Tomorrow's Peacebuilders Awards
Deadline: September 15

Kidnap Road - A New Play by Catherine Filloux

The Incredible Ways Art Is Helping Charleston Unite After Church Massacre
The Huffington Post

Short Film: Two Faiths One Prayer -- Muslims and Jews Pray Together in LA

Call for Applications, The Intercultural Innovation Award
Deadline: September 30

Novel: Dancing with Diana

Book - Forced to Flee: Visual Stories by Refugee Youth from Burma

OAS Peace Fund Promotes Arts Among Belizean and Guatemalan Children

Use of Arabic cultural arts bring greater peace and understanding

Broadsided Press
Published monthly via international vector distribution
Submissions invited September through May
You could be a vector.
You could get Broadsided.

2015 Imaginings
In 16 Cities in the U.S.
Hosted by USDAC

Public: An e-Journal from Imagining America

BogotArt Foundation

Volunteering and Internship Opportunities with Ba Futuru

In Place of War

Featured Theme -
News from the Field: “The Most Important Images of the Year”: Artists Respond to Racial Violence in the U.S.

USDAC "HI-LI" Creative Community Database
Accepting project submissions

Press Release La MaMa Umbria International Spoleto Festival
Summer 2015

You Reap What You Sow: Crowdfunding for Film by Pakistani Director

Optivism - Music & Film

24th International Festival of Student Theatre
September 28 to October 2
Besançon, France

Past Featured Theme -
Artistic Responses to Other Current Global Crises

Publishing opportunity for students and faculty

Africa Yoga Project
Photo Credit: Robin O'Neill

Read Ceremonies of Dance and Song in Native American Peacemaking by Polly Walker

Xchange Perspectives (XCP) is using a Peacebuilding and the Arts report to support their work in South Sudan.
Read more and watch the video

Archive -
News from the Field

Acting Together Documentary

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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

  • Past Featured Theme: “The Most Important Images of the Year” - Artists Respond to Racial Violence in the U.S.
  • Past Featured Theme: Artistic Responses to Other Current Global Crises - 

News & Events

Srebrenica Quilt Display Will Cap 20 Years of Advocacy and Anguish
BosFamWeavers from the Bosnian women's group BOSFAM will commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre on July 11 with a powerful exhibition of quilts that carry the names of over 350 massacre victims, including their own relatives. The eleven quilts will be exhibited at the massacre site of Potocari in the former battery factory which served as a base for UN peacekeepers at the time of the massacre. The base has been turned into a museum, but remains a powerful symbol of the UN's inability to protect civilians and prevent genocide. View Weavers for Hope, AP's video about BOSFAM and the Srebrenica massacre. Read more.

Videos: OAS Peace Fund Promotes Arts Among Belizean and Guatemalan Children

OASThe Organization of American States (OAS) Peace Fund helps to build the relationships between the children from Belize and Guatemala by engaging them in the arts. The program runs throughout the year and consists of music (wind and string instruments), singing, painting and theater workshops and training programs for Belizean and Guatemalan students resident in the area. According to Magdalena Talamas, the Chief of the OAS Peace Fund, reports that the programs are productive and primarily geared for children, but even the military personnel from both countries are engaged. Read more.

Use of Arabic cultural arts bring greater peace and understanding

In an area of the world that has been deeply affected by conflict, the Sudanese actor and theatre director Ali Mahdi has not only managed to bring happiness, but also hope and inspiration through the mediums of drama, dance and music.

Indeed through his work as Director of the SOS Children’s Villages Sudan project, Mr. Mahdi has proved that theatre can be a tool for conflict resolution and a place for rebuilding and renewal.

Over the last decade, Mr. Mahdi’s project has toured the conflict affected areas of Sudan, showing that exposure to theatre, as well as to culture in general, is a powerful ally in reconstructing the dreams and restoring the confidence of children affected by tragic situations. Read the full article.

Kidnap Road - A New Play by Catherine Filloux
June 27
Planet Connections Theatre, New York City

KRKidnap Road is a new play by Catherine Filloux, directed by Stan Cahill and starring Kimber Riddle and Steve Guevara. The play focuses on Ingrid Betancourt, a presidential candidate in the country of Colombia in 2002, who while conducting her campaign was kidnapped by the terrorist organization the FARC. Details of Ingrid Betancourt’s story can be found in the public record. The story is imagined as a two-person play based in part on those events.

In its first public reading, the play headlined the staged reading series at Planet Connections Theatre in New York City on June 27, 2015. A community discussion followed the play, which included: the artists; audience, including members of Encore Community Services; Michael Soussan, a former U.N. humanitarian worker; Jenny Pacanowski, a poet, combat veteran in Iraq, and veteran's advocate, especially doing outreach for female vets issues and concerns. Joining the discussion was also Mariette Kalinowski, a fiction writer who served in the Marines in Iraq and a contributor to “Fire and Forget: Short Stories from the Long War.” The discussion addressed: women’s rights, discrimination and abuse against women, the backlash against women leaders and a survivor’s quest for social justice and spirituality. View the brochure.

