students on theatre mission trip to Germany posing for a group photo

May 24, 2012 (Jackson) - The Belhaven Theatre Department took a team of students, eight theatre majors and two dance majors, to the Art Factory in Germany for a mission trip. Their trip led them to the city of Kandern. While there, the team had the opportunity to help and minister to the Art Factory staff and local community.

The Art Factory is a mission dedicated to promoting artists of faith in Europe and worldwide. As place of prayer, rest and healing, they also seek to enliven, rejuvenate, and restore communities through the Arts.

Belhaven's team stayed busy with service projects like renovating, cleaning, and organizing the Art Factory. They also spent time with many of the students at Black Forest Academy and presented a chapel for their high school and middle school. The Belhaven theatre majors performed Shakespeare's The Tempest for the students. They also provided theatre, dance and comedy workshops and later students gave a performance of what they had learned in the workshops.

Joe Frost, Chair and Assistant Professor of the Theatre Department, said, “There always ends up being a return on your investment that the Lord does during these trips where we thought we were bringing something and we ended up receiving so much more out of the process.”

Frost recounts the trip being helpful for the team to refocus on what is important. They were able to spend many mornings in prayer and devotional time. Most days local artist staying at the Art Factory would come and talk with the group. The artist would share their testimony and tell stories of how God is using the Art Factory in their lives and their art is having an impact on others.

“Through the idea of service, you start to realize that the true purpose behind what it is you are there to do is to love. To simply serve the community, love on these people and allow them to respond to that, becomes so much more rewarding,” adds Frost.

Based in the Black Forest region of southwest Kandern, the Art Factory used to be a textile factory. The amount of space is perfect for a multi purpose art facility and has living spaces, creative art space to paint, a gallery and great hall. Rick and Mary Beth Holladay founded the organization and their daughter Ginny Holladay is currently attending Belhaven and is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre.