Why The Grove? Because artists influence everything...
We believe God is the Creator...the Artist.
God has created artists to be the most influential storytellers of every generation.
God also loves artists and He wants His artists to communicate His beauty, truth and goodness to this world.
In the most creative, innovative ways possible. Why, you ask again?
Because artists influence everything...
(To enlarge the images below, click on one and then hover your cursor over it for a description. )
Art educates. Art transmits ideas. Art promotes values. Art illuminates and points to the mysteries of God. Art influences.
Artists create and influence the music you listen to. The movies you watch. The books you read. The museums and galleries you visit. The magazines you flip through. The video games you play. That digital phone in your hand. The clothes you wear. The buildings you walk into. The car you drive. The floral print your mom picked out for her couch. Artists influence everything!
Give a teenager a camera, a MacBook Pro, and he'll influence millions across the world...
That's why we believe cultivating the spiritual life and creative work of artists is a vitally important work.
We also believe the Church (at least here in America) has long-overlooked the importance of the arts. We know there's a lot of crass art in our culture that makes a lot of people angry. We get that. But let's be honest: There is a ton of really poor "Christian" religious art that is, well...terrible. It's kitschy. Preachy propaganda that doesn't reflect the true biblical story. 'Nuff said.
So why The Grove?
Because artists influence everything.
The Grove Center for the Arts & Media exists to cultivate the spiritual life and creative work of artists. Our vision is to see Christ in culture through the arts & media. We're not out to "change" culture. We want to do what God already does really well... create.
By caring for artists, we believe the creativity, imagination, and creative work of artists will influence this world like never before.
The Backstory - Our Story began with a Grove...
In August 2002, Joey O'Connor visited the Mission San Juan Capistrano to pray. He had no intention of starting a non-profit. Truth be told, he had a "never-never" hidden deep in his heart about doing something crazy like that. Puh-leez!
Very unexpectedly, God called Joey to develop a retreat center for creativity, arts and media in the Church.
So with no money and no experience, Joey traipsed around South Orange County looking for land to buy for said retreat center.
3 weeks later on a Sunday evening, Joey received another unexpected call. A phone call.
And twelve acres of donated avocado and organic lemon grove for The Grove Retreat Center. It was all quite a surprise.
But God likes surprises, doesn't He?
In 2003, The Grove Center for the Arts & Media became a 501c3 non-profit and we begin holding our first retreats for artists.