Uniting Creative calls on emerging artists
Throughout September to December, Uniting Creative will be taking a cohort of creatives through a writing, recording, and production program with David Gungor (The Brilliance). Mr Gungor is a writer and mentor who works with worship artists in New York.
The program will consist of a series of gatherings, which are planned at this point to include online and face-to-face interactions (as restrictions allow).
He said that those who joined the program could expect, “A collaborative community of artists who take creative risks to best tell the story in fresh ways.”
“We do this by commissioning artists and craftsman to tell the story of God with beauty and imagination,” he said.
“We will be doing a series of gatherings both in person and digitally, as well as song writing cohorts.”
“We are attempting to create a safe environment for artists to experiment and learn together.”
In July, Tash Holmes began work in the new Worship Project Facilitator role, a position created by Uniting Mission and Education that aims to gather, inspire, and equip emerging artists.
“It is an opportunity to mentor and cultivate the gifts of people from all facets of the Uniting Church: across generations, cultural groups, and diverse stylistic frameworks,” Ms Holmes explained.
“As the Uniting Church affirms their commitment to be a contemporary, courageous, and growing church, our creativity, our music has the incredible opportunity to inspire, uplift and reach many lives. Our goal is to build capacity and momentum to develop creative leaders as we ‘weave a new sound’ in and through our churches.”
Toward the end of 2020, Uniting Creative released ‘All of This is Us’, celebrating the rich diversity, advocacy for justice, and genuine welcome for all that is at the heart of our church.
“It’s important for our church to sing songs that speak to who we are, our story, pilgrimage and courageous call to ‘lengthen the table of our church.’ Our vision is for holy creativity to take its place & follow its call alongside our church leaders. To write the sacred soundtrack of our journey, let music through the spirit hold us when we cannot stand, uplift us in hopelessness and anchor us when we feel lost.”
During the 2020 lockdown, a number of Uniting Church creatives worked together on music projects. Ms Holmes said that Uniting Creative were hoping to recapture that during the current lockdown (at the time of writing).
“Yes, lockdowns are always a challenging times, but we are moving forward as much as we can through creative Zooming groups, co-writing sessions, and rehearsals,” she said.
Mr Gungor also said he was looking forward to working with emerging artists.
“I think emerging artists often are open to taking creative risks in fresh ways,” he said.
“I also love being able to be a part of a community that values creative feedback.”
“We use music to tell the story of God, with artistry, to inspire the Christian imagination.
We use music to help tell, receive, and join in the story of the Trinity.”
In an interview, he recalled the recent time when he got to play some music together with friends for the first time since the COVID pandemic began.
“The emotions seemed to be so high, and there was so much love and gratitude with tears of grief and joy,” he said.
“I can’t begin to express how powerful it was to be able to make music again with people that you love.”
According to Ms Holmes, Uniting Creative are calling on, “all writers, singers, musicians, and creatives to come together as we gear up to connect, grow, and launch new music throughout 2021.”
She said that long term plans for Uniting Creative includes an online platform to host existing artists, local church music releases, and collaborations. Ms Holmes said she was also keen to create a “one stop shop” for congregations to access music resources all in one spot.
Uniting Creative would like to hear from anyone who is:
· Seeking a creative formation path within the Uniting Church.
· Seeking a creative community of vocalists, musicians, filmmakers, dancers, poets and more.
· Writing and producing music resources.
For more information about Uniting Creative, contact Tash Holmes via Natashaho@nswact.uca.org.au.