Read more, including reflections from the play's director, actors, sound designer, and playwright on the subject of the play and their contributions in bringing it to life. 

PlanetCatherine Filloux was recently awarded the Planet Activist Award to honor her long career as an activist artist in the theatre community. Read more.

Support the Ubumuntu Arts Festival
July 11-12
Kigali, Rwanda

UFThe arts have played an incredible and critical role in tackling Rwanda's immense post-genocide challenges. The arts have been a transformative medium of healing and reconciliation, channeling the pain, anguish and horror of Rwanda's national experience into song, dance and theatre. However, the country has only just begun to realize the potential of the arts as a creative industry and the employment opportunities therewithin.

The Ubumuntu Arts Festival is the first of its kind in Rwanda, a signature event that will hopefully change the landscape of art in East Africa and the world. 'Ubumuntu' means 'Humanity' in Kinyarwanda, the native tongue of Rwanda. Aiming to be an annual event, the Ubumuntu Arts Festival will take place this year July 11 & 12. These dates are significant because they occur during the last week of the 100 days of the Rwanda Genocide of 1994--the last week of the annual Month of Mourning in Rwanda. It will be a creative and collaborative celebration where artists, dancers, actors, producers, innovators, writers, singers, poets, thinkers and dreamers from all around the world gather to celebrate and elevate our collective humanity. Help bring the groundbreaking Ubumuntu Arts Festival in Kigali, Rwanda to life.

Short Film: Two Faiths One Prayer -- Muslims and Jews Pray Together in LA
NewGround: A Muslim-Jewish Partnership for Change

NGCindy Kaplan '08 joined a group of Jews and Muslims gathered together for a day of prayer in a series of public spaces across Los Angeles. They prayed side-by-side at each Muslim/Jewish prayer time in an effort to spread a message that peace is possible. Despite growing Islamophobia and Anti-Semitism in America and abroad, the two religions have more in common than meets the eye, including praying to the same God. At their public prayer at City Hall they invited others to join in, resulting in more than 60 people of different faiths praying side by side. Just before they began, they received news about the shooting in Garland, Texas, and since their prayer leader's hometown is Garland, the moment was particularly weighty. NewGround fellows from the 2015 cohort planned the day of shared prayer and filmed their experience. To learn more visit www.twofaithsoneprayer.com, NewGround and Facebook.

A Solution to Street Violence Can Be Found in Martial Arts, Yoga and Meditation
Huffington Post Blog
Every few weeks, it seems, there's a new example of street violence that jumps to front and center of the national media and sparks another round of controversy and debate. But I've seen way too many of these tragedies, and I believe that the world we live in would become significantly less violent if more people -- both civilians and cops -- incorporated martial arts, yoga and meditation into their lives... Read more.

Featured Theme: “The Most Important Images of the Year”: Artists Respond to Racial Violence in the U.S.

The Incredible Ways Art Is Helping Charleston Unite After Church Massacre
June 27, 2015 | The Huffington Post


Top: Vigil in Charleston.
Photo credit: Adam Chandler &
Enough Pie. Bottom:
Image by Y'allsome (bio).

"Early last week, a few artists painted murals on the walls of a warehouse around a vacant lot in Charleston, South Carolina, preparing for a celebration intended to fill the neglected space with sunlight, art and joy.

Then they learned about the racist attack at Emanuel AME Church, a historic black institution, that killed nine residents of their city.

Reeling from shock and sorrow, leaders of the community arts nonprofit organizing the event had to decide whether to cancel festivities planned for the solstice. It was a clear choice, Enough Pie executive director Cathryn Zommer told The Huffington Post.

'We felt that more than ever, the community needed to come together,' Zommer said. They added a vigil with candle lighting, songs and prayer. Artists made changes to their pieces. On Saturday, people gathered for an experience that mixed joy with sorrow, surrounded by art..." Read the full article.

“Why a charcoal of police in Ferguson is the most important artwork of 2014”
The Guardian 
"...Robert Longo’s Untitled (Ferguson Police August 13, 2014) is a 10-ft wide charcoal drawing of a line of faceless cops, clad and helmeted in black, silhouetted against searchlights in a swirl of illuminated smoke. This is a brilliantly powerful drawing, based on photographs taken on the angry streets of Ferguson, Missouri, after 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot dead by a police officer there on 9 August. Since the first protests and police reaction that Longo set out to draw, this has become an ever more significant moment in the old and unending story of racial injustice in America. Longo’s picture looks prophetic and monumental. It should be purchased by the Museum of Modern Art or the National Gallery of Art. This is a true history painting for our time, done from photographs in desolate charcoal..." Read more.

