ON T H E M A G A Z I N E F O R FAITH-BASED TRAVEL PLANNERS VOL. 21 - NO. 3
EUREKA SPRINGS JEWEL
OZARKS A RT O F
CI VI L
S I TES GOING ON FAITH
Plan your visit at ArkEncounter.com Williamstown, K Y (south of Cincinnati)
THE MAGAZINE F O R FA I T H - B A S E D T R AV E L
[ SUMMER 2018 ]
22 26 30
The Art of Nebraska
Discover great art museums throughout the Cornhusker State
Charming Eureka Springs
This Ozark Mountain enclave is a favorite destination for church groups.
Civil Rights Sites Hear stories of struggle and bravery at these historic landmarks.
DEPARTMENTS Columns 6 EDITORâ€™S NOTES: Embrace your travel calling ON THE COVER: Thorncrown Chapel is an architectural highlight of Eureka Springs, Arkansas.
16 HOW TO: Take Better Travel Photos
18 PROFILE: Cindy Iglitzen-Socianu
TRAVEL GUIDE 38 Take your group to experience some of the most iconic events in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states.
10 NEW UNDERGROUND Railroad Museum opens in Niagara Falls 12 GOING ON FAITH Conference preview
Mac T. Lacy Founder and Publisher
Brian Jewell Executive Editor
Eliza Myers Online Editor
Charles A. Presley Partner
Herb Sparrow Senior Writer
Christine Clough Copy Editor
Donia Simmons Creative Director
Ashley Ricks Circulation
Savannah Osbourn Staff Writer
Stacey Bowman Account Manager
Going On Faith is published quarterly by THE GROUP TRAVEL LEADER, Inc., 301 East High Street, Lexington, Kentucky 40507, and is distributed free of charge to qualified group leaders who plan travel for churches, synagogues and religious organizations. All other travel suppliers, including tour operators, destinations, attractions, transportation companies, hotels, restaurants, and other travel-related companies, may subscribe to Going On Faith by sending a check for $39 for one year to: Going On Faith, Circulation Department, 301 East High Street, Lexington, KY 40507. Phone: (859) 253-0455 or (859) 253-0503. Copyright THE GROUP TRAVEL LEADER, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction of editorial or graphic content in any manner without the written consent of the publisher is prohibited.
. . . r e w o p s ’ d o G t
m o r f e c i - Jan issippi Miss
“... I sensed the Spirit of Christ in an immense way as I moved through this place.” Visit the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, N.C., and walk in the shoes of a farm boy who became pastor to presidents and shared God’s love with millions. Discover what God can do through an ordinary life surrendered to Him as you explore state-of-the-art exhibits and spend time reflecting in the Memorial Prayer Garden. Admission is free, and the experience is unforgettable. Come—just as you are. “Come and see what God has done.” —Psalm 66:5, ESV
A ministry of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association
Monday to Saturday, 9:30–5:00 • BillyGrahamLibrary.org • 704-401-3200 Reservations required for groups of 10 or more; email LibraryTours@bgea.org or call 704-401-3270. • 4330 Westmont Drive • Charlotte, North Carolina
NOTES BRIAN JEWELL
EMBRACE YOUR TRAVEL CALLING
an I let you in on a secret? For years, I was scared to call myself a writer. I had spent my entire academic career writing things. I even wrote for the student newspaper at my university. But I never saw anything special about that because everyone writes in school. Things began to change soon after college, though. An adviser to the student newspaper staff called me shortly after graduation and asked if I had a job yet. He had a friend who was looking for a travel writer and wanted to meet me. That friend was Mac Lacy, publisher of this magazine and its sister titles, The Group Travel Leader, Select Traveler and Small Market Meetings. I took the meeting, and Mac set me up with a travel writing assignment. I was excited to go but also apprehensive. I didn’t feel like a professional writer — I didn’t even have a business card — and I was nervous that the people I met there would discover my secret. Somehow, I made it through that trip, wrote the article and turned it in. The editor accepted it and ran it in the magazine. And I got paid. By definition, that paycheck and the stream of assignments that followed made me a professional travel writer. But I still felt like a fraud; in my mind, real writers had some credential, talent or qualification that I didn’t see in myself. It took some time for me to accept that the only qualification that mattered was that I was
doing the work, and doing it well. I eventually realized I was as qualified as anyone to call myself a writer. Because the only thing you have to do to be a writer is write. I share this story because a lot of you out there may secretly be harboring similar feelings. You’ve been given a job to do, a group to lead or a ministry to take over, and although you’re excited about the opportunity, a part of you believes you don’t have what it takes. I encourage you not to let this fear hold you back. You may not see enough talent or strength in yourself, but someone else does — that’s why they offered you the job. All that’s required to be a leader is to lead. All that’s required to be a teacher is to teach. All that’s required to be a minister is to minister to people. All that’s required to be a travel planner is to take someone on a trip. For your church, company or travel organization to thrive, you must embrace your position and approach it with confidence. Lean into your calling; don’t let your qualifications, or lack thereof, stand in the way of your potential. Your identity does not come from who someone else says you are; it comes from who you decide to be. You’ll make mistakes along the way. I did. But those mistakes taught me important lessons and eventually made me a seasoned professional. Today, I proudly call myself a professional travel journalist because I jumped into the deep end, did the hard work and learned what I needed to know along the way. If you take the same approach, you’ll be amazed at how far you can go in your role, no matter how qualified you think you are.
BRIAN JEWELL [ EDITOR ] firstname.lastname@example.org
going on faith [ summer 2018 ]
“COME TAKE THE JOURNEY”
xperience as never before, the Passion of Christ
ift Shoppe! 00 sq/ft G 0 , 0 1 r u Be sure to visit o
The Shrine of Christ’s Passion sets on 30 beautifully landscaped acres made to look and feel like the Holy Land. As you journey this multimedia, interactive Prayer Trail you experience the life of Jesus Christ from the Last Supper through his glorious Ascension. People of all faiths marvel at the 40 exquisite life-size bronze sculptures, the original music and the thoughtful meditations they hear at each scene. Come and experience this incredible journey.
We are happy to host large groups or tour buses, please call to schedule your tour. Contact:
The Shrine of Christ’s Passion 10630 Wicker Avenue St. John, IN 46373 | Local: 219.365.6010 | Toll free: 855.277.SHRINE (7474) going on faith [ goingonfaith.com ] www.shrineofchristspassion.org Non-Profit 501 (c) (3) Organization
DOWNLOAD OUR BUYER’S GUIDE E-BOOK
o plan the best trips, you need to start with the best information. Putting together tours, cruises and other memorable trips for your customers, colleagues and friends is no small feat, and if you go into the process unprepared, you’re likely to overpay and under deliver. The latest e-book from The Group Travel Leader is full of up-to-date insights and practical information to help you plan travel with confidence. “Buyer’s Guide for the Group Travel Industry” gives you a look at business factors and tourism trends that will impact B U Y E R ’S the bottom line of your travel operations. Readers will hear from industry experts about how tours are priced, the best way to book motorcoaches, marketing tips and more. Written by Brian Jewell, executive editor of The Group Travel leader, and a contributing team of professional travel journalists, “Buyer’s Guide for the Group Travel Industry” features interviews with dozens of travel insiders who give their perspective and experiences on a variety of practical topics. “We meet tour operators and group leaders around the country, and they always have questions about fundamental F O R
aspects of the tourism business,” Jewell said. “In the Buyer’s Guide, we set out to answer those questions with direct, no-nonsense information about pricing and best practices, as well as some marketing tips and forecasts about destinations that will be popular with groups in the coming year.” Each chapter of the e-book focuses on a topic that will be helpful to travel planners. One section breaks down the math that goes into pricing tours, helping travel planners choose amenities and services that best fit their budgets. Another delves into the business of GU I DE buses, giving planners a road map to finding the right transportation provider. The chapter “Your Brand Matters” has a list of 10 things all travel organizations need to appear professional and competent. And the final chapters delve into destinations that are selling at home and abroad. “I’m a strong believer that educating travel planners makes trips better for everyone involved,” Jewell said. “This e-book has so much helpful information that it should be required reading for anyone planning tours in 2018.” The e-book is available as a free download for a limited time at: www.grouptravelleader.com/ebook
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H U M A N S T O R I E S E N R I C H E X P E R I E N C E AT T H E
MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION
aith-based travelers can examine the intersections of religion and the American Revolution at a new museum near Independence Hall in Philadelphia. Opened in spring 2017, the Museum of the American Revolution has become the logical first stop for visitors to Through such objects and stories of colonial Americans, visitors learn the city. “that almost every faith that is in America today was in America then in It is the unofficial “Revolutionary visitor center,” said Mark Turdo, curator. some form,” Turdo said. Although the museum explores the Revolution’s impact throughout the colonies Another display describes the challenges faced by a Quaker family that and beyond, much of its story involves Philly, the American city most closely chose to adhere to their faith and remain neutral during the Revolution. After tied to the struggle for American independence. the husband was jailed as a dissenter, the family’s property was confiscated by So, after a visit, “when you go out into the city, you make faster connections,” authorities. The wife’s diary, rich in detail, helped the museum tell her story. said Turdo. “You can stand in front of Christ Church and say, ‘Oh, that is why “She can’t stop them, has no way to say ‘no’ solely because of her faith this is so important.’” Visitors “see things in new ways that you wouldn’t have informing her participation,” said Turdo. seen if you hadn’t come to see us first.” Such human stories, tied to tangible objects, are what visitors are rememAn Episcopal minister, the Rev. Herbert Burk, came up with the idea bering, Turdo has found. for a museum focused on the American Revolution in the early 1900s. He “What people are connecting with are the objects as a window into the people. started buying objects tied to the Revolution, the most important among We are watching visitors walk about, inspired to learn more and surprised at the them George Washington’s mobile office--a 23-foot-long linen tent where richness and diversity of the experience.” the general worked, ate and slept. Burk raised money from average citizens They are discovering that the American Revolution is a human story, about for that purchase. people like themselves, Turdo said. “What may be most surprising is how much Today, that War Tent is the centerpiece of a museum that houses the people are seeing their modern selves in this history.” nation’s preeminent collection of objects from those three decades of social, cultural and political change. Among them are paintings and portraits, diaries and letters, battle gear and a Privateer boat and a lifelike Liberty Tree. In a newly opened discovery center, families can explore MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION Philadelphia in miniature, including a nondenominational church where 877-740-1776 they hear the stories of nine Colonists of various faiths. “You learn how email@example.com their faith influenced their participation in the Revolution or how the www.amrevmuseum.org Revolution influenced their faith,” said Turdo. A collection of religious objects owned by colonists shows that Philadelphia was a place of wide diversity. Among the objects is a communion chalice owned by George Whitefield, a popular English minister who came to America and helped found Methodism and the The museum has a motorcoach drop off, discounted group rates, evangelical movement. Another piece, a Muslim charm, no larger than special guided tours and an on-site café. A guide for group a dime, was uncovered at an archaeological dig in Pennsylvania. “It leaders is on the website. may be the only evidence of Islam in colonial America,” said Turdo.
