About Art House America
Cultivating Creative Community for the Common Good
Founded in 1991 by Andi Ashworth and Charlie Peacock (Ashworth), the Art House in Nashville, TN, quickly emerged as a unique artistic hub for rich hospitality, conversations of consequence, and imaginative creativity. A 100-year-old renovated country church was the primary setting for their work as Founders/Executive Directors of what was to eventually become Art House America, a 501(c)3 non-profit.
Though no longer open to the public, the Art House America location in Nashville enjoyed a long history of hosting thousands of students, artists, writers, academics, theologians, cultural investors, and leaders in the entertainment industry. For two decades, the Art House America location in Nashville was at the heart of advocacy for imaginative creativity, everywhere and in everything.
Today the work has moved to Dallas, Texas, and St. Paul, Minnesota, where Art House Dallas and Art House North carry on the Ashworths' original vision of promoting creativity for the common good, and the nurture of artists and anyone looking to explore an artful, faithful life. Texas native Jenny Green is the Executive Director of Art House Dallas, while the husband and wife team of Troy and Sara Groves direct Art House North. In addition to these two official Art House America affiliations, other groups have created similar, though unaffiliated works inspired by the Ashworths' vision of a seamless life of Christian discipleship and imaginative living, with an emphasis on communicating the worth and necessity of all vocations, the promotion of people and earth care, and the grateful enjoyment of life.
About the Leadership
Charlie Peacock and Andi Ashworth are the Co-Founders/Directors Emeritus of Art House America. Andi Ashworth is a writer (author of Real Love for Real Life: The Art and Work of Caring), gardener, cook, a lover of good books, and the key architect of the nurturing environment so characteristic of Art House America-style hospitality. Some of her writing can be found on the Art House America Blog. Charlie Peacock enjoys an international reputation as an innovative and award-winning musician, songwriter, and record producer. Both Charlie and Andi have seminary training, Andi having received her MA in Theological Studies from Covenant Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. While Charlie and Andi no longer direct the work of Art House America, they both continue to serve on the board as Directors Emeritus. Andi also continues her service as Editor-in-Chief of the Art House America Blog. The couple have two grown children and six grandchildren, who affectionately call them Honey and Papa.
Jenny Green serves as Director for Art House America and Executive Director of Art House Dallas at Munger Place. Prior to this appointment Jenny served as Executive Director of the Wedgwood Circle Institute and Director of Membership and Events for Wedgwood Circle LLC. In 2007, Jenny worked as Senior Trip Coordinator in the Office of Presidential Advance, and as Deputy Director of the First Lady's Office of Advance in 2006. Jenny is a native Texan and graduate of Texas A&M University with a Bachelor's Degree in Communications and English. In addition to her studies in Mexico and Florence, she recently completed her second year as a C.S. Lewis Institute Fellow. She enjoys cooking, cycling, writing about life, reading witty memoirs and theology, finding new music, and all things Italian.
Brad Reeves, an Art House America board member, directs the Art House Dallas Creative Council. Brad previously served as the Executive Vice President of People for Drive Financial Services, Dallas, TX. He was also responsible for managing the Drive brand including market research, advertising, public relations, and corporate communications. Having successfully grown the business to over 800 associates and a portfolio in excess of $2 billion, he and his partners completed the sale of DFS to Bunco Santander in December of 2006. Brad now manages BCR Capital LLC, a family investments firm. Brad lives in Dallas with his wife Holly, and two children, Payton and Cole.
Art House America Board Members:
Andi Ashworth — Nashville, TN
Brad Reeves — Dallas, TX
Charlie Peacock — Nashville, TN
Jenny Green — Dallas, TX
Molly Nicholas — Nashville, TN
Nick Barré — Nashville, TN
Sara Groves — St. Paul, MN
Troy Groves — St. Paul, MN
Virginia Bousquet — Nashville, TN
The Virtual Art House
Several years ago, I worked for an independent music company in Houston, TX. One musician responded to my order for a box of CDs and raved about an arts retreat she attended in an old, renovated church called the Art House. She had me at “old, renovated church” — I used to literally daydream about living in an old church. She briefly described Charlie Peacock, Andi Ashworth, and the creative work they did with Art House America in mysterious snippets that left me wide-eyed and inspired. I remember begging her, “Please keep me posted on Art House America and its goings-on, okay?” She promised and she did, but the Art House still remained a dreamy enigma to me, a pilgrimage destination: “Nashville or bust.”
I knew good and well who Charlie Peacock was and a few years later, I came across Andi Ashworth’s book, Real Love for Real Life: The Art and Work of Caring. I read it cover to cover and from then on knew that creative caring and writing were parts of my calling, too. Much to my surprise, I befriended Andi online and a few more years down the road, she and Charlie asked me to edit their forthcoming blog. In September 2009, my husband and I found ourselves sitting in the big main room of the Art House, a disco ball hanging overhead, discussing the Art House America Blog.
As I listened to Charlie’s and Andi’s vision for their online presence, I nodded up and down, as the notes on my iPhone already contained 98% of their ideas. The three of us longed to share and communicate truth, justice, creation care, hospitality, good food and drink, how to raise up artful children, music, all things bookish, photography, visual art, the magic of stage & screen, and the handmade life, as well as the many creative layers that each of those topics encompass. We wanted to share our stories and the stories of others using a faithful language but in a dialect that is welcoming to all. We wanted to create a “virtual Art House” — a hospitable blog where you feel welcome, want to stay awhile, and revisit often.
As I wandered around the Art House after our meeting, I grabbed an old brochure with a beautiful red “modern/vintage” rendering of the Art House (now the blog’s header) by Harrison Hudson. Instantly smitten by the image, my imagination began to build the architecture of this virtual house. I kept wandering around the renovated church and soaked in architectural details, Andi’s luscious gardens, the yellow kitchen chairs, arched windows, their grandchildren’s toys, Charlie’s vintage musical gear, bookshelves, colors splashed around their home, and so on.
Back in Houston, they referred me to a talented graphic designer, Jacob Wick, who patiently and skillfully breathed life into each image that I could only paint in words. As we exchanged e-mails, I realized we were enacting some of the very ideals of Art House America: connecting one artist to another, working together to “cultivate creative community for the common good."
What I’ve created is a virtual Art House — not just visually, but also in the words and ideas within the topics we will cover. Just as the catalytic work of Art House America has grown over the years, this blog will grow too, and we can’t wait to see how it takes shape at its own pace. This blog reflects the time and space of real life — mine, Andi’s, and Charlie’s lives — but also those of our readers and other writers. As Rebecca Saylor said, “To mentor and feed those of us who are near in heart and calling, but far away in our places, with our people, living our own unique and beautiful stories.”
A Little About Me:
I'm a freelance writer and editor, a drummer’s wife, and caretaker of two cats. I find great joy in family and friends, my church, liturgy, coffee shops, used bookstores, mountains, live music, art museums, a cup of tea, a shot of whiskey, birdwatching, and long walks on my favorite wooded trails. My writing can be found on the Art House America Blog, Comment Magazine, The Curator, Wunderkammer Magazine, and my personal blog, Dreams of Genevieve.