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Art is a Gift: Jake Armerding Gets It

In my previous post, I talked about a book I'm reading right now (and loving), "The Gift" by Lewis Hyde.

At International Arts Movement, we talk a lot about radical generosity. This is one of our core values (which include wresting with the deep questions of art, faith and humanity; embodying and fostering aspirational and enterprising spirits in artists; and rehumanizing every aspect of our culture). This is something we want to see more of - artists who "get" that their art is a gift, not a commodity. Where much has been given, much is required.

Every now and then, I get a glimpse of this in the artists I meet, and Jake Armerding is one such artist. I first heard Jake in February, when he played at The Living Room in the East Village. My friend Kevin Gosa plays with Jake, so I went to hear them, and WOW, was I blown away. This guy is tremendously talented.

Today I discovered that he is also very generous. His latest album, Songs in Stained Glass, can be downloaded for free. All that is required is that you provide 5 names with whom to spread the word (and the love!)

I love it when music is a gift that keeps on giving.

If you don't want to provide 5 names, you can pay whatever you want for the album instead. The minimum required amount is $0, and the maximum is $25. I was so impressed by this model that I slid the Pay What You Want slider all the way to the right and paid $25. 

Get it? Jakes generosity made ME want to be generous. And because I'm in a position where I can afford to be generous, I took great delight in paying the maximum amount. Not everyone is able to, and that's the point. Folks who can only afford $1 will still be able to receive the gift of Jake's music.

Know what else? Even though I gave $25 for the album, I still feel like I'm receiving it as a gift. Jake didn't ask for $25. He didn't ask for anything! He gave me a gift, and I joyfully gave him a gift back. It felt so good.

So, I can't recommend enough that you CLICK HERE to order your own download of Jake's album.

And, what do you know? I've just passed the gift not to FIVE people, but to the 3,000+ subscribers to my RSS feed.

The kingdom of God is not a market economy. It is a gift economy. Let's not wait for the New Jerusalem to come down from heaven to start bringing the kingdom of God to earth as it is in heaven.

Comments

So nice to meet you today. And it makes me smile that you and I are talking about the same thing right now on our blogs (giving our work away!)

Am looking forward to settling in with your disc later on. (No, wait, let me run downstairs and get it right now... : )

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Get it? Jakes generosity made ME want to be generous. And because I'm in a position where I can afford to be generous, I took great delight in paying the maximum amount. Not everyone is able to, and that's the point. Folks who can only afford $1 will still be able to receive the gift of Jake's music. Boarding School

Art really is a gift for some people. Acer Iconia Tab A501

I've just been really soaking in that first chapter of "The Gift"...what a freedom comes from this idea of the gift economy! Thanks for tip on the music!

This is incredibly inspiring! I love to listen to it while I run (I'm trying to lose baby weight and get back in shape after my pregnancy). I also listen to it while I do homework because I feel more motivated.

I know it's been awhile since this has been posted but I just discovered Jake Armerding's music. Sitting at work with my in ear headphones, has allowed me to be inspired by his music throughout the day. Jake is an amazing artist and the fact that he gave this album away is awesome. Go buy this man's music. You won't be disappointed!

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A New Yorker for nearly ten years, Christy Tennant rides the Staten Island Ferry several times a week. She never tires of the boats in the harbor, watching seagulls in flight, the Statue of Liberty, and the Manhattan skyline.