Who Needs the Arts?
- Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Folks, make no mistake: the world knows the power of the arts better than we do. Especially the visual arts. That's why so many groups infuse movies, songs, videos, and TV with their anti-God, anti-family messages. That's why ad time on TV is ten times more expensive than advertising time on the radio. That's why beer companies spend hundreds of millions each year on TV advertising and a small fraction on print and radio advertising. The arts are a powerful force. So how do we use that powerful force for good and for the glory of God?
Many of the families I talk with, especially in the homeschool community, are great people who are as frustrated as they can be. They've thrown out their TVs. They use Internet filters, boycott the movies, and screen every show or book before the kids see it. In concept I applaud much of that. But there is a flip-side that few engage in. Let me offer one more story.
We held a Christian Art Outreach event at a very large church in fairly prominent Midwest city last year. It was an incredibly blessed show that God used powerfully. Turned out that we had more people through our show that week than the new aquarium's grand opening week. But the church we were at was very concerned that someone would steal the paintings (after all, it was a show with a few million in original art). So they developed some very strict security protocols. They had uniformed security guards, armed police officers, only three keys that could open the doors, and strict rules about who could be in the venue and when. And there were a few times when they had to actively deter folks who looked like a problem. But as ferocious as all this security was, it actually made my life easier. Why? Because in addition to keeping out the people who were a danger, security also admitted those people who should have been there. Every time they saw me coming, they had the doors open before I got there. You see, their second function was one of admittance. Helping to let in the people who did belong.
That's our two-sided function as both parents and Christians: keeping out the bad but encouraging and admitting the good. The arts are a powerful medium for communication, either good or bad. So while you are keeping out the bad messages, let me encourage you to let in the good ones via excellent artistic presentations of the gospel. Can't find any? Then encourage your local church, your local Christian bookstore, your local ministry to create them. And just like you wouldn't settle for a pair of jeans that were poorly made, don't settle for Christian books, films, music, drama, décor, prints, etc. that are poorly executed. The gospel, the greatest message ever proclaimed, should be excellently and powerfully presented.
That's what I, my family, our Tapestry Productions company, and several others like us have been dedicated to for years. Using the arts to powerfully and excellently proclaim Christ. As our mission statement says, "Going into all the World . . . through Art!" My father has said many times that part of his calling from God is "to reclaim the arts for Christ." But how can we reclaim them if so many Christians misunderstand the arts and refuse to get involved?
We talked to a Hollywood movie executive a few months ago who said, "If we thought Christians would support good Christian movies, we'd make more of them."
That's the crux of this series of articles. Recognize the power of the arts. Encourage and support their use for good. Integrate art into your homeschooling environment. We'll help show you how to do that and do it effectively. Til then . . . God richly bless you.
Grant DiCianniis the son of Ron DiCianni, one of the world's top Christian artists, and is president of Tapestry Productions (www.TapestryProductions.com), the nation's only dedicated Christian fine art publisher. The mission of Tapestry Productions is to excellently and powerfully proclaim the gospel of Christ through visual means. With his unbelievably wonderful wife Amanda, he has two children, Nicolas and Catelyn (and one on the way). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article was originally published in the Jul/Aug 2010 issue of Home School Enrichment Magazine. Sign up now to receive a FREE sample copy! Just click here: http://homeschoolenrichment.com/magazine/request-sample-issue.html
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