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Every artist, in any medium, knows the feeling of working alone. Whether it’s a matter of focusing best in solitude, or of not knowing anyone who shares your vision, we all know that place where we sit with ourselves and our work. Sometimes, it’s a place of blissful solitude, where we get in the flow and pour out our hearts. Sometimes, it’s a place of aching loneliness, where we can’t tell if what we’re doing has any value or matters at all. For all of us, there comes a point when we have to leave that solitary place and rejoin the world.

That moment of showing ourselves or our work to the world can be even lonelier than working alone. Maybe we fear criticism or mockery; maybe we don’t know how to explain what we’ve created. Maybe we fear that no one will notice what we’ve made. But what if it didn’t have to be like that? What if we could bring our work and ourselves to supportive communities who can encourage us, who are full of people who know the act of working and creating, who can guide us when we need it and applaud us when we arrive? What if sharing our work wasn’t scary at all, but celebrated and nurtured?

United Adoration has started turning that “what if” into reality. Twice a month, on Tuesday nights, participants gather on Zoom for a SongShare. Unlike the Online Creative Sessions, the SongShares have no set theme; they’re open to any work in progress. Like the Online Creative Sessions, the SongShares are full of people ready to listen and observe any new work and rejoice in its strengths and beauties. They give feedback that is positive and encouraging, and they share the artist’s joy in co-creating with God. Every participant has space and time to share their work and delve into the heart behind it, and to seek praise, reassurance, or suggestions—whichever they prefer—from all the others. Works at every stage of creation are shared, and artists at every stage of development are welcomed.

As United Adoration continues to expand its online presence (Thanks, Covid!), it also seeks to expand its Shares. Plans are in the works for PoetryShares and visual ArtShares. Ultimately, we want to create space for every medium in this community. To do this, we need not only artists, but facilitators. If you have been looking for a supportive community in which to show your work, we invite you to join. If you want to nurture that kind of community and encourage other artists, we invite you not only to join our Shares, but to participate in an upcoming interest meeting for those who might want to join the UA online team.

Either way, we’d love to see you!

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