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About Spark+Echo Arts

Spark+Echo Arts forms communities of artists who engage with and create in response to the Bible.

Through a finely-tuned curation process, selected artists chose a passage, and respond freely and honestly. 


The process is slowly and steadily building a unique platform that elegantly weaves stunning and thoughtful art with Scripture.

We believe that the Bible is relevant to all people in all places.

We believe that all artists in all places are image bearers of God.

We believe that artists have a pervasive impact in forming culture.

We envision a world where:

  • Artists are affirmed in their calling.

  • Artists connect deeply to God and one another.

  • Artists from diverse spiritual and cultural backgrounds work with each other.

  • Artists provide new forms of engagement with scripture.

  • Every verse of the Bible will be illuminated with art, music, theatre, poetry, dance, or film by Christian and non-Christian artists from every nation across the world.

  • The Bible once again becomes a common subject of artistic conversation and creation.

  • The Bible is given fresh life and meaning to a generation who engage and respond through visual and interpretive arts. 

Our Story

The project was founded in 2010 in NYC by Jonathon Roberts and Emily Clare Zempel; artists who love the Bible and the process of creating art in response to it. They wanted to create a community platform where others could have these same kinds of transformative experiences.

We feel that something special happens when you simply open the Word and creatively respond to it. So, the project continues that tradition: Give incredible artists a spark to respond to the Bible and trust that remarkable things will happen.

Artists that create for Spark+Echo Arts come from a wide range of backgrounds. They are urban, rural, religious, secular, from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds, at different places in their careers; they create in every style and discipline imaginable, are deeply familiar with the Bible, or rarely open it.

We believe that the Bible is ceaselessly relevant to any person, anywhere. With the help of our patrons and community, we curate phenomenal artists from all over the world, letting Scripture speak through them and their life experiences.

Who's Involved

Jonathon is a composer, sound designer, and arts leader. He co-founded Spark+Echo Arts with his wife Emily Clare Zempel in 2010 and shaped the project as its Executive Director for ten years. He has toured the country with a solo theatre piece about the Apostle Paul, played in a popular downtown NYC absurdist comedy band, created the family podcast, “ComposerDad vs. Bible”, and released four albums including the latest, Cities a song cycle personifying biblical cities. He and Emily live in the Hudson Valley, NY, with their two boys. Learn more at

Jonathon Roberts

Founder, Board President

Rebecca is an artist turned theologian. She has a background in theatre, creative writing, and painting. Favorite performance credits include Grace in Life Without Parole, Lydia in Pride and Prejudice, and Gay Wellington in You Can’t Take it With You. A graduate from Fuller Theological University, she received her Masters of Divinity with an emphasis in Worship, Theology and the Arts and was a recipient of the Brehm Scholarship. She is the founding member of her experimental band, Sound Quilt: a project which interpreted original poems into songs and then music videos. A Southern California native, she thoroughly enjoys visiting NYC.

Rebecca Testrake

Executive Director, Board Member

Matthew is an artist and educator with an MFA in classical acting from George Washington University and an MA in speech communication from Miami University of Ohio. He has more than 20 years of experience as a collegiate educator, teaching a wide variety of courses in communication and theatre, and he continues to coach and mentor developing artists of all ages. Matthew is also the Founder of Lamp and Light Productions with a mission of combining multiple art forms to help people see, hear, and experience the Bible in unique ways. He is an award-winning actor, director, and playwright and has created multiple original performances that he tours nationally. His latest play, What I Didn’t Say, focuses on Parkinson’s Disease and how to strengthen the relationship between patients and medical professionals. Learn more at

Matthew Moore

Relationship Manager, Board Member

Whitney is pursuing her passion of being an activist for change in her community as a storyteller, innovative thinker, and aspiring women’s and family health advocate. Growing up in Savannah, Whitney learned leadership skills and innovative thinking as a Girl Scout. She recognized her love of storytelling and creativity through her exposure to museums and theaters. The passion for storytelling lead her to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication with a specialization in Journalism at Savannah State University. As an undergraduate student, she wrote for SSU’s student newspaper, volunteered as the social media strategist for her local farmers market, and became the president of the Mass Communications Student Association. Whitney graduated from Savannah State University with her undergraduate degree in 2012 and moved to Peru, with her daughter, to teach English for two years. In 2015, Whitney moved back to Savannah to pursue a master’s in business administration. In the three years, she was pursuing her Masters, she became a member of the National Council of Negro Women and the president of SSU’s chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America. In 2019, Whitney earned her MBA and in 2022 she earned her MPA.

Whitney Keitt

Secretary, Board Member

Dr. Maria Fee is an artist and theologian exploring ideas of alienation and hospitality.

Maria Fee

Board Member

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Alexander Douglas

Board Member

Matt is a creative professional with nearly 30 years of experience in brand development and marketing asset development. He's operated Big Picture Studio inpendently since 2016. Prior, he served at American Bible Society for 7 years as Creative Director and then as Program Director for Arts & Media Bible Advocacy, leading innovative efforts to engage skeptics with Scripture.

Matt Steinruck

Board Member


Our current and past curators include:

  • Davelyn Hill (Poetry)

  • April Knighton (Visual Art)

  • Matthew Moore (Theater)

  • Michael Markham (Film + Theater)

  • Peter Mawanga (Music)

  • Darryl Ratcliff (Literature)

  • Jonathon Roberts (Music)

  • Emily SoRelle Adams (Dance)

  • Janna Aliese (Visual Arts)

  • Ebitenyefa Baralaye (Visual Arts)

  • Aaron Beaumont (Multidisciplinary)

  • Charis J Carmichael Braun (Visual Arts)

  • Rachel Carvosso (Visual Arts)

  • Chris Cragin-Day (Theatre)

  • Marlanda Dekine “Sapient Soul” (Literature)

  • Elizabeth Dishman (Dance)

  • Laura Eve Engel (Literature)

  • John Estes (Literature)

  • Lauren Ferebee (Theatre)

  • Sarah Gregory (Music)

  • Emily Ruth Hazel (Literature)

  • Laurel Justice (Visual Arts)

  • Jeffrey Leiser (Film)

  • Evelyn C. Lewis (Visual Arts)

  • Evan Mazunik (Music)

  • Shann Ray (Literature)

  • Katie Reimer (Music)

  • Kent Shaw (Literature)

  • Carey Wallace (Literature)

  • Emily Clare Zempel (Multi-disciplinary)

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