“My heart has turned to wax…”
Jun 19, 2020 • By Jonathon Roberts
My heart has turned to wax
It has melted within me.
Hello Spark+Echo Arts community,
I’m here to give you insight into conversations Spark+Echo Arts leadership has been having on race and injustice. We are devastated by events in the news: the killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Rayshard Brooks, and so many other Black lives, the cycles of violence, injustice and discrimination against people of color, inadequate response, and political nonsense.
Our small organization with big dreams to illuminate the entire Bible through the arts: what’s our mission, where have we failed, and how can we change?
Because the Bible is relevant to all people in all places…
Because all artists in all places are image bearers of God…
Because artists have a pervasive impact in forming culture…
Spark+Echo Arts forms communities of artists who engage with and create in response to the Bible.
The main way we “form communities of artists” is through personal relationships. We have succeeded in the past when curators reach out to diverse networks, building bridges across cultural and spiritual divides while inviting artists to create. We all benefit when an artist reveals something in a verse that only their life experience could.
Here’s an area our organization has fallen short, especially recently: we have not fostered diversity among our leadership (board, staff, and curators). This was not an active decision, but happened over time as we failed to prioritize. Still, we’re guilty.
The Bible is relevant to all people. We obstruct that vision when we, like so much of the rest of society, subtly ignore or suppress some voices in favor of others. It’s a detriment to everyone and the Word that’s been given to us. It doesn’t illuminate the Bible, it just illuminates our selfishness.
Our specific goal this year is to recruit new members to our leadership team (board, staff, and curators). We would like our expanded leadership to at least reflect the demographics of the communities where we currently live (NYC, Long Island, Atlanta, Sacramento, and LA). With wider perspective from our leaders, we will better reach and serve artists.
We will continue to commission and provide honorariums to artists everywhere as they illuminate the Word. We’ll also grow our newest program, Spark+Echo Formation Groups. This program, piloting now, leads groups of artists as they create and explore Scripture in community over six weeks.
How to help
Adding positions to our leadership and starting this new program takes time and financial support. If you share our hope in the restorative power of the Bible and the arts, please donate to Spark+Echo Arts.
Then explore our gallery at SparkandEcho.org. Art provides a roadmap through uncertainty; let Spark+Echo artists’ creativity and God’s Word guide you through these difficult times.
Do you know someone who would be a great candidate to join Spark+Echo Arts’ leadership? Let us know at [email protected].
Thank you to those who help us improve and speak up to hold us accountable to our mission. If we succeed together, artists will be affirmed in their calling, communities will connect with God and one another, and the Bible and art will be part of the worldwide conversation of healing.