Whereas many of the artists in DIA are known for their individual outputs and works, some of the artists have been known to collaborate. This has resulted in some interesting ventures - take, for example, the case of Elaine Taylor (theatre) and Rudolf Loewenstein (composer). At a previous DIA Gathering, Elaine had the brainwave of suggesting she write the libretto to a play based on the story of Faust...with Rudolf composing the lyrics. Both artists set to work on either side of the Atlantic Ocean, with first performances in 2004 in St Petersburg (FL). Since then, two further collaborations have ensued, resulting in further public performances. Both artists are happy to create additional works, either on their own or together. Should anyone wish to avail themselves of the services of either Elaine or Rudolf, this can be done via the DIA website.

Thinking about collaboration prompts me to remember how much collaboration already exists within the organization itself. Not only does the board collaborate for the good of the Holy Preaching, but so also do all the different planning committees...different artists each with their own art forms come together fusing ideas and creating that which is greater than the individual parts...

My own examples, inspired and aided by DIA include: a round/canon composed with Barbara at the Elkins Park gathering, celebrating creation; three musicals written (myself as composer, Elaine Taylor as librettist) for teenage theatre groups; a few knitted and crocheted articles combined with sculptures by Thoma...these are the principal collaborations in which I've been involved.

Aside from collaborations, I compose music and have even had three pieces published - a setting of the Stations of the Cross for children's voices with optional piano accompaniment; two sets of piano duets based on arrangements of Czech and Slovak folk melodies. I have also had numerous Christmas carols performed, although their publication is some way down the line as yet. I am always open to composing material for people...just let me know...!

Knitting and crochet (examples on the Virtual Gallery) form part of my output too, with one recent afghan retailing for £600...I enjoy creating afghans and bedspreads and am inspired by the colours I see around me.

Finally, children's literature...having completed academic research on this, which formed the dissertation part of my Masters degree, I regularly review children's books for three separate publications, and am happy to discuss and advise on reading materials. I've even used this for a day's in-service training for teachers who seek to use children's literature more holistically in the (primary/elementary) classroom.

Rudolf Lowenstein OP
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