I am still basking in the wonder of our Your Imagination Redeemed Conference. I was so inspired by what I heard and saw, and so encouraged by the conversations I've had with many of you who felt the same way.
As you might know, that event happened almost entirely on the strength of volunteer labor (mine, Michelle's, and the rest of our staff). But a lot of other things don't. A lot of other dreams are on hold until we have a bigger budget.
That's not going to happen by itself. I'm writing to encourage you to join us. We are seeking major donors to invest in the next 3-5 years of our growth. But we are also in need of many more Patron members--our patron memberships start as low as $10 a month, at an average of $25 a month. If 100 people joined at that level today, we'd raise $30,000 for the next year--and I can't even begin to tell you what that would mean for next year's conference, our Arts Guild, and more.
But if you're like me, you see requests like this, and you like the organization and the mission, but you figure things are tight right now, or other people will help, or you should support them "at some point." So let me give you five reasons to join as a patron RIGHT NOW.
1. The wardrobe
And by that, I mean access to a hidden world of goodness and beauty. Members saved $30 on their conference tickets. From now on, they'll save $5 on every pub night ticket. But they also get invitations to special events and opportunities open to no one else, whether it's dinner with Andrew Peterson, writing coaching with Diana Glyer, or get-togethers with member artists. Membership opens you up to a community of creators, dreamers, and pastors that allows you to build relationships with people who help you see God and the world more clearly and powerfully.
Those of you on our email list might have enjoyed some of the writing in last month's email. Our conference attendees are getting a digital parcel of more art like it. Going forward, we aim to provide our members with more inspiration like this--original stories, songs, paintings, poems, essays, and more, along with curated classic art to challenge and inspire. This will NOT be going to our general email list.
3. New art
Speaking of original art, we've had one or two opportunities to commission new works from painters and writers. But we really want to do much more in this area--novels, poems, magnificent choral music, other sacred art, and much more. We also want to do national juried art competitions with cash prizes, and other initiatives to spur the creation of new and beautiful things in the best tradition of the Christian imagination. We'd love to start as soon as next year, if we can raise the funds.
4. A renaissance of the Christian imagination
As I said in my opening remarks at the Your Imagination Redeemed conference, we need to muster the resources that will open our eyes to see the wildness and beauty beyond the obvious; to weep on Good Friday and party with abandon on Easter. And we need to invest in the lives of our artists present and future, those with a particular gift for seeing; and challenge them with love and understanding to the highest standards of artistic and spiritual excellence, so that they can create well—wrapping our lives and the lives of our children in an all-encloaking tapestry of light and darkness, heroes and villains, pain and joy, so that in the midst of the ordinary, we see no such thing as ordinary—so that our deepest souls know who we are, and Whose we are, and what story we are really in. This will not happen by accident.
5. Conference video
As an added bonus, anyone who joins as a patron at the $25/mo level or higher before April 16 will get the entire video archive of the Your Imagination Redeemed conference--absolutely free. This will include:
- Andrew Peterson on Enchantment and Reality
- Brian Brown on Why a Renaissance?
- Lanier Ivester on Magicians and Medievalists
- Heather Walker Peterson on The Freed Imagination
- Ben Holsteen on Wonder and the Artist's Task
- Matt Burnett on A Narnian Catechism
- Lancia Smith on Magic as Discipleship
- Joel Clarkson on Yes, You Are a Creative Type
- Diana Glyer on I Want to Be an Inkling
- And a bonus conference highlight reel that includes lots of behind-the-scenes interview footage with staff and speakers and shots of what we did all day!
Thank you for considering joining us in this quest.