Finding Sacred Spaces

BREATHING ROOM

An ‘island of spirituality’ in L.A.’s Fashion District
by Avishay Artsy
Jewish Journal

In this article, Artsy shares the work of Rabbi Moshe Levin who is bringing Jewish spiritual practice to people in downtown L.A. Rabbi Levin has a vision for making prayer and practice more accessible to the community working downtown. He is a spiritual presence in the midst of the chaos of work in the warehouses and suit shops of the Fashion District. Rabbi Levin is quoted by Artsy as saying, “People downtown are just looking to breathe, get out of the hustle and bustle of whatever they’re doing, and connect with other people and pray.” And that is just what he is trying to do—help people find space in their day to breathe.

SACRED SAFE SPACE

House Slam Is Boston’s First Slam Poetry Team To Head To National Competition
by Spencer Shannon
90.9 WBUR The ARTery

The 2015 House Slam Team (from left): Porsha Olayiwola, Erich Haygun, Janae Johnson, Melissa Lozada-Oliva and Jonathan Mendoza. (Beza Mehiretu)

The 2015 House Slam Team (from left): Porsha Olayiwola, Erich Haygun, Janae Johnson, Melissa Lozada-Oliva and Jonathan Mendoza. (Beza Mehiretu)

Boston’s first slam poetry team is off to Oakland, CA to compete on the national stage. Shannon writes, “At the heart of slam is the feeling of community.” This is why Haley House Café is such an ideally suited home and source of support for this Boston team. House Slam has chosen to focus their art on people and community by performing in what they call the “safe and sacred” space set by Haley House in Dudley Square. In this article, Shannon goes on to highlight that the team “want[s] to follow the example that the Haley House Café sets forth, and stay true to the alternative vision that their venue was built upon. In Johnson’s words, ‘Poets right now, they’re activists. [Slam is] really forcing people to think outside of the box about what’s going on in their communities.’”

REIMAGINING SACRED PLACES

Once patrons, now landlords — churches rehab buildings for artist spaces
by Jesse James DeConto
Religion News Service

Artist Kyle Ragsdale stands in his studio at the Harrison Center for the Arts in Indianapolis. Photo by Pam Allee, courtesy of Harrison Center for the Arts

Artist Kyle Ragsdale stands in his studio at the Harrison Center for the Arts in Indianapolis. Photo by Pam Allee, courtesy of Harrison Center for the Arts

Still Harbor has accompanied many faith communities as they have brought new life into their buildings, making them welcoming community spaces that remain committed to the organizations' original missions. This article focuses on the work of Partners for Sacred Places and other organizations who are partnering with faith communities in similar ways, particularly as they reinvigorate their relationships to the arts to make their sacred spaces come alive. As the Rev. Donna Schaper says, "'These buildings are treasures, not problems.'”