March 2010 the International Arts Movement (IAM), founded by Mako Fujimura, hosted “Encounter 10” in New York’s historic Cooper Union. OM Arts International staff person Pat Butler attended and deliberated with hundreds of other creative catalysts on such questions as “Can creativity be the foundation of a new vision in education?Can museums and galleries be catalysts for cultural transformation? From Where Will the Audience Come?”
Mako, a professional artist working in the Japanese art form nihonga, led off with reflections (he would call them ‘refractions’) on “The Question of Success”—including the new capitalism, the goal of shalom, and art as gift.
Speakers Jacob Marshall, Jeffrey Overstreet and Dan Siedell, among others, challenged us during interviews and panel discussions. We were then launched out for lunch and an afternoon to continue the discussion while exploring the great galleries and museums of the city. Performances in the evening, readings between sessions from poets and authors, an exhibit of a juried art show, a short film, and a book table to go into debt over, rounded out the offerings of this unique gathering.
An interesting feature of the conference was the iphone app, created for “Encounter 10”. Anything you wanted to know, from schedule, to locations, to a speaker’s bio, could be found on the app. One did well to either own an iphone, or hang with those who did!
Especially on Friday, at 2:10 pm EST, when everyone was encouraged to participate in Worldwide Moment: a simultaneous photographic event. Participants were instructed to take a picture at precisely 2:10, capturing a representation of shalom peace wherever they were, and load it up immediately to the website. Check out the results at www.worldwidemoment.org!
IAM’s mission is to gather artists and creative catalysts to wrestle with the deep questions of art, faith and humanity in order to inspire the creative community to engage the culture that is and create the world that ought to be. Mako frequently refers to us as ‘wedding planners’—preparing for that great feast when the Bridegroom comes for the Bride.
As one presenter quipped, “Start carrying candles. You never know when you’re going to need to celebrate!”
Excelling in arts in missions
imagine – illuminate – impact!