Published my 3rd book!!!
I self-published my third book on faith and art!!! This book was a huge accomplishment as it is the foundation for the KAI curriculum. Thank you to my amazing friends: Jessie Nilo for the cover design and Hannah Sulak for the beautiful interior images. Here’s what one reader said about the book:
This manifesto is raw, real and took guts to write to Christian artists. Using lessons learned from her personal journey, Minister Hill unashamedly uses her personal experiences to challenge harmful and discouraging notions that stem from tradition and ignorance. Providing tools for spiritual and vocational success, Minister Hill’s book liberates Christian artists and gives them permission to finding true meaning and purpose to excel in their fields. A manifesto of affirmations, this book should be mandatory to read and utilized to generate conversations amongst ALL Christian artists whether they are practitioners in entertainment, academy, non-profit sector or the church.
Calvin Symposium Vendor
I stepped out on faith and took my crazy behind to freezing cold Michigan to sell my latest book at the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship Symposium at Calvin College. I met artists from Chicago, Canada, Africa, Michigan, and others. I loved hearing their stories and was encouraged by their excitement about Defying Discord (DD). Some of the artists felt encouraged and affirmed. Some felt seen and informed. It was affirming for me as well!
Throughout the year, I got the awesome opportunity to work with Henry Lucey-Lee of Intervarsity in his amazing work on art college campuses. This was my first talk as a guest speaker at Pasadena Art Center. I got to meet and share God’s heart for these amazing artists. I LOVE speaking to college students.
This year, I wanted to stop being sheepish about the work that I was doing. So I took some steps to get my work out there, including this Author Read Along. I didn’t get many takers but I met an amazing writer, Patrice, who rolled with me through all 7 weeks and became a dear sister. Here’s what she had to say about the experience:
“Marlita Hill rocks! She is the one who God has called to speak to artists in Christ who are struggling to balance their life in Christ with their life in the arts. We artists are called to work inside and outside of the church without compromise and without division. She helps us to remember that no matter where we are called, we are to work with integrity, vision and purpose in order to manifest God’s greater vision of reconciliation.”
I had a great time at the 2018 Dancer In Me conference. I taught two sessions: Modern Technique and a KAI Workshop. I got to meet new amazing artists serving God and reconnect with ones I hadn’t seen in a long time. Here’s what one of my workshop attendees said:
I thought I knew modern however when I took Marlita’s modern class my body moved in ways it never moved before. I actually felt like I was learning modern in its true raw form for the first time. She was very skilled and taught more than just moves but counting, music and dance theory while breaking down the choreography. I truly was pleased with her class although I struggled to pick up her choreography!
21-day Facebook Live
So…we all have that thing we’re neurotic about, that thing that stops us from making big moves. Mine was being on camera. So, my friend Brenda and I challenged each other to do a Facebook live for 21 days straight. Not many people saw the lives but this set me up big time!! I was able to repurpose this material and create an entire 2nd season for my podcast!! And I was asked to be a guest on another podcast. Can we say #nothingwasted
Listen to the interview. (Season 3, Episode 3)
All about dance ministry
This was just a college day! When I finished my talk with Towson, I received an email from my good friend Cynthia Newland asking what I was doing in a few hours. Well a few hours later, I was on a video call with these Belhaven University beauties for their dance ministry course talking about working with the Holy Spirit through dance. Thanks Cynthia!!
Built and ``launched`` a course
Books went international!!
This was just a cool moment. A teacher reached out to me because he saw a speech I did in 1999. After we talked, he researched the work I was currently doing…and liked it. So, he ordered a batch of my books for himself and some of his students….from SINGAPORE. That was just really cool!
I returned for my third drop-in as a guest speaker at Pasadena Art Center. I look forward to continuing to pour into these incredible artists!!
Boy…was this a transformative experience! The Reflect Conference was an amazing experience put on by Vineyard Boise Art Ministry. I was invited by my amazing friend, Jessie Nilo! I was a main session speaker, taught two sessions on Choreography and Navigating Creative Turbulence, and ministered in dance. Man, there is so much I could say about this experience in Boise, ID. Definitely a transformative moment for me and my artistry.
Edge Project - Spain
For the past three years, I have spent every summer in Spain with Edge Project, run by my incredible sister, Arianna Caligiuri. I have served as her Associate Director and College Liaison. Summer 2018 was a magical summer as we got to present the Vessels Project in Altea, Spain, a collaboration between myself (as dancer), Arianna (as storyteller), Ray Basile (songwriter), and Jason Leith (visual artist). Edge Project and Altea hold very special places in my heart. This opportunity to share Vessels was definitely a stand-out moment!
