News From the Field

A listing of news, events, artistic works, resources, and opportunities related to the field of peacebuilding and the arts.

  News & Events    |    Arts    |    Resources & Opportunities

News & Events

Irrigate is a nationally recognized artist-led creative placemaking initiative pioneered along the Minneapolis & Saint Paul Green Line (light rail transit) during and after its years of construction. This artist-led community and economic development approach emphasizes cross-sector collaboration with local private and non-profit sectors to build social and economic capital by engaging local artists, neighborhoods, and businesses in addressing opportunities and challenges associated with change in their communities. The organization has trained nearly 600 local artists in placemaking and collaboration, and supported almost 200 of those artists to do 120 collaborative placemaking projects along the Green Line. View the website and video and view the Flickr page

Rwanda: Arts for Peace Exhibition Tour
As part of activities to mark the 20th commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, the National Commission for the fight against Genocide (CNLG), in partnership with Aegis Trust Rwanda has launched the Kwibuka20 National Arts Tour set to cover ten districts.The exhibition featured 15 drawings and 15 poems selected during the National School Arts Competition, held in April 2014, and 40 other collaborative artworks created by young Rwandans at an 'Art for Peace' workshop held in Kigali in the same month. Read more.

Video: Liberian Song about the Abducted Girls of Nigeria
The members of the Liberian Women's Chorus for Change wanted to do something to keep the world's attention focused on the search for the missing abducted school girls in Nigeria. "Kweyenge" is a song of lament in the Kpelle language of Liberia. It is sung by mothers longing for their daughters who are far from home. Watch the video, courtesy of Philadelphia Folklore Project.

Liberian Women's Chorus for Change
Photo courtesy of the Philadelphia Folklore Project

Video - Sarah Lewis: How Art Can Change Society
 Sarah Lewis, author of "The Rise: Creativity, the Gift of Failure, and the Search for Mastery," describes how photography and music are often the catalyst for radical societal change. Lewis is a curator and historian based in New York. Watch the video and learn more about Sara Lewis.

Call for Support:
Theatre of the Oppressed "Tsunami" in Ukraine

ukraine theatre dialogueThe idea for the upcoming Theatre of the Oppressed "Joker Tsunami" originated from a group of Ukrainian Human Rights activists involved in the current protests in the country. For more than two months, the people of Ukraine have been protesting in the streets. However, the protesters and the government are becoming more and more willing to use violence to solve their differences. The main conflict is not only about "EU vs. Russia" but perhaps more crucially about 45 million people (the population of Ukraine) increasingly asking themselves fundamental questions about how to live a dignified life in times of merciless economic globalization and an ever growing unaccountable and deeply corrupt political elite that systematically denies the people of Ukraine some of their most basic human rights.

map ukraine
(click for larger map)

The “Joker Tsunami” is a fully self-organized, self-financed, grassroots initiative. A total of six three-day workshops, each culminating in a final, interactive performance will be carried out in five cities of Ukraine, geographically covering the whole country (see map). It will bring together seven Theatre of the Oppressed practitioners from six countries to promote the creation of spaces for dialogue for Ukrainian citizens from different walks of life to analyze the past in the context of the present with the goal to imagine and practice their ideas for a better future.

The Tsunami organizers are inviting you to make a financial contribution to support the effort. The total budget of the initiative is 3,000 USD and includes all travel, accommodation and workshop expenses. So far, the group has raised approximately 1,500 USD amongst its organizers. If you are interested in contributing, please contact

Watch a set of YouTube videos for further information on the nature of their proposed action: video 1, video 2, and video 3. Visit the Facebook page. Thank you. Dyakuyu (Ukrainian). Spasivo (Russian).

Read a full description of the group's work and aims. 

Listen to Hector Aristizabal, who recently visited Ukraine and has deep hope that people rather than politicians can resolve their differences through dialogue and art, speaking on an Los Angeles radio show on March 4, courtesy of Uprising Radio. Aristizabal is the founder and artistic director of ImaginAction, a nonprofit theatre arts organization in Los Angeles. In the segment, he speaks about his work, his observations in Ukraine, and explains the symbolism of the term "joker" used by practioners of Theatre of the Oppressed in their approach to human rights.