going on faith [ goingonfaith.com ]
DRAYTON HALL OPENS NEW GALLERIES AND EDUCATIONAL FACILITIES
New educational facilities have opened at Drayton Hall in Charleston. Courtesy Drayton Hall
CHARLESTON, South Carolina — A new orientation hall, education center and galleries that opened May 1 are designed to enrich the visitor experience and allow the display of historic artifacts for the first time at Drayton Hall, a National Trust historic site outside Charleston. The additions were done by Drayton Hall Preservation Trust, the privately funded nonprofit responsible for the operation, administration and interpretation of Drayton Hall. The Sally Reahard Visitor Center, with its welcome area, museum shop and orientation hall, includes gallery
space where Drayton Hall’s internationally significant furniture, artwork, manuscripts and archaeological finds are on exhibit for the first time, illuminating daily life at the estate. The interpretive gardens include historically accurate botanical plantings evoking the Drayton family’s scientific pursuits and international connections during the 18th and 19th centuries. The project also includes expanded parking, convenient restroom facilities, improved wayfinding, accessibility and more. www.draytonhall.org
OF CHRIST IMAGES MARCH 22, 2018 – JANUARY 5, 2019
BIBLE MUSEUM • COCA-COLA MUSEUM
going on faith [ summer 2018 ]
HISTORIC HOME • GARDENS
MONROE, LOUISIANA 318-387-5281 • bmuseum.org
NIAGARA FALLS UNDERGROUND RAILROAD HERITAGE CENTER OPENS NIAGARA FALLS, New York — The Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center opened recently in the former 1863 U.S. Custom House, which is attached to the new Niagara Falls Amtrak station. Its exhibitions feature digital media, graphics, scenic built environments and facilitated dialogic programming to tell the stories of escaped slaves being helped to freedom by local residents. Its re-creations include the Cataract House, a premier international hotel that employed an entirely AfricanAmerican wait staff who helped freedom seekers cross to Canada just across the Niagara River, and the International Suspension Bridge used
by Harriet Tubman and other freedom seekers to cross the imaginary line from slavery to freedom. “From the very beginning, the objective for the heritage center was to create an immersive experience that brings to life the stories of ordinary individuals who fought for freedom,” said center director and curator Ally Spongr. The Heritage Center’s permanent exhibition, “One More River to Cross,” features the stories of the Underground Railroad in Niagara Falls, the crucial role played by its location and geography, and the actions of its residents, particularly its African-American residents. www.niagarafallsunder groundrailroad.org
The new Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center tells stories of how local residents helped runaway slaves escape to freedom across the border in Canada.
REGISTER TODAY! GOFCONFERENCE.COM/REGISTER We’re looking forward to seeing you in Little Rock this August. From opening night at the Clinton Presidential Center to the amazing tours we’ve got planned, Little Rock is ready to greet you with that famous Southern charm and hospitality – amazing cuisine, cozy accommodations and world-class attractions.
• Girls Getaway • History Happened Here • Home & Garden with a Southern Accent • History & a Helping Hand
“Testament” Monument to the Little Rock Nine > To see more visit LittleRock.com going on faith [ goingonfaith.com ] 11
This ad is paid for with state and Heart of Arkansas funds.
LITTLE ROCK READIES FOR
GOING ON FAITH CONFERENCE GOING ON FAITH
Photos courtesy Little Rock CVB
The River Market District is the heart of revitalized downtown Little Rock.
BY DA N DICKSON
elightful and surprising Little Rock, Arkansas, is where nearly 300 delegates will be heading August 7-9 for the 2018 Going On Faith Conference. The event will be staged in the Statehouse Convention Center in the heart of downtown. The center is conveniently connected to the official conference hotel: the Little Rock Marriott. The delegates group will be populated by travel planners from churches and religious organizations
going on faith [ summer 2018 ]
around the nation, as well as travel industry representatives who hope to earn their business. “We certainly look forward to welcoming them and helping them experience the true Little Rock, fall in love with it and want to come back,” said Gretchen Hall, CEO of the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau. “From a tourism perspective, our job is to increase the awareness of all the offerings our community has. We have found that people who have visited Little Rock had a great experience,
and they share that through word-of-mouth.” Delegates will hold hundreds of brief meetings during two important marketplace sessions at the conference. The six-minute “get to know you” sessions are where delegates are exposed to a seemingly endless stream of travel ideas they might not ordinarily encounter on their own. The meetings create new contacts and potential new-business relationships. Delegates will also hear many interesting presentations from major travel organizations that offer mem-
Little Rock sites, clockwise from top left: Big Dam Bridge; Central High School; state Capitol; Dickey-Stephens Park; Clinton Presidential Library.
orable trips, both domestically and around the world. Many of these companies will also have booths set up for delegates to visit for one-on-one discussions.
OPENING NIGHT AND CITY HIGHLIGHTS
The opening night event and dinner will be held in an unusual venue: a presidential library. Delegates
“WE CERTAINLY LOOK FORWARD TO WELCOMING THEM AND HELPING THEM EXPERIENCE THE TRUE LITTLE ROCK, FALL IN LOVE WITH IT AND WANT TO COME BACK.”
will be given time to visit the William J. Clinton Presidential Center and its collections, which chronicle the last eight years of the 20th century from a presidential perspective. Re-creations of the Clinton Oval Office and Cabinet Room are highlights, as are the many galleries that depict major world and national events and life in the White House. The Clinton Center is on the banks of the Arkansas River in Little Rock and is part of what is known as the River Market District.
going on faith [ goingonfaith.com ] 13
Get Your Craft On!
“We have a great presence in the downtown area,” said Libby Lloyd, communications manager for the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau. “There has been a lot of renovation and revitalization in that area of town. We have very family-friendly and affordable attractions here in our city, a lot of which are located downtown where most of this conference will take place.” Ask any delegate and they are likely to cite tours of the host city as the highlight of their Going On Faith Conference experience. For the upcoming conference, Little Rock CVB officials have organized some fun and interesting sightseeing tours during the conference, as well as some wide-ranging preconference and postconference tours. During one afternoon, delegates will be offered their choice of four tours of Little Rock. One excursion is a civil rights tour and features a visit to one of the most important sites in the history of the civil rights movement. Little Rock High School National Historic Site is where nine courageous African-American students desegregated the city’s all-white high school in 1957 amid turmoil, violence and a national spotlight. The high school is still in operation. This tour also includes a stop at the Testament Monument on the Arkansas State Capitol grounds. It presents life-size bronze statues of the Little Rock Nine walking into Central High School. A third stop on this tour is the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, a museum that explores the history, life and culture of African-Americans in Arkansas and the challenges they have faced. A second tour being offered is History and Helping Hands, a look at people doing good work around the world. It will include a visit to Heifer Village, part of the remarkable global outreach organization known as Heifer International. A village tour would likely include education aimed at inspiring, challenging and engaging people to help end hunger and poverty around the world and to care for the earth. The History and Helping Hands tour will stop at several of Little Rock’s historically significant structures and neighborhoods, including the Old Statehouse Museum. Another part of the driving tour is a stop in the city’s Quapaw Quarter Historic District.
