Asbury Celebrates 'God's Workmanship' in Culture

WILMORE, Ky. — An appreciation for the sheer fun of creating, enjoying and learning from art and ideas permeated the beginning of Asbury University’s annual campus-wide discussion on culture and worldview called Engaging Culture Weekend.

Asbury University Miller Center
Andrea Nasfell (left), a 1995 graduate of Asbury, spoke to students about screenwriting during Engaging Culture Weekend 2014.

From the “Sounds of Stage and Screen” music concert, which featured selections from hits such as “Despicable Me 2,” “Frozen” and “Downton Abbey,” to the workshops and hallway conversations with film industry experts, students at Asbury were invited to explore the unique perspectives and voices they could bring to the cultural landscape of the visual and performing arts.

“It’s been interesting and encouraging to hear from speakers about finding your own voice and being creative, even when you don’t feel like it,” said freshman Sheridan Swathmore. “I’m planning to go to Highbridge for the first time, and I’m really excited about that.”

Senior art exhibitions on display throughout campus reflected on themes of blessing, the Incarnation and other Scriptural motifs, and a reception offered an opportunity to interact with the artists and their work. Throughout the day on Friday, the Miller Center for Communication Arts hummed with activity as workshops on topics ranging from screenwriting, auditioning for film and theatre, creativity and filmmaking drew in community members as well as students, staff and faculty.

“When you find what you are made to do, you will gain energy, not lose it,” said media executive Jim Van Eerden in Chapel on Friday morning, speaking on Paul’s view of Christian believers as “God’s workmanship,” created to do good works. “We are a story being written in time, in the company of other stories being written, and it all reflects the Great Story that transcends time.”

On Saturday, Asbury’s historic Hughes Auditorium will be transformed into one of the largest short-film venues in the area as the 10th Highbridge Film Festival kicks off at 7:30 p.m. More than 1,200 people will sample the talents of student filmmakers — several of whom have found industry acclaim at film festivals around the United States — in genres including animation, drama, comedy and documentary filmmaking. A limited number of tickets will be available at the door if supplies last; a live webcast is available at

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