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Detailed information about the 2021 Forum is not yet available but will be posted in the future. Please review the information from the 2020 Forum for a look at the quality of instructors, teaching, and content that will be available in the 2021 Forum's Networks. 

2020 European Artists Network

Pandemics and other catastrophes never occur in isolation. They also produce enormous mental, psychological and spiritual needs in both the church and society. Of course, God has understood this from the beginning. He made people with the creative capacity to experience and impart beauty, grapple with demanding questions, communicate enduring truths and demonstrate God’s love in meaningful ways.  More than ever, it is during crises that artists of all kinds have the responsibility to use their special capacities, privileges and platforms to address all sorts of needs.  Examples abound of powerful ways photographers, painters, musicians, writers, poets, filmmakers, and preachers creatively speak to hearts, minds and souls. The network will address how creative expressions during trials and tribulations are not luxury items but essential for hope, health, stability and survival both temporally and eternally.

The European Artists Network is a place of relationship and encouragement to help artists do what God has created them to do.



Charles David Kelley is Latvian-American, a citizen of both countries. Born in Los Angeles, he has lived in Oregon since 1980. His professional training is in Bible, theology, and missiology. Before founding Bridge Builders International, an Oregon based mission that focuses on Latvia, in 1994, Charles served in pastoral ministry in California, Texas, and Oregon for 21 years. He is chairman of BBI’s Latvian affiliate, “Partners.” Charles is founder of the Imago Dei Artists Network which ministers to artists and musicians in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. He is a member of the Arts Centre Group in London and serves as the LausanneARTS Coordinator for Europe. Charles is an author, pianist, and painter. He lives in Latvia 4-5 months per year. He has been married to Nancy for 42 years and has four grown children and nine grandchildren.



Tim Basselin is Assistant Professor of Media Arts and Worship at one of the largest seminaries in the world: Dallas Theological Seminary. He teaches classes on the intersection of theology and culture, including classes on film, art, literature, and disability. He is also the director of the Media Arts apprenticeship program at DTS and enjoys collaborating with his students. He serves on the editorial board for Christian Scholar’s Review. He and his wife, Robin, have four children and enjoy travelling and camping.


J. Mark Bertrand is a bibliophile, a novelist, and a pastor. He is the author of the non-fiction book Rethinking Worldview, and of three crime novels: Back on MurderPattern of Wounds, and Nothing to Hide. He is also the writer behind Bible Design Blog, a site which has led to a resurgence of interest in the design and production of quality editions of the Bibles. Mark is a teaching elder in the Presbyterian Church in America. 


Bill Drake is the Director of Catalytic Ministries a branch of Operation Mobilization International. His ministry actively engages local artistic believers in bringing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to many countries in Europe, Africa, and around the world. He has trained and equipped artists who desire to train for missions through “Incarnate” – a 90-day discipleship course offered biennially in Italy. He has recently begun work with Catalytic Ministries – a division of OM International – to bring the Gospel the least-reached peoples of the world through authentic presence and integrated witness. Bill and his wife Teri live in Atlanta, GA.  Bill holds a B.A. in Christian Education from Biola University, and a Master’s Degree in Worship Studies from the Institute for Worship Studies in Jacksonville, FL.  He has produced fourteen albums of original music, two books, and continues in an international speaking and worship ministry.


Delta David Gier has been called a dynamic voice on the music scene, recognized widely for his penetrating interpretations of the standard symphonic repertoire, passionate commitment to new music, and significant community engagement. Orchestras Mr. Gier has conducted include the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony, the St. Louis Symphony, and the Minnesota Orchestra. In Europe, his engagements include the Bergen Philharmonic, the Polish National Radio Symphony, and the Bucharest Philharmonic, along with many other orchestras in Italy, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Turkey. He studied at the University of Michigan under the renowned conducting teacher Gustav Meier, along with studies at the Tanglewood Music Center and Aspen Music Festival. He was a Fulbright scholar in eastern Europe from 1988-90. He has chaired the music jury of the Pulitzer Prize and is a frequent panelist for the League of American orchestras. The Lakota Music Project was developed under Gier’s direction to address racial tensions between Native Americans and whites in the region the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra serves. Other engagement projects with the SDSO have included Arab, Chinese and Sudanese/Somali refugees.



Day 1

The Importance of Art in Troubled Times
Charles David Kelley

During catastrophic times some may view art as a luxury, not a necessity. Others insist that art is never needed more. What does this mean? What needs do we all share? What needs can artists meet? How have artists responded throughout history during trials and tribulations? What can we do today? “Art reminds us of the things that really matter. It lifts our eyes to eternity and shows us the importance of the here and now.” (Alastair Gordon)


Practicing Poetry Together
Tim Basselin

The meaning of a poem is abundant. It overflows its bounds and offers readers a variety of connections and truth, much like a parable. This talk will discuss how reading poetry together (or viewing art or listening to music) invites more profound levels of discussion, sparks our collective vision for what’s possible, and ultimately encourages deeper community.

Day 2

Crisis and the Poetic
Tim Basselin

Building on the “Practicing Poetry Together” talk, this presentation will explore how poetry can be particularly helpful during times of crisis. Poetry teaches us to live with silence and the word. We learn to respect mystery, to not speak what we do not know. And yet, in poetry, we use words to say what must be spoken.


How to Listen to Music
Delta David Gier and J. Mark Bertrand

Music is ubiquitous in our society but it matters less than ever before. How is this possible? As with so much in our contemporary lives, the answer has to do with attentiveness - and the tyranny of distraction. This session offers a lesson in how to listen carefully to music, illustrated with some of the great masterworks, with the goal of increasing our attentiveness.

Day 3

Music and Devotion
Delta David Gier and J. Mark Bertrand

Building on the first hour, this session will explore the use of great sacred music in public worship and personal devotion. We will contextualize some of the great masterworks of the sacred repertoire and learn to prayerfully give our attention to what the Lord is saying through this medium.


Artists on Mission: Bringing Beauty from Ashes, Providing Refuge for the “Refugee”
Bill Drake

As image-bearers of our creative God, artists have the unique and powerful role of reflecting God’s beauty and will to the nations in compelling and riveting ways. Indigenous art is the universal language of human expression and devotion, and as such, is one of the primary methods that allow us relevant access to the heart of a culture. Join us as we take a joyful look at what our creative God is doing around the world through His creative followers!

Day 4

When Brokenness Is the Beauty
Bill Drake

The arts have been used by God universally throughout history to bring hope and redemption out of pain and chaos; for example, the Japanese art form, Kintsukuroi, which repairs broken pottery with gold and reckons that the restored piece is more valuable for having been broken. From Jehoshaphat placing the singers in front of an army on a suicide mission, to concentration camp artists painting butterflies on barbed wire, event to two beaten missionaries singing in a jail, followers of God have always employed the arts to bring the beauty and hope of His redemptive truth into the ugliness of devastation.  As Henri Nouwen so well put it, “Friends, we are wounded healers.”  And no one can demonstrate that better to hurting society than the artists.


The Power of Art in Troubled Times
Charles David Kelley

We will never forget this global crisis. Just like our forefathers told us about WWII, the fall of the Soviet Union, or the tsunamis in Indonesia, Thailand, and Japan; the covid-19 pandemic is something we will speak about with future generations. We will also remember the various great artistic expression created in the middle of crisis. This includes our own artistic responses. For some of us our creativity is being unleashed in our families and churches while for others it is directed toward society at large. Let us reflect on how artists have responded throughout history during trials and tribulations. What can we do today?  

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