Why We Exist


Joel Triska

Resident Philosopher

Joel likes most sports, loves reading and teaching theology, and is almost always in the mood for Mexican food.

Rachel Triska

Chief Practitioner

Rachel enjoys running, reading the classics, and expressing her inner child while playing with her two daughters.

Amy Nickell

Operations Engineer

Amy is passionate about Deep Ellum and pulling the perfect espresso shot. She also has mad organizational skills.

Gina Morreale

Deep Ellum Kids Pastor

Gina is about the funnest person you’ll ever meet. When she’s not loving on kids, she is writing music, having an adventure, or making her own dresses.


Abby Bagby

Umbrella Gallery Curator

Abby is obsessed with fashion and sculpting hair. In her opinion, more is more – especially if more equals magical.


Initiatives are projects engineered by Life in Deep Ellum to creatively support and celebrate the culture of Deep Ellum and urban Dallas. These initiatives form a composite picture of the cultural center and its ethos.

Community Partnerships

Along with the initiatives of Life in Deep Ellum, the cultural center also builds strategic partnerships with other organizations who hold similar goals of community development. By providing space, the cultural center and its partners receive mutual encouragement and support while the community receives new services and programs.


Deep Ellum Community Association


DaVerse Lounge

Muscle Memory Dance Theatre


Art Conspiracy

Thrive Counseling

Service Partnerships

The faith community regularly partners with other established organizations to serve the poor and the marginalized of our city. Whether it is fund-raising or physical labor, the faith community extends these opportunities to all in order to share the burden of fighting the effects of poverty.

Exodus Ministries (link)

The Stew Pot (link)

Dallas Comunity Lighthouse (link)

Convoy of Hope (link)


Faith Community

The faith community of Life in Deep Ellum is about “developing God’s community while serving ours.” As a people devoted to Jesus and anchored in the Scriptures, they serve as the energetic core of Life in Deep Ellum.

The Gathering: Sundays at 11am in the Cultural Center.

Life Groups: Midweek evening in people’s homes.

Values: He answered: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and love your neighbor as yourself.” Luke 10:27

Relationships (“heart”): We believe that everyone is in process and so we strive to partner with others on that journey. We also believe that everyone needs to be loved. We express these beliefs by building community through Life Groups, the Gathering, and encouraging people to foster authentic relationships with others.

Growth (“soul”): We believe that everyone has “issues.” This fuels our desire to provide a safe atmosphere for brokenness and healing. We want to grow. We have a saying: “Come as you are, but dagnabit, don’t stay as you are.” This drives us to God. In all honesty, we believe that everyone needs Jesus. We call him Savior because we have come to accept that we need saving.

Service (“strength”): We hold in tension our need to be loved with our conviction that everyone also needs to love. Our icon of the umbrella man speaks to our desire to serve – sacrificially holding the umbrella over others rather than ourselves. We express this belief through Community Partnerships and Service Partnerships. It is our conviction that the Church is an organization that exists primarily for the benefit of its non-members.

Creativity (“mind”): We believe that everyone has incalculable worth. Therefore, we apply much effort to creative thinking so we can help connect people with their purpose. Through teaching, projects, and partnerships, we exercise our imaginations to dream up new and innovative ways to forward God’s plan for restoration.

Compassion (“love your neighbor”): It feels like many people in our world are hurting and confused. This fuels our conviction to reach out in meaningful ways that connect with the physical and spiritual needs of others. At the root of our compassion is our concern about the pain and lonliness haunting our world. We follow in the footsteps of Jesus who had compassion on the crowds because they were like sheep without a shepherd.

Beliefs: We hold to the Apostles’ Creed as a unifying statement of faith along with our commitment to the authority of the Holy Bible, which serves as our sacred Scripture.

Apostles’ Creed:

We believe in God the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth;

And in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried. He descended into hell, on the third day rose again from the dead, ascended into heaven, sits at the right hand of God the Father almighty, and he will come to judge the living and the dead;

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy universal Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

Holy Bible:

We give the Christian Scriptures ultimate authority in determining right beliefs and practices. Written by the hands of humans, we believe that the Holy Spirit inspired its words and guided its communal acceptance over the centuries.