New Dramatic Arts Program for Youth in Kingston Starting this October!

Starting October 21st, Faith and Arts Ottawa, in partnership with Sydenham Street United Church – The Spire, will be launching a new dramatic arts program for youth (ages 14 to 18) in the Kingston (Ontario) area called “Sharing Stories”.

This 8-week, dramatic theatre workshop program, centers on the experiences of youth and their questions of identity, spirituality and community.

At each Sunday evening workshop, there will be a shared meal (for the first hour) followed by a two (2) hour theatrical workshop.

Cost: It’s FREE!

When: Sunday evenings, starting October 21st, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Where: Sydenham Street United Church, at 82 Sydenham Street (at Sydenham and William).

Want to register? Need more information? Email the Administrator of Faith and Arts Ottawa, Ashley, at faithandartsottawa@gmail.com OR email the Director of the Program, Rosemary Nolan, at rosemary.margaret.nolan@gmail.com

Register before October 17th! Spaces are limited.

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The SpiritArt Mission

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The SpiritArt Program has a clear mission and goals. 

 Our mission is

  • To provide a safe and welcoming art space.
  • To offer programming that nurtures spirituality and inspires hope, creativity, growth and healing though artistic expression.
  • To build and nurture a sense of community and connection through programming.
  • To provide a structure which will sustain connections made and to provide ongoing opportunities for support for people in their spiritual journeys.

There are many great schools and studios in Ottawa offering instruction in the arts ranging from dance to drama, from painting to poetry.  If your goal is to improve your technique and learn from an expert, then you’ll easily find what you’re looking for.

But if, on the other hand, your goal is to grow personally and spiritually through your art, to connect to the Source of life and to heal your wounds by using your imagination and creativity, then your options are fewer.

Our Mission at SpiritArt is to offer precisely this kind of artistic exploration; art-making that leads to spiritual growth and a sense of  community, the kind of imaginative exploration that focuses on the process rather than the product.

We believe that the creative arts provide one of the best possible paths to growth, healing and healthy community.  Why? Because when we engage our imagination in creating something new, something that doesn’t yet exist, we are – by definition! – open to learning and growing.  And because, when we are learning and growing we are more likely to find the strength and resources we need to face our hurts and pains and overcome them.  AND because, when we’re using our imagination, we are – almost by definition – HAVING FUN!

And fun is something too many of us have too little of.

That’s why SpiritArt has a clear mission and goals that set it apart from most of the other arts-based organizations in the city.

 

Worship Can Be Fun!

A hall full of young people.  A band playing. People talking, texting, laughing.  Tables strewn with paper, magazines, playdoh, markers, pens and pencils, pipe cleaners of all colours.  This is Rideau Park U.C. on Saturday, October 26th when young people and their friends gathered from across Ottawa for The Point, the United Church’s seasonal youth worship service. 

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After singing, praying, and listening to St. Paul enumerate the fruit of the spirit in his letter to the Church in Galatia, the crowd split up and enthusiastically dove into all kinds of art-making.

At one table, a group coloured, cut and pasted, and sketched to create a huge banner.  At another, busy hands worked with play-doh and pipe-cleaners to make colourful and inventive sculptures.  At yet another table, a group of lyricists and musicians put their ideas to music.

Meanwhile, in a quiet room upstairs a dedicated gang  of four wrote in silence, setting down their poetic response to the scripture.

And, in a noisy room downstairs, a larger gang laughed and improvised their way to a skit  illustrating how some of these spiritual fruit might be found in a high school today.

After 40 minutes of preparation, the crowd came back together and finished their worship by sharing what they had created.  Sculptures, drawings, poems and reflections, a banner, new music, drama; they were all there, all a part of responding to the words of the Bible.

Everyone was engaged, and everyone had fun.  There was lots of laughter, and lots of off-topic teasing, but there was also lots of serious intellectual and imaginative engagement.  (At one point, a member of the drama group exclaimed, “Listen, this is Paul, we’re dealing with neo-Platonism here, we need to get over it and move on.”)

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It didn’t look, sound or feel much like ‘church,’ and that didn’t matter at all. What mattered is that, for a couple of hours on a cool autumn evening, a group of young people engaged their minds and imaginations in a creative conversation with the great story of the Christian faith.  Judging by the chatter as they left, they didn’t find it boring at all!

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2nd Annual Artistic Expressions Studio Art Show

The amazing artists of the Artistic Expressions Studio are holding their second annual show and exhibit, with special concerts and panel discussion to complement the art they have prepared.

Here are the details:

The Artistic Expressions Studio is holding its 2nd annual ART EXHIBIT. The public is invited to view the work of these artists and attend events presented by Special Guests of the Studio on Nov. 13 and 14, evenings, and Sat. afternoon, Nov. 16. The Special Guests include:

  • Nov. 13, 7-8 pm, in the sanctuary, The Centretown Brass Quintet, featuring Peter Crouch and Cameron Walker, trumpet, Michel Levasseur, french horn, Trevor Argue, trombone and Corey Rempel, tuba, performing a program of some jazz and blues standards and some original works for brass;
  • Nov. 14, 7 pm-9 pm, pianist William Blais of Ambient Melodies playing in the gallery;
  • Nov. 16, 1-3 p.m., in the sanctuary, a panel discussion, “Living the Dream – A Healthy Society for All” sponsored by the Douglas Coldwell Foundation. The panel will feature authors and physicians, Vincent Lam and Ryan Meili, and former MP and journalist Dennis Gruending.

    The Artistic Expressions Studio is a joint project of Centre 507 and Centretown United church. It’s purpose is to provide an equipped studio space to artists of our community living with a variety of serious challenges. These artists may frequent drop-ins, live in rooming houses, shelters or on the street. Despite these circumstances they are talented and serious artists and their work deserves to be exhibited, admired and collected. Following the events on Nov. 13th and 16th the audience is invited to view The Art Exhibit in the gallery. The Exhibit and all events and will be held at Centretown United Church, 507 Bank St. at Argyle. All events are free but donations to the Studio are welcome. For more information see centretownunited.org or centre507.org. Free parking is available at Glashan public school, 28 Arlington Ave.

Last year’s show was a huge success, this year it will be even better. Hope to see you there.

 

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.

Faith and Arts Dinner: September 30/12

We’re hosting an informal dinner and get-together for university students and other young adults at Centretown United Church, corner of Bank and Argyle. We’ll gather between 5 – 5:30 and eat around 6. There’s a simple, fun art activity after the meal, and we’ll be finished by 7:00.
Chili, rice, salad, bread, drinks, and homemade cookies!! A chance to gather, share a meal and visit. Its going to be fun!