From Films to Forums: Engaging Culture Weekend

WILMORE, Ky. — Less than 24 hours into Asbury University’s Engaging Culture Weekend, conversations on topics ranging from keeping children safe at school to developing the back story of a film’s characters were taking place across campus.

Film director Christopher Bessette spoke about developing a film's foundation.
Film director Christopher Bessette spoke about developing a film's foundation.

Engaging Culture Weekend is an annual event featuring concerts, theatrical performances, special speakers and visual-art displays that demonstrate the talents of Asbury students and faculty and engage all with the ideas and philosophies that shape the surrounding culture.

On Thursday, the School of Education kicked off the weekend’s events with a forum and Q&A with Jon Akers, executive director of the Kentucky Center for School Safety. Shortly afterward, the Music Department treated the campus to its annual “Sounds of Stage and Screen,” a journey through the musical landscape of China (“Mulan”), the Indian jungle (“Tarza”) and even Middle Earth (“The Fellowship of the Rings”).

Friday morning found students taking iPad notes in the Screening Room of the Miller Center for Communication Arts as film director Christopher Bessette initiated a discussion of the vision that forms the foundation for a film.

“Begin by looking at the world at large,” he said. “Don’t take any experience for granted, from bagging groceries to appreciating architecture and art. It’s all about communicating vision.”

Former media executive Lana Corbi challenged students in Chapel to be confident in their faith.
Former media executive Lana Corbi challenged students in Chapel to be confident in their faith.

During Chapel, Lana Corbi, a former CEO of Hallmark Channel’s domestic channel, encouraged students to rest in the assurance that God could use them for His glory, even in situations in which they felt inadequate or outmatched.

“Walk with the confidence God has given you in your spirit and that you’ve learned here,” she said. “Busy isn’t bad, and even urgency isn’t bad, but when the urgency of the world drives out the joy of the Lord, out goes peace. And the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Engaging Culture weekend continued Friday evening with a performance of “The Beams are Creaking,” a play that traces the influential life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. On Saturday evening, the Highbridge Film Festival will feature more than a dozen student-created short films, screened by Asbury University professors and judged by industry experts.

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