Finally, we started to work on a Vision Statement or Statement of Purpose. We have asked my church for use of the building once a month, and they requested to see some kind of statement of who we are and what we're about. So we're working on it.
Here's what we have so far (very rough)
EKPHRASIS: FELLOWSHIP OF CHRISTIANS IN THE ARTS
Striving for technical excellence and orthodox profundity
[maybe that should be “theological profundity”?]
- Ekphrasis is a Greek word that translates "to express, enunciate, detail, phrase, signify." We are a group of artists seeking to translate, express, and signify Christian faith and human experience through the written, visual, and performing arts.
- We are not "Christian artists." We are artists. We are Christians. Our primary goal as artists is skill in our chosen fields.
- Our concept of “art” is informed by history, tradition, and training. Any cultural product that is created without education, practice, and a past is suspect.
- We are a community of professionals, semi-professionals, and serious amateurs (actors, choreographers, composers, dancers, directors, filmmakers, musicians, visual artists, writers...) and appreciative observers. At regular monthly meetings, we workshop each other's pieces and performances. While our critiques are constructive, they are incisive.
- Appreciative observers are also welcome to attend meetings, listen to the works, and provide constructive feedback.
- We believe God, the Creator, is is the source of our creative abilities: He crafted a beautiful, complex world full of pain, glory, and subtlety, and gave His human creatures the amazing gift of “subcreation”--we can, in turn, create little imaginary worlds full of pain, glory, and subtlety. Art is not merely mimetic nor merely diegetic; it is also subcreative, generative, and potentially redemptive. As Andy Crouch has it, we must be culture-makers.
- We are conscious of what Gregory Wolfe calls a “tragic sense of life,” due to the Fall. We try to communicate in a mode that does not shamefully speak of the things that the wicked do in secret (Eph. 5:12) and yet exposes the unfruitful deeds of darkness (Eph. 5:11). We sympathize with Flannery O'Connor, who used violence to shock readers into an encounter with sin. We commiserate with T. S. Eliot, who believed modern literature needed to be complex and allusive to communicate truth. We are not afraid of content, lest the secular world have nothing to fear in us.We abhor cliches.
- We want to reach into the local Christian congregations, find the artists therein, and provide them with a place where they can grow artistically and spiritually in their vocation. We want to reach into the established local arts communities, find the Christians therein, and invite them to share their expertise and receive nurture in a faith-based community. We want to network with established faith-and-the-arts groups and learn from them as we grow.
- We desire to help the Church reclaim the arts. The Church, broadly speaking, was once the center of patronage and creativity. We believe She can be so again.