We at JOI have long talked about the power of Jewish film festivals and other cultural events to engage those not yet involved with Jewish life. It looks like others have been talking about it, too. A new program called the Six Points Fellowship supports individual artists in the New York area who want to develop projects with a Jewish focus, theme, or element. There is amazing two-fold engagement potential here—not only does it encourage young artists to engage with Jewish themes in an exploratory, non-traditional way; it also has the potential to reach a diverse audience once the projects are realized. And as we learned from our A Flame Still Burns study of young adult children of intermarriage, those on the periphery of the community are much more likely to attend a Jewish cultural event than a religious one.
A statement from the fellowship director, Rebecca Guber, is further evidence that JOI’s message is starting to be heard in the Jewish world:
We want to include a diversity of voices to reflect on the Jewish experience, and we know that the unique perspective of the artist, often an outsider voice, can challenge and create important dialogue about Jewish identity.
I am optimistic that this project will indeed present an opportunity for a variety of perspectives to be expressed and heard.