Partnerships: the name of the game

Here’s how we define our Mission at Faith&Arts Ottawa:

“to engage people in deepening their spiritual lives by offering arts-based spiritual growth programs to the Ottawa community, and by creating a faith community of people committed to sharing their lives with one another. “

We have employed many art forms in pursuit of this mission: journaling, poetry, creative writing, music, sculpting, drama and more.  As we have grown our programs we have met a lot of wonderful people who share the vision and have offered their own gifts in partnership.

Like the amazing congregation of All Saints’ Anglican Church in Sandy Hill who have turned their former chapel into a fully equipped art studio and are partnering with Faith&Arts Ottawa to create the SpiritArt studio and SpiritArt program (www.spiritartprogram.ca).

Like Eleanor Crowder and Anna Lewis, two of the principals at the Bear & Company Theatre company (www.bearandcompany.org) who led our ‘god Monologues’ verbatim theatre project back in the spring of 2013.

And now, like Jonathan Harris and the good folk of the 9th Hour Theatre company (www.9th-hour.ca) who are partnering with us to create a remarkable piece of original theatre called “Grain of Salt.”  More about that later, but for now we are delighted to find kindred souls at 9th Hour, who define their mission this way:

“9th Hour Theatre Company exists to creatively engage the art of storytelling in order to explore, examine and express themes and questions of faith and spirituality, including the person and characteristics of God.”

With a Mission so closely aligned with Faith&Arts Ottawa’s, the only surprise is that it took over a year for us to seek one another out and begin collaborating.  Now that we have, and we are, you can look forward to lots of engaging, spiritually challenging theatre in the years to come.

What is Faith and Arts Ottawa?

Faith and Arts Ottawa is, most of all, an experiment, so our focus is less on what it is and more on what it will become, and that is still a mystery.

But, there are a few things we can say:

  • It is an experiment in exploring faith and spirituality through the use of the imagination and the creative arts.
  • It is an experiment in creating a new community of people who are drawn to the vision of what it might become.
  • It is an organization dedicated to creating arts-based events and programs that will help people ask and answer the important questions of their lives.
  • It is a way to connect people who are asking spiritual questions, regardless of their religious or spiritual beliefs.
  • It is a place for hospitality, questing, learning and friendship, and,
  • It is a new ministry of the United Church of Canada (founded in February, 2012).

We hope that our programs will connect with people of all ages and all walks of life: men and women, young and old, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, or none of the above. In particular, we hope that young adults looking for purpose and meaning in their lives will find help and encouragement in what we offer.

We hope that our programs will connect with poets, musicians, song-writers, actors, dancers, play-wrights, potters, photographers, videographers, painters, sculptors and carvers, and more.

Faith and Arts Ottawa is about creativity and imagination, about creatively making and shaping our lives, and our programs will be for anyone who is interested in exploring life through the creative arts and the creative process.

Faith and Arts Ottawa is grounded in the Christian faith and the teachings of Jesus:

  • Love for our neighbours
  • Hospitality for the stranger
  • Care for those in need, and …

Faith and Arts Ottawa is also grounded in the diverse, multi-religious, secular society that is Ottawa today. To become fully the people we can be, we need to talk with and listen to ALL our neighbours, especially those whose beliefs are different than our own. A core piece of the vision of Faith and Arts Ottawa is that every human being is creative and has something important to add to the community.