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Every day all around the globe, artists on mission are creating, cultivating, and contributing in their communities. As they seek to see their art used in the work the Lord is doing, we want to share their stories to encourage and inspire.
This blog is a place to read those stories, giving you a glimpse into how the Lord is using the arts around the world.
Friday, 07 July 2023 20:32

Sow Broadly: A Mid-Project Update from Rachel Olney

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 In March, we awarded an Artist Grant to two Inspiro artists. You can read more about Rachel Olney and Stephen Chuchu and their projects by clicking on their names. This month, we are excited to share an update from Rachel Olney about her project with the neust.ART concerts with you!

Rachel gave us some more background about the start of neust.ART and her involvement with it. At Christmastime of 2021, a local singer and cellist wanted to collaborate with her, so they met and began brainstorming ideas. The idea of the neust.ART concert was birthed out of the conversation with a desire to tell the overarching gospel story in a wide range of styles. The themes of start, false start and new start mirror the metanarrative of Scripture with its creation, fall, redemption, and new creation themes. Each concert is hosted by a different church and meant to both reach those who have not yet followed Jesus and encourage those who are already Jesus followers.

The musicians and the sound technician from neust.ART in Graz

The musicians and sound technician from the concert in Graz

Initially, the three put in a lot of work to refine the concept of the concert, find churches willing to host and musicians willing to play, and to commission several instrumental pieces. The concert also includes fitting Bible verses and hymns, worship songs and originals in styles ranging from ballads to Bossa nova, Viennese song (Wienerlied) to Latin, film music to Gospel. Their hard work paid off with the first two performances in May of 2022 in Vienna. In January of 2023, they played two more concerts in the province of Styria in Graz and Kapfenberg. All these concerts were well received. After one, a non-Christian woman commented on their rendition of “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty” saying, “I know that song, but the way you played it was real music!” A friend of Rachel’s who attended commented that it had been like being at the theatre the entire time as the story arch was so evident and engaging. During a particularly sad song, an audience member was in tears, and people seemed genuinely moved by the performances. The concert in Graz was filmed and can be viewed here.

Photo by Gerhard Leschnik from the neust.ART Concert in Graz Jan 2023

Concert in Graz (Photo by Gerhard Leschnik)

Thumbnail für neust.ART LIVE in Graz Video

Broader View of the Concert in Graz

Now, Rachel and the others are tweaking elements of the concert to help it flow better. They have concerts scheduled for October in Enns and Wels, both located in the province of Upper Austria. They are praying that non-Jesus followers would come. It can be disappointing if people turn down invitations, but Rachel was very encouraged at a different concert back in 2019 in Enns: many not-yet-Jesus-followers came with their friends and enjoyed the evening, and one person even started to go to that church regularly afterwards. Rachel and Marion (the singer/other main organiser) are excited that the concert in Wels will involve several churches collaborating to bring in people. Post-October, they are exploring options for concerts in the province of Carinthia.

When asked how we can be in prayer for the team and the concerts, Rachel mentioned several things. Praise God for the good relationships among the musicians! We can pray these continue and that things would go smoothly with the new sound technician helping with the October concerts. She asked for prayer over planning and preparations, that everything would be finished in time. Her main request was for us to pray that the Jesus followers in the area have the courage to invite others and that many who do not yet follow Jesus would come. In addition, we can join the team in prayer that God would continue to work in people’s lives after the concerts. Finally, they would appreciate prayer for clarity regarding whether and where to do similar concerts in Carinthia, southern Austria. 

Would you join us in praying for Rachel and the neust.ART concerts? We cannot wait to see how God uses these concerts to sow the seed of the Gospel broadly and reach those who do not yet know Him. Check the blog in November for more updates about how the October concerts went!

Last modified on Friday, 19 January 2024 17:01