Sweet Life

I’m in the studio this evening giving thanks. Every moment of this life is a blessing. Sometimes I forget that, and music helps me remember.

I’m in the studio this evening giving thanks. Every moment of this life is a blessing. Sometimes I forget that, and music helps me remember.

You can download this session (and leave a tip!) over at patreon.com/jonwatts

It has been an honor to serve Friends as the founder and director of QuakerSpeak these past six years. I am seeking my next project, and would love it if you joined me for the journey.

Subscribers get a free download of my latest EP!

Deep Breath

I’ve been dealing with a ton of anxiety over the past couple of days, as I’m sure many of us have. Sometimes when I’m anxious I sit at the piano and play something slow just to remind myself of the beauty that naturally unfolds when I wait and listen and focus on my breath.

I hope you are also finding ways to reconnect to beauty today, even amidst the turmoil, and that this music helps you to get back to your breath, even if just for a minute.

I’ve been dealing with a ton of anxiety over the past couple of days, as I’m sure many of us have. Sometimes when I’m anxious I sit at the piano and play something slow just to remind myself of the beauty that naturally unfolds when I wait and listen and focus on my breath.

I hope you are also finding ways to reconnect to beauty today, even amidst the turmoil, and that this music helps you to get back to your breath, even if just for a minute.

It has been an honor to serve Friends as the founder and director of QuakerSpeak these past six years. I am seeking my next project, and would love it if you joined me for the journey.

Subscribers get a free download of my latest EP!

The Candle Suite

Dear Friends,

Please enjoy this new recording, just released today:

“The Candle Suite was completed during a time of not-knowing. It is about venturing deep into the darkness–with all that entails: disorientation, comfort, envelopment, loss of perspective. And it’s about the ways that we emerge, humbled and new. I hope it serves to comfort and give you hope in times of darkness.”

Quaker/Puritan Valentine’s Day Cards

These Puritan Valentine’s Day cards are so hilarious they may as well be Quaker.

Quaker/Puritan Valentine's Day Cards
Quaker/Puritan Valentine’s Day Cards

These Puritan Valentine’s Day cards are so hilarious they may as well be Quaker valentine’s day cards.

“Roses are red
Violets are Blue
And neither are useful or necessary
at all.”

“I need you
to help raise
livestock and crops
or surely we will
starve to death
come winter.”

“You almost make
my heart dance
And dancing is
forbidden.”

“Being with you fills
me with impure
thoughts, and I am
ashamed.”

The Story of QuakerSpeak

In 2012 I had a dream for a Quaker video project that featured simple, intimate, weekly interviews with Quakers, but I didn’t know where to house it or how to fund it. Two years later I was announcing the QuakerSpeak youtube channel. 223 videos and 6 years later, the channel had accumulated 3.5 million views. Here’s how it happened.

It has been an honor to serve Friends as the founder and director of QuakerSpeak these past six years. I am seeking my next project, and would love it if you joined me for the journey.

Subscribers get a free download of my latest EP!

WATCH the the videos mentioned in this story
DOWNLOAD the music from QuakerSpeak

Are Quakers Christian?

Are Quakers Christian? I talked to 11 Quakers from across the United States and asked about their relationship with Christianity.

Are Quakers Christian? I talked to 11 Quakers from across the United States and asked about their relationship with Christianity.

[+ show transcript]

It has been an honor to serve Friends as the founder and director of QuakerSpeak these past six years. I am seeking my next project, and would love it if you joined me for the journey.

Subscribers get a free download of my latest EP!

Announcement: Moving on From QuakerSpeak

Dear Friends,

I am writing to announce my decision that this will be my last year as the director of QuakerSpeak. This has been such an amazing journey for me, and I’m really proud of the work I’ve done. What an incredible impact the project has had in just 6 years.