Songs of My Neighbors
April 2015

Songs Songs of my Neighbors is a collaborative initiative aiming to use the arts, and theatre in particular, to encourage dialogue and social justice between communities that share conflict. As a project of the Center of Performing Arts MITOS, it is co-coordinated by Elena Agathokleous and Diomedes Koufteros (MFA '05, Acting). It is partly funded by the Culture Program of the European Union and takes place in Poland, Italy and Cyprus between Autumn 2013 and Summer 2015. Read more.

Artistic Responses to Other Current Global Crises - News & Events

Sand artist appeals for peace in Gaza through sand art
World famous sand artist, Sudarsan Pattnaik, created a sand sculpture at Puri beach in Odisha, urging Israel and Gaza to end the conflict and appealing for peace. "Both countries should talk and resolve the issue. War is not a solution and local people are being affected to such an extent that one gets to see blood everywhere. So we want to send across a message to both the countries through this art that they should make efforts to initiate peace process and U.N. should be part of it," said Pattnaik. Read more.

Russian-language, Ukrainian Playwrights Cope with the Ukraine-Russia Conflict
As the Ukraine-Russian conflict escalated into a shooting war in the first half of 2014, two Ukrainian playwrights spoke out against the violence in their art. Natalya Vorozhbyt spent three months interviewing students, Cossacks, doctors and other volunteers on Maidan, the central square in Kyiv, where the now-famous protests were taking place. The result was a verbatim play, “Maidan: Voices from the Uprising,” which was performed in London at Royal Court’s Jerwood Theatre Upstairs. Read more.

Israeli and Palestinian Musicians Perform at New York's Global Citizen Festival alongside Alicia Keys
Israeli producer and musician Idan Raichel performed Saturday, September 27 in New York's Central Park live alongside Palestinian musician Ali Amir-Kanoon and Alicia Key at the Global Citizen Festival. The three performed the American soul singer's newest release "We Are Here," each singing in their native language. Read more.

Diminishing Returns: The Iraq War and Artistic Response, Five Years Onmore, by Ara H. Merjian
During the Vietnam War, artists stopped making work as a form of protest against its atrocities. Why is a similar response to Iraq unthinkable, and what is the artistic community doing instead? The question to ask seems not how much art has been made in response to the war, but rather what kind? To whose ideologies have these works given voice? What resonances if any have they had in the political realm? Can such things even be marked or measured? Read more.

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.

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Plays by Sean Christopher Lewis: Killadelphia, Dogs of Rwanda, and Rust

Sean Christopher Lewis is a theater artist engaged with issues of social justice. His play Killadelphia is based on interviews with men at Graterford Prison who paint some of the 3000 murals in the city of Philadelphia. Ironically, due to their imprisonment, the men will not be able to see and enjoy the murals they create. The play looks at rising incarceration rates in the U.S., the role of justice, and raises questions around the concept of forgiveness within society. Killadelphia won the Barrymore Award and has toured to 30 states and 3 continents.

Lewis’ play Dogs of Rwanda, based off extensive field work in Rwanda, looks at the story of a young missionary from Ohio who found himself lost in the Rwandan countryside during the 100 Day Massacre in April of 1994. After writing a book on the events, he is taken to task by survivors and is forced to discover the meaning of forgiveness. Visit Lewis’ website for more information on 2016 tour dates for both Dogs of Rwanda and Killadelphia.

Co-written with Austin Bunn, Lewis’ play Rust portrays the impact of the 2008 closing of a 75 year-old stamping plant Wyoming, Michigan, which drove over 1,500 people to be out of work, displaced, or forcibly retired. Rust was published in New York Times Magazine and honored with the Kennedy Center Rosa Parks Award, the Smith Prize and the NEA Voices in Community Award.

View a summary of Sean Christopher Lewis’ touring plays and visit his website.


Dara: A South Asian History Play about Islam
Ajoka Theatre
Dara, a South Asian history play about Islam, completed its successful run at London's National Theatre. Pakistani playwright Shahid Nadeer explained at International Alert’s peace talks how his play, originally written for audiences in South Asia, is offering insight into the history of Islam and contemporary conflict, violence and extremism in Pakistan and beyond. For 30 years, Nadeer and his theatre group Ajoka have used performance to transform conversations ....Research by In Place of War in conflict sites around the world reveals how art is used by grassroots communities for violence prevention, socio-political resistance, trauma healing, and reconciliation... There is still little documentation of how art creates social and personal change. We must develop this language. Read more.

