As people created in the image of God, we are called to be co-creators with God. As God created the world, God calls us to create inside of ours. Connecting with that capacity for co-creation is part of what it means for us to engage with our identity of people made in the image of God. But the barriers to that kind of creative expression can be so much higher than other ways of engaging in faith. You can pray and read scripture on your own, but painting? Sculpture? That requires space, supplies, and a community to learn from and share with.
The COVE Art Center, hosted inside Greenstone United Methodist Church, has taken on that challenge. As a drop-in after-school youth program focused on the intersection of discipleship and creative arts, this center has the vision of creating 12 separate studio spaces focused on different mediums (painting, photography, fashion design) that allow for the free artistic expression of anyone who walks into them.
Mallory Hammond, one of our MINC project managers who has been working with the Director of The COVE, Brittany Hartman, says it has been one of her most beloved projects to partner with. As a Ministry Incubators project manager, Mallory has helped Hartman and her team set goals, identify challenges and break even their most formidable obstacles into manageable tasks so that the team can build their vision without losing their sustainable foundation. At Ministry Incubators, our goal is to give innovators and their teams the groundwork their need to chase the call the Holy Spirit has placed on them and help build the behind-the-scenes systems that make something as magical as The COVE move from vision to reality.
In Mallory’s words,
I loved helping them create a volunteer orientation process, systemizing a rhythm of accountability and task management system to complete several new studio spaces, and an end of the year giving campaign to help create sustainable support and structure to help them overcome some challenges…
They are doing beautiful work in a beautiful space… and focus on art in community and pouring into the students. They desire to restore creation to the Creator and that is evident in their vision for the space, other artists and the way they build impactful relationships with students in their surrounding area. The folks at the Cove are an especially creative bunch, so there is no limit to the hopes and dreams they have to further their mission.Mallory Hammond, MINC Project Manager
The COVE has a faith-based curriculum, but discipleship is as inherent in the expressions themselves as any teaching around them. To create is to live out that part of ourselves that is made in the image of the Great Creator. Young people are transformed by participating in the very act of creation.
And a community is built. Art allows us to express things that we cannot express in our written language and daily lives and therefore enables us to connect with one another in a way that transcends words. Conversations around hope, faith, love, the Kingdom, the deepest, truest things in our world, find their expression in art, and the community of artists that creates can be powerful. The COVE Art Center has been the basis for a community of artists, musicians, students, and more through their annual festivals, studio opportunities, and more.
We at Ministry Incubators love getting to partner with organizations like The COVE and have learned deeply from every client we have had the privilege of working with. Reach out to our team today and tell us the story of what God has placed on your heart. We can’t wait to see what we can come up with together.
Questions to consider from The COVE:
- Where can we create space for creation in our communities?
- Where can we empower artists in our midst to impact our organizations?
- What role could art play in allowing us to connect with God in a new way?