SHOPPING, HISTORY, GARDENS “All the different hands-on activities are a blast, no talent required! You are treated like their guest and everything is planned out for you. We loved it!” – Triumph Community Bank Travel Club, East Moline, IL
Request Your FREE Planner Call 1-800-322-8198 or order it online at:
www.TOURSoutheastIndiana.com/planner OHIO Indianapolis
South of I-74 & west of I-275, 20 minutes west of Cincinnati
going on faith [ summer 2018 ]
A third sightseeing tour option the conference will highlight is the area’s shopping. Participants will visit the Outlets of Little Rock, Arkansas’ first outlet center. The open-air center is crammed with nationally known stores and factory outlets that offer savings of up to 70 percent off retail prices. Those delegates will then head back downtown to the remarkable Esse Purse Museum and Store. Some may pooh-pooh the mere idea of a purse museum, but delegates will be surprised to learn that the museum is lovingly dedicated to the evolution of the 20th-century American woman through the bags she carried and their contents. “A purse is not just a utilitarian bag in which a woman carries her necessities,” said museum owner Anita Davis. “It is an extension of her personal space, her essence and the other things that make her her.” The museum touches on history, art and the feminine mystique and is just one of three such museums in the world. Another option is a summertime home and garden tour. Several garden and lifestyle personalities live in the Little Rock area, including TV gardening guru P. Allen Smith. Another prominent gardening professional is Chris Olsen; he has beautifully restored the Edgemont House, his residence in the historic Park Hill neighborhood in North Little Rock. This magnificent Spanish Colonial garden estate was built in 1927 and is listed on the National Historic Register. The Old Mill, also in North Little Rock, is a true reproduction of an old water-powered grist mill and was featured in the movie “Gone With the Wind.” The park features many sculptures and a treebranch-entwined bridge and is also on the National Register of Historic Places. Heifer International offers visitors a look at Heifer Urban Farm, a three-acre garden behind Heifer’s headquarters building. It has grown from a simple community garden into a booming farming operation that provides fresh food for the needy in the area. Heifer’s staff uses eco-friendly farming techniques in its fields and stockyards. Guests will see the animals that are helping families around the world feed themselves. In turn, those people then pay it forward by passing animal offspring to others with similar needs in their villages or towns. Visitors can make financial donations that will provide such an animal for needy people somewhere in the world. Before and after the conference, FAM tours will take participants to see other Arkansas destinations.
“The pre-FAM tour will be of northwest Arkansas, including Fayetteville, home of the University of Arkansas, along with visits to Rogers and Bentonville, the world headquarters for Walmart,” said Amanda James, a sales manager for the Little Rock CVB. It will run Friday, August 3, to Monday, August 6. “The post-FAM tour will go to southwest Arkansas and include Hot Springs and DeGray Lake Resort State Park,” James said. This tour begins after the conference on August 9.
‘THE TRANSITION MAN’
The Going On Faith Conference always features interesting and inspirational speakers. This year’s keynote will be delivered by Johnny Campbell, nicknamed the Transition Man, a business speaker and the author of five books. He specializes in helping audiences to be profitable and productive in their work environments and to deal more easily with difficult people. He also preaches how to cope with these changing times “without losing one’s mind or bank account.” Campbell has become a crowd favorite because of his entertaining and informative style of speaking and for his useful suggestions for self-improvement. One of Campbell’s topics is dealing with “enemies” that prevent us from progressing in business or in life. “When we find and face the enemy in our hearts and minds, we now believe we can improve,” said Campbell, speaking onstage during a recent TED Talk. Campbell says these enemies come in three forms: competitors, situations and things. If people would examine these roadblocks as the enemies that are holding them back, they “will have more intensity and desire to push back,” he said. “It is actually our enemies who take us from good to great.”
REGISTER NOW FOR GOING ON FAITH 800-628-0993 www.gofconference.com
going on faith [ goingonfaith.com ] 15
HOW TO TA K E B E T T E R T R AV E L P H OTO S
BY B R I A N J E W E L L
verybody loves great travel photos, but few people understand how to take them. When you take your group on trips, chances are that you and your travelers spend a lot of time snapping photos. It’s a great way to document your journey and relive the memories once you return home. And as a travel planner, having photos can help you put together engaging marketing materials that will drive sign-ups for future trips. Unfortunately, many travelers end up disappointed because the pictures they took didn’t come out as well as they had hoped. Some people think if they buy expensive cameras, they’ll end up with better photos, but this isn’t necessarily the case. Getting great photos, particularly while you’re traveling, has more to do with what you’re shooting — and how you’re shooting — than the equipment you use.
going on faith [ summer 2018 ]
Here are 10 tips to help make your group travel photography better, easier and more enjoyable.
CHOOSE YOUR GEAR WISELY. Before you buy or pack a camera, think strategically about your needs and abilities. Big, fancy cameras can take amazing photos, but only if you understand how to use them. They can often be bulky and heavy. If you’re taking general travel pictures and candid snapshots of your friends, the camera on your phone will do a good job and be much easier to carry. If you want to zoom in on wildlife or capture wide-angle landscapes, though, you’ll need more advanced equipment.
LEARN YOUR CAMERA. Today’s cameras, both those on smartphones and freestanding devices, offer users a broader range of features and choices than ever before. Knowing how to use these features can help you take much better photos, but there’s often a learning curve involved. You won’t want to spend your time during the trip trying to figure out how your camera works. So take some time before you depart to experiment with your camera or smartphone app and to figure out how to take advantage of all the tools it offers.
LOOK FOR DETAILS. Once you’re on the road and taking pictures, it’s tempting to shoot only big things: monuments, statues, buildings, landscapes, etc. But it can be frustratingly difficult to capture the magnitude of a large object in a photo. You’ll have better results if you keep your eye out for smaller, more interesting details. Instead of shooting the entire building, for example, focus on the design in the wrought iron gate or the colorful shutters around the windows. Geometric patterns and natural objects like flower petals also make interesting close-up photos.
CAPTURE PEOPLE, NOT JUST PLACES. Another temptation of the novice travel photographer is to shoot photos of landmarks and important places while forgetting about the people who inhabit them. It’s human interaction that makes travel most engaging, and photos with people in them can tell much more memorable stories. So in addition to getting pictures of places, take pictures of the people in those places, both the locals you encounter there and the people in your group. Just leave enough of the landmark in the background that you remember where the photo was taken.
THINK ABOUT LIGHTING. There’s an old saying among photographers: You’re not shooting the subjects; you’re shooting the light. The lighting of your scene has a dramatic impact on the quality of your photos. Try to shoot in well-lit places and angle your subjects in such a way that the sun or other light source is shining on them as directly as possible. And avoid uneven lighting; if there are both bright spots and shadows in your frame, the resulting photo will be either way too dark or washed out with light.
GET CLOSER. Amateur photographers almost always make the mistake of standing too far away from their subjects, particularly if those subjects are people. It may have to do with our sense of personal space: We’re afraid that standing too close to someone while taking their pictures will feel awkward. But great photos are all about details, and you’ll capture many more details by shooting up close than you will at a distance. A good rule of thumb is to position yourself in what you think is a good spot, then take two steps forward.
SHOOT HORIZONTALLY. The world of visual media is built around images shot in horizontal — also called landscape — orientation. That’s why TV screens and computer monitors are wider than they are tall. Cameras were traditionally built in a way that made it natural for users to shoot horizontally, but smartphones are most often used in vertical orientation. It’s tempting to hold your phone vertically when taking pictures, but you end up missing a lot of interesting background details that way. When in doubt, shoot horizontally.
USE THE RULE OF THIRDS. One of the most common tricks that pro photographers use is something called the rule of thirds. They visualize a grid of imaginary lines splitting the frame into thirds, both horizontally and vertically, and then align the focal point of their photos with one of the intersections of those grid lines. Taking photos that aren’t perfectly centered helps make images more visually interesting and can even create a sense of motion, as the viewer’s eye starts at the focal point and is then drawn to other parts of the frame.
TURN OFF YOUR FLASH. Every camera has a built-in flash, and many of the automatic settings on cameras and smartphones deploy those flashes on nearly every shot, even when you’re shooting in plenty of light. But in most cases, those flashes are worthless. At best, they lack enough power to properly light a dark scene. At worst, they fill the image with harsh, unnatural light that leaves subjects looking pallid. You’ll get better photos if you turn off your camera’s automatic flash function and focus on finding great ambient lighting conditions instead.
USE A SINGLE CAMERA FOR GROUP PHOTOS. One of the most frustrating experiences on a group tour is the group photo. It seems everyone wants a shot of the group taken on their camera or phone, which can leave the designated photographer juggling dozens of devices. It also means that travelers must hold their poses and smile for longer than is comfortable. Remedy this by telling the group that you’ll use a single camera to take group shots and then share those images with everyone after — or even during — the trip.
going on faith [ goingonfaith.com ] 17
At Home in the Holy Land
TRAVEL BY A SHLE Y R ICKS
[ ISRAEL ADVANTAGE TOURS ]
FAVORITE BIBLE VERSE Isaiah 2:3 (NIV) “Many peoples will come and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the temple of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.’ The law will go out from Zion, the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.”
HOMETOWN Cindy Iglitzen-Socianu was born and raised in Chicago.
FAVORITE DESTINATION Her favorite destination is the Western Wall in Jerusalem
HOBBIES Iglitzen-Socianu enjoys flower arranging and event planning.
going on faith [ summer 2018 ]
BY A SH L E Y R I CK S
ike an ancient scribe copying passages of holy text, Cindy IglitzenSocianu is meticulous and enthusiastic about her work. Along with her husband, Dan, Iglitzen-Socianu owns and runs Israel Advantage Tours. Travelers and partners who work with her will quickly come to appreciate her passion for Israel and bringing the Holy Land to life for visitors. The seed of Iglitzen-Socianu’s passion for the Holy Land was planted when she was only 16 years old. Her family went to Israel for her cousin’s bar mitzvah. Like any normal teenager, she wanted to spend the summer with her friends, not knowing what she would be missing out on; but her mother made her join the rest of the family on the trip, telling her “No! You’re going to Israel. It’s yours. It’s for you to experience.” The first time she stepped off the plane, she realized the importance of the land, and she bowed on her hands and knees and kissed the ground. “I realized then that somehow, somewhere, I was going to have something to do with bringing people to Israel,” she said. “I knew in my heart I was going to be doing it.
Cindy Iglitzen-Socianu loves introducing travel groups to Jerusalem and Israel, her ancestral homeland.
