STORY is a conference for the creative class. The theme for 2011 is IMAGINE NATION which speaks to the power of spiritual imagination. In Exodus 35, the artist of Israel came together to build a dwelling place for God. They carved poles, fashioned gold, and constructed curtains “with cherubim woven into them by expert hands.” The job of these artists was to envision the kindgom and use their gifts to heighten peoples spiritual imaginations. An Imagine Nation.
Join a tribe of creative artists attempting to learn more about their craft, story telling, and imagination. One of the story tellers at STORY this year is Daniel Bashta. I first heard Daniel’s name associated with his popular worship song, “Like a Lion.” And I had no idea that Daniel and I had so much in common. We both have attended Church of the Highlands in Birmingham, Alabama. And we both have a heart for adoption. You won’t want to miss this short interview of Daniel.
1. What is your best personal definition of a STORY?
For me a story is all about the struggle and the fight. It’s a personal journey to pioneer the unchartered. From something that was once dead we see fierce life and hope breathed into desolate dreams and made beautiful full of miracles!
2. What is one way you have found to grow or engage your imagination?
I don’t want to limit myself just to what I am comfortable with. I believe we should always be evolving. If we are not evolving in our story then we are dying. For me dead creativity points back to a dead God. I want my expression to hold a huge spotlight on this roaring Jesus. Usually I will push myself to find new displays of something artistic to help spark something. I will also put myself in uncomfortable situations in order to start fresh conversations. I like to surround myself with other creative people that maybe don’t have the same theology or beliefs as me, but we both have an appreciation for the spirt of creativity . I believe throwing some tension in the pot is a healthy thing. It forces us to fight for what we believe and for why we create.
3. In your experience what is the best nontraditional form or STORY telling you have seen, heard, or experienced?
My wife and I have just gone through the miraculous adventure of adoption. There is a time in the process after the baby is born that the birth mom has to sign away her rights forever. When that day came I’ve never seen a signature tell a more selfless story. There are always two sides of every story. For the birth mother she was being so bold in wanting a better life for the baby. For my wife and I the signature meant that the story of our lives would forever be changed and that our son would have a name change and that there is nothing that can ever be done to change that. One signature told a story so reckless in love. The story of the Gospel was awakened in me like never before.
4. If you could encourage a creative person with one tip on being imaginative what would you tell them?
Be Unique, Be bold. For me the most stunning art is not flawless. For me true beauty comes from the grit, guts and blood within. Our culture has somehow dictated that we take all the flaws out, the very thing that sets us apart. My encouragement for every creative person is to unlock each unique calling that God himself has breathed into each of us. I believe the world will take notice when we represent the real creative story of who Jesus, the creator is, not some colored in the lines fairy tale.
5. What is one thing you are excited about sharing with the tribes attending STORY 2011?
I don’t want to get too spiritual, but I am expectant that God will unleash dreamers out of the STORY conference. I believe He will awaken the dreams that have been dead for so long and we will stir up commotions in our cities from the beauty we create out of the reflection of who He is.
I’m also really excited that there are no late late night sessions…:)
If you’re a writer, filmmaker, artist, performer, entrepreneur, church leader, communicator, or other type of creative, you won’t want to miss STORY 2011. To register visit the STORY eventbrite page or if you need a little more information visit the STORY site.