EthnoArts

Great art and artisanship can only come 
from a heart filled with peace.   
(Zapotec artisan)

 

Emily Johnson Navajo Rug 1975 cropped

Navajo rug, 1975, by Emily Johnson who was a member of the Navajo translation team that completed Diyin God Bizaad, the Navajo Bible.

To send light into the darkness of men’s hearts 
– such is the duty of the artist.  
(Robert Schumann)

 

From the dawn of time, God has shown himself to be the Master Artist…
    creating beauty and order,
        shaping the first man from clay with his own hands,
            giving gifts of artisanship for creating with all kinds of materials,
    designing his temple with utility and splendor that were filled with meaning;
        inspiring music, song and dance to remember great events;
            crafting prophecies with visual shape, color and texture;
    and inspiring writers with words that thousands of years later continue to bring light and life.    

Is it any wonder then that we who were made to carry within us a likeness to the Creator, should find ourselves so stirred to create works of art, and so moved in heart and mind by the art of others?  Heart touches heart, and new windows of understanding are opened through music, drama, dance, storytelling and visual arts.  The message and impact of the arts can be far greater than the shape, size or sound of their presentation.  

We believe that ethnic-specific arts are a powerful means of expressing worship, cultivating discipleship and communicating the Creator’s call for all peoples to receive from him on-going renovation, peace and strength.  We therefore choose to join with Him in building relationships, vision and capacity among the ethnic peoples of the Americas so that the arts will serve to nurture their life-transforming interaction with God and his Scriptures in their languages.  

To this end, Americas Area Ethnoarts Services seeks to assist ethnic artists and ministry organizations in a number of ways that strengthen the Kingdom of God in and around them.  Our services include:

  • Nurturing vision and skills for service through workshops such as “Arts for a Better Future.”   
  • Equipping people to carry out Community Arts Surveys throughout the Americas in order to assist local artists in identifying potential applications of their own arts to Kingdom service in their communities. 
  • Developing strategic organizational support for Ethnoarts.  
  • Consulting with church leaders and Bible translators about ways to integrate ethnoarts into their current activities and so to better fulfill the purpose of their ministry and their goals for Scripture engagement. 
  • Guiding Ethnoarts Specialists toward competency as Arts Consultants.  

Click here to connect with the SIL Americas Area Ethnoarts Services team to discuss options for how ethnoarts might be used for God’s glory in your ministry and community.

Click here to connect with ALDEA:  Asociación Latinoamericana De EtnoArtes.  ALDEA is not connected organizationally with SIL International, but we applaud ALDEA’s initiatives and encourage you to consider collaborating with them.

Click here to connect with the International Council of Ethnodoxologists (ICE) Web page at "World of Worship."  ICE is not connected organizationally with SIL International, but we applaud ICE's initiatives and encourage you to consider collaborating with them. 

Click here to see information about “Arts for Trauma Healing” training at the Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics in Dallas, Texas, USA.