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Hello Image Readers,

I am writing to invite you to support the vital role of the arts in this historic time.

During this strange, unsettling season, I’ve been reflecting on how the arts have taught me to see. More than just another lens through which to look, they’ve been a prism, a means of seeing more deeply.

In a time of pandemic, when first responders and health workers are risking their lives, so many others are out of work, parents are struggling with overloaded plates, and many are bearing the burden of extreme isolation, the arts can seem a little frivolous. But the truth is, the arts don’t just fill our time with uplifting stories and pretty pictures.

They don’t just distract us with things to look at;
they teach us how to look.
They train our vision, down to the level of our souls.

Art can teach us to see the tiny gradations in a field of green—or how to see a suffering world in the context of grace. How to recognize the humanity of a character who seems like an irredeemable villain. How to slow down. How to pay attention not just to the notes but the silences between the notes. How to hear the echo of divine music in human speech. How to look at our own failures and successes with perspective, even laughter. The arts ask us to use the full range of our senses. And they can restore us to our full, God-given humanity.

In that way, they are essential. If we abandon them in a time of crisis, we won’t be able to get them back so easily.

“If we attempt to suspend our intellectual and artistic lives during a time of international crisis, we will simply replace a richer cultural life for a poorer one.”

–Jamie Quatro, Redeeming the Time

These are tough times for nonprofits, and Image is no exception. As you may have heard, we have lost 70 percent of our earned income this year due to the current crisis. That’s had a significant impact on our bottom line for the year—but the news isn’t all bad.

The challenge of these times has gotten us to take a fresh look at what we have to offer that’s unique: For one thing, a beautifully produced journal packed with poetry, photography, essays, painting, stories, and interviews—all graced with faith, and delivered to your door. But also the mysterious comfort and perspective that only art informed by faith can bring in times like these.

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ImageJournal 22
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Not only are we continuing to publish, we’re bringing you new online features offering hope in these strange times and bringing our community together in innovative ways, including: the ten-week digital photography exhibition, Home Alone Together; a reworked online version of the Glen Workshop; and three months of Summer Stage programming (for more on what we are doing and why, read this).

We have certainly done some belt-tightening, but we’re also embracing the unprecedented opportunities to serve in a time of need.

Image’s financial need is significant at this time, due to the impact of Covid-19 on our supporters and on our earned income. If you are able in these somewhat precarious times, would you consider making a gift now, so that we can continue to serve our mission at the intersection of art and faith in the time of Covid-19—and beyond? We’re going to need visionaries and leaders to shape a post-virus world. Your generosity will help us nurture the arts that will shape the way those leaders see.

Gratefully,

Pennoyer GP signature (web)

Greg Pennoyer
executive director

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