Today we welcome Rev. Jacquie Lenati to Living In Creative Spirit. Rev. Jacquie’s zest for learning has created great diversity in her life journey. Earning a Bachelor in Social Work (KU, 1997), Jacquie worked with homeless women and children in the KC Metro and was part of a small team of women who were recognized as Women Who Make a Difference by the Women’s Foundation of Greater Kansas City.
After developing an arts and science based living skills curriculum for homeless children, Jacquie went on to open a photography/video production business, Oh Shoot! Productions. This lead her to work on many projects, most notably a short dance film that was screened worldwide and won the Gran Premio (Asolo Art Film Festival, Asolo, IT) and Best First Film (Everglades International Film Fest, South Africa) in 2007. Jacquie was the Director of Photography/Editor and received the accolade from the renowned Ann Arbor Film Festival that this film had“unprecedented cinematography.” See the trailer below.
Rev Jacquie was ordained and graduated from Unity Institute in 2015. She has two amazing children, Josie (14) and Jami (12), who she describes as her “heart and soul.” It is her great joy and adventure to be the mama of these two brilliant artists!
What is one of your favorite quotes?
Dream your world freely. –Anonymous To which I have added: Dream your world freely, boldly walk the uncharted path toward everything you already are.
What is one book that has inspired you?
Ahhhh so many to choose from! I’ll go with the first book series that impacted the course of my life: The entire Time Quintet, the first book of which is A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. While I didn’t have the words at the time, this was my first life-altering exposure to metaphysics.
Do you have a favorite flavor of ice-cream?
Any combination of chocolate and peanut butter. And chocolate.
If you were a super hero what would your name and super power be?
JacqAttaq and I would be a shapeshifter!
What role does spirituality play in your creative work?
When asked what I “do,” regarding my job, my fav response is to say, “I produce spiritually provocative digital media.” I don’t use my creative work to tell people what to think, but to invite people into questions of ultimate concern. The reason I love this work is because my creative work has always been a result of my own navigation of life- at times the result of battling through existential crisis and at times the result of sailing through the joy of life.
What is your favorite creative outlet?
Music. The first time I played my sax was the first time I felt as though I had “said” something that made sense. Music allows my soul to speak. Whether I pick up my guitar, sit at the keyboard, thump my bass, or play my sax at home by myself or on stage in front of hundreds of people it is my favorite creative outlet. It brings me such joy and clarity to make music!
What inspires your creative work?
As a photographer, filmmaker, and musician, the core inspiration for my work is people. I always hope people can see themselves as I see them through a lens, authentic, beautiful expressions of the Infinite. All of my creative work is ultimately about and for the purpose of connecting with people at a heart level.
What are you passionate about?
Inspiring people to awaken to their own creative power!
How do you move through creative blocks?
With movement- house cleaning, yard work, playing an instrument or listening to music (which typically requires dancing or extreme karaoke-ing).
How do you inspire the Creative Spirit in others through your work?
By being a creative being, I think others are naturally inspired to express their own creativity. Beyond that, I preach and teach about creative power every chance I get! My mission is to inspire, encourage, and engage the discovery and nourishment of the creative power within (me and) those around me.
What are you currently working on?
Apart from raising my two amazing daughters who have established themselves as bold creative beings…
For UnityWorldwide.media we have several projects underway as we are working with a three year grant by the John Templeton Foundation that supports us in creating thought-provoking digital media. My favorite thing about filmmaking is the collaborative process. I’m honored to have two amazing collaboration partners at UnityWorldwide.media, Andrew Waggoner and Laura Carl. Additionally, I teach at Unity Worldwide Spiritual Institute and just designed a new course, Technology for the Emerging Church, and am just finishing teaching Creating Special Services. I am hoping to be able to soon teach my original course Unleashing Your Creative Power, a course that pairs each day of the creation story in Genesis with a corresponding artistic medium. This course is about discovering and establishing a personal creative process, inspired by the pattern found in the Genesis story. UWSI.org
A very personal project that is underway is the establishment of a model for ministry that is not based on a church model. This model would incorporate social action, multimedia communication, creative expression, and service projects with the Sunday experience being secondary to all of that activity. Keep your eyes peeled for how this ministry will take shape! Meanwhile, I enjoy guest speaking and teaching at Unity ministries and am always running personal music, photography, and filmmaking projects. Because creative life.
What tip would you give readers to help them nurture their Creative Spirit?
Try new things. All the things. Just do it.
Where can readers learn more about you and your work?
Thank you Jacquie!
“Living In Creative Spirit,” is an online interview series featuring creative individuals who blend spirituality and creativity in their lives and work. Summer session interviews are published weekly on Monday at 12:00 CT. This series is presented by Unity Arts Ministry, a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization dedicated to inspiring personal growth, healing and transformation through spiritual enrichment and creative expression.
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