I didn’t know how God was going to lead me to it, but I knew that it was going to happen.” Iglitzen-Socianu was the deputy director for the Israel Ministry of Tourism, the first person born outside Israel to hold the office. After more than a decade in that role, she moved on and began her own company, Israel Advantage Tours, to continue the mission of bringing the word and the lands of the Bible to life for others. “All groups are our guests,” she said. “We’re bringing them to our home because Israel is our home.” Iglitzen-Socianu helps travelers learn about the destinations and holy sites the group will be visiting; she distributes information early on and works closely with the pastors and group leaders to create itineraries and plan the trips. She also gives her travelers insight at the holy sites by reading passages of scripture related to those places. Like any tour leader, Iglitzen-Socianu hopes her trips have an impact on her travelers, but she also works to constantly learn and grow. “I learn from my pastors and my colleagues and those around me every day, and mostly I learn from the Bible,” she said. “I’m a Jewish woman, but I learn from Jesus’ life and ministry, too, the way he interacted with people.” Iglitzen-Socianu shared one such learning experience that occurred when she brought a group to see the Dead Sea Scrolls at the Shrine of the Book. One of her travelers got separated from the group and called Iglitzen-Socianu to tell her she was lost but was by the white fountain. Iglitzen-Socianu went all through the building looking for fountains before she realized that the woman was outside looking at
the founts of water that fall on the roof to help cool the building. Once she found the lost traveler, she realized her mistake. Iglitzen-Socianu said the event hit home with her and taught her to open her eyes to different perspectives and how different backgrounds can shape us.
Iglitzen-Socianu includes scripture readings at holy sites during visits to Israel.
TRAVEL TIPS TIP 1 Encourage travelers to pack their Bibles. It’s the best guidebook of all. TIP 2 Help travelers understand that there is a “before” and an “after” when traveling to the Holy Land. Their lives and their perspectives will change with their first trip to the lands of the Bible. TIP 3 Buy shoes well before the trip. Take at least a few weeks, if not a month or two, to get them broken in before the three to five miles a day of walking you’ll be doing in the Holy Land. Photos courtesy Cindy Iglitzen-Socianu
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STAMPS INTERNATIONAL SPOTLIGHT
Cappadocia is famous for its volcanic landscape.
BY A S H L E Y R ICKS
W H E R E I N T HE BIBL E ? Cappadocia is mentioned in Acts 2:9 as one of the nations from which devout Jews traveled to Jerusalem, where they heard Peter’s sermon on the day of Pentecost.
going on faith [ summer 2018 ]
any people are familiar with the seven churches of Revelation and Paul’s travels across Asia Minor spreading the gospel. Today, this area is in Turkey. While Cappadocia was not one of the seven churches named in Revelation, this area was one of the first places to be influenced by Christianity, since Cappadocians were among those who heard Peter’s sermon and were baptized on the day of Pentecost. On the Anatolia Plateau within a volcanic landscape, Cappadocia can look like a scene from another world. The honeycomb hills, towering boulders and small narrow valleys create a peculiar but stunning backdrop for anything from pampering at a resort to
hiking. The stone pillars are called fairy chimneys or hoodoos and are similar to rock formations in Bryce Canyon National Park and other areas of the Badlands and Colorado Plateau regions of the United States. Cappadocia is also famous for its cave hotels, nestled into the hillside and built out of stone or hewn from the mountain rock. Many of the hotels feature dreamy views of the fairy chimneys. Some of the most popular are the Museum Hotel Cappadocia, the Cappadocia Cave Suites and the Kelebek Special Cave Hotel.
TO P AT T RA C T ION S
FOR CHURCH GROUPS • ROSE VALLEY — The collection of walking trails that loop around Gulludere Vadisi, which means Rose Valley, can accommodate walkers of all levels who wish to experience the Cappadocian landscape. Visitors traversing the trails will see rock-cut churches, vibrantly colored fresco fragments and stone carvings. • DERINKUYU — This underground city, first hewn from volcanic rock in the Byzantine age, is large enough to have sheltered 20,000 people and all their belongings. Derinkuyu is the largest and deepest excavated underground city in Turkey, and about half of the city is accessible to tourists today. • ESKI GUMUS MONASTERY — The Eski Gumus Monastery is the southernmost monastery in Cappadocia and was not excavated until 1963. Among the many well-preserved frescos, considered some of the greatest depictions of Byzantines in the region, is one that is believed to be the only fresco to depict a smiling portrait of Mary and the Christ child. • CHURCHES OF GOREME — The churches of Goreme is a collection of churches that have been named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The churches, carved from Cappadocia’s volcanic landscape, originated as a Byzantine settlement that was home to about 20 monks. Today, visitors are welcome to tour the monastic complex at the Goreme Open-Air Museum.
MUST-DO: A hot-air-balloon tour over Cappadocia is a bucketlist-worthy experience for any group.
MUST-TASTE: Doner kebabs are highly recommended. These succulent skewers are rich in flavor, with grilled meat generously covered in herbs and spices. Try them alone, wrapped in pita or stuffed in a flatbread wrap know as durum.
BRING IT HOME: Turkish coffee is iconic around the world. Coffee lovers will want to relive the experience by bringing home a copper cezve pot, small coffee cups and, of course, the coffee to share the good brews with good friends stateside.
PHOTO OP: Visitors love taking selfies with the famous Cappadocian fairy chimneys in the background.
• HACI BEKTAS VELI MUSEUM — This serene lodge was once home to followers of the Bektashi faith. Today, visitors can learn about the Bektashi movement through artifacts followers used and created, including instruments and jewelry. Visitors will also enjoy strolling through the beautiful gardens and seeing colorful architectural designs throughout the museum.
RESEARCHI N G YOUR T RI P www.goturkeytourism.com A Cappadocia walking trail
Overlooking the scenic city
going on faith [ goingonfaith.com ] 21
STATE OF FAITH
O G ALL AL A
ARTS N E B R A S KA OF F E RS GROUPS A WIDE RANGE OF ART-BASED ACTIV I T I E S
going on faith [ summer 2018 ] All photos by Josie Meister, courtesy Visit Nebraska
1 OMAHA HIGHLIGHT | ART AND MARBLE
N O RTH PL ATTE
OM A H A
L INCO LN
KE AR NE Y
BY B RI A N JE WE LL
n many ways, you can get to know Nebraska by exploring its art museums. From the high-class collections in sophisticated Omaha to the Western art and artifacts in North Platte, art museums in cities across the Cornhusker State help visitors appreciate the individual characteristics of the communities they represent. Travelers will find great art exhibits throughout Nebraska in venues as diverse as institutional museums and roadside trading posts. This art-focused Nebraska itinerary begins in Omaha, in the eastern part of the state, and proceeds west to Lincoln, Kearney and North Platte before ending in Ogallala. From there groups can loop back to the east or continue west to Colorado. Along the way, travelers will discover college-town charm, a world-class zoo, Wild West shows and more fun experiences to enrich the trip. Plan to spend five days on this trip across Nebraska, with two hours or less of driving each day.
Opposite page, clockwise from top: a towering Dale Chihuly sculpture at the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha; the skyscraper Capitol in Lincoln; Museum of Nebraska Art in Kearney
Groups have their choice of activities in Omaha, which is the cultural capital of the Great Plains. But art lovers will want to head straight downtown to the Joslyn Art Museum, which was founded by a wealthy local family as a gift to the city. The museum’s permanent collection has about 20 galleries, with pieces ranging across history from antiquity to contemporary art. Highlights include ancient Greek pottery, medieval and Renaissance art, and European and American impressionism. The museum also has a large collection of art of the American West, with works by the likes of Frederic Remington, Charles Russell and Thomas Moran. Many guests find the museum building itself a sight to behold, with Art Deco architecture and 37 different kinds of marble. Outside the building are two sculpture gardens with a waterfall, a reflecting pool and a Rodin sculpture. Groups can arrange for tours of the museum and gardens, along with hands-on art activities. WHILE YOU’RE THERE: The Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium features a number of immersive habitats, including the Desert Dome and the world’s largest indoor rain forest. Groups can opt for the Zoofari experience, which gives them a bird’s-eye view of the zoo.
MORE INFO | www.visitomaha.com
2 LINCOLN HIGHLIGHT | COLLEGE TOWN ART Home to the University of Nebraska and a growing city scene, Lincoln has emerged as one of the most hip and creative cities in the state. A case in point is the Sheldon Museum of Art. The Sheldon Museum is a hybrid institution. It houses the collections of the Sheldon Art Association, which was founded in 1888, and the University of Nebraska, which began collecting art in 1929. In all, the museum has more than 12,000 works in a variety of media, including a collection of American art that focuses on 19th-century landscape and still life, as well as American impressionism, modernism and pop art. Outside, a sculpture garden has more than 30 largescale pieces of art by sculptors such as Gaston Lachaise, Jacques Lipchitz, Michael Heizer and Richard Serra. Art and craft lovers visiting Lincoln should also make time to visit the International Quilt Study Center and Museum, which has a collection of more than 4,000 quilts. WHILE YOU’RE THERE: The Nebraska Capitol is both an anomaly and an architectural jewel. Referred to as a “skyscraper capitol,” the building towers 400 feet above the city and is one of only three capitols in the nation that eschew the traditional dome-and-rotunda design in favor of a more vertical approach.
MORE INFO | www.lincoln.org
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HIGHLIGHT | NEBRASKA ART
HIGHLIGHT | ART OF THE WEST
About 130 miles east of Lincoln, Kearney is a small city with a lot of history and a vibrant cultural scene. Groups will enjoy a visit to Kearney’s Museum of Nebraska Art, which focuses on art and artists with some connection to the state. Most of the artists were born, lived or trained in Nebraska at some point. Those artists include some well-known names, such as Ramsey Peale, Karl Bodmer, Robert Henri and George Catlin. Many of those artists created works depicting what they saw or remembered from their time in Nebraska. The museum’s collection features more than 6,000 works in painting, glass, fiber, wood and ceramic. The museum is also noteworthy for the building that houses it. The Renaissance Revival structure was originally constructed in 1911 as the Kearney post office. Decorative elements inside and outside the museum reflect that architectural style. WHILE YOU’RE THERE: The Great Platte River Road Archway is something of a museum in the sky. Resembling a covered bridge, it spans 308 feet across Interstate 80, suspended 30 feet above the road.
