Last weekend I went to the Sara Groves concert at Church of the Open Door in Maple Grove. I’ve never seen her play live before, and I had a great time. She’s very engaging, not to mention that her music is filled with poignant images and captivating wordcraft. Check out some of her music for yourself: (the MySpace site included less than a minute of the songs it listed, and that’s no fun).

Besides all that, she and her husband/manager/percussionist, Troy, made what sounded like the official announcement of the creation of Art House North in Saint Paul. She was so funny about it, and for people who like to know exact details and a laid-out plan, she probably made them a little crazy, because she and her husband don’t know exactly what will happen with it. They do have a model for it, though, and they’re basing it on what they’ve witnessed in Nashville:

From what I gather, the idea is to bring Christian artists together and help them grow into greater impact in their community. Sara — yes, I just called her “Sara” and you probably would too if you saw her in concert. She seemed like someone I have always been friends with but just didn’t realize it yet, as if just as soon as things settle down, she’ll get around to calling me and we’ll resume our great friendship. Anyway, Sara referenced a quote (I can’t remember who it was from) that talked about not looking to the government to know about a people, but looking at their art instead. It is the art, the music, the theater, the literature, the photography, that reflects the heart of a people. I think that informs the purpose of Art House North, but they are still filling in the details.

Something in me was very attracted to the idea behind Art House. Maybe it was the thought of doing something of significance to a larger segment of the world besides my own family (don’t worry, fellow mommies, I definitely am of the mind that raising with children is of the utmost significance, and creating a home that is filled with love and peace and safety takes an untold amount of hard work). Maybe it was the idea of  being an artist, someone who is driven by that inner force to create. Maybe the appeal was a connection to community, that adolescent desire to belong that we never completely outgrow. It may even be old memories of dorm life or time spent working at camp, when a whole bunch of pals were always nearby. There was no telling what kind of antics would occur in a 24 hour period.

Who knows what will come of Art House North? Only the Lord knows, because from the sounds of it, they are remaining open to His leading, which is rarely neat and never on our own time schedule, right? But I bet there will be some exciting things to come from Art House North, so keep your eyes open and if you find out anything, be sure to let me know!

Postscript: I would be remiss if I discussed Sara Groves and didn’t mention International Justice Mission, an organization that fights human trafficking throughout the world. Here’s some information from the IJM website, which is

International Justice Mission is a human rights agency that brings rescue to victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression. IJM lawyers, investigators and aftercare professionals work with local officials to secure immediate victim rescue and aftercare, to prosecute perpetrators and to ensure that public justice systems – police, courts and laws – effectively protect the poor.

IJM’s justice professionals work in their communities in 13 countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America to secure tangible and sustainable protection of national laws through local court systems.

See why I didn’t bring it up earlier? That’s a lot to process, and definitely a topic for a future night. Be well!