The Society for the Arts, Religion and Contemporary Culture

50th Anniversary Celebrations:

November 11 and 12, 2011

The Society for the Arts, Religion and Contemporary Culture turns 50 this year. For half a century, ARC has been exploring the rich and complex relationship between religion and the arts in the context of the modern world. Through performances, conversations, exhibitions and other events, we have stewarded visionary approaches to the enduring elements of the human condition. Today, the broader culture is well on its way to absorbing many of these insights. A virtual riot of activity and interest churns just below the surface, with dozens of organizations, academic programs, projects, events, individuals, blogs, etc., exploring the interface between art and religion.

Much has changed in the half century since ARC inaugurated this interdisciplinary field. The endurance and flourishing of the field is a testament to its poetic utility. No longer considered an intellectual and artistic backwater, the space between religion and the arts engages issues which remain central to so many of the core concerns of our own time. The role of language in human experience, the role of sexuality, the relationship between the individual and the community; these issues are as important now as ever. Because the act of questioning has religious dimensions; because faith is enriched and leavened by irony, ARC and the field it fostered endures. Because the arts are lost without community; because the creative impulse binds us intimately with the cosmos, the work of the Society continues. Because learning to talk with one another across widely divergent, passionately held views on what is good, what is true, and what is beautiful, makes us more human, we celebrate our past, and look forward to a rich and promising future.

On Nov 11th and 12th, we will hold a grand celebration at Saint Peterís Lutheran Church in NYC. This is a location whose rich history parallels and intersects that of ARC. It is the home of the original Jazz Vespers, of the Louise Nevelson chapel, the de Kooning altar-screen. Join us to celebrate our golden anniversary with performance and conversation in a historic setting. For the full program, please click here.

In addition, to commemorate our 50th anniversary, our recent technology projects, and the 100th birthday of Marshall McLuhan, we will be sharing some reflections on the topic of media technology. Over the course of 2009 and 2010, SARCC hosted a series of conversations exploring the influence of digital technology on the arts and religion. In the next months, we will be sharing excerpts from our concluding reflections on those conversations. Keep an eye out for them.

Join us in exploring the ways we find and make meaning. To contribute or become a member, write


See full program and registration for the November events to celebrate our 50th anniversary


For further information see our
Facebook Page


We will also be announcing an awards program for those with outstanding projects, written or performed, that address this topic.
If you are interested in joining this timely conversation or hearing more about the awards program, please email, or sign up on Facebook

More about ARC
including membership information and news about our recently published book:
 The ARC Story


From time to time the Board of Directors elects as Fellows individuals it identifies as having made a distinguished contribution to their respective fields. The list of Fellows elected over a period of nearly four decades thus exemplifies what the Society understands as the necessary and vital connections between art, religion and culture.

ARC Fellows


Fall 2008
And Its Effect on the Arts,
Gender, Mythologies and Cultures

Winter 2008
An Alchemical Concert

The Recent Video Art of Hans Breder

Fall 2007
Continuity and Change in the Arts, Religion and Culture:
Blasphemy, Buddhism and the Bible

Spring 2007
Footpath Spiritpath

Intersections of Pilgrimage Travel
and Spiritual Journey

Spring 2006
The River is a Magic Thing

Fall 2005
Dance, Dance, Wherever You May Be

Spring 2005
Theology and the Arts as Play

Winter 2005
Uncertainty Principles in the Atoms of Language

Fall 2004
Languages that Shape the Soul

Spring 2004
The Moving Image

Winter 2004
Religion and the Visual Arts

Fall 2003
Theology and Music

Spring 2003
Theology and Poetry:
Languages that Shape the Soul

Winter 2003
Tracing the Garden

Fall 2002
Drawing on the Human

Spring 2002
Alfred Barr and
the Religious Dimension of Modernism

Winter 2002
A Theology of Beauty

Fall 2001
Lifting the Veil

May 2001

February 2001
Performance and Symposium

November 2000
Illuminations & Transformations:
Cross-Cultural Spiritual Dynamics 
in Music, Text, Dance and Film

May 2000
Alternative Readings: 
Sacred Text Embodied in Visual Art

February 2000
The Meaning of Myth

November 1999
Myth, Ritual and the Mediation of Violence

May, 1999
Writers' Ways with Loving and Dying

February, 1999 
The Divine Image
Implications for a changing image of God.

October, 1998 
Uneasy Constellations of Meaning
Theological Perceptions and Visual Images in Sixteenth Century Europe &
The Religious Art of Andy Warhol

hares.jpg (5471 bytes) wharhol

May, 1998 Meeting
AYNI: The Andean Concept of Reciprocity

Webpage design courtesy CrossCurrents
Charles Henderson, Executive Director



ARC home
Click here to learn more about ARC