Faith gets creative for spiritual week

By mixing the arts with faith, the Spiritual Life Center is bringing two worlds together.

“We’ve been wanting to do a spirituality in the arts week for a while now,” said Shelli Jankowski-Smith, the director of the center.

The goal of the week is to show how different types of art, including visual and performance, gather inspiration from spirituality and religion, Jankowski-Smith said.

“We really hope everyone gets a chance to experience that spirituality has something to do with creativity and vice versa,” she said. “And we hope that students learn something and express their creativity in their own way.”

Some of the events for the week of March 20:


“Visions of the Sacred”

Students can begin the week with an exploration of the world of art through a guided tour of the Museum of Fine Arts by Professor Shirley S. Crosman of the visual arts department. The tour will look at works from five religious traditions. Students will discuss how faith and art inform one another. Meet at the Sacred Space, second floor Ell Hall, at 11:45 a.m.

“The Sacred World of Sound”

Also on Monday, a percussion workshop will look at how sounds and rhythms are used in spirituality. Berklee College of Music professor and percussionist James R. Smith will lead the session. Students will be able to try different instruments including drums, bells, gongs and wood blocks. The event begins at 7 p.m. in the Sacred Space.


“Iranian Cinema and Islamic Mysticism”

The Spiritual Life Center along with the International Student and Scholar Institute will be showing the Iranian film “Baran” in 440 Egan at 6 p.m. and discussing how it relates to musical poets.


“Using Art as a Meditation Aid”

Students can learn how to meditate through artwork, icons and other sacred images at 3 p.m. in The Sacred Space. The event will be led by Jankowski-Smith.

“Share our Spirit: Expression of Faith”

Later on Wednesday, a performance hosted by the Multi-Faith Connection will feature religious groups and local community members. The two will express their faith through song, dance and more. The event begins at 7 p.m.



The Young Opera Company with Professor Josh Jacobson, of the Music Department and the Holocaust Awareness Committee present the children’s opera, “Brundibar,” at 2:50 p.m., in afterHOURS.


In the Sacred Space and Reflection Room

“The Power of Religion: Art, Architecture, Music ‘ Literature of the World’s Religions” exhibit – an art display provided by the Alliance for Understanding.

All events are free. For more information and events visit the Spiritual Life Center Web site at life.

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