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A year ago when Dr. Jason Coker invited me to come and be the Artist in Residence at the Together for Hope Conference, I said “yes” immediately, but I couldn’t picture how it would happen. Together for Hope is the rural poverty initiative of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship that focuses on assets based community development in the 20 poorest counties in the U.S.

This is absolutely the space that Art in the Image wants to be in - to inspire imagination and ingenuity in worship. I reached out to Jason for more information and all I heard from him was, “We want you to be in the space for the conference and do your thing.” Where is it? How do I get there? I’m learning a lot about how to do this freelance thing!

Full creative license – an artists’ dream come true – so the only problem was getting to rural Mississippi. It worked out that Dr. Melissa Browning was going to the same conference from Atlanta, so I had a travel buddy!

Day 1: Together for Hope Live Painting

Melissa and I had the whole time to brainstorm how to infuse art into her workshops about social enterprise and local community. We landed on graphic recording as a way to illustrate visual complex concepts and aid in learning. We bought a bunch of supplies and went for it.

The first day I painted and graphic recorded! What a great workshop Melissa Browning led- centering on social enterprise and using brainstorming! I love brainstorming and having artistry in the space truly helps everyone use imagination.

Day 2: Together for Hope Live Painting

Jason Coker did a great job describing the context of Shaw, Mississippi, where he grew up. The town is one square mile and Jason led a short tour. The access to resources is severely limited by rural poverty, but learning about and implementing social enterprise could pave a path toward abundance. I donated the painting from day 1 to Delta Hands for Hope the host of this conference.

Here are some more photos:


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