College Awarded Grant to Fund Future Interfaith Convocations
Campus News

Franklin College announced today it has been awarded a $15,000 grant from the Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation. The grant will fund an annual convocation in the college’s Interfaith Understanding Through the Arts and Humanities initiative for the next three years, with the goal of highlighting different faith traditions through various expressions of the arts and humanities – such as dance, visual arts, music, poetry and film making.

The initiative is the inspiration of Franklin College Professor Emeritus David Carlson, Ph.D., and Franklin College Director of Religious Life and Chaplain Hannah Adams Ingram, Ph.D., who have long been drawn to interfaith dialogue and understanding. Assistant Professor of Fine Arts and Theatre Nick Crisafulli has also assisted with artistic guidance and direction.

“We are extremely grateful to be recipients of this grant from the Foundation because it allows us to plan Interfaith Understanding Through the Arts and Humanities as a cohesive series, engaging many different art forms and religious traditions throughout the three years,” Ingram said.

Carlson said he believes interfaith involves more than working to understand the significant differences and similarities between the world’s religions, it also requires working together for peace and healing in a world that is quick to judge, blame and distort. He hopes the interfaith convocations will serve as a bridge to understanding.

The college hosted the inaugural Interfaith Understanding Through the Arts and Humanities event last week. Held virtually due to COVID-19, it was titled “Interfaith Understanding Through the Art of Storytelling.” Two noted storytellers entertained listeners with their engaging tales. George Kelley, education director of Congregation Beth-El Zedeck in Indianapolis, spoke about the Jewish tradition, while Joanne Terrell, Ph.D., associate professor of theology, ethics and art at the Chicago Theological Seminary, shared Christian, Buddhist and Taoist traditions. A recording of the Zoom Webinar event can be watched here. The program was underwritten through the generous financial contributions of Franklin College alumni Bill Brown ’61 and his wife, Sue Ann; Sandra Hinshaw ’66 and her husband, Tom; and Bob Epstein ’67 and his wife, Louise.

Dr. Allen W. Clowes was a longtime friend and donor to the college’s art program. He advocated fueling a student’s artistic creativity and intellectual curiosity through exposure and engagement with other artists.  After receiving an honorary degree from Franklin in 1964, he was a periodic visitor, attended social functions and arranged for the display of artwork from his personal collection on campus. During his lifetime, he provided generous support for the college’s art department and, upon his death in 2000, he bequeathed the college an endowed fund to support promising art students who wanted to attend Franklin.

For more information, please contact the Franklin College Office of Communications at (317) 738-8185.

POSTED Nov 16, 2020