StoneWorks currently offers the following programs. Each has a specific target constituency, cultural context, and time frame and is conducted in partnership with existing organizations.
Leadership Summits bring together established arts leaders and gatekeepers who work in the context of the church, the academy, missions, and the broader cultural marketplace for input, dialogue, and prayer leading to church and cultural renewal. Plenary talks and focused discussions explore future culture-making initiatives, potential partnerships, and existing or needed resources. Each summit follows a five-step process:
1. StoneWorks partners with arts organizations in a particular location to plan and host a summit.
2. Influential arts leaders are selected and invited to attend the five-day event.
3. Notes and information from the summit dialogue are gathered, collated, and published as a white paper.
4. Leaders of the partner organizations subsequently reconvene to assess these key ideas and initiatives from the white paper, recommending practical next-step priorities.
5. An appropriate contextual structure is decided upon (e.g. ongoing national or regional roundtables) in order to coordinate initiatives, network people, and empower these recommendations.
StoneWorks Arts Leadership Training (SALT) seminars focus on one or more of the four spheres (church, academy, missions, or marketplace) and bring together emerging arts leaders in those spheres in order to mentor and equip them to be faithful to Christ and the gospel call to be salt in their particular cultural context.
Artists & Cultural Transformation Symposiums bring together practicing culture-shapers in the arts community (writers, directors, producers, choreographers, composers, visual artists, film makers, patrons, etc.) for community, personal renewal, artistic input, insightful dialogue, and intentional orientation towards a transformational vision.
Arts, Reconciliation, & Transformation Seminars present a Christian perspective on the arts and the imagination in the life, worship, and mission of the church. These seminars, organized in partnership with local churches and aimed at a broad Christian audience, affirm the arts and imagination as gifts from God to be celebrated, and will explore their important role in culture formation and reformation within the biblical context of creation, fall, and redemption.
Feedback . . .
“I was pleasantly surprised by what I experienced at The StoneWorks Summit. I tend to be skeptical of people with big visions – especially when it comes to the arts and Christian faith, but as I listened to the depth of Colin Harbinson’s experience over so many years, and engaged in the process of the summit, I found a deep respect growing for the maturity and insight of the StoneWorks vision and strategy. It seems to me that what StoneWorks is doing is pivotal in calling the Christian arts community to the revolutionary task of shaping values and culture within our national culture and I felt empowered and encouraged that there were real contributions I was being called to make both individually and through the organisation I work with. I felt relieved that issues that I have come to know as stumbling blocks to artists and cultural transformation were being recognised and articulated – not avoided. It was great to be able to get to know others working in this area and to get a sense of the unique contribution we can each make as we wrestle with the issues and define strategies to work together. I wholeheartedly recommend the summit process and the Stoneworks strategy to others.”
Keith Dougall, Arts Coordinator, Fusion International
Poatina, Tasmania, Australia
“I’m grateful and blessed that StoneWorks, and Colin with Luci, brought together very significant Christian leaders in the Arts from across Australia for the first time. That enabled effective networking, encouraged leaders and innovators, and most importantly it affirmed God’s calling and gifting in participants’ lives. It also explored ways to move ahead, sharing ideas and resources, motivating ongoing interaction and mutual support. I’m glad to have been involved, and look forward to seeing more leaders and students catch and implement a vision for powerful contemporary ministry involving the arts impacting the Australian church and society.”
Rev Dr Geoff Waugh
Editor, Renewal Journal
“For one highly significant week in the summer of 2009 at Tabor College in Adelaide, South Australia, approximately forty key people gathered together as participants in the inaugural StoneWorks Australia Summit. Throughout the week there was a vibrant buzz as representatives of the artistic community, the academy, the church community and those with a passion for mission contributed to a lively and informative series of workshops, with the goal of identifying collaborative strategies for redeeming the arts. Colin Harbinson, International Director of StoneWorks at Belhaven College in Jackson, Mississippi, delivered an inspiring series of addresses at the beginning of each day, setting the tone for the workshops that followed. As we spent time together, listening, learning and celebrating in memorable worship together, we forged what many of us hope will be lasting and fruitful relationships. We discovered amongst us a desire to work together in order to further the strategic role of the arts in cultural transformation. We also recognized the importance of educating the church about the rich contribution the arts can make to all aspects of human life, and of helping artists to be faithful in their artistic calling. We departed, resolved to continue the conversation … but, even more, to take active steps to translate the vision of redeeming the arts in Australia into reality. The opportunity is before us!”
Rev Dr Graham Buxton
Director of Postgraduate Development
Tabor Adelaide, South Australia
“New Beginnings” was the term I felt God use as a description of what lay ahead in 2009, so beginning the year with the StoneWorks summit seemed like a definite step in the right direction. Participating both as a delegate and as a leader, I saw StoneWorks from both perspectives. I was pampered, encouraged, challenged, made to think, listen, and articulate a view on the topics at hand, and the connections with leaders across the nation was invaluable. As a leader of the Christian Dance Fellowship of Australia I was thankful that the overriding position of the conference was not to create new organizations but to use existing ones to accomplish fresh visions, which was a refreshing change. I discovered that God had prompted other organizations to work towards the same vision of developing a mentoring program for artists and after overcoming initial territorial emotions it felt very liberating to not be working alone on such a big project. We also felt challenged to extend our humble national dance magazine into a broader Christian Arts 20 Magazine. StoneWorks was not just talk but a plan of action for the future that I am sure God will use to further his kingdom.”
Sharon Allibone, National Coordinator,
Christian Dance Fellowship of Australia