“The forces that threaten to negate life must be challenged by courage, which is the power of life to affirm itself in spite of life’s ambiguities. This requires the exercise of a creative will that enables us to hew out a stone of hope from a mountain of despair.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King has been praised as a prophet, preacher, visionary and martyr. But we also praise him as an artist who painted a picture in words of InSpero’s dream.
People often ask Gina and I what InSpero is and why we do what we do. We want the courage to continue Dr. King’s call. In the midst of forces that threaten to negate life, InSpero nurtures artistic voices and visions to continue to “hew out stones of hope from mountains of despair.” To never stop picturing a day when all things will be restored, reconciled and made right. To see that this world is not as it should be and keep envisioning what it will be.
And to know they are not alone in their foolish, beautiful dreaming.
InSpero cultivates the artists and artisans who through their words, movements, songs, paintings, sculptures, films and preaching give us hope and beauty in a broken world. We pray for a fragment of Dr. King’s courage to keep dreaming and hewing. Because we don’t want to picture a world without dreamers.
Here’s our dream for Birmingham.
InSpero exists to support the growth of the creative community—those artists and artisans whose work awakens our longing for beauty and truth in the midst of our suffering and search for meaning. We believe this community has a unique ability to bring healing, hope and restoration to a broken world.
Unfortunately, those involved in the arts often feel isolated, discouraged or marginalized; and their potential contributions are lost to a world that so desperately needs them. InSpero seeks to recognize and care for these individuals, believing that their gifts are essential for our well-being and the well-being of our city.
To this end, we organize events that bring together artists, artisans and the audiences who need their gifts. Our events are designed to encourage and cultivate the creative community and provide opportunities for our members to present their offerings to our city and the world.
We do this because we believe beauty matters and so do those who create it.
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.