"All art is about coming home. All music, all drama, all literature is about coming home." Ken Gire
What can we do that makes us gladdest, what can we do that leaves us with a strong sense of sailing true north and of peace, which is much of what gladness is? Is it making things with our hands out of wood or stone or paint on canvas? Or is it making something we hope like truth of words? Or is it making people laugh or weep in a way that cleanses their spirit? I believe that if it is a thing that makes us truly glad, then it is a good thing and it is our thing and it is the calling voice that we were made to answer with our lives. Frederick Buechner
InSpero exists to inspire those who point us to our true home and recalibrate us to our "true north." The artists and artisan, the painters and sculptors, the poets and writers, the musicians and dancers, the prophets and preachers, the truth tellers and risk takers, the finders and curators of beauty, those who offer hospitality that makes people feel at home. These are the people who battle doubts that their work matters in a world of hustle and hype. InSpero's calling is to remind them that beauty matters and so do those who create it. We nurture and inspire this creative community and provide intimate offerings where people can enjoy and celebrate their work. It is the ultimate mutual blessing. These artists feed those hungering for true home and true north, who in turn, validate and encourage them that their work matters.
This Thanksgiving, we are grateful for all who support InSpero and the impact we are having on Birmingham and its creative community. Below are some of the highlights from the past month and upcoming offerings. During this season of giving and as we approach the end of the year, please consider donating to InSpero, Inc., a 501(c)(3) tax-deductible non-profit organization, through our website, through designating InSpero, Inc when making an Amazon purchase through their Amazon Smile program, and by considering InSpero, Inc. this upcoming Giving Tuesday.
The title of this poem by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin speaks to InSpero’s deeply fruitful and quieter year, developing relationships and offering our creative community, city and local churches an invitation to a slower season in contrast to the usual high-paced, hectic holidays.
In October, we offered a a lectio divina (mediative sacred reading) of Luke 1 highlighting Elizabeth's story of barrenness to blessedness. Held at Innova Coffee, artists and creatives engaged their imaginations to enter the Advent Season more slowly and create in response to Scripture. Above is a painting by renowned Chinese artist He Qi based on Mary's visit to Elizabeth before the birth of John the Baptist. For more information on lectio divinas. please contact Nancy.
InSpero's Bridge Builders provides a safe place for creatives/artists to share and build relationships with friends from different backgrounds, a place built on authentic interest, humility, and curiosity as we deal with the complex issues of racial wounds and socioeconomic inequities in Birmingham. We want to explore what the artists’ role is in creating art for the healing of the deep wounds in our city. This past week, members of this group each took an implicit bias test developed by Harvard University and then gathered at one of our volunteer's homes to discuss the results and how we are implicated to respond in the place we live. Here is the test for those interested.
On Saturday, November 18, Allen Levi, joined by pianist Dewayne Creswell, wove magic with his musical storytelling to a sold-out InSpero house show. Although the electricity went out, candles and the inner light of Allen's music shone through the evening. InSpero has found intimate house shows to be a mutual gift to artist and audience. Vocational creatives often battle those discouraging internal and external voices that make them want to give up. In a home setting, the artist can see the impact and hear the feedback from those who need the work they give.
Join us for a magical evening celebrating the release of Amy Grimes’ second storybook, "Lucilla And The Snarly Skein." Walk through the story one illustration at a time as you view the original paintings. Pick up a signed copy of the new book. Find creative gifts to put on and under the tree this year—original paintings, fine art prints, handmade Christmas ornaments, signed storybooks, and Amy’s new Dreamy Tees. Everything will be available for purchase with a portion of the proceeds going to Children's Harbor. Drop by anytime between 5 and 9. Refreshments provided. Children are welcome.
To help us slow and relish the Advent Season, Corey Nolen, Ashley Spurling, and Chandler Parker will lead a quiet, rich time of music and readings at an intimate house show at Chad and Christi Wilson's home on Thursday, December 7 from 7-9 p.m. Wine, coffee, and desserts provided, $10 per person, adults only. Limited seating. For more information, please contact Nancy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
January 12: Annual Creative “Tribe” Retreat at Salem Farm
February: Changing the Picture of Birmingham photo exhibit
February 12: Lenten Retreat
March: Pastor/Artist Dinner
June 14: Magic City Storytellers at the Clubhouse on Highland
InSpero's financial and volunteer needs grow as we reach more of Birmingham's creative community to bring beauty, hope, and healing to our city and churches. Please go to our website to make a donation and contact Rachel Hunt at email@example.com to find your place at InSpero to invest your time, talents, and passions. Click here and select InSpero, Inc. so a portion of your Amazon purchases will benefit InSpero.
Please remember us this Giving Tuesday, November 28.
We were stirred by Jonathan's discussion of territories vs. hierarchies as it relates to artists and writers. As a writer himself, he encourages creators to push past the tendency to compare and tend to their own journeys as creators.