About the Book

Art and religion, before they were separated into industries, tended to our spiritual needs and interests. They still can. Tending the Perennials uncovers what we already know about creating greater meaning and joy in everyday life. We know because the perennial human truths still matter, still work for us, even though we lose grasp of them in the churn of modern life. In Tending the Perennials, renowned teaching artist Eric Booth helps us activate our natural competence and pleasure in the creation of art and spirituality. When we engage in the ways Booth suggests, we gently create a personal religion—a way to create a life that resonates with what matters most.


From the introduction…

“In the four years of writing The Everyday Work of Art (1997), I came to see the natural, overlooked artistic abilities, the verbs of art, that all of us have and use to create the greatest satisfactions in our lives. I noticed that bookstores tended to stock it in the “spirituality” section, even though the publisher indicated to shelve it with either “art” or “self-help.” That pattern intrigued me and sparked further thinking about the spiritual themes in that book…”

From page 17…

“Spiritual and artistic experiences do not just happen to us; we create them. Whether consciously or not, we create our spiritual experiences using the same internal abilities and processes that we use to create artistic experiences…”


From page 47…

“The U.S. is a literal place; we tend to lean away from things that cannot quite be named. We resist experiences that are slow, subtle, indefinite and deep—which happen to be the experiences that matter, that promote growth, that change us. Americans usually have little patience for the slow process of describing something that is hard to grasp. Americans are uncomfortable with issues that preclude correct answers, and with objects (like art works) that require our participation to understand…”

About the author

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Eric Booth is the author of six previous books, including The Everyday Work of Art, Playing for Their Lives (co-authored with Tricia Tunstall) and The Music Teaching Artist’s Bible. He is widely called “the father of the teaching artist profession,” has received the nation’s highest award in arts education, and has spent many years on the faculties of Juilliard, Lincoln Center Education, The Kennedy Center, and Tanglewood.

He is a frequent keynote speaker, project leader and workshop teacher, around the world. His personal website, with many essays and other writings available free is: ericbooth.net. You can find out more about Eric at: ericbooth.net/about.

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Other books by Eric Booth