The Seminar over the years worked with the following underpinning goals, which have met with varying success:
- To support artistic innovation.
- To inspire quality.
1 and 2 remain an ongoing challenge.
- To promote acceptance of all art-forms by the Christian sector (which includes churches,Christian organisations, etc.) Significant strides towards Goal 3 had been made by the end of the 80s. For example Christian festivals like Greenbelt or Flevo began to include the visual arts, whilst their musical basis remained pop/rock. Even large denominationally based conferences included youth music, mime, dance and the visual arts. For the ordinary person, who was thinking about which event to attend, the differences between the CA-Seminar and any other large Christian gathering were disappearing, and so the question was being asked ‘why go to Christian Artists?’. This widening acceptance of art in all its forms became a major reason for the reduction in participant numbers.
- To promote acceptance of Christian artists and their work within the secular world and civil society. During the 90s there was a growing acceptance of Christian artists and their work, but this will continue to take time to develop. Work with the unions and in political spheres which CA undertakes is seen as vital in accomplishing this goal.
- To promote acceptance by the Christian sector of formal studies in the arts. At the end of the 80s talented young people increasingly saw the need for a good education in their chosen art-form. It was not feasible to attain real quality and integrity by means of a few workshops. In the 90s Christian students were attending academies, art and dance-schools, conservatoires, etc. The day of the well-intentioned amateur appears to have passed. By fulfilling the goal, CA saw fewer participants coming to the Seminar for purely ‘educational’ reasons. But after 2003 more and more new students come for ‘masterclass’ experience.
- To create an international meeting place. CA has always aimed to act as a cultural bridge and, with a growing need for intercultural understanding, the challenge for CA in this respect is greater than ever before. Here should be mentioned again the border-breaking activities to make contact towards central and eastern Europe since 1981.