My dear brother, Vincent Hardy, brought me in as a guest speaker for his amazing summer program with Zion Dance Project. I had a wonderful time speaking to these amazing dancers on two different days about representing and living the Kingdom in your dance career. We had conversation, I led them in a journaling activity, they prayed for each other. It was great! After the talk, one dancer reached out and we had a couple of amazing follow-up conversations. Here’s some of what she shared:
I just had the pleasure of listening to you share on the subject of cultivating liberty the spirit in connection with the Lord in our career. I had a question for you that we didn’t have time to get to during our session with the Zion dancers. I’m hoping to get some clarity on the subject of pursuing excellence and devotion in our craft of dance in a way that is healthy and consistent and life-giving…P.S. I’m a frequent listener of your Kingdom Art life podcast. It’s so so so good.
Off to Mississippi for grad school
Whoa…this was COMPLETELY unexpected. The last thing I was thinking about was graduate school. I mean, it was definitely a desire, but one of those desires that you let fall to the wayside. I was not pursuing or praying for this AT ALL…but God. In May, I received an invitation to attend Belhaven University with a Teaching Fellowship, and in August, I was in my car driving to Mississippi to start my first semester. To say it was an adjustment of all sorts is an understatement. But first semester down and I’m so thankful to be there. Thank you Cynthia Newland, Krista Bower, and Mia Whitehead for this incredible opportunity!!
I was excited to return to Rome, GA in August to teach and minister in dance at Thankful Baptist Church for their dance conference. Love these people and looking forward to returning again in 2019! Thank you Pastor Young and Sis. Phyllis!!
Thank you again for sharing your heart with our staff a couple of weeks ago! It was such a blessing and led us to GREAT discussion at our retreat after! You are such an incredible blessing, and we are so grateful for your ministry and heart!
A Cool Honor
This was just really cool. I found out I was included in Art and Faith Podcast’s Top 9 episodes list. How cool!! Thanks Libby!
ANOTHER transformative experience. The Creative Church Conference was AMAZING! Not only did I get to hang out and teach with my friends, but I made some incredible new ones as well. I was busy!! I co-emceed the conference with my brother Steven Homestead, spoke in two sessions on Dance In the Church (with Saara Taina) and Navigating Creative Burnout (a panel discussion with Jessie Nilo and Clayton Heilman), presented Vessels Project, and conducted 1-on-1’s with conference attendees. Oh, I learned so much!! Thank you Jason Leith and Scott McElroy. Fabulous job!!
My 2nd International Interview
Throughout the year, I contact leaders doing great work with marketplace artists. Some amazing opportunities and partnerships have come from these conversations. This 2-part interview was one of them. It was so awesome to be interviewed by Jonny Mellor with Sputnik (UK) for their magazine. I’m super excited about the work they’re doing and look forward to meeting my new brother, Jonny, in the near future. And in 2019, I will be featured in a special project they’re doing. More info to come on that!!! Thank you, Jonny!!!
I taught the first of a new series of foundational courses for KAI. For four weeks, I met with an incredible group of women who have become new sisters. I am so excited to continue offering these courses for artists. Stay tuned in 2019!! Here’s what one participant said about the course:
Caution: do NOT take Marlita Hill’s workshop if you aren’t ready to be inspired, motivated and encouraged in your spiritual and art life. I thoroughly enjoyed this course which challenged me to see things from a different perspective. I’ve long struggled to feel that I could mesh both my spiritual life and my call to be a “secular” writer. It was with relief that I learned not only is it possible to survive, but thrive, in both of these arenas simultaneously. Marlita’s kind but straightforward manner helped me uncover new truths. Her deep dives into scripture helped to put things into perspective. Her energy was contagious. I highly recommend this excellent course to any other Christian who is struggling with a foot in the two seemingly opposite worlds of faith and art.
I had the great honor of sharing with the dance department at Belhaven for their Soul Day. I taught a session called, “In All God Wills,” about navigating our art life in a way that honors the things God wants to do for us, in us, with us, and through us. It was a great time of impartation, conversation, reflection and prayer.
After many years, I finally got to have a conversation with this amazing guy. Matt Tommey is doing amazing work with artists and has been a wonderful inspiration. This December I had the honor of being a guest on his Thriving Christian Artist Podcast. It will air in 2019 and hopefully, I’ll get to speak at the 2019 Gathering of the Artisans conference. Fingers crossed. Thanks Matt!!
Big plans ahead!!
Over this Christmas break, I have been diligently planning for the year ahead with new workshops, teachings, and ways to collaborate with other organizations doing amazing things to serve and support God’s marketplace artists. We already have some cool things lined up for the new year!! 2019 will be a big year for infrastructure and sustainability as we continue sharing our work with artists.
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