Christianity, arts are focus of fifth annual conference

MIDDLEBURY The Vermont Conference on Christianity and the Arts will convene in Middlebury Saturday, April 26, bringing together artists and art lovers for a day of seminars and workshops. The conference, which began in 2003, has hosted both locally and internationally known artists from a wide range of disciplines such as poetry, dance, photography, cartooning, fiction, songwriting, and sacred music. The conferences vision is based on the simple belief that creativity and artistic expression are important parts of who we are as beings created in the image of a creative God, and that artistic expression should therefore be encouraged and nurtured within the body of Christ, according to the conference web site. Sharing at the conference this year will be Jason Harrod, an award-winning North-Carolina based singer-songwriter; Elizabeth Ehmann, a native of Shoreham who now studies painting in New York City; Matthew Dickerson, writer of fiction and environmentalism and professor at Middlebury College; Isabelle Depelteau, Montreal-based scriptwriter, television producer, and professional dancer; and Sandra Bowden, a visual artist whose work has earned a place in collections as far as the Haifa and the Vatican Museums. Bowden will deliver the keynotes address, A Quiet Renaissance: Artists of Faith for a New Century. On-site registration will begin at 8 a.m. at Middleburys United Methodist Church, with opening remarks at 8:45. Closing worship will finish at 4:30, and at 7 p.m., Jason Harrod will perform at nearby Memorial Baptist Church. The concert is free to conference attendees and is also open to the public. To register in advance, and for descriptions of speakers and workshops, visit www.christianityarts.org or call Dickerson at 802-453-5583. Special rates are offered to groups, students, and families.

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