Building on the wisdom of millennia of careful reflection about the divine, the Foundation for Spirituality and the Arts fosters conversations, residencies, and other programs to nurture connections between contemporary art and faith.
For centuries, both religion and spirituality have been wellsprings for the artistic imagination. But today there is a widely acknowledged gulf between the contemporary art world on the one hand, and the realms of religious faith and spiritual expression on the other. In light of this reality, the Foundation for Spirituality and the Arts is dedicated to providing much needed support for the creation and dissemination of spiritually informed art and its discourse.
There is a great longing nowadays for the experience of community, which we believe can be achieved in a profound and integrated way through recognition of our shared spiritual values. Entertainment and politics alone cannot sustain us as spiritual beings. A focus on transcendence and orienting oneself to a higher power can be a source of insight, illumination, and inspiration – all things we also associate with art and creative expression. Religious and spiritual practices enable us to channel the divine into our daily lives. The liturgies which flow from the great faith traditions continue to enrich diverse communities throughout the United States and the world.
Our goal is to explore how the contemporary arts engage with these traditions through a variety of disciplines and practices, and vice versa. While there are varied definitions of what terms such as religion, faith, and spirituality really mean, and widely divergent perspectives on the relationship between them, there are many commonalities – and therefore the possibility for shared journeys. We endeavor to build on contributions from those who have doubts and questions, those who have reservations and deep concerns, and those who have strongly held beliefs and convictions. Our strength depends on thoughtful participation in a spirit of openness and fellowship.
We believe that humility is a necessary foundation for the receptivity that allows us to access the transcendent. Awe and wonder in the face of mystery characterize this core conviction, since there is something vital and permanent which stands outside of the human ego. Through meaningful communal initiatives and opportunities for artists, the Foundation seeks to revitalize the link between art, faith, and spirituality to inspire a more conscious and fulfilled life for each individual, and to foster a broader cultural healing. Although our initial programming will take place primarily in New York City and Charleston, South Carolina, we trust that our collaborations will address global and timeless concerns.