“I am the art in your art houses, the ideas in your institutions, the laws in your land, the message in your movies, the thoughts of your teachers, the values your kids value. I affect you. Do you affect me?”
Members of our team develop films, stories, fine art, and new media that highlight the good, the true, and the beautiful in the world, helping create an “echo chamber of virtue” to replace some of the unpleasant chatter that creates the soundtrack to our world.
Film and Music Partners:
Patheos Family/SixSeeds blogger Kirk Franklin has been a pioneer in gap-bridging musicianship for nearly two decades, uniting audiences across gospel, hip hop, pop and R&B. As a multi-platinum-selling artist, songwriter, and producer he has garnered numerous awards, including nine GRAMMY Awards, 39 Stellar Awards, 16 Dove Awards, and eight NAACP Image Awards. He is also a New York Times best-selling author, and is the host and executive producer of the gospel talent show “Sunday Best,” the highest-rated gospel program in BET network history.
Nashvillian Charlie Peacock is a multi-genre, Grammy Award-winning record producer and acclaimed singer and musician. He produced three of Entertainment Weekly’s Ten Best Country Albums of 2013, and has recorded and performed with such top tier jazz improvisers as Ravi Coltrane, Bela Fleck, Marc Ribot, and Jeff Coffin. Charlie’s recent production credits include Kris Allen, Lenachka, Ben Rector, Brett Dennen, and “Misery Chain” for Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell featuring Joy Williams, from the soundtrack to the film, “12 Years A Slave.” He is also the co-composer/producer of the title theme for the AMC television drama “Turn.” In addition to his music production work, Charlie is a husband/father/grandfather, a student at Covenant Theological Seminary, Senior A&R Consultant to Downtown Music Publishing, and consultant and Artist-In-Residence to the Lipscomb University College of Entertainment and the Arts.
David, who recently starred in the feature films Little Boy, and Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, is also well known for playing the role of “Ted’s future son” in the Emmy award-winning TV series, How I Met Your Mother, as well as ‘Justin Russo,’ on the Disney Channel’s highest rated series, Wizards of Waverly Place. He has also appeared on such television series as Cold Case, NCIS, House M.D., Without a Trace, Jack and Bobby, Judging Amy, The DA, Home of the Brave, and Arrested Development.
Lorenzo plays Chris Manawa on AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead, the hot new cable series that is designed to be a prequel to the smash zombie hit The Walking Dead. The show is breaking records – Fear The Walking Dead not only debuted with the highest premiere in cable history, it also had the highest rated first season in history. Lorenzo, who started acting at the age of eight, has also had roles in the film Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, as well as various television roles on shows including 7th Heaven, CSI Miami, NCIS, and Malcom in the Middle.
Greg Whiteley’s recent documentary, Mitt, was the toast of the Sundance Film Festival. Greg embedded with the presidential campaigns and family of Mitt Romney in order to chronicle the path to the White House – or the path to just missing the White House. The documentary was a roaring critical success, and has even spurred conversation that Romney could return with a stronger hand in 2016. Greg is also known for two other critically acclaimed films, New York Doll and Resolved. He is the “head potato” at One Potato Productions, a Los Angeles-based film production company that directs revenue toward children in need. Greg’s current project is a documentary that examines how the lives of the master artist Rembrandt and the great spiritual writer Henri Nouwen intersect around the story of the Prodigal Son
Aaron Wiederspahn is a founding partner with Sword & Spoon Productions. Previously, Aaron was a partner with Either/Or Films, a New Hampshire-based film company. He wrote and directed the feature film The Sensation of Sight (2006), starring Academy Award-nominated actor David Strathairn, the short film Unwound (2011), and Only Daughter (2013). Aaron is currently working on a feature film based on the book Kings of Colorado by David Hilton.
Jody is president of Pointy Shoe Productions, a documentary and long-form TV production company. Her documentary SOLD: Fighting the New Global Slavery about the battle to end child slavery has been broadcast in more than 60 countries, screened on more than 1,000 campuses and included in the U.S. State Department’s international cultural affairs program. She created the Africa Film Project, which identifies and supports the next generation of African storytellers who are already sparking social change through short documentary films. Previously, Jody covered religion, culture, and education for ABC’s World News Tonight and traveled the globe as CNN’s State Department producer.
Laura has made more than 20 short and feature-length films. Her most recent, I’ll See You in My Dreams, starring Blythe Danner, premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. Laura also produced the critically-acclaimed horror film It Follows, which premiered at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. In addition to her narrative work, Laura recently completed the documentary film Holbrook/Twain: An American Odyssey, an inside look at actor Hal Holbrook and his longstanding one-man stage show. Laura was recently named one of Variety’s “2015 Producers to Watch” list.
