International Arts Movement

By   /  No Comments


The world is not as it ought to be. We long for meaningful existence and involvement in our culture—to make our world a better place and to be part of a story greater than ourselves. But too often our reality is a broken and fragmented story in which value and dignity are stripped from humanity. Art, as a universal language, can begin to address this dehumanization. The world needs artists and visionaries to lead the way in seeing beyond the trivial to the transcendent, bringing synthesis from fragmentation and hope from despair.

IAM gathers aspiring, emerging, and established artists of all disciplines and creative catalysts to wrestle with the deep questions of art, faith, and humanity. We gather locally in many cities throughout the world, as well as virtually through our website. Our hope is that through our lectures, workshops, discussion groups, film screenings, creative collaborations, global community connections, podcasts, fellows program, online magazine, and creative resources, we will inspire the global creative community both to engage with the culture that is and to create the world that ought to be. Our work will serve individuals in both philosophical and pragmatic ways.

We welcome all people to join us as we wrestle with these questions. Our approach to this discussion is influenced by 19th-, 20th- and 21st-century artists and thinkers like Leo Tolstoy, Francis Schaeffer, Hans Rookmaaker, Flannery O’Connor, C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, and N. T. Wright. Recent works such as Daniel Seidell’s God in the Gallery and Makoto Fujimura’s Refractions: A Journey of Faith, Art and Culture offer language that is helpful in understanding the importance of the arts for all of humanity to flourish, and we draw heavily from books by all of the above and many others as we create resources to serve our community. In the sea of art, film, television, music, theater, dance, and other creative endeavors, the good, true, and beautiful work can often be overshadowed by works that are dehumanizing and do not serve humanity at large. We encourage and equip artists to be aspirational, embodying a healthy sense of ambition to help their excellent, rehumanizing work find an audience.

Photo courtesy of IAM

While we do not have a formal mentoring program, the IAM community is comprised of aspiring, emerging, and established artists of all disciplines, and we frequently help aspiring artists to connect with established artists for mentoring and professional guidance on varying levels. We have relationships with many churches around the world to which we frequently refer people seeking spiritual direction and input.

As Lewis Hyde points out so beautifully in his book The Gift, art is a gift, not merely a commodity. IAM encourages artists and creative catalysts to view their work as such. We encourage the IAM community to look for ways to be radically generous. To that end, we make most of our resources available free of charge, asking only that those who are able to give support the movement through donations. We believe that generosity begets generosity, and our store’s suggested donation policy reflects that ethos.

We also foster entrepreneurship within the IAM community. With ongoing advancements in media and distribution opportunities via the Internet, there is more new art available than ever before. It takes an entrepreneurial spirit to think inventively, not only in order to create original work that is excellent, but to get it into the public sphere where it will help transform the culture that is and create the world that ought to be.

Activities, resources, and events:

Photo courtesy of IAM

1) The Annual IAM Encounter. This three-day event takes place in New York City every year, usually at the end of February or beginning of March. Encounter 10, which takes place March 4-6, 2010, asks 10 questions that will impact our movement and culture throughout the coming decade.

2) IAM Local. Throughout the country, local IAM groups host discussion groups, film screenings, art exhibitions, small works auctions, gallery tours, musical performances, and arts salons. Recently IAM (Oklahoma City) hosted a CD release party, and IAM (Denver) hosted an evening of poetry, music, and lecture. IAM (New York) holds monthly film screenings, weekly discussion groups, monthly Happy Hour, musical performances, lectures, workshops, and more.

3) IAM Live. Periodically, we hold events which are live webcasts so people around the world can participate. On September 24, IAM Live featured a collaboration between Makoto Fujimura and avant garde percussionist Susie Ibarra. Viewers from all over the world watched the performance together, and groups gathered in Chicago and Denver to watch and discuss the event.

4) IAM Global. We provide ways for people to be connected and involved through our online resources, Curator Magazine, IAM Reader’s Guild, IAM Conversations, and more.

How to Get Involved:

1) Join the Movement: Join our mailing list, connect locally where possible, and utilize our free online resources. Our global office is in New York City, but we have groups in over 13 cities (see

2) Support the Movement: Give financially. All donations are tax-deductible. IAM is a 501(c)(3) non-profit arts organization. Donations can be made online at our website
( or by check to International Arts Movement, 38 W. 39th Street, 3 FL, New York, NY 10018.

How to Contact:

Christy Tennant, Director of Public Relations
Phone: (212) 944-0944
Address: 38 W. 39th Street, 3 FL, New York, NY 10018

Photo courtesy of IAM

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.