ARTS RELEASE is a collective of creative arts specialists who love Jesus and people of other cultures. We enjoy expressing God's love through various art forms. Some of us have professional arts training and others have picked up skills on the way. Some of us are full-time, others part-time. We are currently based in England, France, Germany, Spain and Singapore.
ARTS RELEASE is the new name for ‘Resonance’, the cross-cultural arts ministry of WEC International. WEC is committed to crossing cultures to make disciples, starting churches where there are none or few, and praying to see Jesus known, loved and worshipped.
Resonance North Band @Gateway Church Leeds, 20 Jan 2024
Resonance North Band playing at Intercultural Church & City Transformation workshops, Gateway Church Leeds, 20 Jan 2024
20 January 2024, 10:00 — 16:30 Saint Mark's Church, St Mark's Rd, Leeds LS2 9AF, United Kingdom
Arts on the Camino 2024- 30 June to 15 July
Bringing the Kingdom of God step by step, on the Camino de Santiago
30 June 2024 — 15 July 2024, 23:45 Santiago de Compostela, A Coruña, Spain
Resonance North Band, Wakefield Baptist Church, 27 Jan 2024
Resonance North Band at Wakefield Baptist Church, 27 Jan 2024, International Evening
27 January 2024, 00:00 — 21:30 Wakefield Baptist Church, UK
Dive into Japan arts mission trip- July 2024
Dive into Japan through the Arts mission trip 3 - 23 July 2024
3 — 23 July 2024 Japan
Orality Course Feb 2024
Orality Course 2024 by Birte Papenhausen- effectively communicate the best message ever!
7 — 21 February 2024 MTC Cornerstone College, Beugen, Netherlands
Sparking Creativity, The EthnoArts Podcast
Sparking Creativity, The EthnoArts Podcast, stories about this growing cross-cultural Christian ministry movement!
Lament Arts- a collection of pain in prayer & worship
Diboo ning Maloo (Darkness & Light)
Darkness & Light, played on the Kora by Elfi Bohl, sung in Mandinka
Jayiroo- I will praise the Lord at all times
Psalm 34, played on the Kora, sung by Elfi Bohl in Mandinka, The Gambia
God, listen to my words
Psalm 5, played on the West African Kora by Elfi Bohl
Praise the Lord (English on West African Kora)
Psalm 103 in English, played on the West African Kora by Elfi Bohl
Contigo eu vou (With You I'll Go)
Praise song from the Brazilian Amazon
ARTS RELEASE focuses on the arts that have the greatest resonance (or 'ring true') for particular individuals and groups. This usually reflects the cultures and societies where they were raised. We engage with the arts in various ways:
Outreach / Discipleship and healing / Training and mobilising / Creative activity / The worship of Jesus / Performance
Meet the Leaders
Ian loves to worship God using music from around the world. When Ian and his family lived in the Himalayas, he learned instruments, composed in local styles and helped indigenous churches express Christian worship in their own way—it became natural to sing indigenous songs when chatting with people!
In the UK, Ian has helped develop multicultural worship in his former local church and others, starting a multicultural band in 2011. As an ethnodoxologist, Ian teaches on world worship music at All Nations College and London School of Theology. Ian and Helen lead Arts Release, aiming to raise up artists for cross-cultural ministry.
Helen came to know Jesus through the West End musical Godspell and is a committed champion of the arts. With Ian, she joined WEC in 1987 and for several years lived and brought up the family in Asia. They have three married, adult children and two grandsons. IN 2008, Helen and Ian started the Arts Release ministry, with Helen overseeing administration, hospitality, logistics, prayer and pastoral care. She loves multicultural worship and enjoys and encourages all other art disciplines. Helen is a natural networker and likes to be involved with refugees and asylum seekers.
In many ways, Arts Release Drama is Birte’s dream job since it combines three of her passions: drama, theology and culture. From a young age Birte loved drama, and had many different experiences, including in professional playhouses. She studied drama therapy in the Netherlands. Eleven years of missionary work in Mongolia led to a firm conviction that drama is a powerful tool to evangelise, teach and disciple. From 2010 Birte has been performing and teaching all over the world with a vision to enable locals and missionaries to use drama forms appropriate to their culture to help audiences grow in their personal relationship with God.
Tim and Fiona are part of a church in Normandy, France. Before that they were missionaries in Chad, Africa, for 8 years. Tim is a worship leader. Being of mixed cultural backgrounds himself, he loves fusions of music styles. He joined the first WEC multicultural worship band and caught the bug for releasing heart worship through expressions that most profoundly represent the diversity of God’s people. In 2012, God called him to start Arts Release in France and among French-speaking peoples. He loves facilitating times when God brings into being new songs. He uses multicultural music for outreach and deepening true fellowship within the church community.
Most of Fiona’s childhood was spent in Congo (Zaire) and Zambia as a child of missionaries. Being called to mission, She and Tim worked in Chad, Africa, for 8 years, where she learnt many essential life lessons in her walk with God in the desert. Now, in France, she has been able to develop her artistic gifts, painting and using art to provoke opportunities to share her faith. She is exploring the role of art in the church, as worship and for healing. Together with Arts Release colleagues, she recently helped organize and contributed works to an international arts exhibition in the European City of Culture 2016, San Sebastián/Donostia.
Juan and Ainara Arvelo
Juan and Ainara live in the Basque Country, Spain along with their children Alain and Araia, advocating the use of arts in ministry. They desire to see local Christian artists empowered to use their talents to worship God and reach out to others. Both have been involved with the arts since 2012 when they organized the first ever song writing workshop in the Basque community. They have also been involved with “Welcome Donostia,” an art competition celebrated the same year that their city was the European cultural capital. Juan is currently enrolled in an MA with a major in world arts at Dallas International University and look forward to putting into practice everything he is learning.
"We all hear them using our own languages to tell the wonderful things God has done"
WEC International is a Registered Charity in England, Wales and Scotland numbers: 237005 and SCO37715