Art is irrevocably intertwined with social change. Art is both the tell tale on the mast of culture signaling a change in the direction of the wind and, in many ways, art is the wind itself. Listening again this morning to the stories of Freedom Singer Bernice Johnson Reagon (NPR) it became unmistakably clear that even the most stalwart of injustices don’t stand a chance when art is wound up with faith.
This is a conviction that the past 15 Congress gathering have attempted to embody. Music, dance, drama, visual art, and poetry have been the crossroad companions to our journey of faith and justice. They have consoled us and given voice to our lament just has they have given wing to our joy and worship. Art has been the marrow in the fortitude of our faith and has challenged us to express this faith in new and bold ways. In short, art is essential.
We are pleased that for the 2011 Congress we will have one of the songwriters of our age… Bill Mallonee. In fact, his critical credentials are only outdone by the well-kept-secret nature of his 3 decade spanning career. Bill has been alternatively heralded as one of “the 100 Greatest Living Songwriters” (two spots in front of Conor Oberst and three spots behind Sting) and “the best folk-rock act nobody’s heard of”. Bill Mallonee will be bringing his heartbreaking, life-affirming, faith-filled cast of songs to the 2011 Congress where he will appear in concert as well as lead a workshop on the relationship between art and religion.
“Bill Mallonee… [has] remained fascinated with the shadowy emotional toils and struggles inherent in the American experience, compelling, insightful, [he] continues to probe through Americana rock and roll proving that sometimes the only story worth telling is that of the journey.”
We’ll be sharing a bit more about Bill in the coming days but, for now, visit Bill on Myspace if you’d like a taste of his music and lyrical prowess.
 Paste Magazine
 New York Press