Skip to main content

Misc. VDS Events

Spirit/Place: Imagining a Creative Community of Art, Advocacy and Action
April 22 - 23, 2016

Art, Advocacy and Action 2016
How can art foster Transformative Justice? One root meaning of “art” is “to make,” and art makes environments that expand possibilities for social justice by infusing place with spirit. 
“Spirit/Place: Imagining a Creative Community of Art, Advocacy, and Action,” is a conference calling together artists, activists, philosophers, and theologians to address the creative and ambiguous edges of art and enterprise within a particular geographic region, Nashville, TN.  This two-day event will explore the role art may play in creating equitable change in a city; how art informs our policies, initiatives, enterprises, and affiliations; and how art calls us to responsibility for each other in a spirit of belonging.
Join us as we explore theories, practices, and performances that have shaped Nashville and that are shaping a new Nashville.  Bring your unique work/perspectives/response to connect with other creative artists, advocates, and activists.

As part of the Transformative Justice Series, which offers the opportunity to explore different ways to combine leadership development through justice-making, this gathering seeks to:

  • Imagine and enact “Beloved community”
  • Encourage direct action, advocacy, creative protest, and prophetic response
  • Foster connections among Nashville locals eager to share their work
  • Join ideas, motivations, resources, networks, etc. in creative collaboration
  • Overcome the isolation often experienced
  • Provide inspiration that transcends exhaustion, futility, and distraction

Register for Spirit/Place here.

Schedule of Events

Friday, April 22

5:00 – 6:30 p.m.
Keynote with Roberto Bedoya,
Writer and Cultural Activist, “Belonging, Cities, and Poetic Will”
Benton Chapel, Vanderbilt Divinity School

6:45 p.m. 
Opening Reception
Reading Room, Vanderbilt Divinity School

7:30 p.m.
Sing the Beloved Community Concert
Reading Room, Vanderbilt Divinity School

Saturday, April 23

9:00 a.m.
Welcome
Reading Room, Vanderbilt Divinity School

9:15 – 10:15 a.m.
What Inspires You? Panel
Damien Durr, Children’s Defense Fund and Youth Pastor, Temple Church
Lis Valle-Ruiz, Ph.D. Candidate in Homiletics and Liturgics
Thaxton Waters, Local Artist
Elisheba Israel, Local Artist

10:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Disrupting the Space-Time Continuum: Visioning New Futures and Alternate Realities for Social Change
D.J. Hudson, Soulforce Nonviolence and Direct Action Strategist
Carlin Rushing, Local Activist and Program Assistant for the Carpenter Program in Religion, Gender, and Sexuality

11:45 – 12:45 p.m.
Taking back my dignity! Empowerment through wood and self-portrait. 
Freedom Arts Hands-On Workshop
Bobbi Negrón, Local Activist and Artist, Freedom Arts Nashville
Ndume Olatushan, Freedom Arts Nashville
Jairo Robles, Freedom Arts Nashville

12:45- 1:00 p.m.
Closing Remarks

Spirit/Place: Imagining a Creative Community of Art, Advocacy and Action is co-sponsored by: Vanderbilt Divinity School, Carpenter Program in Religion, Gender and Sexuality, Religion in the Arts and Contemporary Culture, Scarritt Bennett Center, Metro Arts, The Curb Center and The Cal Turner Program for Moral Leadership in the Professions.