Art, dance, film, and a convention, too

There are many ways to tell a story, and in the Diocese of California there are many stories to tell. This year’s convention will be all about telling our stories, and many will be told in new ways.


Indigenous + Landless in the Diocese of Curitiba: The Photographs of Paulo Porto Borges will open at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, October 21, at Gallery 1055 in Diocesan House. Borges, a professor of history at the University of Western Paraná, Cascavel, Brazil, is an advocate for the rights of the indigenous and landless in the state of Paraná, Brazil. In addition to the photographs, the exhibit includes small wood animals carved by Guarani artisans. Many of the animals depict those endangered by the destruction of traditional Guarani lands.


Two short films by Lynette Wilson of The Episcopal News Service accompany the photography installation and will be shown continuously throughout convention in the Cathedral’s Chapter Room on the plaza level. A trailer for a feature length film about the Holy Trinity Music School in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, by Owsley Brown will also be shown. The film, scheduled for release in 2012, shows the programs of the music school before the January 2010 earthquake and the resilience shown in its students and teachers following that horrific event.


At the convention’s opening Eucharist on Friday night, dance and multi-media will be incorporated into the worship experience. The Omega West Dance Company, under the direction of Carla DeSola, will interpret “Eternal Spirit” by Ana Hernandez. “Eternal Spirit” is a musical setting of a well-loved translation of the Lord’s Prayer from the New Zealand Book of Common Prayer. DeSola has invited participants from around the diocese to join in the dance (for more information about how to participate, see the announcement in DioBytes).


Rich imagery will provide a new perspective during the service in a multi-media presentation designed by Mel Ahlborn. A member of St. Stephen’s, Orinda, Ahlborn is the former president of Episcopal Church and Visual Arts, and a principal designer of the rich media projections that accompany worship at the General Convention of The Episcopal Church. A collaboration between Ahlborn and DeSola was the central focus of A Wounded Earth & A Crucified Christ, a service at Grace Cathedral that honored the simultaneous occurrence of Good Friday and Earth Day in April of this year.


Every member of the Diocese of California is invited to experience these artistic and cultural offerings at this year’s convention. Friday’s gallery opening will be followed by dinner on the plaza beginning at 5:45 p.m. Dinner is free for all who attend, and will be followed by the convention’s opening Eucharist at 7 p.m. Gallery 1055 and the short film and trailer will be open for viewing during the business day of convention on Saturday, October 22 as well.