Talking Creativity and Imagination at Greenbelt ’11

by Anna Blanch on August 24, 2011

Greenbelt is an independent Christian charity working to express love, creativity and justice in the arts and contemporary culture in the light of the Christian gospel. – Greenbelt Mission Statement

The Lineup for Greenbelt 2011: Dreams Of Home includes headliners Billy Bragg, Mavis Staples, Idlewild and Get Cape Wear Cape Fly. There’s also  Rob Bell, Shane Claibourne, Brian McLaren, John Bell, Sheila Cassidy, Adrian Plass and Nadia Bolz Webber. There’s music and performing arts, thought-provoking talks, literature and visual arts, space to worship and spiritually refresh, as well as film, comedy, youth, children and all-age activities.

Artist Tracey Emin has described Greenbelt as “the Christians’ answer to Glastonbury” [1]

The Greenbelt Festival is in fact the largest Christian arts and music festival in the world.[2] It takes place annually from Friday night to Monday night during the last Bank Holiday weekend in August on Cheltenham Racecourse, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, UK.

See BBC entry on Greenbelt for more information.

The Greenbelt festival has seen various changes in its lifetime. It began in 1974 on Prospect Farm in Suffolk, but since 1999 has taken place on Cheltenham Racecourse. Initially, the festival was attended by 2,000 people, but this number has since grown to more than 20,000. It has changed from being a youth event to a family event as its early followers have grown up and now bring along their families. Furthermore, the festival has gone from being simply a Christian event to encompassing the arts and reflecting on the world around us through seminars. [3]

So where will I be?

In addition to spending lots of time chatting with folks at the Big Bible/Codec/12 baskets stand in G-Source,where I really hope you’ll drop by for a chat, i’ll also be popping up in a couple of other places! Let me know via facebook or twitter if you’d like to meet up for a chat! And just in case you need to know what I look like, here’s a happy snapAnna blanch (although i can’t promise I will be as bright eyed and bushy haired when i see you – 5 nights of camping may just do me in on the happy-cheery smelling like roses front!)

Of particular note is Sunday afternoon when I’ll be joining GBGorilla on the G-Stage for:

Grill the Artists

That’s Sunday afternoon at 3.30pm – 4:25pm! You can tweet questions to @gbgorilla in advance and ask them face to face. I’m suspecting that you’ll be able to follow along via twitter as well!

Ned Lunn, a former Theatre Director, currently an Anglican ordinand, will grill a panel discussing creativity and faith! Here’s a list of the other panellists!

I’ll also be a Social Media Surgeon for two of the Social Media Surgeries – organised by Graham Richards. The Social Media Surgeries (times)

Something very new and informative will be appearing at Greenbelt 2011 for the first time. With growing interest and in and use of social media as part of our everyday lives and communications, we shall be offering festival goers a Social Media Surgery, where experienced users of social media will act as “surgeons” providing one to one consultations with individuals keen to learn how to start using it.

I’m excited about serving those interested in using social media in ways to encourage and build community.

I just celebrated my two year anniversary on Twitter. Between there, and the goannatree page on Facebook as well as this blog and the other places I write regularly, #digidisciple project and Transpositions i’m pretty active in social and digital media. I really enjoy seeing the flexibility with which my church, Holy Trinity in St Andrews uses social media and their sensitivity to caring for the different needs and stages of the community.

I’m really hoping to grab some interviews, take some photos, and write some blog posts!  i’m hoping the rain will hold off as well (we can all live in hope!) – i’ve brought my rain jacket, an umbrella, my wellies and all the waterproofs i could find just in case!!!

[1] BBC
[2] BBC
[3] BBC

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