage the mind and deepen the understanding of the world around us while inspiring imagination, conversation and hope. The three tenets that influence their work are, they value faith, they respect people, and they celebrate theatre. For more information visit their website at:
Coastland Commons is an open community that has committed to living with Scripture texts through a creative lens in collaboration with the local church. Last year they lived with the Emmaus text from Luke 24 and developed a body of creative work. They are now in the process of releasing a 12-song album written out of their experience with Emmaus. The album will be released in early 2016. This coming year they will be living with the book of Jonah. Coastland Commons meets weekly to practice living creatively with scripture texts: People who attend offer new insights gained, share work that they are creating, and offer input and collaboration when it is needed and welcome. These gatherings are open to anyone and you do not have to “work” to participate.
Good Foot Arts Collective
Founded in 2005 by Louie and May Praseuth, the Good Foot Arts Collective seeks to engage the community, children and youth with empowering life messages through the arts while promoting love hope and healing in all communities. They desire to create safe avenues for young people through various classes, workshops, performances, showcases, public events, and professional productions locally and internationally.
www.worldfreshseattle.com/goodfootme or Facebook
Artist Reformation seeks to care for culture by cultivating creative community. They aim to create opportunities for people to collaborate and wrestle together through the themes of art, faith, and life. Artist Reformation desires to care for creatives of all disciplines and the culture and city they’re apart of. Through these efforts Artist Reformation hopes to see deep and meaningful relationships fostered for the purpose of seeing our culture, city, and world renewed.
Faith and Culture Writers
Connecting and validating people of faith who love WORDS, story, and The Word, Faith & Culture Writers Connection is a faith-based diverse creative community of writers, bloggers, lovers of literature, journalists, professors, activists, theologians, literary agents, editors, publishers, screenwriters, musicians, artists, word poets, and everyday people who love WORDS, the Word, story, and feel led to share the message God has given them through the literary arts. Each year, they host a conference where they bring together writers, bloggers, authors, editors, theologians, activists, journalists, artists, literary agents, filmmakers, professors, students, teachers, word-lovers, and everyday writers to engage in community and conversations around voice, story, culture, faith and the arts.
Imago Dei Arts
Imago Dei Arts at Imago Dei Community exists to help artists learn to live in the belief that the creative spirit is the stirring of the Creator’s spirit within humans and seeks to help people to grow in what it means to abide abundantly and unabashedly in their expression of God’s creative image. Through their various medium-specific connection groups, amateurs and professionals mature together in spiritual and technical disciplines, removing barriers between artistic collaboration and communing in Christ. During our services, songs, poems, dance, and paintings might help make clear God’s word. Imago Dei artists strive to meet and impact the wider Portland culture by blurring the line—before all the world—between what is excellent work and what is ardent worship.
Deeper Well: A Gospel Collective
Birthed out of Door of Hope church in Portland, Deeper Well was formed in 2012 as a collective for followers of Jesus who want to use their creative gifts to explore the depths of the Gospel. Their goal as a collective is to help creatives and artists navigate the tension so often found between the world of art and the world of Jesus. Included in the overall mission of Deeper Well is the desire to offer everything that is produced as a free gift. Deeper Well Records is a non-profit Christian record label whose goal is to record and release great music that communicates the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They desire to provide music that is an alternative to the CCM saturated, mainstream Christian music market. As an expression of the Gospel, they provide all our releases for free or donation digitally through websites such as Bandcamp and Noisetrade. They sell physical CDs & vinyls, but make them as affordable as possible. All money made from donations and purchases of physical albums go directly back into making more albums.
Unleashing Creativity: The Conference
Imago Dei and Door of Hope are joining forces to host a conference on the arts on October 16th and 17th, 2015. The conference will be at Door Of Hope and will seek to confront the reality plaguing the Portland creative culture that an artist creates FOR identity. So many Christian artists are exhausting themselves to “make a name” by creating rather than creating out of the identity they have been given as co-creators with God. The conference will take this idea of co-creating and lay a theological foundation for what it means to be an artist who creates out of identity rather than for identity. Rick Mckinley, Tim Mackie, Scott Erickson, Joy Eggerich, Josh Garrels and many more artists will be speaking. A limited number of tickets will be available.
Established in 1984 by a group of actors who wanted to establish a non-propagandist professional theatre where they would be free to explore work having particular meaning to them as Christians, Pacific Theatre moved into its current home at Hemlock & 12th on October 14, 1994 in the heart of downtown Vancouver. Pacific Theatre aspires to delight, provoke and stimulate dialogue by producing theatre that rigorously explores the spiritual aspects of human experience. In 30 seasons, Pacific Theatre has produced 120 professional mainstage productions ranging from established works to original world premieres featuring some of the top theatre artists from Vancouver and across the continent.
Photo credit: Emily Cooper. Pictured (L-R): Ryan Scramstad, Robert Salvador, Andrew Wheeler in The Rainmaker.
We Make Stuff
We Make Stuff is a collective of artists and innovators, rallying together to document what creative people are doing across Canada. While sharing a passion for creative excellence, these artists also share a common pursuit of living a life that embodies the teachings and Spirit of Jesus Christ. Recognizing that humans are both good and poor examples of Christ’s teachings, they invite artists and innovators to wrestle in the realm of creativity to express themselves and grow as people. In November 2012 they published a book featuring 100 such artists from the Vancouver area and in 2014 launched volume 2. We Make Stuff values the pursuit of excellence in art, but recognizes that the process requires time, courage, permission to make mistakes, and involves an awareness of something greater than ourselves, and a commitment to community and hospitable dialogue.