Mourning ceremony on Feb. 21, 2014.  
Member of the Organizing Committee
Theatre for Dialogue/Joker Tsunami

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Art exhibition The King’s Peace examines the role of photography in peace and warfare
1 Aug 2014 - 26 Oct 2014
Curated by Owen Logan and Kirsten Lloyd at Stills (Scotland's Centre for Photography), this exhibition brings together a rich array of artworks, photobooks and archival materials which use realist strategies to offer alternative perspectives on warfare and the civil peace. “Apart from the referendum, war is the big theme of 2014,” says Lloyd, c. ‘We wanted to stand this theme on its head to instead explore the idea of peace, or what is now often called ‘security.’ Our starting point was to make an exhibition about realist strategies, power relations, warmongering and the meaning of ‘peace’.” View the exhibition webpage, read an article, read an essay, and read the exhibition guide

Exhibit: "The Language of Objects" 
An exhibition titled "The Language of Objects" by female students at the Academic Institute of Arab Education at Beit Berl College in Israel features works constructed from everyday objects that have been thrown away. Under the supervision of Dr. Aida Nasrallah, the students restored objects and let them speak for themselves, leaving them open to the interpretation of the viewers. Students used cloth, fabric, buttons, and threads to quilt their childhood memories, which also help each of students to discover that their artwork can open a window toward the person that she really wants to be. For example, one student who worked with cloth and embroidery realized that she wanted to be a designer of a new Palestinian embroidery featuring modern shapes. She plans to host a workshop for unemployed women to learn the craft in order to support themselves.  Read more and view photos.

casagrandeCasagrande is a Chilean artistic collective and experimental journal created by poets Julio Carrasco, José Joaquín Prieto and Cristóbal Bianchi. Casagrande “publishes” performances in public spaces, changing its format for every issue. Previous formats include a walking-through edition inside the Chilean underground, a newspaper distributed free of charge throughout all the country, a sound edition broadcast by radio, and a planned DVD to be sent to the library of the International Space Station. It also includes other performances such as “Bombing of Poems,” a performance which consisted of dropping one hundred thousand poems printed on bookmarks from an aircraft – a helicopter or plane – over cities bombed during military confrontations in the past, from Berlin to Guernica to Santiago.The bookmarks printed in two languages, written by both Chilean writers and poets native to the location of the city. The poems are released at twilight and every single bookmark is picked up by the crowd. This performance creates an alternative image of the past and is a gesture of remembrance as well as being a metaphor for the survival of cities and people. Read an article about Bombing of Poems, view a presentation by José Joaquín Prieto at the Woodberry Poetry Room at Harvard University, and view a compilation video of the Bombings.

ImaginAction - Arts and Activism for a Better World
imagine actionImaginAction Theater Inc. is a non-profit theatre arts organization founded by Hector Aristizabal based in Los Angeles with workshops and performances throughout the world. Their work has been influenced by Theatre of the Oppressed, Playback Theatre, Theatre of Witness, Psychodrama, traditional storytelling, mask-making, drumming, dance and creative ritual. ImaginAction workshops use theatre to create rituals, allowing participants to recreate themselves and the community around them.

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Resources & Opportunities

Fulbright-mtvU Grants/Awards

Fulbright will be offering up to four Fulbright-mtvU awards in its upcoming application period. Projects should center around research on an aspect of international musical culture, and should focus on contemporary or popular music as a cultural force for expression or change. Applications will be accepted for any country to which there is an active Fulbright U.S. Student Program for Academic and Arts fields. Preference will be given to graduating seniors and recent graduates. The online application will open November 1, 2014 and close February 27, 2015 at 5:00pm EST. Read more about the application requirements and tips.

