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Makers Series | Disciple

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The Makers Series returns with an evening of visual, musical and spoken art devoted to exploring how not just skills, but also deep relationships and cultural continuity are fostered by creative discipleship. Doors open at 6:30 PM; program begins at 7:00


A commonplace of parenting is that “more is caught than taught.” In other words, children are more attuned to (and influenced by) what they see their parents doing than to what their parents tell them. Even before our kids have the ability to ask us questions, they are absorbing the way we walk, or make the bed, or look at our phones every 20 seconds. Through our physical practices, they learn not just how we do what we do around the house or in the car or at the store, but also what we really value and believe, all by being with us for a lot of seemingly ordinary minutes.

Ordinary lessons, aside, though, philosopher Michael Polanyi has argued that there are some things that can only be imparted by example, and that cannot be adequately communicated using words at all. This “tacit knowledge” includes things like choosing a piece of wood from which to make a violin, or how to apply plaster of just the right consistency for a fresco, or perhaps even how to whisk eggs, butter and vinegar for the perfect sauce Béarnaise. All of these things require practice, but—more—some sort of relationship between a teacher and a student, a master and an apprentice.

While these essential but not-quite speakable parts of being a luthier or muralist or chef are but a few of the many examples to be found in the history of the arts, this dynamic should also be familiar to those who have studied the life and ministry of Jesus, paying attention to how he invited his followers to join in and continue his work of spiritual and social restoration. In both art and faith, the power of teaching and learning by example applies to the ordinary, but can also extend to the extraordinary, the complex, even the mysterious—and all depend on the central connection between the teacher and the disciple.

The next edition of the Makers Series draws out the organic relationship between master/apprentice traditions in the arts and historic Christian practices by highlighting three artists for whom creative discipleship has been central to both life and work. Visual artist Cameron J. Anderson is the recently-retired Executive Director of CIVA (Christians in the Visual Arts) and author of the book, "The Faithful Artist: A Vision for Evangelicalism and the Arts." Multi-style violinist and world champion fiddler Mari Black can trace her discipleship lineage directly back to the beginnings of Scottish fiddling (and will be joined by her mentor, Dr. John Turner). And author John Dau provides a compelling tale of both loss and recovery of family, community, and shared cultural practice as one of Sudan’s “Lost Boys” who now shares folk-tales and lessons in resilience with audiences around the nation.

Location: Third Church Fellowship Hall

600 Forest Ave.

Henrico VA 23229

(Right across the street from Tuckahoe Elementary School)

What to Expect

The signature program of makeRVA (a collaborative outreach to and through Richmond’s arts communities), each edition of the Makers Series is organized around a unifying theme and brings together three “makers”—a writer, a visual artist, and a musician—to discuss their history and practice as artists and touch on their spiritual paths. In a coffee-house setting with refreshments available throughout, each guest presents for 25 minutes, followed by a moderated conversation and Q&A with the audience, seeking to find commonalities between each maker’s experiences and to draw out insights about faith, culture, and creativity


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Cameron Anderson

Cameron Anderson is an artist, writer, and curator based in Madison, Wisconsin. He completed his M.F.A. in painting and drawing at Cranbrook Academy of Art. His recent work has focused on large-scale abstract paintings on sheets of steel, a selection of which are currently on display at Boger Gallery at Missouri’s College of the Ozarks. From 1994 to 2008, Anderson served as the National Director of InterVarsity’s Graduate and Faculty Ministries. In 2009, he was appointed Executive Director of CIVA | Christians in the Visual Arts, a position he held through August 2018. In 2106 he was invited to serve as the Visiting Senior Scholar for the M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust in Vancouver, Washington. Later that year he published The Faithful Artist: A Vision for Evangelicalism and the Arts (IVP Academic).

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Makers Conversation: The Aesthetic Pilgrimage

On Saturday morning, November 10, Cam Anderson and Derek Mondeau will also be leading a conversation for city and regional artists about the possibility of art in the post-Christian era. Click HERE for details.

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John Dau

John Dau has experienced challenges in his life that most people never imagine. Born in war-torn Sudan, Dau is one of 27,000 “Lost Boys of Sudan,” driven from their villages when the northern Arab government attacked the ethnic minority population of South Sudan in 1987. For the next five years, John Dau led groups of displaced boys across Sudan for hundreds of miles facing starvation, disease, and violence.

While living in a Kenyan refugee camp from 1992-2001, John Dau attended school for the first time at the age of 17 and earned a prestigious Kenyan Certificate for Secondary Education. In 2001, Dau was selected to immigrate to the United States and settled in Syracuse, New York.
Following his initial culture shock, John Dau took on two, sometime three jobs, earned an associate’s degree and Bachelor degree at Syracuse University. Currently, John Dau is the President of both the John Dau Foundation (JDF) and the South Sudan Institute (SSI), he is an influential part of many efforts to bring hope and peace to the people of South Sudan, founding four nonprofits and with help from volunteers Americans John raised over $3 millions to build and run Duk Lost Boys Clinic in his home village of Duk Payuel. John Dau now speaks professionally throughout the United States, Canada and Europe, and serves locally as Collegiate’s Global Scholar-in-Residence, teaching from his own story as well as the folk-tales he, himself, learned as a child.

You can read about John in this RTD profile:…/article_65e72860-dfb5-58dd-9661-…

Or watch him tell his story at TEDxRVA:

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Mari Black

Raised on a rich blend of traditional musical styles, multistyle violinist Mari Blackmade her entrance onto the international stage when she became Scotland’s Glenfiddich Fiddle Champion, 2-time U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Champion, and 2-time Canadian Maritime Fiddle champion, all within a three-year period. Ever since then, she has been spreading her love for dance-based music, performing as a featured artist at Celtic festivals, Scottish Highland Games, celebrated folk venues, world music concert series, and acclaimed classical concert venues including Carnegie Hall. Mari’s passion for traditional music extends far beyond the concert stage, as reflected in her work as a teacher, performance coach, dancer, competition judge, and musical ambassador dedicated to connecting people through music. Known as a master teacher with a playful and unconventional approach to helping students expand their horizons, Mari has taught workshops everywhere from summer fiddle camps and festivals to the Yale School of Music. Currently touring nationally with her trio, Mari's favorite thing to do is sweep her audience away on a spirited musical adventure featuring dance music from around the globe: Celtic, American, and Canadian fiddling, jazz, tango, klezmer, folk, original works, and more.

For audio and video recordings, check out, or get a quick taste of her Trio HERE.

Mari Black House Concert

We’ll be hosting a house concert by Mari on Thursday, November 8 at 7:30 PM. Check back for details and to buy tickets.