30th Anniversary: Culture House & Beauty

As Granite Springs turns 30, we are looking to reach our community through gifts of art and beauty by helping establish “The Culture House,” a new ministry for and with local artists led by a former GS intern Jana Dykhuis who will be joining GS staff in August. We are also excited with worship space artistic improvements. 

Read this conversation with the Culture House Director, Jana Dykhuis.

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your connection with Granite Springs!

A: About six years ago, I came to Granite Springs as a summer intern through the Calvin College Jubilee Fellows program. Throughout that time, I fell in love with the area, the people, and grew in my faith and as a person. One thing that stood out to me most was naming my love for and calling to education, music (and the arts), and ministry. Much of this stems from my childhood growing up in the church and Christian education, loving worship, and being a part of diverse communities where I was raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. These three areas of my life have guided many of my decisions since then as I seek to serve God wherever he plants me. After graduating college, I headed to North Carolina and taught primarily music at a Christian school there. A few years ago, I transitioned to Jakarta, Indonesia, where I currently serve as the Ministering Arts Coordinator over the fine arts department at an International Christian school here. I am also wrapping up a Master’s degree in Music and Worship Studies. I am so excited to be returning to Granite Springs as the Director of Community Engagement and in the hopes of starting a…Culture House!

Q: Thanks for sharing! So, what exactly is a “culture house”?

A: The idea of culture houses comes from the model of community arts organizations which flourished particularly in Europe where people could come together and exchange ideas, pursue artistic hobbies, and enrich the community through the arts. Culture houses were spaces for people who may not have otherwise had access to arts education to learn, grow, and share.

Q: That sounds so amazing! How does this fit in with Granite Springs?

A: Glad you asked! Historically, the church has often served as a patron for the arts, acknowledging that sometimes people can experience God’s truth and beauty in ways mere words can’t express through a beautifully heart-wrenching piece of music, a thought-provoking painting, or a story told through theater. Since people are made in the image of a Creator God, they, too, are given the gift of creativity. While this could manifest itself in many ways, from a brilliant architectural design to a split-second unexpected decision in the middle of a basketball court, the arts are a natural outlet for such creativity. Often, they also provide a safe space for people to express their emotions, process and heal from trauma and grief, and encourage their fellow community members to enter into the stories of others. It is our hope that Granite Springs can help create and provide such an environment as this Culture House begins in hopes that this will be an opportunity to connect with the surrounding community members and spread God’s hope, peace, and light to those around us.

Q: I’m in! How can I be a part of this?

A: In celebration of Granite Spring’s 30th Anniversary, you are invited to pledge prayer or financial support as we begin laying the foundation of this initiative in hopes of a soft launch in 2023. Also, if you have gifts, talents, or other resources that you would like to contribute to such an organization (or know people who might), please let us know! We would love to start connecting with community partners inside and outside of the church!

Q: Any final thoughts?

A: I think that about sums it up for now! I am so excited to see what God does in and through Granite Springs and this new adventure in the years to come! I look forward to joining you all in person soon!

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