By the time you reach North Platte, there’s no doubt about it: You’ve crossed from the Midwest into the West. This railroad town has serious Western credentials — it was home to the famous showman Buffalo Bill Cody — and groups on the hunt for art will find a uniquely Western museum at the Fort Cody Trading Post. One of the state’s largest, most eclectic gift shops, Fort Cody Trading post is a retail store, a living-history site and a museum all rolled into one large attraction. Among the most interesting aspects is the Old West Museum, which features Western art and artifacts from the 19th and early 20th centuries. Highlights include Native American crafts and a series of six murals that depict moments in Cody’s life. Perhaps the most unusual display is “Buffalo Bill’s Wild West in Miniature.” This exhibit features a full re-creation of Cody’s famous Wild West Show comprising more than 20,000 hand-carved miniature figurines. WHILE YOU’RE THERE: North Platte is home to a massive rail yard, as well as the Golden Spike Tower and Visitor Center, which tells the story of the railroad and its impact on the area. The tower serves as an observation platform elevated 100 feet and offering 360-degree views of Bailey Yard below.
MORE INFO | www.visitkearney.org
MORE INFO | www.visitnorthplatte.com
If you think museums are boring, you’re doing it wrong.
visitkearney.org (308) 237-3178
going on faith [ summer 2018 ]
Let us show you what you’re missing. • • • •
View over 200 restored classic cars. Discover the story behind the art of Nebraska. Experience the sights and sounds of U.S. history. Bustling with culture and entertainment.
5 OGALLALA HIGHLIGHT | PETRIFIED ART In west-central Nebraska, not far from the Colorado border, Ogallala is an Old West town that offers a unique twist on art. The Petrified Wood Gallery showcases the collection of twin brothers Harvey and Howard Kenfield, who amassed dozens of pieces of petrified-wood art over 50 years. The Kenfield brothers donated their collection to the Western Nebraska Community Foundation, which runs the museum. Visitors see hundreds of pieces of petrified wood — many found within 25 miles of Ogallala — as well as an array of artwork created from the material. Highlights include pictures, music boxes, polished rocks, spheres and other carvings. Volunteer guides at the gallery teach groups about petrification and the art created from the petrified wood. They also point out the various Native American arrowheads and artifacts on display. Souvenirs and other gift items are available for purchase. WHILE YOU’RE THERE: At the Front Street and Cowboy Museum, visitors can relive the Old West action of Ogallala’s early days. In addition to a tour, groups can have a Western-themed lunch and catch some live action at the Crystal Palace Revue and Shoot Out.
MORE INFO | www.visitogallala.com
Petrified Wood Gallery
Sheldon Museum at the University of Nebraska
The Joslyn Art Museum’s sculpture garden
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EUREKA SPRINGS, ARKANSAS BY BRIA N JE WEL L
Top: A walking trail surrounds the gorgeous springs at Blue Springs Heritage Area. Bottom: A group enjoys the Victorian architecture in downtown Eureka Springs.
going on faith [ summer 2018 ]
eautiful Ozark mountain terrain, a charming historic district and a thriving arts community come together to make Eureka Springs one of the most beloved destinations in northwest Arkansas “We have more than 100 structures that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places,” said Karen Pryor, director of sales for the Eureka Springs Advertising and Promotion Commission. “We don’t have any chains, outlet malls or discount stores in the downtown area. We have 80 to 90 shops that are independently owned. The owners will probably greet you when you walk in because they’re also the people working there.” The downtown district is built on the side of an Ozark hill, and the steep incline and winding streets make it impossible for motorcoaches to drive through. The best way for groups to explore the area is by tram. “It goes through the historic district, where motorcoaches aren’t permitted to go,” Pryor said. “You learn all about the history and architecture of Eureka Springs and see houses of famous and infamous people who lived here. You also make a stop at one of our 62 in-town springs.” Church groups that visit Eureka Springs
All photos courtesy Eureka Springs CAPC
almost always plan to see a performance of the Great Passion Play, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this season. In addition to the large-scale production, which tells the story of Jesus’ ministry, death and Resurrection, visitors can eat dinner, attend a preshow and even take a behind-the-scenes tour of the large outdoor set. “I suggest groups see the play and then come back the next day to do the behindthe-scenes tour,” Pryor said. “If they do the tour first, they’re going to learn some of the special effects and see how Jesus is raised from the dead. To me, it’s more meaningful if you’re surprised along the way by the way they do their effects.” Groups that make the return trip for the behind-the-scenes tour can also enjoy some other attractions at the complex, including the Sacred Art Center, a bible museum, a re-created Holy Land streetscape and the iconic Christ of the Ozarks, a 67-foot-tall statue of Jesus with outstretched arms that overlooks Eureka Springs. In addition to these essential Eureka Springs experiences, groups can supplement their itineraries with numerous other attractions and activities around town.
National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help
THORNCROWN CHAPEL About five miles outside town, nature, art and faith come together to form the magnificent Thorncrown Chapel. Opened in 1980, this nondenominational chapel uses 100 tons of native stone and 6,000 square feet of glass walls to create a space where people of faith can pray and worship while surrounded by the natural splendor of the Ozark wilderness. The chapel was the dream of Jim Reed, a local resident, and designed by E. Fey Jones, an architecture professor at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. Groups can take a self-guided tour of the chapel or arrange for a tour and a half-hour presentation about the building’s history. WWW.THORNCROWN.COM
“We have more than 100 structures that are listed on the National Register
BLUE SPRINGS HERITAGE CENTER Not far outside of town, the Blue Springs Heritage Center is both a natural wonder and a historic attraction. The 33-acre site contains a spring that pumps more than 38 million gallons of crystal-clear water each day into a gleaming blue pool. The pool is surrounded by a botanical garden. The spring served as a resting place for Native Americans traveling the Trail of Tears and has some Civil War history. Groups can watch an introductory video and shop for gifts at the on-site visitors center, then take self-guided tours on walking trails around the spring. There is also space available for catered lunches. WWW.BLUESPRINGHERITAGE.COM
of Historic Places,” — KAREN PRYOR
The Great Passion Play
Thorncrown Chapel The empty tomb
going on faith [ goingonfaith.com ] 27
ST. ELIZABETH CATHOLIC CHURCH Touring historic churches is a popular activity for faith-based groups wherever they travel. But in Eureka Springs, groups are guaranteed an experience they won’t find anywhere else. The city’s St. Elizabeth Catholic Church is built into the side of a hill, and because of its unusual situation and architecture, visitors enter from the bell tower before proceeding down a series of steps to enter the sanctuary, which sits farther down the hill. The church is certified by Ripley’s Believe It or Not as the only church in the world where visitors enter through the bell tower. Groups can arrange to tour the church by contacting Pryor. WWW.STELIZABETHAR.ORG
OZARK MOUNTAIN HOEDOWN
St. Elizabeth Catholic Church
Groups that stay in Eureka Springs a second night can enjoy an evening of music and humor by attending a performance at the Ozark Mountain Hoedown. First created by locals in 1981, this show was recently rebooted by a team of award-winning entertainers. Today’s version features a variety of musical genres, including rock, country, bluegrass, western swing, patriotic and gospel, as well as a variety of comedic characters. The Ozark Mountain Hoedown is open on weekends in April, then Tuesday through Saturday throughout the summer. Doors open at 7 p.m., and the show begins at 8. WWW.THEOZARKMOUNTAINHOEDOWN.COM
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going on faith [ summer 2018 ]
SEE IT YOURSELF Want to see Eureka Springs for yourself? The city is hosting a preconference FAM tour in conjunction with the Going On Faith Conference in Little Rock. The trip will take place August 4-6, directly preceding the conference. Registration is open to conference delegates. For more information, contact Karen Pryor at 866-947-4387.
The Eureka Springs FAM before the Going On Faith Conference will showcase popular local attractions, such as Rogue Manor.
going on faith [ goingonfaith.com ] 29
H I STO RY
B Y RA CHEL CA RTER
T H E SE C IV IL RIGHT S S ITES TELL COMPELLING STORIES OF PRO G R E S S
The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum uses colorful exhibits to tell stories of the state’s role in the struggle for African American civil rights.
aith was at the heart of the civil rights movement, not only in its principles, but also in its people. Churches served as community staging grounds. Church members drove station wagons to provide transit during bus boycotts. Pastors and preachers helped spread the movement’s ideals. These civil rights sites — whether they’re museums, places of historic significance or both — share the history of the civil rights movement, the story of its most prominent leaders and the meaning of its legacy in the world today.
