News of arts events

Details of arts-related events that may be of interest to HeartEdge partners:

Compassionate Art: talk by Nick Garrard in aid of Hospice Ethiopia UK January 18th, 7.30pm

An introduction to the concept of compassionate art through some famous and lesser- known examples, in which artists provide inspiration, protest, reflection or transformation, expressing grief or offering hope.

To register for your Zoom invite, please phone 01508 538014 or send an e-mail via Admission is free but donations warmly welcomed to a locally-based charity supporting Ethiopia’s only hospice via its website


Faith, Gospel and the Blues: An American Story

As America enters another turbulent period, Bloomsbury Central Baptist church welcomes two guests from the United States to discuss faith, gospel and the blues. They will be hosting two online meetings in January 2021, in which they will consider how songs which have their roots in an era of slavery and oppression can speak to today’s situation.

On Wednesday 13th January at 7.30pm, they will be joined by Rev. Travis Adams, Director of Youth Ministries from Flossmoor Community Church on the outskirts of Chicago. Music plays an important part in his ministry with a diverse, multiracial congregation. He was previously a member of the ministry team at Bloomsbury. 

On January 27th at 7.30pm, the special guest to discuss blues music is Dr. Dina M. Bennett, the Curatorial Director for the National Museum of African American Music in Nashville. She will trace the links between blues and gospel.

The sessions will feature videos of well known songs, to which you are invited to listen with fresh ears. Both events will be moderated by Duncan Bartlett, a Deacon at Bloomsbury Baptist Church and a former presenter on the BBC World Service. 

To join these sessions, please contact Bloomsbury's Minister Simon Woodman ( for the Zoom link.

You can watch again the previous sessions in this series:


Lifted: art, faith and mental wellbeing

Art, faith and mental wellbeing are explored through the lives and creative output of:

  • Unity Spencer, painter and teacher, Quaker, author of 'Lucky to be an artist' (published 2015)'
    Eularia Clarke, two of whose works feature in the Methodist Modern Art Collection;
    David Jones, First World War soldier, Roman Catholic artist, poet and calligrapher; and, quite remarkably,
    Vincent Van Gogh, who preached in Methodist churches when he lived in London in the 1870s.

James Smetham provides the focal point. A friend of the artists Dante Gabriel Rossetti and John Ruskin, Smetham was Drawing Master at the Wesleyan Westminster College and a devout Methodist Class Leader. His prolific visual ‘squarings’ (postage-stamp-size pen and ink drawings) annotate his personal bible and hymn book, recording his daily activity both in celebration of and search for God’s blessings. He also produced literary ‘ventilators’, which might be described today as a method of therapeutic journalling.

Bible study will be accompanied by the opportunity to create personal ‘squarings’ or other responses to these artists who struggled variously with their mental health.

Weekly for six weeks, starting 22 February 2021. The course will require approximately four hours study a week. Cost £175. Course booking:

The Wesley House Cambridge online booking link is at with the closing date for registration being 15 February.