When I first had the vision for a Quaker YouTube channel, I never imagined it would surpass 2.5 million views or generate the kind of widespread support it has seen. I am overwhelmed with gratefulness when I think of it. Remembering back to the discernment process that brought about the idea for the project, I am truly humbled and feel more confident than ever that when we listen and follow the leadings of the spirit, we often have an impact beyond our own imagination.

I’ll be staying on at Friends Journal through the end of the year to finish this season and help transition the project to a new director. I am interested and excited to see what a new creative voice can bring to the project and am glad to know that QuakerSpeak will continue beyond my time at Friends Journal.

My plan in 2020 is to give myself some space for reflection and discernment as I seek clarity about my next big project. My work on QuakerSpeak has been a tremendous opportunity to grow in my skills as a videographer, storyteller, and project manager… skills that are incredibly helpful in getting the word out about organizations that are doing good work.

If you, your meeting, or an organization you work with needs help spreading the word about a program or event, feel free to get in touch. I’ve updated my portfolio page to provide a sense of the scope of my collaborations.

I may also do some traveling to share with Friends what I’ve learned in my experience designing and implementing this groundbreaking outreach project, and welcome inquiries about visiting and speaking with Friends in your area.

Finally, if you’d like to follow my journey, I encourage you to stay in touch through my occasional newsletter:

It has been an honor to serve Friends as the founder and director of QuakerSpeak these past six years. I am seeking my next project, and would love it if you joined me for the journey.

Subscribers get a free download of my latest EP!

Thanks so much for your interest and support over the years, and here’s to the next leading!

In peace
Jon Watts

How Quakerism Influences My Artistic Process

As a lifelong artist, Maggie Nelson began to notice some similarities between her experience in Quaker worship and her approach in the studio.

As a lifelong artist, Maggie Nelson began to notice some similarities between her experience in Quaker worship and her approach in the studio.

[+ show transcript]

It has been an honor to serve Friends as the founder and director of QuakerSpeak these past six years. I am seeking my next project, and would love it if you joined me for the journey.

Subscribers get a free download of my latest EP!

Growing Up Quaker in Indiana

As a kid growing up in holiness-influenced Indiana Quakerism, Max Carter was taught to avoid a long list of sins, including soft drinks—“which led to hard drinks!“—and dancing—“a vertical expression of a horizontal desire!”

As a kid growing up in holiness-influenced Indiana Quakerism, Max Carter was taught to avoid a long list of sins, including soft drinks—“which led to hard drinks!“—and dancing—“a vertical expression of a horizontal desire!”

[+ show transcript]

It has been an honor to serve Friends as the founder and director of QuakerSpeak these past six years. I am seeking my next project, and would love it if you joined me for the journey.

Subscribers get a free download of my latest EP!

How I Practice Quakerism Throughout the Week

Being a Quaker isn’t just about sitting in silence for an hour on Sunday morning. Fritz Weiss shares some of the ways he carries his Quakerism throughout the week.

Being a Quaker isn’t just about sitting in silence for an hour on Sunday morning. Fritz Weiss shares some of the ways he carries his Quakerism throughout the week.

[+ show transcript]

It has been an honor to serve Friends as the founder and director of QuakerSpeak these past six years. I am seeking my next project, and would love it if you joined me for the journey.

Subscribers get a free download of my latest EP!

What to Expect at a Quaker Wedding

Planning to attend a Quaker wedding? Here’s what you can expect.

Planning to attend a Quaker wedding? Here’s what you can expect.

[+ show transcript]

It has been an honor to serve Friends as the founder and director of QuakerSpeak these past six years. I am seeking my next project, and would love it if you joined me for the journey.

Subscribers get a free download of my latest EP!

QuakerSpeak Featured in Friends Journal

This months issue of Friends Journal is all about QuakerSpeak! Be sure to check it out online if you don’t already have a subscription!

https://www.friendsjournal.org/2019/quakerspeak-at-five/

It has been an honor to serve Friends as the founder and director of QuakerSpeak these past six years. I am seeking my next project, and would love it if you joined me for the journey.

Subscribers get a free download of my latest EP!