Longing for More
Longing for More
Your gifts made an unprecedented year possible--four times as many events, the Arts Guild launched, and over $18,000 raised. In the bullets below, you can see what we accomplished and what we aim to accomplish this year. After that, I have some questions I want you to think about.
With more regular, more informal, more fun and accessible events, we want to be able to be more of a Society--we want people to be able to see more of each other, and spend more time in conversation. The pub nights launching in October will help us do that, and also allow us to get more awesome speakers, poets, musicians, etc. in front of you to educate and inspire. But we want to be able to punctuate that with larger conferences; longer, bigger-budget events that allow us to dig deeper into worthwhile topics, with multiple speakers and performers (including big names from out of town).
These in turn will strengthen our relationships with like-minded people and organizations around the world, as well as our brand and visibility. We are already building partnerships with the Rabbit Room, Humane Pursuits, the C.S. Lewis Foundation, and others, and we’ve spawned our first sister organization, the T.S. Eliot Society in Maryland. This national visibility will increase our ability to attract the best speakers, to draw creators and friends from all over the world to attend our larger events, and broaden the network by which we can promote and grow our member artists.
What will all this mean? Deeper, wider, and more diverse relationships and resources to support a renaissance of the Christian imagination--one whose heartbeat is right here in Colorado Springs, but whose effects ripple outward around the world. (See here for how you can help.)
Thank you again for your support, and I look forward to spending more time together this year. Please don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email if you have any ideas, questions, or concerns.
We raised over $18,000, due mostly to the dedicated support from patrons and member churches. Nearly all of it went to programs, we stayed under budget, and revenue exceeded expenses. We also added three new member churches (New Life Downtown, Woodmen Valley Chapel, and International Anglican Church). We doubled our local email list with hundreds of first-time event attendees, expanding our ability to connect with more people who are longing for more.
We put on eight public events (four lectures and four concerts), hosting special guests Scott Cairns, Junius Johnson, Rod Dreher, Diana Glyer, Chris Slaten, Matthew Clark, Bob Bennett, Carolyn Arends, and Spencer Capier. This was our first year with a full, themed speaker series, as we continued to attract insightful and captivating lecturers from around the world, routinely drawing more than 150 people to join the conversation. We organized an art show to fight suicide and depression, with dozens of artists contributing entries to a digital presence and popup displays in churches around town. We also filmed our first events, allowing us to begin to build a digital video presence on YouTube.
After almost a year of hoping and planning, we launched the Anselm Society Arts Guild with a full slate of member artist services and local events, building up the future of the Christian imagination in our region by supporting local talent spiritually, theologically, artistically, and relationally. We hosted member artists' events, helped promote their work, and held regular meetings where artists could help each other grow. Heather Peterson and Bill Thielker shepherded the creation of the Guild, and then handed it off to 2016-17 director Marcus Robinson. We begin the 2016-17 year with over 20 member artists, who in 2016 so far have published two novels, two works of nonfiction, and created dozens of songs, poems, and paintings.
All numbers are for our fiscal year, which runs mid-year to mid-year: July 1, 2015 - June 30, 2016.
Fr. Matt Burnett, Holy Trinity Anglican Church
Deacon Deb Tenney, Holy Trinity Anglican Church
Fr. Glenn Packiam, New Life Downtown
Fr. Ken Robertson, International Anglican Church
We owe a debt of gratitude to many people, including these friends, speakers, and advisers whose wisdom and support have helped us grow. The Anselm Fellows have spent time with us and continue to work internationally with us to foster a renaissance of the Christian imagination.
Andrew Peterson, Michael Ward, Malcolm Guite, Peter Leithart, Makoto Fujimura, Diana Glyer, Scott Cairns, Junius Johnson, Joel Barstad, Phillip Bess, Matthew Clark, Bob Bennett, Carolyn Arends, Christopher Mitchell, Rod Dreher, Chris Slaten, and Eric Peters
I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Bill Thielker and Heather Peterson who started the Arts Guild last year. They set a foundation of encouragement and purposeful engagement that continues to define our monthly gatherings.
