Ep. 68: Advocating for justice with music, and cultivating creativity for the common good; with Sara Groves

Photo by David Breen

November 10, 2020

Singer/songwriter Sara Groves describes how her Christian faith informs her advocacy for justice, community-building, and cultivation of creativity for the common good. Through nurturing a creative community of people who learn, grow, and create together, Sara believes good things result for us all – including our world’s most vulnerable – and point people toward the same things that Jesus is interested in.


Photo by David Breen

I am so thrilled to have singer and songwriter Sara Groves with us today! For over 20 years, Sara has been a recording and touring artist. She’s recorded 15 albums and her music is available everywhere you stream or purchase music. Sara and her husband live right here in the Twin Cities (St. Paul), with their three children. I was aware of Sara and her music, but a huge thanks goes to podcast listener Alayne Boelke for alerting me to Sara’s passion for justice, and the unique ways Sara is using her platform to enhance lives with music.


  • My husband and I were introduced to International Justice Mission (IJM) at our church several years ago, and we were blown away by the work they are doing and have been supporters of IJM ever since. Sara has been an artist advocate since 2005 with IJM. She explains IJM’s mission to protect the poor from violence, and tells us about her role as an artist advocate with IJM.
  • Sara’s passion for justice is directly tied to her Christian faith. She explains the connection she sees between Christianity and the work she does to promote justice and community.
  • Sara and her husband Troy run a unique community art center, Art House North, out of a 110 year old church in St. Paul. Following in the footsteps of Art House America, Art House North works to cultivate creativity for the common good. This work is done through concerts, curated events, artist response evenings, theatrical productions, community partnerships, and artist care in order to bring together the community & inspire everyone to live more imaginative, generative lives.
  • Joy of Every Longing Heart
    Sara has recorded 15 albums, including last year’s Christmas album, “Joy of Every Longing Heart.”

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Sara shares her song, “Why It Matters” (from her album “Add to the Beauty”) and the inspiration behind it. 

Closing words

Thanks so much to Sara for joining us today, for sharing that beautiful, deep song, and for all she does to enhance lives and advocate for justice using music!

If you are looking to get a head start on your holiday shopping AND want to shop with purpose, I want to let you know about a company I fell in love with called Noonday. Ironically, I just realized today that Noonday actually partners with International Justice Mission (IJM, which Sara was talking about) to serve people who have been victimized. This is not a paid promotion; a neighbor friend introduced me to Noonday a year ago, and their mission and work really resonated with me. (And they have beautiful, unique jewelry and accessories, which doesn’t hurt!) Noonday’s mantra is that “we are connected, we are better together, and we are more alike than different.” And if you’ve listened to this show for awhile, you’ve heard those themes here before.

Noonday works to alleviate poverty by partnering with Artisan Businesses around the world to create opportunities for women who are vulnerable, so they can earn a sustainable income. You can learn more about their mission and work at https://www.noondaycollection.com. I want to throw some support their way, and I’m hosting a virtual Adoption Trunk Show. The “Adoption” part of the trunk show means that, instead of the host (me) earning a free product credit, 10% of sales from the trunk show are given to an adopting family instead. For my trunk show, 10% of sales will be given to a family that attends my church and is in the process of adopting five siblings through the foster system! So any purchase you make through this trunk show will be directly supporting this family AND fair trade jobs for vulnerable women throughout the world. Again, none of these funds go to me or this podcast; the trunk show ends November 22. Click here to learn more or browse Noonday’s catalog. Click here for the Facebook virtual Adoption Trunk Show (posts and interactions going on now through Nov. 22; live show will be November 22 at 7:00 pm CST).

I want to end with a shoutout to listener James Dand. We had some conversations recently through LinkedIn, and James is doing some great work in the UK as an “Empowerment Songwriter.” James is commissioned to create music for companies and individuals specifically as their own empowerment anthems. You can learn more about using music this way at James’ website, or by listening to Ep. 66, with Olympic trainer Daniel Stewart.

Thank you so much for joining me today. Until next week, may your life be enhanced with music.



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