Sunday, April 24, 2011

Fortieth Day of Lent: Artists' Gathering

Easter eggs

Artist’s gathering. We’ve invited artists: musicians, actors, visual artists, to come to the church and learn of our vision for the Centre. Jane has brought a friend from her church and another member of the original cast of Vanities. John comes, this time in his role of founder of his Shakespeare group, the Dark Lady Players. Chuck has come with Leo and others from the 29th Street Repertory Theatre. There’s Andre. And Leila as a visual artist. And Rick as singer, songwriter, producer, playwright, auctioneer...Amanda. And Danielle as the  Centre’s Administrative Assistant. 
I lead tours of our various possible performance spaces, the old Papp theatre in the Balcony, Mc Alpin Hall, the top floor gym. And of course, the sanctuary itself. The idea  of urban homesteading in your home, of raw arts space in a gentrified neighborhood, the counterintuitive appeal of it all captures the artists imagination. 
The communion table is filled with wine and cheese and sausage and crackers and dried apricots and seltzer. As we gather in a circle to discuss the vision, Piano Dan, musician, arranger and piano tuner extraordinaire arrives. 
a song
We do introductions. Andre speaks of recovering from his brain hemorrhage. And Rick tells of his heart attack last week. I speak of the dream that became the Centre idea. Amanda of the  vision of the artists' fellowship. Intersecting circles of convergence and collaboration. Visions are shared-- everyone here has come with a dream. Models explored. And Amanda finishes with a song. 
As people are leaving, Andre has discovered the hard boiled eggs. And Danielle, Amanda, Leila and I decorate Easter eggs with crayons and dye. On the communion table. Amanda carefully wraps two to take back to her daughter in Portland.
Leila dyes an egg

I’m thinking of the night of ritual space that reopened our doors to the public. Today was another day like that. I’m thinking that tomorrow is Easter. 
Amanda dyes an egg

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