Tuesday, February 7 2023 - 4:03 PM

Sharing Christ Through the Arts

Photo by Dreamstime

inSpire 2023 Presenters

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Here is the line up of presenters for inSpire 2023. Each one has a unique story and mission to fulfill.

Antoine Augustus was raised in Long Beach, California, where at an early age he developed a special talent for creative writing. His desire to showcase this talent led him to pursue a career in the hip-hop music industry. The Gifted One, or Gifted, became his new name, and he was one of the original founders of the group “IndoVisualz,” an affiliate of the West Coast Killa Bees. At the peek of his music career he felt compelled to drop it all when he heard the Lord Jesus Christ inviting him to follow Him. Since his baptism, Antoine has used his talents and abilities to minister the word of God through preaching, teaching, and spoken word poetry. Today, he still seeks to use his writing style, however, it is directed toward inspiring others to consider the beauty of all things under God. No longer is he content using his creativity just to entertain, but now focuses on sharing thought-provoking words that lead to hope and salvation.

Duane Calkins, Guitar Luthier and President of Woodshop Rocks. For nearly two decades Woodshop Rocks has been teaching the value of shop programs to middle school and high school students nationwide. With Woodshop Rocks’ unique approach to an age old subject, woodshop classes across the U.S. are buzzing with engaged students practicing classic shop concepts and techniques on what will become their very own electric guitars. Over the course of a school year, kids of all skill levels apply their math and science lessons in real-world applications while fostering their self-confidence in a craft, and pride in an instrument that they have created for themselves. Bring Woodshop Rocks to your campus and experience the true value of this once-in-a-lifetime learning opportunity. Calkins lives with his wife in Roseville, California.

Milton Coronado, was born and raised in the south side of Chicago. At the age of 3 his parents accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior and they became members of the South Hispanic Seventh-day Adventist Church. Sadly, two years later his mother passed away from a health complication. Carrying that pain and the abuse from his step-mother, he journeyed into a life of public and self-destruction during his teen years. Forward to the age of 21, his father was then tragically murdered by the group Milton once called family. However, God was with him.

At 22 Milton accomplished a BFA from the American Academy of Art. He has also studied Education and Theology years later. He has worked as a caricature artist at a theme park, Dean at Broadview Adventist Academy, Associate Pastor of the Hinsdale Fil-Am SDA Church in IL, and a teacher in the south side of Chicago where in 2019 he was awarded the City-Wide Hero Teacher Award. He is also a co-creator of a non-profit art group called Gospel Graffiti, where he and others implements art and service for uniting communities and transforming lives, and is the creator of the Street Art Pathfinder Honor.

With an extended and diverse background, today Milton is recognized as a published artist and author, dynamic public speaker, and impactful mural artist where he honors victims of gun violence by memorializing them on public walls. He has been blessed with opportunities to travel and teach about the powerful influence of art in uniting communities and transforming lives across all platforms including television. He’s been married for 16 years and has two boys, 15 and 10 years old. For more on Milton Coronado you are invited to follow him on Instagram @milt1coronado and you can watch one of his two his documentaries on Amazon Prime called “Coronado, Tagged For Life”.  

Alan Lacy is a multi-award winning filmmaker and producer based in the Desert Southwest. He is passionate about the natural world and telling stories that make the world a better place for both nature and humankind. With a background in aviation business and administration, he adapted his skills to producing wildlife films and operating cameras – and fell in love with it. His first film, “Gray Area: Wolves of the Southwest” is an award winning documentary that has screened internationally. His work has aired on National Geographic, with more upcoming work soon to air on NatGeo Wild, Disney+, and PBS Nature. Currently, he is producing several independent films featuring wolverines and burrowing owls. His love for nature and the outdoors fuels his passion to connect people with the awe and wonder of the natural world. Alan lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is often out exploring desert wildlife, or tracking Mexican gray wolves up in the high country of the state if he’s not trapped behind the desk editing his next film.

Elfred Lee was born in Korea to missionary parents in 1940, Elfred Lee is renowned in Adventist circles and beyond for his exquisite paintings and artistic depictions of people, nature, and more. Elfred Lee’s education includes two master’s and an honorary doctorate in Fine Arts from San Jose State University, California; Syracuse University, New York; and Faith College, Birmingham, Alabama, with special training at the University of London, England and Hebrew University, Israel. He has taught at several colleges and universities in the United States and Mexico, including nine years as founding chairman of the Art Department of Oakwood College, Huntsville, Alabama.

Melvinsky Ramirez was born in New York City and raised in the Dominican Republic. He studied classical piano for 4 years, but it was in 1989 where he found his true passion, singing bass, when a group of friends from church picked him to sing in a gospel quartet named Zion’s Sons (Hijos de Sion). While in Dominican Republic and later in the United States he sang and directed different vocal groups. In 2001, along with Ruben and Richard he formed Undivided. He enjoys writing songs and serves as group coordinator for the group. Some of his favorite vocal groups include: Take 6, GLAD, A cappella, The Real Group. *

Jonny Wilczynski was born in Seattle, Washington, but he claims Burleson, Texas as his home. He has a B.A. in Marketing From Southwestern Adventist University and an MDiv from Andrews University. He is an officer of a nonprofit ministry called Enspire Productions, focused on empowering those with creative talents. Jonny is married to Stephanie Wilczynski, who recently gave birth to their first child, Jayce Matthew Wilczynski, who is busy rocking their world! They reside in Dallas, Texas, where he works for the Richardson Seventh-day Adventist Church as a youth pastor.

Stephanie Wilczynski grew up in Keene, Texas. She has an M.A. in English from Andrews University and is currently pursuing a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction. She is part of a nonprofit ministry called Enspire Productions, focused on empowering those with creative talents. Stephanie is married to Jonny Wilczynski and recently gave birth to their first child, Jayce Matthew Wilczynski, who is busy rocking their world! They reside in Dallas, Texas, where she teaches religion English and Drama at Burton Adventist Academy.

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inSpire Editor

writes from Westlake Village, CA.

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