Faith, Gender, Sexuality: The Level Ground Festival Comes To Nashville
(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) Starting October 8, artful conversations about faith, gender, and sexuality will be happening on Level Ground through an open dialogue-based film and arts festival in Nashville. Headquartered in Los Angeles, the nonprofit organization Level Ground hosts film and arts festivals across the country to cultivate open dialogue between all opinions on faith, gender, and sexuality. Everyone is invited to gather around good food, film, dance, music, and performance art that will "inspire deep and gracious conversations."
“We don’t have enough public spaces to talk about the issues that impact and make meaning of our lives,” said Samantha Curley, executive director. “If you’ve ever found yourself frustrated with angry, polarized dialogue, you are not alone. Come join us on Level Ground.”
The Level Ground Nashville Festival will be held Oct. 8-10 at Emma’s Bistro and at Deavor in Nashville. Tickets are donation-based and can be reserved at onlevelground.org/nashville.
Nashville is the sixth city to host Level Ground. Previous cities include Chicago, Portland, Los Angeles, Toronto and New York City. Level Ground has worked with Academy Award winning filmmakers, nationally renowned journalists and scholars, and influential pastors around the country.
Some highlights of the upcoming Nashville Festival include an Art & Empathy Panel on Music featuring Derek Webb, three-time Dove Award winner, and Jennifer Knapp, a Grammy nominee as well as Dove Award winner, author and founder Inside Out Faith, an advocacy group for LGBT people of faith. A Nashville premier of the feature film Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party followed by a dialogue with John Pavlovitz, and a Convicted Civility Dialogue with Luke Timothy Johnson of Emory’s Candler School of Theology and Karen Swallow Prior of Liberty University. Jeff Chu, award-winning editor of Fast Company and author of Does Jesus Love Me, will moderate the Convicted Civility Dialogue. Other special guests include Micky Jones, Sara Green, Justin and deMarco and Melissa Greene.
Sponsors include The Carpenter Program at Vanderbilt Divinity School, The LGBT Chamber, Unite, GRACEPOINTE Church, Fat Bottom Brewing, Ivey Cakes, and Bongo Java. A variety of local artists, speakers, and community partners invite you to join them and Level Ground in creating safe space for dialogue through art.
LEVEL GROUND FACT SHEET:
• Level Ground is not a policy driven or political organization. Instead, we hope to better equip and empower people to dialogue with each other as we learn to value relationships over ideological differences. We work hard to put diverse, interesting and thoughtful voices up front and in conversation with one another in order to elevate the public discourse surrounding otherwise polarizing and divisive topics.
• Level Ground uses art to create safe space for dialogue about faith, gender and sexuality. Our hope is to cultivate a better way of speaking with one another across our differences and disagreements. The name Level Ground comes from a prophecy in the book of Isaiah. The name embodies a space where we descend from our mountains and climb out of the valleys to meet one another on sacred, though likely uncomfortable, level ground.
• Started in 2013, Level Ground has hosted 25 days of film and art festival programming in six cities around the country.
• The Level Ground Festival is a one-of-a-kind experience that integrates the best, most interesting aspects of an educational conference, art exhibit and film festival, all with an interactive storytelling foundation.
• Each Level Ground Festival is specially curated to include a diversity of film screenings, live music, dance, and theater performances, visual art exhibits, catered meals, exclusive interviews, workshops, stand-up comedy, live podcasts and workshops for the purpose of elevating the public discourse around the otherwise polarizing topics of gender identity and human sexuality.
• The Level Ground Festival draws a unique audience that reflects the full spectrum of religious (and non-religious) beliefs, gender identities and sexual orientations. All denominations, theologies, beliefs, races and ages are welcome.