Welcome to 5 More Questions With.....
Today's Guest is Martin Smith. Martin did an interview with me back in June 2009 and has returned for a follow up discussion regarding CompassionArt.
Martin was the front man for the wildly successful Christian rock and worship band Delirious? and is not only an excellent vocalist but a talented songwriter and guitarist as well. His songwriting hits include "I Could Sing of Your Love Forever","Shout to the North","The Happy Song","Did You Feel the Mountains Tremble" and "Deeper". Before Delirious? Martin was a producer. Working mainly with UK artists. One of the original three founders of "Cutting Edge" (the previous incarnation of Delirious?).
And now without further delay, on to the questions:
Question 1: The initial funds from he CompassionArt project came in and so far £48,000 ($74,000+ US) has been distributed to various projects. How did it feel to see the first wave of grants go to much needed projects?
It was a truly great moment to see the first wave of funding being released. We are due to release some more funds in the near future which is even more exciting, and so we pray daily that God will bless the usage of these songs and get them into the hands of companies and individuals who can direct them into places where they can continue to generate income for these 16 CompassionArt projects.
The sales of the album and book have dropped off now and so we are relying on royalties from third party usage and CCLI. God will find a way when it seems sometimes, there is no other way.
Question 2: The funds are still coming in as the songs recorded on the CompassionArt project are played around the world. How will CompassionArt continue to sustain the outlay of grants?
Yes, a few of the songs are beginning o travel and are getting picked up and played by radio stations, churches and worship leaders. "King of Wonders" is becoming popular, so to is "You Have Shown Us" which is currently being used for the Micah Challenge 10.10.10 campaign. See www.compassionart.tv for more details and please support 10.10.10. We must keep praying every day. My mum used to day when I was growing up, "seven prayerless days makes one weak"! So true. CompassionArt is not a big organization. We have deliberately kept overheads to a minimum to enable the money generated to flow through to projects. We have one member of staff who works for us just 1 day a week........my brother, Paul. He's a saint and keeps on top of all the administration including liason and communication with our trustees.
Question 3: Any chance for more CD's or books coming from CompassionArt?
Anna and I do not have any plans to create additional books or cd's for CompassionArt. Obviously it will take a lot of time and money o produce another product, and so if there is anyone out there who would like to get on board, donate, support or financially endorse a second album please come forward! Songwriters such as Michael W Smith, Chris Tomlin, Steven Curtis Chapman, etc. are always booked up 18 months in advance and so if we were to plan another similar songwriting retreat to the one we did in 2008, the earliest we could try and get everyone together would be sometime in 2012 and if the songs turned out to be any good then the recording would take a further 10-12 months before being complete. But we never say never, and continually seek God for clarity and direction knowing He is always one step ahead of us. We would need to know that making a second album is the right thing to do, but for now we are entirely happy with the way everything turned out the first time. We get e-mails on a daily basis from people telling us that one of the CompassionArt songs has blessed them in some shape or form. Its all very encouraging.
Question 4: What kind of feedback have you gotten from those involved, both artists and organizations?
We have partnered with various organizations this year. To name a few, Tearfund (global poverty prayer week), Christian Aid (christian aid week) and Micah Challenge (10.10.10). I can honestly say working alongside these professionals has been amazing. Feedback would suggest they also have enjoyed working with CompassionArt. Christian Aid have already invited us to journey with them again in the future in some shape or form. They managed to raise a staggering £13 Million overall. The artists/songwriters continue to be supportive but as you can imagine they all have separate focus and very busy lives. A percentage of the income stream is directed towards their nominated project and so there will always be communication between us on that level. I am so appreciative of them all lending their time and talent, for something greater.
Question 5: How can people continue to help the work of CompassionArt?
Well there are many ways people can help. Firstly, we need help to get these songs taught to congregations and sung in churches. We need people to further understand that if they adopt one or two or three of these songs and sing them regularly in their churches it is actually raising funds for the 16 different CompassionArt projects. There is no easier way to fundraise.......just open up and sing!
Churches are adopting the idea and realizing the benefit of people and local communities coming together and inviting people to use their God given talent. Events, and concerts are being hosted by communities involving school bands, choirs, comedians, opera singers, dancers and solo singers. Churches charge an entrance fee and the money is donated to CompassionArt projects. It doesn't have to be music related events. It could be a bunch of athletes organizing a mini Olympics or a group of cake makers getting together to bake and sell delicious cakes to raise money. There are so many creative ways to fundraise and so many talented people that could step up and do it. Over to you!
Thanks again for coming back for a second interviews Martin.
There you have it. If you missed it the first time around I would encourage you to pick up the CompassionArt book and CD. You won't be disappointed. You WILL be helping to meet the needs of those in abject poverty. For more info on CompassionArt check out their website: CompassionArt
To see past 5 Question guests, check out the rotating interview links on the sidebar.