1. Prophetic Imagination in Hip Hop (Mary McCampbell) - This session looks at the ways in which various hip hop artists prophetically challenge their listeners to rethink the false narratives they have inherited. As we explore Chance the Rapper's subversive joy, Lupe Fiasco and Childish Gambino's disquieting satire, and songs of anger and lament from Public Enemy, The Roots, and Kendrick Lamar, we will discuss how hip hop can usher us into a deeper sense of solidarity, lament, and empathy.
2. The Well-Formed Imagination: Opening the Eyes of Your Child’s Heart (Clay Clarkson) - Where does an active imagination come from in a child? Is it just luck of the genetic draw, or do parents have a part to play? This session will explore the home-grown sources of a well-formed imagination in children. We’ll look at what Scripture says about imagination, consider practical models and methods for forming children’s imaginations, and then share stories of our own imaginal family ways and children.
3. Symphonic Apologetics (Mark Meynell) - This session springs from the experience of using piano transcriptions of two symphonies as part of a church outreach in London. Can art at its most ‘abstract’ (which is what a symphony essentially is) actually say anything, and if so, what? With particular reference to Brahms’ 4th and Prokofiev’s 7th symphonies.
4. Transient Beauty: Earthly Works by Eternal Beings (Ned Bustard, Joe Sutphin, John Hendrix, Kyra Hinton) - Why do we spend so much time making things from pigment, ink, paper, and clay? How much value should we put on the creation of works of art? Should the goal of an artist be connection with another person or the potential endurance of the work itself? In a live-projected demonstration, four artists create while exploring these questions. Come explore the mysteries of the incarnate loss that is essential in all earthly works, and ponder its potential for eternal redemption.
5. Voices of Grace: Encouraging Women in Artistic and Christian Community (Helena Sorensen, Jill Phillips, Janna Barber, Thomas McKenzie) - To have a true picture of the Gospel and our Creator, we must embrace a variety of perspectives, and when we impoverish ourselves of women’s voices, we impoverish ourselves not only of our understanding of art and life and the world, but of God himself and Scripture. Both men and women are invited to join this discussion, as we explore the importance of the female voice in art and in the church, as well as offer suggestions on how to best support this often overlooked image of God.
6. The Second Muse: How Songs Become Songs (Drew Miller, Andrew Osenga, Ben Shive, Brown Bannister) - Wendell Berry writes that "there are, it seems, two muses: the Muse of Inspiration, who gives us inarticulate visions and desires, and the Muse of Realization, who returns again and again to say 'It is yet more difficult than you thought." It is easy to romanticize songwriting and record production as a rapturous affair with the Muse of Inspiration, as if an artist's dreams crystallize into a timeless recording with the snap of a finger. The reality is that there is always frustration and disappointment. Often, a great song is less result of inspiration than of obedience. This session will offer a discussion about the presenters confrontations with the Second Muse.
7. Will Beauty Save the World (S. D. Smith, Heidi Johnston) - Dostoevsky’s famous line, “Beauty will save the world" has, in many ways, become a creed among creative Christians, a summary of belief, a validation of vocation, and a call to action. This session will explore the place and value of Beauty (including the Imagination, Storytelling, the Arts) and its relationship to Truth.
8. Adorning the Dark: Thoughts on Community, Calling, and the Mystery of Making (Andrew Peterson) - Writing is a craft that can’t necessarily be taught, but it can be learned. Andrew will talk about some principles of the creative life that are cross disciplinary, and will hopefully lead not merely to better writing, but a better way to pay attention to the lives God has given us.