Center Stage - Open Call for Nominations
CSCenter Stage has issued a worldwide open call for nominations of performing arts ensembles in all disciplines (dance, music, theater, multidisciplinary) from Algeria, Egypt, Kenya, and Tanzania for tours to the U.S. Four to six individual month-long tours will take place during the period of June to December of 2016. Nominations may be submitted by any individual or organization knowledgeable about performing arts ensembles in these four countries. Interested performing arts ensembles may also nominate themselves. View nomination form. Center Stage is an exchange program of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to support U.S. foreign policy goals and engage youth, students, educators, artists, athletes, and rising leaders in the U.S. and more than 160 countries. Read more.

RFP for Artist as Activist: Three Grant Opportunities from the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation
Today, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation announced the launch of an open call for proposals for artists whose work intersects with activism. Up to $100,000 in project support and up to $10,000 in travel and research grants will be provided to artists and collectives working to address pressing challenges facing societies in the U.S. and beyond. The Artist as Activist program is comprised of three distinct grant opportunities: 1) Artist as Activist Fellows, 2) Artist as Activist Travel & Research Grants, and 3) Artist as Activist Organizations. Read the press release for more details, visit the webpage, read the news blurb, and view the guidelines.  Over the next six months, the foundation will announce new grant opportunities related to arts and culture as well as efforts to address climate change. 

Job Posting: Director of CONTACT Program, School for International Training
SITThe School for International Training (SIT) based in Vermont, is seeking a doctoral-level person who will serve as Director of the Conflict Transformation Across Cultures (CONTACT) Program at SIT, as well as professor in SIT’s Master of Arts Program in Peacebuilding and Conflict Transformation. SIT is seeking a mid-career or late-career professional with considerable international experience in peace/conflict, expertise in experiential education modalities, strong administrative skills, creativity, and vision. View the job description

ABOG Fellowship for Socially Engaged Art
The mission of A Blade of Grass (ABOG) is to provide resources to artists who demonstrate artistic excellence and serve as innovative conduits for social change. ABOG evaluates the quality of work in this evolving field by fostering an inclusive, practical discourse about the aesthetics, function, ethics and meaning of socially engaged art that resonates within and outside the contemporary art dialogue. The Fellowship is offered to individual artists or artist collectives who are not currently enrolled as students, are US citizens, are 25 years of age or older, and have projects that engage directly with a specific community or communities. Initial Letters of Interest due November 24, 2014. Learn more about eligibility and apply


Culture+Conflict is a not-for-profit agency focusing on art produced in, or in response to, conflict and post-conflict situations across the world. Our overall aims are to increase the involvement of the arts in conflict and post-conflict situations, to build greater understanding of their value, and to foster the exchange of knowledge and perspectives with other sectors also engaged in conflict and post-conflict work: the political and diplomatic community, NGOs, international development agencies, academia, the media, and the many peace-building initiatives worldwide. We believe the arts have a vital role to play, not least in their unique ability to communicate the powerful personal and political issues of conflict. Read more and view their featured projects

El Sistema
SistemaThe transformative power of music is sweeping the United States and the world through the inspiration of Venezuela’s revolutionary El Sistema.  Founded in Venezuela in 1975 by Dr. Jose Antonio Abreu, El Sistema is a tested model of how a music program can create both great musicians, and dramatically change the life trajectory of hundreds of thousands of a nation’s most needy children, deeply benefiting youth from all backgrounds who participate. Read more.

CLIMB Theatre
climbCLIMB is a touring, educational theatre that brings our own original plays and classes directly to schools (and other agencies) across the Upper Midwest. Our programs are well researched and have high artistic and educational quality. Our most popular topics include: Bullying Prevention, Empathy, Acceptance of Differences,  Respect, Cliques and Exclusion, Self-Control, Cyberbullying, Financial Literacy. CLIMB’s anti-racism performances have reached over 20,000 middle, high school and college students in the last two school years. CLIMB was awarded the 2014 Anti-Racism Initiative Award from MAP for Nonprofits and the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits

ipra25th IPRA General Conference, “Uniting for Peace: Building Sustainable Peace Through Universal Values,” 
August 10-14, 2014
Istanbul, Turkey
The International Peace Research Association (IPRA) is hosting the 25th General Conference on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of IPRA under the theme “Uniting for Peace: Building Sustainable Peace Through Universal Values.” Since the end of the Cold War, the world has been going through a series of interrelated intra-state conflicts rather than inter-state conflicts. New generation threats for peace and security and conflicts appeared immediately as intra-state conflicts with ethnic conflict, political turmoil, protests, and the search for better democracy and peace. A call for submissions of abstracts for papers, posters, or panel proposals has been issued and the deadline has been extended to February 15, 2014. Read more about the the conference, participation fees, and read the latest IPRA newsletter.