Courtesy MS Civil Rights Museum
National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis
A couple examine artifacts at the National Civil Rights Museum. By Dave Meany, courtesy Memphis CVB
By Andrea Zucker, courtesy Memphis CVB
Martin Luther King Jr.’s entombment site at the King Center for Nonviolent Social Change Courtesy King Center
going on faith [ summer 2018 ]
MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. CENTER FOR NONVIOLENT SOCIAL CHANGE [ ATLANTA ] Three months after Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in April 1968, his wife, Coretta Scott King, established the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta. Today, more than 50 years after King’s murder and the center’s founding, visitors can learn about the six principles of nonviolence, read King’s words inscribed on walls throughout the center and hear his words from above. Speaker systems recently installed throughout the campus let visitors hear King’s voice and learn about his life not only as a renowned civil rights leader, but also as a person, a man who loved to swim and whose last car, a 1967 Chevy Impala, still sits in the garage of his home. The King Center has been updating aesthetics and technology and just completed a renovation of the iconic reflecting pool, where the Kings are entombed side by side in a white crypt. Coretta Scott King fell in love with the Taj Mahal’s reflecting pool and “was determined to build that pool here,” said Carmen Luisa Coya-van Duijn, director of communications. With the recent rise of violence and vitriol, “we have seen a surge of people coming from all over the earth to just sit in front of that pool to pray and contemplate,” she said. In Freedom Hall, video monitors were added so guests can see photos and watch clips of King’s speeches and interviews. Center leaders also plan to renovate and reopen the chapel and add digital screens along the outdoor Freedom Walkway. www.thekingcenter.org NATIONAL CIVIL RIGHTS MUSEUM AT THE LORRAINE MOTEL [ MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE ] From the exterior, the Lorraine Motel looks much as it did on April 4, 1968, when King stepped outside Room 306 onto the motel balcony and into the early evening dusk. Today, a red-and-white funeral wreath hangs on the railing, marking the spot where King fell as shots rang out from the boardinghouse across the street. The National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee, wraps around the motel and held its grand reopening ceremony in 2014 following a $27 million renovation of its exhibits. The project kept iconic elements and artifacts, such as a sit-in counter, a Freedom Rider bus and a Memphis Sanitation truck but updated them with interactive video, audio and touchscreens. “You get pulled into the history and the stories being told,” said Faith Morris, chief marketing and external affairs officer. Visitors can crouch in a slave ship and hear slaves chanting and moaning, listen to the music of the Black Power/Black Pride era and watch history-makers tell their stories in the “Acts of Courage” videos. After making their way through the galleries, visitors eventually reach the “I Am a Man” exhibit that tells how King came to Memphis to support sanitation workers in their strike demanding equal wages and better benefits. Where walls once stood, glass windows now allow guests to view the preserved rooms 307 and 306 where King and other civil rights leaders often stayed when they visited Memphis and where King said his last words. He asked musician Ben Branch to play “Take My Hand, Precious Lord” at that evening’s event. “When they come to the King rooms, it’s an emotional experience,” she said. www.civilrightsmuseum.org LITTLE ROCK CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE [ LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS ] When the Little Rock Nine tried to enter previously all-white Little Rock Central High School on September 4, 1957, a mob of angry segregationists met them, as did crowds of press and National Guard troops that were under orders from the governor to keep the students out. By the end of the month, the same nine students were once again met by National Guard troops — this time ordered by President Dwight D. Eisenhower to protect them as they walked up the steps into the school. With eight of the surviving Little Rock Nine students in attendance, the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site in Little Rock, Arkansas, marked the 60th anniversary of the integration in September 2017. Many visitors don’t realize that the National Historic Site is still an active school, so access to the building is limited, said chief of interpretation David Kilton. However, the site includes a visitor center, a commemorative garden and a historically preserved Mobil gas station that acted as a sort of pressroom because reporters used the station’s pay phone to call in their stories. The site is working with the neighboring church to install a bench in the spot where student Elizabeth Eckford sat, alone, surrounded by press — which drew the attention of the segregationists. On the corner is
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going on faith [ goingonfaith.com ] 31
Ponder’s Drug Store, where she “tried to seek shelter from the crowd that day and was turned away,” he said. Groups should arrange guided tours at least two weeks in advance, and “rangers will help guests walk in those footsteps and see that story,” Kilton said. www.nps.gov/chsc
An exhibit at the Central High School visitors center
Photos courtesy Little Rock CVB
Members of the Little Rock Nine at a Central High School anniversary commemoration
MISSISSIPPI CIVIL RIGHTS MUSEUM [ JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI ] The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum opened in December in Jackson, Mississippi, and “the reception has been absolutely phenomenal,” said museum director Pamela D.C. Junior. The museum’s eight galleries focus on the years 1945 to 1976, when Mississippi was on the front lines of the civil rights movement. Introductory galleries explore Mississippi slaves’ struggle for freedom and, as freed citizens, their efforts to establish strong communities. From there, visitors step into the central rotunda, where the dramatic soaring sculpture “This Little Light of Mine” changes color as visitors hear recordings of songs that were sung during the civil rights movement. In Gallery Four, people learn how the end of World War II helped spark the civil rights movement because black veterans “got better treatment being overseas than they did when they came home,” Junior said. In the “Separate but Not Equal” exhibit, a schoolroom split down the middle shows the inequities in education: nice desks for white students, wooden benches for black students. Around the corner, Oprah Winfrey narrates the story of Emmett Till’s brutal and senseless lynching in 1955, and the doors of Bryant Grocery are on display. Visitors also learn about Freedom Riders; voting rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer, who led Mississippi’s Freedom Summer; and the Black Empowerment
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going on faith [ summer 2018 ]
movement. Throughout the museum, guests will find small theaters playing films that tie into each exhibit. In the final gallery, guests can leave quotes and answer questions about what they can do in their own communities. https://mcrm.mdah.ms.gov BIRMINGHAM CIVIL RIGHTS INSTITUTE [ BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA ] Many visitors to the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute in Birmingham, Alabama, come not only seeking understanding of the lessons of the civil rights movement but also “seeking relevance of what’s going on in the contemporary context,” said president and CEO Andrea Taylor. “Even though we’ve made progress, we still see there’s a lot of work to do,” she said. The institute sits across the street from both Kelly Ingram Park, which served as a large-scale staging ground for civil rights protests and demonstrations, and the 16th Street Baptist Church, which the Ku Klux Klan bombed in September 1963; that attack killed four girls. The institute’s five galleries address the broader story of the civil rights movement, but the detail centers on what happened in Birmingham. The permanent exhibit includes the doors and bars of the Birmingham jail cell where King wrote his famous “Letter From a Birmingham Jail,” as well as a replica of the Freedom Rider bus that was bombed in the nearby city of Anniston and a KKK robe. The 16th Street Baptist Church exhibit includes rubble from the church and pieces of stained-glass windows. The historic 1911 church, which is across the street, is also open for guided tours, which are available Tuesdays through Fridays and by appointment on Saturdays. Groups should schedule tours in advance. www.bcri.org
An exhibit on Emmitt Till at the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum
Courtesy MS Civil Rights Museum
By Ted Tucker, courtesy Birmingham CVB
Kelly Ingram Park and Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham
THERE’S MORE TO EXPLORE!
The Butler Institute of American Art
Fellows Riverside Gardens – Mill Creek MetroParks
You’ llourLtours ove Photo: Scott Lanz
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F RO M T H E
TO E LV I S
B L O C K BUS T E R M US E UM E X HIBITS PROMISE FASCINATING EXPER I E N C E S B Y ELIZA MY ERS
“Heavenly Bodies” at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art explores the role of fashion in Catholic tradition.
“Elvis Presley’s Memphis” at Graceland features extensive artifacts from Presley’s career in entertainment and in the army.
Courtesy Elvis Presley Enterprises
going on faith [ summer 2018 ]
Courtesy Metropolitan Museum of Art
ummy mysteries, Catholic fashion trends, an army of the dead and the king of rock ’n’ roll are drawing daily crowds at blockbuster museum exhibits in 2018. These headlinemaking exhibits can make a tempting add-on for faith-based group leaders looking to punch up an itinerary. For example, even those who’ve already seen the Field Museum will appreciate the traveling exhibit that allows guests to virtually unwrap mummified faces using modern technology. Revered museums like the Metropolitan Museum of Art are featuring must-see exhibits for religious groups, including a look at how Catholicism has influenced fashion. Some group leaders may want to plan entire trips around some blockbuster exhibits, such as “Terracotta Army: Legacy of the First Emperor of China” at the Cincinnati Art Museum. Faith-based groups should pay attention to these fascinating exhibits that delve into everything from the afterlife to Elvis.
