“As 1” hopes to prove that Patron of the Arts doesn’t have to be part of the Church’s history

Confident that the Bible can once again be an influence on art and culture, Jonathan Bock has founded a nonprofit organization As 1.

“For centuries, Christians were vibrant Patrons of the Arts commissioning the best artists to create some of the greatest art in human history which defined Christianity in a positive light,” said Bock, President of Grace Hill Media in Los Angeles. “But along the way, we walked away from culture, allowed our faith to be portrayed in a negative light and, as a natural result, culture moved on without us.”

Bock founded As1 to unite Christians to impact the culturally significant art of today – film, television and music – through its demographic size and collective buying power.

Despite what many claim, for Hollywood, it comes down to the bottom line. The film and television industry is a business that relies on audience. Proof that the Christian community support of Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” wasn’t a fluke was proven last night when The American Bible Challenge premiered as the #1 program on GSN ever.

The show, hosted by author and comedian Jeff Foxworthy, outperformed the previous record by over half a million viewers and solidified itself as a destination program by posting triple digit gains from its strong lead-in across all demos (“Family Feud” hosted by Steve Harvey).

The Christian community united and proved to Hollywood that it is a viable and influential force that embraces quality entertainment.

Through As 1, Bock seeks to urge believers to become Patrons of the Art. He explains that Hollywood does not consider Patrons of the Art as only wealthy individuals; they are the paying customer. “We need to act in unity – As 1 – to impact ratings as box office in a meaningful way,” he said. “That’s going to take millions of us working together for good.”

Bock pointed out that a number of well-known American pop-culture figures are working on Biblically-based productions. “Noah” directed by Darren Aronofsky and starring Russell Crowe, Anthony Hopkins and Jennifer Connelly, is in production now. Steven Spielberg is slated to direct “Gods and Kings” a movie about Moses. Mark Burnett is producing “The Bible” a miniseries for the History Channel. Will Smith is going to direct a movie based upon the story of Cain and Abel.

Whether this trend continues will depend upon how the Christian community responds. “If we are seen as a reliable opening night or opening weekend audience (that is, a source of revenue), Hollywood’s view of us will change dramatically,” Bock states. “From that position, we can work in relationship with Hollywood to repair our name and reputation with the Creators of Culture. But none of that happens without you.”

“Will we make these projects massive hits … or will we passively stand by and squander this extraordinary moment?” Bock asked “The stakes are high, and it’s up to us.”

For more information, visit the As 1 website. http://www.as1.org/  Like the As 1 Facebook page.