What is Current?
Current is a weekly variety show committed to the exploration of faith and culture to live full human lives. One of our main goals is to develop creative, spiritual practices. Current happens on Wednesdays at 6 p.m. in the 4th Story Theater at West End UMC.
What shows or programs serve as inspiration for Current?
The show borrows from a number of prominent variety show models: Prairie Home Companion, Saturday Night Live, Tokens, and is informed by interview programs such as Moyers and Company, Charlie Rose, and On Being.
What is distinctive about the event?
Originally, Current was conceived as a traditional variety show a la Prairie Home Companion. It still retains some of those characteristics, but has evolved to include video, poetry & prose readings, an interview, and audience participation. Early brainstorming sessions cast Current as an exploration of daily life realities—such as, time, space, vocation, and conversation—in theological perspective, with panel discussion and audience question and answer. The show preserves the interview/Q&A format, but surrounds these elements with creative expression: song, poetry, prose, and film. West End members have thus far featured prominently in the show as performers and readers, showcasing original work of music and poetry.
Why should West End UMC pursue connections weekly between faith, culture, and creative practices?
At West End UMC, a vibrant arts program is already in place. We have accomplished musicians who share their gifts in worship, a renowned church choir, countless artists and songwriters within the community, and yet, within this community and the denomination there still seem to be reservations among people to place trust in creativity and the arts. This poses questions about the role of church as a space for making connections between faith, culture, and creative practices.
The mere chance to create an event like Current and have a theater is enabled by our social connections, economic status, and the institutional strength of West End. Under the influence of sociologist James Davison Hunter and others, we’ve come to learn that any showcase of art or any creative performance needs institutional support if that expression is to expend its full energy and achieve its full reach.
West End provides a sturdy institutional backing for performance and creation. We are trying to be stewards of that backing. Yet, it is not only about being a steward of our privilege; it is also about cultivating and nurturing creative practices in others and in ourselves.
So we ask you the question: what are the creative practices that you do, that when you do them everything in life goes better? How can Current provide space for you to discover and develop them? Tell us below!
Join us Wednesday nights at 6 PM in the 4th Story Theater.
What is Current?