‘MUMMIES’ [ FIELD MUSEUM — CHICAGO ] Scientists at the Field Museum had no idea what secrets they would discover with a borrowed CT scanner they had set up in an employee parking lot. The images this technology exposed were so compelling that in 2012, the museum organized a pop-up show to highlight them. The display evolved into the larger “Mummies” exhibit that traveled briefly before returning to the Field Museum in March. Groups can listen to a 20-minute introductory presentation before entering the gallery. The exhibit is self-guided, allowing time for participants to try out the interactive mummy-unwrapping simulator. With large screens broadcasting above attendees, multiple people can digitally unwrap mummies without damaging them. With the move of a finger, the CT scan will reveal skeletons and meaningful objects buried with the person. Among finds that intrigued researchers were jars of corn beer shaped like people with sculpted faces found in a Peruvian burial site. The exhibit also examines mummified animals, including a baboon, a gazelle and a baby crocodile. Egyptians frequently raised animals with the purpose of mummifying them for afterlife as an offering to the gods. The Field Museum has one of the largest collections of Egyptian and Peruvian mummies in the country. Professional staff oversee collections of over 24 million specimens that serve as objects of study and exhibits. The diverse exhibits of fossils, animals and cultural artifacts attract up to 2 million visitors annually. “Mummies” will be open at the Field Museum through April 21, 2019. www.fieldmuseum.org ‘HEAVENLY BODIES: FASHION AND THE CATHOLIC IMAGINATION’ [ METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART — NEW YORK ] What do works by Versace have in common with papal robes? The latest exhibit by the Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met) explores this question by comparing Catholic vestments with the creations of modern designers. “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” showcases medieval religious art and clothing and contrasts them with the fashions they inspired at the Met’s Anna Wintour Costume Center and the Met Cloisters. The cornerstone of the exhibit includes 40 ecclesiastical masterworks from the Sistine Chapel sacristy, many of which have never been seen outside the Vatican. These garments encompass more than 15 papacies from the 18th century to the early 21st century. The Vatican last sent a comparably sized loan in 1983 for “The Vatican Collections” exhibition, which remains the museum’s third-most-visited show. To contrast with the liturgical garments, attendees can compare more than 150 chosen ensembles, primarily womenswear, from the early 20th century to the present. Designers include Yves Saint Laurent, the House of Dior and Versace. Groups can view these modern fashions at the Met Cloisters. Exhibit planners chose this location so groups could look for similarities between the religious artworks of the nearby Byzantine and medieval galleries and the religious-inspired modern fashions. The Met is the largest art museum in the United States. Its permanent collection houses works from classical antiquity to modern art. “Heavenly Bodies” will be on exhibit there through October 8. www.metmuseum.org ELVIS PRESLEY’S MEMPHIS [ GRACELAND — MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE ] Since 1982, thousands of Elvis Presleys sat in the Graceland Archives’ storage area because there wasn’t enough space to display them. That changed in March 2017 when Graceland welcomed guests into its newest exhibit complex: Elvis Presley’s Memphis. Now visitors can not only see inside Presley’s famous Graceland mansion but also learn stories surrounding his path to fame, his influences and his artistry at the new museum space. The largest expansion in the museum’s history, the $45 million complex covers 40 acres. Among the new additions is the Presley Motors Automobile Museum, which displays more than 20 of Presley’s automobiles, including his iconic pink Cadillac. At “Icons: The Influence of Elvis Presley,” groups can explore how the King of Rock influenced music from Bruce Springsteen to James Brown. Guests can also examine a sampling of Presley’s famous outfits, artifacts from his time in the Army and rarely seen childhood photos. The 20,000-square-foot Graceland Soundstage A can entertain visitors with Elvis movies and concerts inspired by the King. Groups can tour on their own or book the Ultimate VIP experience for an exclusive tour and access to the Ultimate Lounge. The Elvis Discovery Exhibits will rotate themed displays as part of the experience.
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Currently planned for later this year is an exhibit on Elvis’ connection to gospel music and his relationship with his daughter, Lisa Marie. www.graceland.com ‘TERRACOTTA ARMY: LEGACY OF THE FIRST EMPEROR OF CHINA’ [ CINCINNATI ART MUSEUM — CINCINNATI ] In 1974, local farmers digging a well outside the city of Xi’an, China, discovered pottery shards and bronze arrows. Archaeologists investigated and were astounded to find a buried stone army of 8,000 life-size terracotta warriors and horses. Nine of these figures recently traveled to the Cincinnati Art Museum as part of the exhibit “Terracotta Army: Legacy of the First Emperor of China.” Along with these incredible statues, the exhibit features approximately 120 related Chinese artifacts, 40 of which have not appeared in the United States. Archaeologists excavated these Chinese works of art, which date from 770 B.C. to 206 B.C., out of emperor Ying Zheng’s mausoleum, as well as nearby aristocratic tombs and nomadic tribal burial sites. The exhibit gives background information on the history, myths and burial practices in ancient China. Visitors can stand close to a cavalry horse statue and examine ancient armor, jade ornaments and other precious jewelry. Interactive exhibits also reveal details from emperor Zheng’s reign and why he created the sprawling mausoleum. Groups can book guided tours of the museum and exhibit in advance. Founded in 1881, the Cincinnati Art Museum is one of the oldest art museums in the country. Its collection of over 67,000 works spans 6,000 years. “Terracotta Army” will be on display at the museum through August 12. www.cincinnatiartmuseum.org
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The Cincinnati Art Museum is featuring an exhibition of Terracotta Warriors from China through August 12.
Courtesy Cincinnati Art Museum
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going on faith [ summer 2018 ]
‘DAGUERREOTYPES: FIVE DECADES OF COLLECTING’ [ NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY — WASHINGTON ] To celebrate 50 years of collecting daguerreotypes for historical and artistic purposes, the National Portrait Gallery in Washington opened “Daguerreotypes: Five Decades of Collecting.” Released in conjunction with the museum’s golden anniversary, the exhibit showcases portraits of renowned Americans, such as activist and reformer Dorothea Dix, entrepreneur and showman P.T. Barnum and Seneca Chief Governor Blacksnake. Daguerreotypes are a direct-positive image produced on a sensitized plate of silver-clad copper. When the French introduced the image method to the United States in 1839, American practitioners quickly recognized its potential as a portrait medium. It flourished in America for nearly 20 years as the preferred way to capture a portrait. The exhibition highlights 13 original portraits as a sampling from some of the valuable images held in the museum. The Portrait Gallery holds more than 23,000 objects, including an 1843 daguerreotype of President John Quincy Adams on permanent view in the museum’s America’s Presidents gallery. Groups can view the anniversary exhibit as well as the America’s Presidents permanent exhibit, which was reopened in September. This revamped, interactive exhibit is the only place outside the White House where visitors can view a complete collection of presidential portraits. Exhibit graphics, interactive kiosks and a museum app allow guests to explore over 800 presidential portraits alongside contextual history. “Daguerreotypes” will be on exhibit at the museum through June 2, 2019. www.npg.si.edu
The National Portrait Gallery in Washington features a daguerreotype of PT Barnum and Tom Thumb.
Courtesy National Portrait Gallery
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Music fans explore temporary creative spaces during Musikfest in Pennsylvaniaâ€™s Lehigh Valley.
DISCOVER THE ENDURING CELEBRATIONS OF THE NORTHEAST AND MID-ATLANTIC BY S AVANNAH OS BOURN
very spring and summer, countless festivals draw crowds outdoors to enjoy food, fine arts and music in colorful destination cities across the country. These unique cultural celebrations provide a great focal point for groups, which can split up to explore different activities and then reconvene for meals and main events. With so many exceptional festivals to choose from, we have narrowed down five signature events from the Northeast and the MidAtlantic.
Maine Lobster Festival
Courtesy Maine Lobster Festival
going on faith [ summer 2018 ]
By Keith Huylebroeck, courtesy Discover Lehigh Valley
NATIONAL CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL WASHINGTON
National Cherry Blossom Festival
Touted as the nation’s “greatest springtime celebration,” the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington draws more than 1.5 million visitors to the capital city each spring. In 1912, the mayor of Tokyo, Japan, gave 3,000 cherry blossom trees to the city of Washington as a symbol of the enduring relationship between the United States and Japan, and just a few years later, the U.S. government returned the gesture with a gift of flowering dogwood trees. Today, the city organizes a broad range of festivities around the breathtaking floral display between late March and April, many of which pay homage to Japanese culture. During the festival’s opening ceremony, groups can witness world-class dance performances from Japanese and American artists at the Warner Theatre. One of the best-known highlights is the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade, a lavish, two-hour spectacle with celebrity entertainment, giant helium balloons, dance troupes and more. There are a number of smaller spring-inspired festivals that take place throughout the four-week celebration. The Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival is the largest one-day celebration of Japanese culture in the United States; there, guests can encounter traditional Japanese fashion, art and cuisine. Many families with young kids enjoy interactive events like the Blossom Kite Festival or Petalpalooza, a carnival-esque event with live music, fireworks and games. In addition, more than 60 local restaurants offer spring-themed menus in collaboration with the festival. Those who are unable to attend one of the organized events can bike, stroll or boat around the tidal basin to admire hundreds of flowered trees by the waterfront. Tickets for the parade, the opening ceremony and other events are available online. www.nationalcherryblossomfestival.org
MAINE LOBSTER FESTIVAL ROCKLAND, MAINE The Maine Lobster Festival began during the late 1940s as a way to bolster the local fishing community of Rockland, Maine, following World War II and gradually grew in scale and diversity. It is now recognized as one of the most popular seafood festivals in America. More than 20,000 pounds of lobster are served during the five-day event. The festival’s famous industrial cooker, the largest of its kind in the world, can steam up to 1,600 pounds of lobster in less than 20 minutes. “You can sit in the food tent and have a wonderful lobster dinner within a few feet of the harbor where those lobsters came from,” said Cynthia Powell, president of the festival. This year celebrating its 71st year, the festival takes place during the first weekend in August and attracts more than 60,000 seafood lovers from all over the nation. Among the organized activities are seafood-cooking contests, arts and crafts, road races, the Maine Sea Goddess Pageant and a large parade. On the fifth and final day, the festival concludes with the Great International Lobster Crate Race, a time-honored tradition in which contestants run back and
forth across 50 lobster crates linked between two docks. The goal is to cross as many crates as possible before falling into the chilly ocean, and several years ago a 12-year-old boy set the record with 6,400. Rockland also has many engaging attractions for groups to explore, from charming downtown shops to nationally recognized museums like the Maine Lighthouse Museum, which houses one of the country’s most extensive collections of lighthouse lenses, foghorns and other maritime artifacts. www.mainelobsterfestival.com
FLICKERS’ RHODE ISLAND INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND Based in the charming waterfront city of Providence, Rhode Island, the Flickers’ Rhode Island International Film Festival is the largest public film festival in New England and one of only six festivals in the world that qualify films for three prestigious award ceremonies: the Oscars, the British Academy Film Awards and the Canadian Screen Awards. During its 35-year run, the festival has premiered at least 49 productions that subsequently earned Oscar nominations. “You get to see the stars of tomorrow, often in one of their first big debuts,” said Kristen Adamo, vice president of the Providence Warwick Convention and Visitors Bureau. “I remember years ago someone telling me about this actor who was up and coming: ‘His name is Robert Pattinson, and he’s in this film called “Twilight.”’” During the six-day event in early August, festivalgoers can choose from nearly 300 film screenings all over the city, many featured at the historic Veterans Memorial Auditorium. In addition to film screenings, there are panel discussions with the cast and filmmakers, music video competitions, video game competitions, screenwriting seminars and more. “It’s a great opportunity to really immerse in the process of filmmaking,” said Adamo. It is also common to see few A-list actors in attendance, with past appearances by stars like Julie Andrews, Karen Allen and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. “There’s a lot of times when you might spot somebody and think, ‘It can’t be them.’ But it probably is,” said Adamo.
