Ekphrasis Takes Over the World!

470282_3388666158368_1339196921_oThis past weekend, one of the most memorable of my life, I spent in New York City at the International Arts Movement Regional Catalysts’ Summit. It was held in the small, sunlit, inspiring Space 38/39, hung with Makoto Fujimura’s golden paintings on silk. I will be posting most about this conference. For now, I want to think about the relationship of my group, Ekphrasis, with IAM and all the ways I was inspired to help Ekphrasis grow and have a larger impact on the community.

So, a large part of the weekend consisted of short presentations by nearly everyone there about what his or her regional group is doing. Ekphrasis was among the smallest; some people presented on mammoth arts centers they have developed that own buildings, galleries, apartments, studios, and performance spaces. Some just meet in a cafe to chat. All had marvelous ideas about integrating faith and the arts and/or about having a greater artistic impact on our cities.

My motto from this weekend is going to be:

Here are some of my thoughts what about Ekphrasis, or its members, might be able to do in coming years:

1. Make each member a leader of something!
2. Find a fiscal agent (perhaps our church or IAM) so that people can make charitable donations.
3. Purchase ads in the programs of the PA Shakespeare Festival, A-town Symphony, A-town Civic Theatre, Zoellner Arts Center, and other venues.
4. Share goals and accountability deadlines for finishing or revising projects.
5. Run a Working Artists’ Initiative.
6. Go Christmas carolling (either on our own, or with a local church).
7. Host film nights. I have a list of suggested films.
8. Host artist dinners at each other’s homes. Invite new people (artist from the community).
9. Apply for Lehigh Valley Arts Council grants.
10. Write a press release and send it to local newspapers.
11. Start a readers’ guild for discussing books, articles, and other materials on faith-and-the-arts.
12. Start or join a Mars Hill Audio discussion group.
13. Host Culture & Faith cocktail parties.
14. Monetize the iambicadmonit blog so that we can pay writers to create content.
15. Develop a little video promoting/explaining our group.
16. Open a tiny concert/exhibit venue, such as a one-car garage, where musicians can perform and artists can display their works!
17. Compile a series of discussion-generating images to use for conversations among ourselves and with others.
18. Do art therapy or writing workshops at the A-town Rescue Mission, Turning Point, and/or the jail.
19. Go on an arts field trip to Philly.
20. Go on an arts field trip to NYC.
21. Have an art auction.
22. Display members’ work at the White Stone Gallery.
23. Develop partnerships with all the arts organizations in the area.
24. Rent a gallery space, hang our own works, and curate other art exhibits.
25. Find a business investor to sponsor events, spaces, etc.
26. Start a charter Classical & Arts high school!


About Sørina Higgins

Sørina Higgins is a writer, English teacher, and Inklings scholar. Sørina serves as Chair of the Department of Language and Literature at Signum University and teaches English at King's College and Lehigh Carbon Community College. She has published two books of poetry, "The Significance of Swans" and "Caduceus."

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