Pictured above (left to right): Jennifer Morrow, Traci Edwards, Kai Sowell, Allison Barnes, Catherine Farlow, Shannon Boswell
When God has our hearts, He has our art too! The Master Artist and Creator of All has created us to reflect His glory in all the arts.
We are only restored to who we were destined to be through the power and presence of God’s Spirit dwelling within and filling us, and then can be used as a vessel to bring God’s restoration to others. He restores my soul…Psalm 23:3
The vision of the ministry of Restoration Arts and Restoration Arts Dance -RAD was initially birthed in 2008. Through a season of praying, waiting, and resting from July, 2007 to about February, 2008, the vision was shared with a team of other mostly dance teachers who prayed and encouraged its beginning. I was literally made to sit still in July of 2007 after rupturing my left achilles tendon – yes, while dancing at a worship event – another story. If you are a worshiper and called to take back territory in the arts, you are familiar with spiritual warfare. If you haven’t experienced this – get ready. Even so, God is a restorer of all things, and greater is He who is in us than our enemy, who is the god of this world. As we are restored from the inside out, we then can be used to bring restoration to others, even through the arts. The first RAD outreach was held in May, 2008 at the YMCA Youth Center in downtown, Birmingham, Alabama on Memorial Day weekend. A collaborative group of artists (including a visual artist, the rapper Short-Tee, and several dance teaching artists) conducted a free dance workshop for youth. It’s interesting that this was the 40th anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King, Jr. We actually taught the few students who were there a portion of choreography to the DC Talk song, Free at Last, which includes a sound byte from Martin Luther King, Jr. Did we plan all that knowing it was the 4oth anniversary of the death of the great freedom fighter, Martin Luther King, Jr.? No, but the Holy Spirit did. The Restoration Arts team also presented a collaborative piece to Awesome God, by Michael W. Smith. Our God is awesome (Psalm 68:35). Amen.
Here is a pic below of the First RAD Outreach Team in May of 2008 at the Y Youth Center (from left to right: Dana Norden, Sarah Gable Fricke, Jennifer Morrow, Torrence “Short Tee” Sims, Allison Puccetti Adams, Rachael Inman, Kacey Siegal, not pictured – Amanda Willis-Brice):
The vision of RAD was put on the back burner as God said to my family, “Let us go to Dothan” (see Genesis 37:17 – so I know that is out of context but it fit us). Upon returning to Birmingham in January, 2010, RAD was rekindled through a small group format and space provided at Church of The Highlands. Since 2010, over 100 teens and young adults have participated in numerous outreaches, RADical dance classes and workshops, including an outreach class taught at Woodlawn High School in 2012-2013, and 2 groups participating in the Alabama Dance Council’s annual Dance Across Birmingham event in 2014 and 2015. The ministry goes way beyond dance. Dance has simply been the tool to invite God’s presence to further penetrate our hearts and spirits and deepen and strengthen our walk with Him as He inhabited our praises (Psalm 22:3).
As of 2016, this ministry is in another resting and waiting place. If you share a vision for the restoration of the arts to the glory of God, your prayers are appreciated. Pray for God to awaken more sons and daughters who will answer the call to give their all to RADiate His glory through the arts!
If you are an artist who desires to be used as a radical culture changer and difference maker, please check out the Restoration Arts blog for some inspiring and challenging thoughts:
To view a clip of some beautiful daughters praising His name with the dance at the 2015 Dance Across Birmingham event conducted by the Alabama Dance Council, click on the link below. Let them praise His name with dancing! Yes! Psalm 149:3
You can also view a few videos and pics, etc. on the Restoration Arts Dance – RAD Facebook page (copy and paste link below):
A Restoration Artist’s Prayer (February 25, 2010):
I pray You will call out and raise up within this generation some true restoration artists. Call out the redeemed artists You have called by name whom You have restored and are restoring to the purpose for which they were created – to bring You glory in all that they are and in all they do. Call out the ones who truly love You with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength – the pure, undivided hearts – the worshiping artists who live and breathe in the presence of the Holy Spirit. May their only agenda be to bring You glory, to worship You in spirit and in truth, and to bring freedom to the captives through their artistic giftings that come from You alone. Connect the restoration artists in a spirit of unity for this season and this time for the new thing You desire to bring forth that will bring glory to You Lord and You alone.
Hear this cry, answer this prayer and fulfill this petition (Psalm 20). May Your kingdom come and Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven, where every art form and every gifting will be used solely for the purpose You created it for. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
Romans 11:36; 12:1-2:
For everything comes from Him and exists by His power and is intended for His glory. All glory to Him forever! Amen.
And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
“You are worthy, O Lord our God,
to receive glory and honor and power.
For You created all things,
and they exist because You created what You pleased.”