“Exploring the Connection Between Art and Spirituality” panel discussion, Sept. 14

Press release:

The Diana Wortham Theatre hosts a panel discussion “Exploring the Connection Between Art and Spirituality” with award-winning choreographer and dancer Ronald K. Brown of EVIDENCE: A Dance Company for an intimate discussion about the relationship between art and spirituality on Thursday, September 14 beginning at 3:00 p.m.

The “Art and Spirituality” panel discussion is being held in advance of the November 10 and 11, 2017 performances by Ronald K. Brown’s EVIDENCE/A Dance Company at the Diana Wortham Theatre. Ronald K. Brown regularly interweaves themes of spirituality and transformation into his choreography, creating performances which mine deep connections and emotions.

The Los Angeles Times says, “At a time when atrocities in the name of religion dominate world news, choreographer Ronald K. Brown reminds audiences how faith can unite us, heal us and help us get through the worst that life and human nature can inflict. For more than 30 years his New York-based company, EVIDENCE, has used a sophisticated amalgam of Afrocentric movement and modern dance to make spirituality not merely a passive state but something vibrant and transformative.”

Mr. Brown will be joined by a collective of local spiritual leaders including: Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, a minister in the United Church of Christ; Reverend Guy Sayles, former lead Minister at the First Baptist Church of Asheville; and Reverend Mark Ward of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Asheville.

About the panelists:
Jasmine Beach-Ferrara is a minister in the United Church of Christ who serves as a Buncombe County Commissioner and as Executive Director of the Campaign for Southern Equality, a non-profit that promotes LGBTQ equality across the South. Her short story collection, DAMN LOVE, received a Pen/Hemingway Honorable Mention for Debut Fiction, and her non-fiction writing about LGBTQ life in the South has been recognized by LongReads. She lives in Asheville with her wife and their son.

Guy Sayles is a writer, teacher, and consultant who serves as assistant professor of religion and philosophy at Mars Hill University and adjunct professor in the seminary at Gardner-Webb University. His education includes a doctorate from the Candler School of Theology of Emory University. He blogs regularly about the connections of life and meaning at FromTheIntersection.org.

Mark Ward has been lead minister of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Asheville since 2004. He entered ministry after 25 years in newspaper journalism in Charleston, WV, and Milwaukee, WI. His connection with the arts comes mainly through music, as a pianist and singer, and otherwise as an occasional potter.

The discussion takes place Thursday, September 14 at 3:00 p.m. on stage at the Diana Wortham Theatre at 18 Biltmore Avenue. The event is free and open to the public. Space is limited and seats are available on a first come first served basis. For more information, call the box office at 828-257-4530.

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About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall is the arts section editor at Mountain Xpress. She's lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. Alli is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

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