It has been such a delight to discover the gifted artists that reside right here in our own backyard. The purpose of the guild is to flesh out the vision of the Anselm Society; as artists we want to be creating the renaissance that we are all thinking about.
The guild is made up of gifted novelists, visual artists, nonfiction writers, a classical violinist, songwriter, illustrator, poets, bloggers, painters, and photographers. This past year several of our members have published work (Curio, Beneath Wandering Stars, At Play In God’s Creation, Embracing the Body). Others are playing concerts regularly and displaying their art around the community. If you are seriously pursuing a call as an artist we would love to have you join us!
Our artists gather monthly to share food, life, creative works, and inspirations. We have fallen into a couple of values for these meetings. First, we become better by sharing across disciplines. Writers learn from the process of painters; songwriters grow from the experiences of novelists, etc. Second, prayer is a powerful salve that artist’s crave. Most of our artists had been working alone prior to joining the Guild, and they are hungry for prayerful encouragement. This is why we take time to pray for the art that is shared in our meetings.
My great desire is to connect our artists with audience. The pub nights will give opportunity for some of that public expression. We are also available for house concerts/readings/showings. We are working to develop a podcast that will connect our artists with great thinkers in our local area. It’s been a great beginning, but the best is yet to come!
Under the Mercy,
Arts Guild Director
You've enjoyed our lectures and concerts, and sought deeper community. This year, we will be stepping up our game on all fronts: meeting monthly instead of twice a semester, and featuring a variety of speakers, performers, and mixed-media presentations. These evenings will give us an opportunity to go deeper into questions of how to renew the Christian imagination. And instead of just listening to great artists, we are producing them--so once a quarter, the Arts Guild will do a "takeover" of a pub night, showcasing their work and hosting conversations on a variety of challenging topics.
Every one will be different, and we will continue to make them better with your input and your speaker/performer/topic requests!
April 1 2017 at The Pinery at the Hill
Join us for an all-day event, whose purpose is rejuvenation by imagination, as we go on a quest to discover an integrated imagination.
Conference will include:
Keynote Speaker and Performer
For more than twenty years now, Andrew Peterson has been about the business of quietly changing lives in four-minute increments. In the city of Nashville where music is an industry in the same way fast food, generic greeting cards, and bumper stickers are industries, Peterson has forged his own path, refusing the artistic compromises that so often come with chasing album sales and radio singles and creating instead a long line of songs that ache with sorrow, joy and integrity, and that are, at the end of the day, part of a real, ongoing, human conversation.
A multi-day conference...a yearly touchpoint for artists, clergy, and lay leaders around the country to do something artists and the church used to do all the time and haven't done in decades: know one another. The short-term goal: better equipping churches to minister to artists (and to their congregations through beauty and art), and better equipping artists to be forces for Christ in and out of their congregations.
The long-term goal: a renaissance of the Christian imagination; a rebuilding of the liturgies, imagery, stories and songs needed to holistically shape the next generation of the church and beyond.
Our budget for the coming year, so we can make this all happen, is nearly $100,000--five times bigger than last year's. Some of that will come from conference revenue--but much of it will depend on you!
If you are not already giving at the Gondor or Rivendell level ($50 or $100 a month), please consider whether your means allow you to do so. If we have only 50 people giving $50 a month, that would fund our entire program budget for 2016-17 (i.e. normal events, operating costs, and Arts Guild) and allow us to offer conference scholarships to our member artists so they can attend for free.
Also of relevance to you: Rivendell members will get free admission for themselves and a guest to both our conferences this year--a savings of over $600.
If your church is not a member church, bring your pastor to our next event! We help member churches develop programming to support artists within their congregation. More info here.
Do you know any Christian-owned businesses that might be willing to sponsor one of our conferences this year? They will be major events with significant local and national publicity, so having his/her company’s logo on the event may be a good investment as well as a way to further the Kingdom. We are also on the lookout for volunteer (professional) photographers and videographers and are happy to promote their work. More info here.
We post loads of content on Facebook and Instagram that doesn't make it into our emails--plus you'll be the first to find out about opportunities and events.
Have ideas for things you'd like to see us doing? People you want to connect us with? Ways you'd like to help? Shoot us a message below.