Exploring Culture Care
Fuller Seminary's Brehm Center has hosted two significant events in 2016 to further the conversation on Culture Care. In April, California Poet Laureate Dana Gioia visited the Pasadena campus to share his poetry and discuss his work with the National Endowment for the Arts. As Gioia entered into conversation with Brehm Center director Mako Fujimura, the role of poetry in Culture Care—bringing beauty, life, and healing to cultural brokenness—became clear to all in attendance.
"My job in Washington with the NEA was not fighting for the arts but reconciliation," Gioia said, reflecting on his initiatives to empower war veterans with creative writing and perform Shakespeare plays in all 50 states. Following his discussion with Fujimura, Gioia offered an impassioned and moving recitation of his own poetry. As Eugene Peterson has said, "Poets tell us what our eyes, blurred with too much gawking, and our ears, dulled with too much chatter, miss around and within us. Poets use words to drag us into the depth of reality itself." Gioia’s words do just this and are a gift to all.
Earlier, in March 2016, scholars and artists from around the world convened at Fuller for an inaugural summit on Culture Care, reflecting together on what it means to care for culture in its many dimensions. Sponsored by the Brehm Center and led by Edwin Willmington, director of the Fred Bock Institute of Music and Fuller’s composer-in-residence, and Mako Fujimura, the summit created much-needed space for practicing artists and theologians to come together and look more deeply at Culture Care in philosophy and practice.
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