|Project Title:||Image in Canada Project|
|Purpose of Investment:||To invest in the expansion of Canadian programs to highlight the integral role of spirituality in the arts.|
Founded in Canada in 2009 (its sister organization in the US was founded in 1989), Image’s mission is to foster cultural and human flourishing through the cultivation of the religious imagination. For thirty years, Image has advanced this mission through an exceptional arts journal and a portfolio of programs that invite artists, art lovers, and patrons of the arts into life-changing conversations. Image is an organization rooted in the Christian tradition that is hospitable to all. We believe that creatures, made in the image of God, live most fully into their nature when they are creative.
As the leading organization in the faith and arts sphere, Image has cultivated a significant community of artists and believers—14,000 strong in North America. From the beginning, Image has pursued its work throughout North America, cultivating communities in the US, Canada, and beyond. While started in the US, our desire is to serve an international community. Our first major step in this direction is to grow the work of Image in Canada. Although we’ve published a number of Canadians (Margaret Avison, Joy Kogawa, Bruce Cockburn, David Adams Richards, Douglas Coupland, and many more), we are making a concerted effort to expand our presence in Canada in the next few years.
The vast majority of our network is in the US—only 200 print journal and 500 Image Update (our weekly email digest) subscribers are in Canada. We believe that in the coming year we can increase these numbers by building a network of arts leaders that help us curate programs and conversations that generate broad interest. Initially, growth will be qualitative (who) rather than quantitative (how many). Dynamic networks of artists and community leaders will support our medium term goal: to build a community of 3000 artists, academics, and spiritual leaders in Canada in the next five years.
This grant would be active January through December of 2020. However the impact will be felt through the following year (and beyond) as much of our work will be laying groundwork for events and activities in 2021.
We are seeking $50,000 CAD to more fully realize our vision for cultural and human flourishing in Canada. This will be used to fund events, marketing, and networking in Canada throughout 2020.
Image believes that cultivating the religious imagination will make a significant contribution to the flourishing of culture and people in Canada. Art, enriched by faith, lifts us out of places where our private and collective lives have become too small. It expands our vision and increases our capacity for hope. It shows us ways to refuse the reductionism of a pragmatic culture bent on consumption as an ultimate good. Faith-informed art also gives us courage to face painful places, heals wounds, builds bridges between disparate communities, and creates cultural and spiritual renewal through beauty. As Russian sage Fyodr Dostoyevsky once wrote, “Beauty can save the world.”
- Establish a planning committee representing leading artists, academics, faith leaders, and heads of arts institutions in the GTA to conceptualize and plan (in 2020), and build and implement (in 2021) a Toronto Arts and Faith Festival (TAFF) for the fall 2021.
- Launch events in Canada in 2020 including executive lectures by James K. A. Smith (Vancouver and Toronto); plan for the Mitchell Prize for Faith and Poetry (award offered in fall 2021); lay a foundation for Madeleine L’Engle Seminar on Art, Faith, and Science (Toronto, Spring 2021).
- Expand the footprint of Image in Canada—and Canada in Image—via growth across our initiatives: print subscriptions (from 200 to 400); Image Update subscriptions, our weekly email digest (from 500 to 800); and reading groups (from 0 to 10 in 2020). Plus increased readership among university students, and growth in the number of Canadians in the pages of Image and on faculty at the Glen Workshop (Ins Choi will be at the Glen in 2020).
*Content provided by Image