Arts in Outreach

Throughout history storytelling, image making, singing, music, dance and storytelling have been integral to our attempts at making sense of the world and our place in it. With the proper structure, conversation around art and art making allows spiritual exploration that includes a multiplicity of viewpoints and perspectives while breaking down defenses and presuppositions.

Below you will find examples of both art making and engaging with art created by others that Convergence has found meaningful in outreach and building Christian community. Our hope is that these examples will encourage you and spark ideas for use in your own context.

CRAVE: How can a small congregation do fresh, meaningful, and effective outreach?

Overview: CRAVE was a series of micro-granting dinners supporting creative projects for the greater good. From 2014-2016 Convergence partnered with the Torpedo Factory Arts Center, a well-established arts destination and studio space in Old Town Alexandria, to host a series of 5 micro-granting dinners that engaged community members, artists and funders in conversations about the … Continue reading CRAVE: How can a small congregation do fresh, meaningful, and effective outreach?

MURAL PROJECT: How can physical space celebrate the shared values of a diverse community?

Overview: In 2013, Convergence partnered with DC-based public arts collective, Albus Cavus, to transform our Lab entrance with a 12’ x 20’  mural representing the creativity and diversity of the Convergence community while highlighting our shared values. The message: “You belong here!” Albus Cavus suggested finding a grant to support the project, so we approached … Continue reading MURAL PROJECT: How can physical space celebrate the shared values of a diverse community?

LAB ALL AGES: How can a church affect culture through the arts by “going upstream?”

What happens in culture upstream can affect the whole river. -Makoto Fujimura. Overview: The LAB All Ages program invited an entire music community to take residence at Convergence free of charge. The volunteer led arts incubation program and all ages music venue became home to the local “DIY Punk community” of emerging artists and musicians. … Continue reading LAB ALL AGES: How can a church affect culture through the arts by “going upstream?”

Immersion Baptism, Alfred St. Baptist Church, Nina Tisara

WITNESSING WORSHIP: How can the arts serve as a catalyst for community dialogue?

Overview: Witnessing Worship: Connecting through the lens of faith used photographs to ask the question, “how can we live well together in difference?” The exhibit, by photographer Nina Tisara, featured images of over 70 local congregations of differing faiths engaged in worship from 1985- 1995; an online project where participants from around the world shared … Continue reading WITNESSING WORSHIP: How can the arts serve as a catalyst for community dialogue?

VIOLENT GRACE: How do we address controversial religious themes?

Overview: In 2016, Ed Knippers was invited to exhibit, Violent Grace, a collection of 9’x12’ oil paintings of biblical scenes in our gallery and sanctuary. The exhibit was designed to provoke the complex cultural and biblical perceptions we have of our bodies and explore how this impacts our understanding of The Incarnation. A controversial artist … Continue reading VIOLENT GRACE: How do we address controversial religious themes?