Uncommon Ground

As the culture of the Wild Goose Festival unfolds, it’s becoming clear that one of the things we value is uncommon ground. We’re seeking to bring together a diverse community of creative people and idea leaders whose ethos and work does not fit neatly into the Left/Right, evangelical/mainline boxes that our soundbiting media tends to inflict upon us. There is a hunger to transcend the level at which we’ve created the problems of our contemporary civilization – a starving to look at our past and future through a different lens, and envision a fresh present practice. The three Wild Goose Festival contributors we’re spotlighting today can help us on the journey toward making such new vision a reality.

David Dark asks questions, and then writes about them. David’s acclaimed first two books Everyday Apocalypse: The Sacred Revealed in Radiohead, The Simpsons, and Other Pop Culture Icons and The Gospel According To America: A Meditation on a God-blessed, Christ-haunted Idea, are not likely to get him invited onto Glenn Beck’s show. In addition to contributing to Radiohead and Philosophy: Fitter Happier More Deductive, he has most recently published (appropriately enough) The Sacredness of Questioning Everything. After years of teaching high school English, he is now a doctoral candidate at Vanderbilt. He lives in Nashville with his wife, singer/songwriter Sarah Masen.  Join David at the Goose as he questions everything to unearth yet more of the Sacred, which (as it turns out) is here all along. And who knows? You might end up in his next book.

Anna Clark is helping pioneer a new breed of environmentalist – one that sees ecological sustainability not as a grin-and-bear-it political maneuver, but a rational lifestyle choice that yields more enjoyment in the long run. She is the author of Green, American Style and contributor to Taking Flight. She is president of EarthPeople, a global consulting and communications firm. Anna began by asking herself the question, “Can one person make a difference?” In 2005, after launching a her company on the singular idea that sustainability can be customized into a profitable strategy for any-size organization, she now has an international base of clients implementing her ideas.  EarthPeople clients include clean tech startups such as Evatran, municipalities such as the City of Austin, and companies such as JCPenney and Time Inc.’s Fortune/Money Group.  Anna is a featured columnist for Greenbiz.com and has been interviewed by USA Today, Fox Business News, and Entrepreneur Radio. Her opinions have appeared in the Dallas Morning News and The Christian Science Monitor. At the Goose, she will be speaking on Women and Sustainability: How to use our faith to heal the earth, help its people, and serve our God.

Derek Webb wears many hats: Artist, pop theologian, songwriter, agent provocateur, marketing genius. A veteran of the Dove Award-winning, CCM chart-topping band Caedmon’s Call, Derek went in more solo direction in 2003 to chart his own path, releasing a number of albums including Mockingbird, Stockholm Syndrome and Feedback. Spanning genres from rock to folk to electronica and ambient, the content of Derek’s prodigious output has the ability to thrill and aggravate many different constituencies, usually simultaneously. For instance: when he sings about the glories of Calvinism, the threat of American empire to people of faith, the dehumanizing consequences of anti-gay sentiment amongst conservative Christians, or the insidiousness of war. Or when he gets a song featured on Grey’s Anatomy. Additionally, Derek is a pioneer of digital community-building amongst independent artists and listeners, founding the free and legal music sharing site NoiseTrade.com. Like David Dark, he lives in Nashville, and is similarly married to a talented singer-songwriter, in this case Sandra McCracken. Join Derek at the Goose where he will sing some songs and initiate some blessedly uncomfortable conversations.

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  • Ilsa

    Thanks for this post. It is easy to look at the list of contributors and guests coming to the Festival and get overwhelmed by how different some of their viewpoints are from my own. But, I remind myself that ya’ll have intentionally encouraged a diversity of voices. I think the Festival will be a safe and open place. A good place for differing voices to find areas which they can agree upon and yet not feel pressured to recant on their own beliefs. In the words of the Moravians: In large things Unity, in small things Freedom, and in all things Love. And, no, I don’t want to get hung up trying to decide which are large and which are small things. I just want to point out that in an atmosphere of charity, there is the possibility for diversity in the midst of unity. And that is such an enticing vision to me. I am excited to get to rub elbows with all manner of person and viewpoint, some of which I am not accustomed, learn some things and maybe bring some diversity of my own.