Art and Soul of North Texas

For those of us interested in the connection between art and spirituality (and, actually, I hope that is most of us…) there’s a new local podcast out there that you need to check out.

It’s called “Art and Soul of North Texas,” and it’s created by my friend Shelly Niebuhr. Shelly is a wonderful artist herself –a musician and painter– and you may know her as half of the duo “ClarySage.”

The website says that “Art and Soul of North Texas” is:
“Inspiring conversations with ordinary people creating extraordinary art.”
Each podcast is an extended interview with a local musician/artist about their art, and about the way that spirit and art collide. Here’s some of what Sherry says about the podcast on her site:

“I feel it is critical to the growth of a community for local artists to have a forum from which to speak and share their art. I know of no such venue in our area so hence the creation of this Podcast…I believe that ultimately everyone is an artist, but not everyone is in touch with that aspect of themselves.”

Here’s a story
about the podcast that ran in a recent issue of the Plano Star Courier.

What I love about the show is that each podcast is a one-on-one conversation with the artist, and you feel like it’s just Shelly and the artist having a private talk, but that you have been allowed to “sit in” and learn.

Guests so far have included two of my local musician friends: Marsha Webb and Cornell Kinderknecht. You will recall that Cornell has been a part of “Connections.”
As regular readers of this blog know, these issues –the connection between spirituality and art– are issues I wrestle with in my life, and that I’ve blogged about myself. (Most explicitly
here). I find the podcast nourishing to me, and I am betting you will find it nourishes the artist in you too.

So, check out “Art and Soul of North Texas. I’ve subscribed to it via my iPod, so that I’ll get the regular updates as they become available. I hope you will too.


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Eric Folkerth is a minister, musician, author and blogger. He has been Senior Pastor of Northaven United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas since 2001. During his tenure, church membership has grown almost 30 percent, and a completely new church facility (sanctuary and education building) has been constructed. Northaven is a leading progressive Christian congregation in the Southwest. Northaven is an eclectic collection of gay and straight families, artists, musicians, theater folks, academic theologians, lawyers and judges (go figure), socially conscious community activists, people who don't "check their brain at the door," and a wide array of others who either see it as their "last chance" inside the "institutional church," or their first trip back in decades. Eric is an avid blogger and published author.  Eric is also an award-winning singer-songwriter, who performs throughout Texas and the Southwest. He's an engaging live performer whose first CD was released in 2000. His songs have won honorable mention in both the Billboard and Great American song contests; and he's been a finalist in the 5th Street Festival and South Florida Folk Festival songwriter competitions. Eric is also a leader of Connections, a unique band comprised of United Methodist clergy and layfolk from throughout North Texas. Connections performs "cover shows" of artists like Dan Fogelberg, Chicago, Eagles, Doobie Brothers, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor and others. Their shows draw crowds of between 300 and 1,000 fans, and they have raised more than $240,000 dollars for worthy charities. Eric has led or co-led hundreds of persons on mission trips around the globe, to places such as Mexico, Haiti, Russia, and Nepal. He has worked with lay persons to build ten homes, and one Community Center, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Dallas. He's a popular preacher, and often tackles challenging issues of social justice in his writings and sermons. His wife, Judge Dennise Garcia, is a State District Judge for Dallas, County. As judge of the 303rd Family District Court, she consistently gets high ratings from area lawyers, and was named "best judge" by The Dallas Observer. First elected in 2004, she was the first Latina ever elected to a county-wide bench in Dallas County. She was re-elected for a third term in 2010. They have the world's best daughter, Maria, and an incredible dog, Daisy. (As always, if you like this post, then "like" this on Facebook by clicking the box below, so others can see too...)

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