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A Note from Connie Basso of Konny's Korner

[img_assist|nid=94830|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=136|height=199]Recently, I blogged about Konny's Korner, a Web site where shoppers can purchase the creations of children at at the Pwoje Espwa orphanage. Connie Basso, who runs Konny's Korner from her home in the United States, is excited to share their story with the community. She sent me these pictures and the following article, which she wrote about a year ago:

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Art for Kids' Sake

[img_assist|nid=91570|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=75|height=100]Konny's Korner is no ordinary online art store. The bright colors and tropical motifs of the crafts offered on the Web site represent the hopes and futures of young artists rescued from orphanhood, poverty, and sometimes even slavery.



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Why Pirates Need to Repent

The recent controversy over pirated books on Scribd raises an important question for those of us who care about both the arts and the poor. What do we do when valuable content is available, free but illegal?

Naturally, we want everyone to have access to information and the arts. We believe knowledge and exposure to resources enables disadvantaged people rise above their circumstances. Many of us believe the arts enrich people, inspiring them to share their own stories and live better lives. In that sense, free online content breaks socioeconomic barriers.

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An Anthem for a Movement


On Martin Luther King Day, we remember not only the reverend doctor who spoke out against injustice and inequity; we celebrate the civil rights movement itself. Its success depended on the hard work of those like Dr. King, but it utilized powerful symbols to bring unity and energy to the cause. The hymn “We Shall Overcome” served as an unofficial rallying cry to the civil rights movement.

“We Shall Overcome” served the civil rights movement so well for a number of reasons. There are probably many more, but I have identified the following:

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Credibility and the New Digital Divide


Andrew Sears' observations and recommendations in “The New Digital Divide: Overcoming Online Segregation” published in Sojourners Magazine got me thinking about how our associations lend (or detract from) our credibility, and how we can use this to advance the Kingdom.

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Singing Forgiveness and Hope


Have a listen to the most recent edition of the Voices on Genocide Prevention podcast from the United States Holocost Memorial Museum's Committee on Conscience. The show features an interview with Rose Mapendo and Sasha Chanoff describing Rose's incredible story of survival, forgiveness, and hope. I'd tell you the story but, frankly, I think Rose does a better job, so I'll just ask you to click the above link to the podcast so you can listen for yourself. Bridget Conley-Zilkic of the Committee on Conscience conducts the interview.

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Art in the Bible

[img_assist|nid=48509|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=100|height=67]In honor of National Bible Week, let's look at a few ways the arts appear in the Bible, and see if we can find any trends that can inform our own art.

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Art, Opportunity, and Influence

A report from Manchester University and the London School of Economics claims that novelists and poets may have a greater impact on international development than academic research.Read more

Three Ways the Arts Can (and Sometimes Do) Impact Poverty

In honor of Blog Action Day, this post will discuss this year's theme: poverty. Here are three ways the arts can make a positive impact on poverty.

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"Call + Response" is Both

What are you doing this weekend? If you live in one of many metropolitan areas, you could support the abolitionist movement by seeing the film “Call+Response," produced by Fair Trade Pictures.

The “rockumentary” (isn't that a great word?) featuring musical performances and information about modern human trafficking opens today at select theaters across the United States. Sadly, I don't live anywhere near any of these theaters, so any information I can give you right now will have to come from their website.

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Reading and Compassion

In the last post, I discussed the ministry of beautiful children singing endearing songs to raise money for children's ministries in several African countries. I would like to think that readers who had never heard of this ministry before were moved, and perhaps even thought of giving to or volunteering for African Children's Choir or a similar program. As good as that is, I can't help thinking that we shouldn't congratulate ourselves too much for allowing a very compelling ministry to move us to such natural compassion. It is very easy to support adorable little children, especially when a professional ministry presents their cause so eloquently.

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African Children's Choir

[img_assist|nid=51002|title=African Children's Choir members|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=100|height=99]

When a single ministry program creates a positive impact in a variety of ways on a diverse group of people, I get chills. Besides the fact that it is an economical use of resources, there's something aesthetically beautiful about the way these inspired programs work. It's like seeing the incalculable benefit of community before your eyes. That is the feeling I had when I learned about the African Children's Choir.


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Since I've now had the opportunity to watch the new NOOMA movie about three times on its facebook premiere, I thought this would be a good time to give a little plug on the series. The NOOMA* videos are short (ten to fifteen minute) films in which Rob Bell speaks about a particular topic, usually sitting or standing in some everyday location like a laundromat or on a bus, while actors silently portray a story that reinforces the film's theme. Each film has an accompanying book of discussion questions.

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Watch this movie for free through Wednesday!

Just wanted to let everyone know that NOOMA, a collection of wonderful videos, has released a special preview of its newest installment, "She" on facebook. If you have a facebook account, I encourage you to log in and watch the movie here:

You can only see this movie through Wed. at 12:00 PM EST, so please hurry over to the site and watch it soon. It only lasts about thirteen minutes.

The NOOMA series features conversation-like sermons by Rob Bell of Mars Hill Church in Grand Rapids, MI, beautifully filmed along with a silent story line. In fact, I'll have to blog about the series a little later because it is extremely creative and well-done, but in the meantime, check out the movie.

Welcome to the Arts and Social Justice Channel

Welcome to the Arts and Social Justice channel of The purpose of this channel is to explore and encourage the connection between the arts—including visual art, music, literature, theater, etc.—and social justice.

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