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Religion, Spirituality and the Arts Seeks Participating Artists

Posted by IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute ; Posted on 
Religion, Spirituality and the Arts Seeks Participating Artists



Artists in all media are invited to apply to be a participant in the 2019-2020 Religion, Spirituality and the Arts seminar group. Space is limited.

Application deadline:  May 28, 2019

Religion, Spirituality, and the Arts (RSA) is a program of the IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute that brings together artists, religious leaders, religious communities, humanities experts, and a broad range of publics from diverse backgrounds and disciplinary perspectives for sustained study, analysis, and discussion of religious texts in a classroom environment. Directed by Rabbi Sandy Sasso, these textual discussions, which explore the varieties of religious experience and understanding, provide the inspiration for creating new artistic works (e.g. music, poetry, fiction, drama, visual art, dance). Artists share their creations through exhibitions and presentations to members of the Central Indiana community, including religious organizations, congregations, schools, libraries, and community groups.

RSA programming fosters a respectful and stimulating environment designed to nurture creativity. With a world class faculty from across the disciplines, RSA invites students from a broad range of artistic practices and diverse experiences.

Eligibility: Applicants may be anyone in the community who is active (as a professional or amateur) in the artistic disciplines. Selected applicants must be able to make a commitment to attend all seminar sessions and engage in open and respectful dialogue. Seminar participants will produce creative work to be performed and/or exhibited in a public forum.

Stipend:  Seminar participants will receive a $150 stipend at the conclusion of the group exhibition.

2019-20 Theme
The seminar will explore the story of Jonah in the Bible and the Quran and consider a variety of themes including the arbitrariness of unwarranted compassion and the desire to escape calls to human responsibility.  When others cry out, Jonah runs away or sleeps.  Might we see contemporary responses to crises through Jonah’s actions? What about the human desire to flee distasteful obligations?  Through visual arts, poetry, and music the group will explore the symbolism of the big fish as “reassuring womb” or “terrifying tomb” and the strange prophet who hates change but nevertheless brings it about in the end.

The faculty list for the 2018-19 seminar is still growing. So far, the faculty includes:

  • Anila Quayyum Agha, Associate Professor of Drawing and Illustration in the Herron School of Art and Design at IUPUI
  • Julia Muney Moore, Director of Public Art for the Arts Council of Indianapolis
  • Sandy Sasso, Rabbi Emerita of Congregation Beth-El Zedeck
  • Steven Stolen Host of WFYI’s Stolen Moments
  • Shari Wagner, Author and Indiana Poet Laureate (2016-2017)
  • Joseph Tucker Edmonds, Assistant Professor of Africana Studies and Religious Studies at IUPUI

Sessions will be held for 2 1/2 hours weekly for a total of eight weeks and will meet evenings from 6:00–8:30 p.m. on 9/19, 9/26, 10/3, 10/10, 11/7, 12/12, 1/9 or 1/16, 2/6

How to Apply
Applications for this seminar will be accepted from April 29 to May 28, 2019. Please submit your application using the online form.

In addition to basic demographic information, the form asks you to answer the following questions:

  1. How do you see your art form interacting with a religious text?
  2. How do you imagine this experience will impact your creative work?

You will also need to upload an artist resume and three examples of your work.

QUESTIONS? Contact Jason Kelly,


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