Rehearsing Change

A semester study abroad opportunity in Ecuador

The Pachaysana Institute, an Ecuadorian NGO, and the Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ) have created a groundbreaking study abroad initiative in the Amazon Rainforest. Rehearsing Change is a semester-long, community-based study abroad program in the Ecuadorian Amazon. The program is academically rigorous, yet creatively structured, facilitated by leading scholars and teaching artists, and combines challenging academics, Arts for Conflict Transformation methodology and experiential/service learning, where students work and study on a daily basis with community members. Participants examine the conflicts between local and global realities, and to use dialogue and innovation to create change.


Photo Credit:
Pachaysana Institute

USFQ, an accredited institution, provides official transcripts to students for the program, which has officially been approved by top universities, including Brown, Brandeis, and American. The next program session begins in spring 2015 and is an excellent opportunity for students with academic focuses or interest in areas such as peace and conflict, performing arts, development, sustainability, and education. Read the full program description, view a slide show, visit the Rehearsing Change website, and visit Pachaysana's Facebook page. Inquiries can be directed to Pachaysana’s Executive Director Daniel Bryan, who is happy to dialogue via skype or the phone.  

Performing the World (PTW) Conference 
October 10-12, 2014 
New York City
ptwThe eighth Performing the World (PTW) conference will be held in New York City, October 10-12, 2014. As the performance movement grows worldwide — both within and across geographical, cultural and professional borders — PTW aims to make the most of the creative potential of this growing diversity. International, cross disciplinary, conversational, experiential, and practical-critical, PTW 2014 will provide an opportunity for practitioners, scholars and activists to share and showcase their work and create something new together. Read more about the conference and register. The PTW international organizing committee wants to make the conference inclusive. Please consider supporting their fundraising efforts to help provide travel for performance artists who would not otherwise be able to attend the conference.

Documentary Film
Timor-Leste - From Conflict to Conversation:
Using Forum Theatre to Secure Stability
This documentary film highlights the use of participatory forum theatre as an innovative method of channeling socio-economic and political frustrations into non-violent communications to help defuse tensions and prevent conflict in Timor-Leste. Acting Together  contributor Roberta Levitow was involved in the project in 2012 and 2013. Watch a clip of the film.

Call to Artists, Academics & Professionals:
Participation in Conflict Resolution & Dance Documentary
Bahar Karbakhsh, a graduate student of law in the field of alternative dispute resolution, is issuing a call to artists, academics and professionals across Canada and beyond who are interested in contributing to a documentary about the power of dance/movement and how they can be used for conflict resolution. Karbakhsh is seeking vibrant, thoughtful and thought provoking individuals and groups who would like to voluntarily contribute by way of interview and/or demonstration, performance. Filming will commence February 2014 and finish early summer 2014 to allow for editing. Read more and contact Bahar to express how you would like to contribute to the film.

Call for Presentations:
International Conference on "Theatre Between Tradition and Contemporaneity"
December 18 - 22, 2014
Carrara - Tuscany, Italy
igute-logo"Theatre Between Tradition and Contemporaneity" is the annual international multidisciplinary conference researching the bridge between tradition and contemporaneity in performing arts. The conference meeting is recommended to performing arts practitioners and researchers from different countries interested in the traditional methods as applied to contemporary performing arts work, searching for international networks and new collaboration partners: performing arts academics, arts educators, performers, theatre directors, dancers and choreographers, musicians, and more. Learn more about presentation formats that are welcomed and submission guidelines.

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