Art & Soul Fall Artists Announced

September 7, 2012

God lives in funk, pop, and rap music. Middle Church’s Sunday evening 6 pm Art & Soul worship celebrations feature New York artists who spend their weeks sharing their music or their art on Showtime, Rockwood Music Hall, Sundance Film Festival, Def Poetry Jam, NBC, MTV, and Broadway.

Art & Soul pairs creative and compelling sermons by Middle Church ministers with leading New York musicians and artists.

Art & Soul, resumes Sunday, September 9, 2012. Featured artists include: BETTY, who performed the theme song to The L-Word, critically acclaimed Barnaby Bright, whose album Gravity was voted one of the best of the year in 2011 by Amazon.com, Broadway’s Tituss Burgess, Linda Hart, NaTasha Yvette Willliams and Grammy-winning Larry Hart.

Middle Church, located in the East Village, is rare place where every race, class, age, and sexuality celebrate God together. The arts—Broadway singers, visual artists, or modern dance—weave through the worship celebrations. Although rooted in the Christian tradition, Jews and Buddhists celebrate God next to atheists and Christians at Middle Church. Racial, economic and LGBTI justice are at the core of the church’s ministries.

Middle Collegiate Church has celebrations at 11:15 am and 6 pm on Sundays.

September 9
D.J. Madam K, spoken word artist ButtaFlySoul and rappers BBGunnz—who were married on MTV’s MADE #Dream Bigger at Middle Church—will be the featured artists. Rev. Adriene Thorne, a former Rockette, will be preaching.

September 16
Indie-folk rock duo Barnaby Bright, whose album Gravity was selected by Amazon.com as one of the “Best Albums of 2011” will share their memorable sound. Their music has been featured on ER, Days of Our Lives, and PBS Roadtrip Nation. Minister Trish Sheffield will be preaching.

September 23
The pop rock band, BETTY, who performed the theme music for The L-Word, and has also been featured on Ugly Betty and Weeds, will be the featured artist. Minister Chad Tanaka Pack will be preaching.

September 30
John Del Cueto, the dynamic and beloved gospel choir director at Middle Church, offers his spirit-filled tenor voice as we celebrate Hispanic Heritage month. Rev. Adriene Thorne, a former Rockette, will be preaching.

October 7
Welcome Album Benefit Concert Featuring the music of Broadway’s Tituss Burgess

Broadway and television actor Tituss Burgess (Jersey Boys, The Little Mermaid, Guys and Dolls, and 30 Rock) wrote and co-produced the gospel album, Welcome. Proceeds from the album and the digital downloads will support feeding ministries, LGBT ministries and a mission to New Orleans in 2013.

Tituss Burgess explains, "Middle Church cares about everyone. It's not a surface level concern. It runs deep. She stands on the side of justice. She calls out those who neglect civil rights."

Albums are available for purchase as CDs for $20 at the church or as a digital download for $15 through Reverbnation. Learn more at Middle Church Music.

October 14
Broadway’s NaTasha Yvette Williams (Porgy and Bess, The Color Purple) won the $25,000 Grand Prize at the annual Kraft Foods New Voices of Gospel Talent Search.

October 21
Filmmaker Macky Alston will join us for a screening of Love Free or Die, which was awarded a Special Jury Prize at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Jacqui Lewis will moderate.

Love Free or Die, is about a man whose two defining passions are in direct conflict: his love for God and for his partner Mark. Bishop Gene Robinson will not give up on either. Bishop Gene Robinson is the first openly gay person to become a bishop in the historic traditions of Christendom. His consecration in 2003, to which he wore a bullet-proof vest, caused an international stir, and he has lived with death threats every day since. Love Free or Die follows Robinson as he calls for all to stand for equality – inspiring bishops, priests and ordinary people to come out from the shadows and change history.

October 28
Larry Hart’s musical Praise!: An Irreverently Reverent Gospel Experience returns to Middle Collegiate Church as a benefit for The Middle Project. There is a suggested donation for this evening of $50 and $25.

Broadway actors including Linda Hart (Hairspray, Anything Goes, and Catch Me if You Can), and members of the Middle Church artists community lend their voices to Larry Hart’s Praise!. The music is inspired by the common themes shared in world religions.

Gospel music runs through Larry and Linda Hart’s veins. As children, siblings Larry and Linda Hart toured the country with their family and sang in a weekly gospel television series, The Harts. The Harts released more than 25 gospel albums and sold more than 10 million copies. The movie The Apostle with Robert Duvall, was based on the life story of Linda and Larry Hart’s father.

Larry Hart is a Grammy-Award winning composer and singer. Michael Jackson was executive producer on Hart’s musical Sisterella. Linda Hart won a Theatre World Award for her performance in Anything Goes.

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