From the Desk of Randy Elrod
“Nothing happens unless first a dream”, this wonderful quote from Carl Sandberg provides an appropriate beginning for this important and historic blog.
For over ten years I have been dreaming about a place where gifted artists from around the world can gather with peers and mentors to learn more about their craft and also gain a deeper understanding of spiritual disciplines. The purpose statement that has evolved from this dream reads: “To provide a place to encourage and equip extremely gifted artists to discover, discipline and develop their dreams.”
I feel strongly that the location for this haven should be in close proximity to Nashville, Tennessee. Nashville is a cultural and social center for master teachers and artists; it also provides opportunities unlike any city on earth. Nashville not only contains more musicians per capita than any city in the world but it is also rapidly growing in other creative genres. The recent Nashville Film Festival, upcoming Screenwriters Conference, the Frist Center for the Visual Arts and recent on-location feature films by the likes of Quentin Tarantino illustrate this proliferation of creative activity.
To that end, the time has come to see the dream happen. My wife Chris and I have been looking (with the help of her real estate contacts) at tracts of land for the last three years. We have located 124 pristine acres that provide the opportunity to be completely away from civilization yet ideally located only one hour away from Nashville International Airport. This two minute video provides you a personal look at this beautiful piece of creation. As you watch, you can almost begin to see a beautiful lodge and cabins that will house, train and inspire artists from around the world to live their dreams and change the world for the kingdom.
Chris and I have formed a corporation, Creative Community, Inc., and have initiated application for 501(c)(3) non-profit status. My attorney and CPA have both confirmed that any gift (even at this stage) will be tax-deductible.
I would like to ask you as a reader of Ethos to consider a substantial donation to this dream. You are a fellow dreamer with me as you read this blog.
Some of these artists will go on to Hollywood and influence the entertainment industry. An industry that has the power to change the way people think. A place where films of excellence such as “Lord of the Rings”, “The Passion Of The Christ” and “Chronicles of Narnia” have proven that excellent artistry combined with great stories of timeless truth can permeate and influence the world. Others of these artists will return to their local cities and faith communities to create and edit video, to write songs and books, to dance and sing and paint the stories of the good news.
The goal is to provide artists the ability to discover, discipline and develop their calling. It matters not if that is back in their home country, in Hollywood, or back in their local community-what matters is that they are able to effectively live out the gifts and dreams God has given them and that they discover where God wants them to live it out.
As you may know, as of June 1, I have resigned from my career of almost thirty years. My personal advisors feel this is God’s timing, since I now have time to pursue this dream with as much time and energy as needed. Once we purchase the land, I plan to pursue grants, endowments and gifts to initiate building as soon as possible.
We have made an offer contingent on raising funds for the negotiated price. It is 124 acres for an amazing price of $223,000. That is $1,800 per acre. We have made this offer contingent for 60 days on soil samples, and “financing”. The zoning and building permits have already been approved and paid for. Chris and I have placed a substantial amount of our money into this dream. We feel that the land must be paid for in cash by the end of the contingency July 1.
A friend that is very dear to me that has heard me talk about this dream for years has committed an immediate gift of between twenty and fifty thousand dollars. That leaves a balance of between $158,000 – $188,000. I am writing this blog so that you can understand the scope of this dream. Please consider donating to make this dream a reality. You may donate a tax deductible donation by clicking the "make a donation" button in the right hand column under "tip jar". You may use any major credit card. Could you buy an acre for $1800.00? It would only take 100 of you to make this dream a reality. What is it that you can do? Every bit helps...
We feel that before we take the next step of constucting buildings, the land must be paid for completely in cash by July 1. Please help us realize this dream. Thanks.
Creative Community, Inc.
PO Box 682867
Franklin, TN 37068-2867