Working with such influential movie studios as 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures, Universal, and New Line Cinema, Matthew Dean Russell built his early career in the VFX (visual effects) world, on box office blockbusters including Live Free or Die Hard, Night at the Museum, and Zathura. An Emmy-nominated director for his early work in documentaries, Matthew has spoken at the Sundance Film Festival as a rising star in the “generation next” Hollywood elite. Having spent so many years producing some of the greatest visual effects shows in Hollywood, Matthew is now using that unique lens to approaches projects as a writer and director.
Matt Hartle has worked on more than 100 A-list feature films in a variety of capacities ranging from visual effects and main title design to theatrical advertising and motion graphics. His career highlights include work on Man of Steel, Van Helsing, Superman, several of the Harry Potter Films, Jack the Giant Slayer, Wrath of the Titans, Narnia, Conan, Christmas Carol, Percy Jackson, Charlotte’s Web, and Pirates of the Caribbean. Matt has had the privilege of working with many wonderful directors including Steven Spielberg, Chris Columbus, John Favreau, and Wolfgang Peterson. In addition to Matt’s many years of CGI, VFX and practical production experience, he has also written and directed several screenplays and short films.
Nancy is a three-time New York Times best-selling author. Her books include collaborations with Sarah Palin, Bristol Palin, Chinese dissident Bob Fu, Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson, and her husband David. As the editor of the SixSeeds Faith and Family channel, Nancy oversees a stable of thoughtful, original writers grappling with the important issues of family life. Her latest book is The Bachelor Sean Lowe’s memoir For the Right Reasons.
David, a graduate of Harvard Law School, is a frequent contributor to National Review and blogs at National Review Online and Patheos. A former senior counsel at the Alliance Defense Fund and former president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), the hit movie God’s Not Dead was inspired in part by his legal work. David is the author of several books, and a former lecturer at Cornell Law School. In 2006, David joined the United States Army Reserve and deployed to Iraq with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment 2007, where he earned the Bronze Star. His latest book, Rise of ISIS, closely examines the rise of the terrorist groups ISIS and Hamas, and gives a better understanding of the modern face of terror.
Nathan is a celebrity collaborator and sports agent. His first book, Quiet Strength – Tony Dungy’s memoir, has more than 3 million copies in print. Since then, he has had seven other books hit the New York Times best-sellers list (one reaching #1, six others in the top ten). Seven of his books were co-authored with Dungy and two with Tim Tebow. He is a graduate, and former ball player, of Duke University and holds degrees from Harvard Law School and the University of Florida. He is a principal in Whitaker Partners, LLC, which represents college and professional coaches and administrators. Nathan’s newest project, a collaboration with Tony Dungy on the subject of teamwork, is set to be released soon.
Patheos Family/SixSeeds blogger Dave Willis is the founder of the Facebook Marriage Page and the co-founder of OneBigChurch.com which is a global, collaborative network of churches and ministry leaders. He is the author of five books including “iVow: Secrets to a Stronger Marriage” and “Soul Caffeine: Stories and Life Lessons Designed to Encourage and Inspire.” He has taught university-level communication courses, and been a consultant in the areas of interpersonal communication, public speaking and social media strategy. Dave and his wife, Ashley, lead marriage seminars and retreats together and create marriage-building media and content online for the SixSeeds Family Channel at Patheos.
Ashley Willis is thrilled to be part of the SixSeeds/Patheos family. Ashley is a happily married mother of four rambunctious boys: Cooper, Connor, Chandler, and Chatham. She has enjoyed being a middle school teacher and interior designer, but now is busy blogging and raising her boys. With a passion for encouraging and strengthening marriages, Ashley and her husband, Dave, founded the Facebook Marriage Page, which currently has about 900,000 followers. She loves to write about marriage, motherhood, and womanhood, and enjoys engaging with her readers. Life is busy, crazy, and beautiful, and Ashley feels extremely blessed and excited about the future.
OQ Farm Partners:
Keri, an artist and the mother of five, received her BFA from Parsons School of Design in New York City and later pursued Christian Russian-Byzantine iconography, studying under the late renowned Russian iconographer Ksenia Pokrovsky. Her icons have been exhibited in galleries, churches, and museums throughout New England and in private collections nationally. Keri’s career in arts administration includes serving as the executive director of the Sharon Arts Center of Peterborough and Sharon, NH, a senior manager of the New Hampshire Institute of Art, founder and CEO of Creative Hands Art Studio and Atelier Gallery in Madison, NJ, and co-founder of The Starving Artist in Keene, NH. Keri is currently leading the project to bring an art colony to Ottauquechee Farm in Bridgewater, VT.