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In between festival events, groups can take advantage of the beautiful late-summer weather as they wander through Providence’s vibrant culinary scene and downtown area. August tends to be a quieter tourist season in Providence, allowing visitors to relish the laid-back atmosphere and New England scenery. www.film-festival.org
Rhode Island International Film Festival
MUSIKFEST BETHLEHEM, PENNSYLVANIA
A panel featuring Julia Louis-Dreyfus at the Rhode Island International Film Festival
Make Your Next Retreat, Training, or Meeting Perfect
For 35 years, Musikfest has staked its claim as the largest nongated free music festival in the United States, and for many Pennsylvanian locals, it is one of the most exciting events of the year. In 2017, the festival brought nearly 1.2 million visitors into Bethlehem, a town where the local population barely exceeds 75,000. Throughout the 10-day event, Bethlehem hosts about 500 free concerts on 15 stages throughout the city. Though many music festivals focus on a given genre, Musikfest emphasizes quality over theme, showcasing a broad range of unique music styles like African, zydeco, Celtic rock, jazz and ska. The layout is great for groups, which can split up and wander all over town to find the activities and artists that interest them. “It’s unique because it’s not just centralized in one open field like some music festivals,” said Kaitie Burger, social media and communications manager at Discover Lehigh Valley. “You can go and experience as much or as little as you want, depending on budget or interests.” The main concert stage is set against the incredible industrial backdrop of SteelStacks, a 10-acre arts and cultural campus that once belonged to the Bethlehem Steel Company. Though most of the original steel factory was torn down, visitors can still see five towering blast furnaces on the property. The festival also highlights Bethlehem’s outstanding culinary scene, as food vendors feature everything from lobster mac and cheese to fried dumplings and shrimp quesadillas. Guests can sign up for art workshops on glassblowing or sculpture, as well as browse dozens of elaborate art installations throughout the city. Last year, one of the most popular pieces was a massive inflatable exhibit called “Architects of Air,” which created a kind of kaleidoscope effect as the sun illuminated the multicolored walls. www.musikfest.org
The National 4-H Conference Center is the Washington D.C. area’s non-profit hotel and conference center. We will make your event easy to plan and memorable to attend. • 246 sleeping rooms • 41,000 square feet of flexible meeting rooms • Catering and dining options available • Complimentary on-site parking & Wi-Fi • Conveniently accessible to Washington, D.C.’s three airports and just minutes from the monuments and memorials
PLAN YOUR VISIT WITH US: SALESINFO@4HCENTER.ORG 800.368.7432 | 4HCENTER.ORG
Musikfest in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania Courtesy Discover Lehigh Valley
going on faith [ summer 2018 ]
VIRGINIA INTERNATIONAL TATTOO FESTIVAL NORFOLK, VIRGINIA Named one of the Top 100 Events in North America by the American Bus Association, the Virginia International Tattoo Festival is one of America’s most esteemed military events. “We’re a military town, and we are really proud of our military heritage,” said Erin Goldmeier, media relations manager at Visit Norfolk. “This event has grown tremendously in the past few years, and that just shows how iconic it has become.” Though the name can be misleading, the word “tattoo” originated in Europe as a musical signal for innkeepers to “turn off the taps” so soldiers would return to their barracks, and the term later came to encompass any military band performance. Near the end of April each spring, more than 1,000 military bands, drill teams, fife-anddrum corps, color guards, choirs and dancers convene at Norfolk’s Scope Arena to present one of the largest tattoo celebrations in the world. “There’s music, there’s dancing, there’s a lot of color,” said Goldmeier. “It’s so high-energy and entertaining.” One of the high points for many guests is the multicultural rendition of “Amazing Grace,” which is sung by performers from all over the world in their native languages. “The first time I heard it, I cried,” Goldmeier said. “It was so touching and beautiful, especially within the huge, indoor space of Scope Arena. I’ve been back every year.” Three hours before each performance, groups can also enjoy music, dancing and exhibits outside the arena at a preshow event called Tattoo Hullabaloo. www.vafest.org/tattoo
Virginia International Tattoo
Courtesy Visit Norfolk
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Chimney Rock Trail
By Andres Salazar, courtesy Ghost Ranch
GHOST The sun sets over Casa del Sol at Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, New Mexico.
By Jamie Clifford, courtesy Ghost Ranch
BY AS HLEY RIC K S
scape to the high desert, surrounded by mesas, cottonwood trees and colorful sandstone formations, with a retreat at the Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, New Mexico. The ranch sits in a canyon in the Shining Rock Land Grant where cattle rustlers once hid out with stolen herds. To discourage visitors, they spread the rumor that the land was haunted and called it Rancho de los Brujos, or the Ranch of the Witches. Years later, in 1928, Roy Pfaffle won the deed to the ranch in a poker game, and his wife, Phoebe, registered the property under the name the Ghost Ranch. When the ranch started experiencing financial strain, Pfaffle sold the property to famous conservationist and writer Arthur Newton Pack, whose family had visited and become fond of the ranch. Pack was a co-founder of Nature magazine and helped to establish the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson, Arizona. Later in life, he wanted to preserve the beauty of the land and have the ranch continue as an educational facility, so in 1955, the Packs gifted the ranch to the Presbyterian Church, which has operated the property as an educational and retreat center for over 60 years.
going on faith [ summer 2018 ]
LOCATION Abiquiu, New Mexico SIZE: More than 20 meetings spaces of various sizes CAPACITY: From 200 to 300 people during the winter, about 400 people during the summer CONTACT INFO: 877-804-4678 www.ghostranch.org
THE RANCH The Ghost Ranch property sprawls across 21,000 acres of northern New Mexico and includes over 20 gathering spaces of varying sizes to fit the specific needs of different groups. Meeting spaces and accommodations range from historic adobe buildings on the main ranch to new additions such as the hacienda-style hotel on the mesa level. The Casa del Sol Retreat House is a historic, hacienda-style ranch house popular with groups visiting for spiritual retreats. The adobe home was built in the 1930s, with bedrooms surrounding a central plaza and a living room with a large picture window overlooking Cerro Pedernal, one of northern New Mexico’s most recognizable features. The living room is well suited for smaller meetings, and many smaller workshops and programs are also held here. Another area available for retreats is the Agape Worship Center, a historic Spanish plaza with stunning views and a sanctuary area that can be used for worship or larger functions. Its Agape Gathering Room is also popular for smaller lectures and talks. The worship space can seat up to 175 people, and the Gathering Room can seat up to 70 people in a lecture-style layout. There is also an outdoor reception space available to groups.
PROGRAMS More than 250 programs on various topics are offered throughout the year, among them spiritually focused retreats and fun workshops on painting and silversmithing. The Jazz of Pastoral Life is a popular workshop for clergy and is led by the “jazz pastor,” pianist and Presbyterian minister Bill Carter. Carter speaks to church leaders on ways to deal with stress and cultivate a lively, engaging ministry. Exploratory workshops on archaeology and geological sites around the property get groups involved in exploring sites like Chimney Rock, ancient dwellings of the Aztec and Pueblo cultures, and the dinosaur quarries. The Ghost Ranch staff can also work with planners to bring in a speaker or create a program on a specific topic. The Ghost Ranch hosts a number of festivals throughout the year. The Fall Writing and Arts Festival is held annually each October and the Bluegrass Festival every May. Throughout the summer season, visitors can also drop in on one of the open studios to see artisans — who also lead many of the workshops at the ranch — at work on their crafts.
FUN ACTIVITIES The Coelophysis Dinosaur Quarry at the Ghost Ranch is recognized by the National Park Service as a National Natural Landmark and is the top Triassic Period site in the world. Archaeologists and amateur dinosaur lovers from all over the world come to visit the fossil beds and take part in the digs. Archaeology lovers will also enjoy touring the Florence Hawley Ellis Museum of Anthropology and the Ruth Hall Museum of Paleontology during their downtime, both of which are on the property. Enjoying the landscape is an experience in itself. There are many hiking paths to explore the geological features, which include trailheads to Chimney Rock, Box Canyon and Kitchen Mesa, and also horseback-riding tours around the property.
The town of Abiquiu was home to famous painter Georgia O’Keeffe. She first visited the area in 1929 and fell in love with the northern New Mexico landscape. She was a regular visitor to the Ghost Ranch each summer until she purchased Rancho de los Burros and seven acres in 1940. Her love of the area has inspired dozens of paintings, including the skull that adorned the entrance to the ranch for many years. She gave a sketch of the skull to Arthur Pack, who adopted it as the logo for the ranch. Today, visitors can take one of the landscape tours offered by the educational staff at the Ghost Ranch to experience the same landscapes that O’Keeffe painted and hear the stories behind some of her paintings. Groups can also contact the Georgia O’Keeffe Foundation to schedule a tour of the artist’s adobe home and studio. O’Keeffe fans will enjoy a real-life look at the black patio door and cottonwood trees featured in many of her paintings.
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Find faith travel ideas for Civil Rights sites, Cappadocia, Turkey, Nebraska and Eureka Springs Arkansas, as well as tips for better travel...
Published on Jun 14, 2018
Find faith travel ideas for Civil Rights sites, Cappadocia, Turkey, Nebraska and Eureka Springs Arkansas, as well as tips for better travel...