Our journey with the arts in Mumbai started over 10 years ago. It’s been a long ride since then. When we first started, we found resistance from pastors who felt that engaging with the culture was somehow compromising the gospel message. Over the last two years, through engagement with the Arts Collective we’ve created, we have a significant number of pastors across the country now super excited about the power of arts and the voice it brings. We’re a collective of poets, musicians, singer-songwriters, performance artists and visual artists who’re really coming together to create a community of artists that will ultimately become cultural influences in Mumbai.

Over the last few years, we’ve worked on a couple of art galleries and open mic nights as we first started to really experiment with the arts and the potential they have to reveal the gospel. I think, for us, the last few years – with the few Arts Conferences we’ve hosted and the events – has been to set up the foundation among the community of artists and pastors that arts has power and the idea that God intends artists to participate in city restoration.

Now, we’re in the process of consolidating what we do as an Arts Collective – in bringing to life experiences of the gospel through artistic events – whether they be gigs, open mic nights, art galleries, conferences, residencies or workshops. We also really want to focus on bringing together artists in the city who may not follow Jesus and invite them into helping us shape the discussion on what the arts can do to restore Mumbai. The hope is that gospel values would permeate their worldview as they begin to engage with us through the arts. Lastly, we want to create ways in which we as artists can come together to actively serve the community and help participate in serving the underserved in the city – through a common project that extends across churches.