Makoto Fujimura is an artist, writer, and speaker who is recognized worldwide as a cultural shaper. Fujimura, whose work is exhibited at galleries around the world, was a presidential appointee to the National Council on the Arts from 2003-2009, serving as an international advocate for the arts. He is a popular speaker who has lectured at numerous conferences, universities, and museums. He is the author of Refractions: A Journey of Faith, Art and Culture, a collection of essays bringing together people of all backgrounds in a conversation and meditation on culture, art, and humanity. Fujimura founded the non-profit International Arts Movement and the Fujimura Institute, which launched QU4TETS, a collaboration between Fujimura, painter Bruce Herman, Duke theologian/pianist Jeremy Begbie, and Yale composer Christopher Theofanidis. The collaborative exhibition, which has toured around the globe, is based on T.S. Eliot’s poem Four Quartets.
Bruce Herman is a painter and educator at Gordon College, where he has taught and curated exhibitions since 1984. Lecturing widely, he has had work published in many books, journals, and popular magazines. His artwork has been exhibited in more than 25 solo shows and 125 group exhibitions nationally and internationally. In 2011, through a collaboration with Makoto Fujimura, Duke theologian/pianist Jeremy Begbie, and Yale composer Christopher Theofanidis, Herman helped to create the QU4RTETS project based on T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets. The exhibition has traveled to Baylor, Duke, and Yale Universities, Gordon College, and other institutions around the globe.
Andi Ashworth is a writer (author of “Real Love for Real Life: The Art and Work of Caring”), speaker, and editor-in-chief of the Art House America Blog, where many of her essays on food, hospitality, place, and the artful life can be found. Ashworth has provided hospitality to thousands of people over many years from a century-old country church in Nashville, Tennessee, where she and her husband Charlie Peacock live and work. The couple is Founders/Directors Emeriti of Art House America.
After 30 years of campus ministry leadership with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, and many years on the board of directors of Christians in the Visual Arts (CIVA), Cam Anderson became CIVA’s executive director. Also an accomplished artist in his own right, Cam’s paintings are shown in galleries and museums nationally. He is the author of the book The Faithful Artist – A Vision for Evangelicalism and the Arts, which will be released this fall, and is the co-editor of Faith & Vision: Twenty Five Years of Christians in the Visual Arts. Cam is sharing his passion for faith and the arts as a consultant to the vision, planning and development of the Ottauquechee Farm project.
Shortly after he completed his PhD in modern western religious thought at Harvard University, Tim joined Patheos, the world’s largest religious online destination, in its start-up stages. After helping Patheos grow for five years, Tim founded Polymath Innovations, a strategic storytelling agency. Polymath offers a full suite of creative services from ideation to implementation, including: web design and development, video and animation production, content creation, social media marketing, branding and graphic design, campaign concepting and strategic communications planning. Tim and Polymath are privileged to work alongside partners like International Justice Mission, BioLogos, the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, and Museum of the Bible.
Bill serves as the president for Ottauquechee Partners, Sword & Spoon Group’s private equity initiative. Prior to joining Sword & Spoon, Bill was general counsel for Boston-based investment firm Abrams Capital. He also worked in various professional capacities at other leading investment management firms, including Fidelity Investments. Bill earned his J.D. at Harvard Law School, and did his undergrad studies at the University of Massachusetts.
Ray Hammond is co-pastor (along with his wife Gloria White-Hammond) at Boston’s Bethel AME Church. Both former practicing physicians, they were also called to the preaching ministry and have been initiating and inspiring extraordinary work in Boston and beyond for 25 years. Ray has a long history of involvement with youth and community activities, including founding and chairing the Ten Point Coalition, an ecumenical group of Christian clergy and lay leaders working to mobilize the greater Boston community around issues affecting high-risk youth.
Tom is a Senior Program Officer at the Washington, DC office of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, building support for continued U.S. investments in global health. Previously, he worked at the U.S. Senate on domestic health policy, and at the State Department on the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the U.S. initiative that has led the way in turning AIDS in Africa from a death sentence to a manageable, chronic disease for millions of people.
A former youth minister, relief worker, and pastor, Steve is a passionate advocate for the poor who, with World Vision offers ways for people to make a difference in the worldwide arena. Steve’s leadership of many of World Vision’s “Vision Trips,” which allow leaders to personally witness the impact of AIDS in African communities, has helped to engage and mobilize congregations across America on the AIDS crisis. Steve was also one of the driving forces behind the launch of World Vision’s ACT:S, a community of creative activists, which today has members at more than 230 colleges and universities across the U.S.