Hubs of innovation, art and culture; these are the hidden treasures of Africa

MG"When looking at the conditions of [impoverished and disorganized communities] across Africa with a naked eye, the conditions are wretched, but dig a little bit deeper and you find soul, innovation and vibrancy like nowhere else in the city.... One example is the great genres of music, like semba, that came of Africa’s labour-driven informal settlements that cropped up around colonisation, under repression, and which continues to come out today. "

"...Graffiti in Nairobi- In some [impoverished communities] artistic expression comes in the form of writing or drawing which can transform the settlement into a buzz of elaborate wall paintings. They paint messages of hope and change, seeking to inspire their community by drawing positive images which could change their society."

"...In Uganda for example, the Kampala... [a] festival is building on the creative skills that can be found within settlements... For one day each year, these communities are treated to an arts festival filled with music, street poetry, art exhibitions, street art, handicrafts, film screenings and workshops." Read more.

Featured Theme: “The Most Important Images of the Year”: Artists Respond to Racial Violence in the U.S.

Police killings prompt a resurgence in political art


Untitled (Ferguson) diptych, 2014,
by Robert Longo. Photograph courtesy
of robert Longo and  Petzel Gallery

Artists were among the earliest activists in the protests that erupted across the US in December over the grand jury decisions not to indict either of the policemen responsible for the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, two unarmed black men. Some see the response as a renewed willingness to embrace political art after a long period of cynicism, while others suggest that it could be the crystallisation of a new movement. Read more.

Dialogues on Race: Billboard and Mural Project
MAPlogoThe Dialogues on Race billboard and mural project explores issues connected to race. The project was designed the founder of Make Art with Purpose (MAP) director Janeil Engelstad to foster discussions about racial justice and equity and to leave a lasting legacy in the Dallas community with two permanent murals. The billboards, designed by North Texas artists, were on display during the November 2014 Facing Race national conference on racial justice. Read more.


Dialogues on Race billboard.
Image Courtesy of
Make Art with Purpose (MAP).

Ferguson Moments: Artists Respond
Following the events in Ferguson, artists from all over the United States quickly began connecting by phone, email, and social media over the ensuing militarized police action, protests, violence, and reconciliation taking place. Over the weekend of August 22-24, two weeks after Michael Brown was killed, five theater artists traveled from Ashland, Oregon; Boston, Mass; and New York City to St. Louis and Ferguson where they volunteered, created and saw work, and met with members of the community. Read stories and view samples from across the country.

Facing Race Spotlight: Detroit Artist Collective Complex Movements
The Detroit-based artist collective Complex Movements initiated a traveling installation called “Beware of the Dandelions” that fuses interactive hip-hop performance, visual arts and video projection mapping with community organizing. In each city visits, the installation’s crew makes connections with local activists and students. The premise, according to its web site, is that “change occurs through critical connections rather than critical mass.” Read more.

Artists Activate in Response to Ferguson Shooting
The St. Louis arts community has been active in response to the fatal Aug. 9 shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown by a white policeman in Ferguson, Mo. "Many arts people have been coming out," said artist Dail Chambers, cofounder of the Yeyo Arts Collective. Artists included “poet Elizabeth Vega, and Danny and Kevin McCoy of print and design studio Work/Play, political activist/community artist Montague Simmons and sculptor and installation artist Simiya Sudduth." Chambers spearheaded the creation of a quilt made of one-foot-square panels contributed by community members. Read more.

Let’s Talk: Ferguson - The role of arts in racial equity
Penumbra Theatre invited the community for “Let’s Talk: Ferguson,” a discussion about the events in Ferguson, Missouri and the resurgence of activism around racial equity fifty years after Freedom Summer. Hundreds of people attended the discussion, including theatre artists, social activists, scholars, and civil and religious leaders. Panelists addressed the shooting of Michael Brown, the long-standing and complex racial tensions in the United Stage, and the role that the arts can play in achieving social justice and racial equality. View a video of the event.

How the local arts community engages in conversations about race
Minnesota Public Radio
“On The Daily Circuit Tuesday, we talked about how the local [Minnesota] arts community has engaged with the dialogue around race in recent months. Ananya Chatterjea, founder and artistic director of Ananya Dance Theatre, and Sarah Bellamy, co-artistic director of Penumbra Theater, joined the discussion and brought up what they're seeing in the most recent reactions to national stories like Ferguson. Bellamy said you can look at protests as a form of artistic performance….” Read more and listedn in on the conversation.

Trojan Kanthavo: the artist’s tryst with destiny
The Island Newspaper, Sri Lanka
islandDharmasiri Bandaranayake’s last play, Trojan Kanthavo, a Sinhala adaptation of Euripides’ Trojan Women, took to the stage again recently, to both celebrate its 15th-year anniversary and raise much-needed funds for his art centre, Trikone. Bandaranayake is one of the last in the list of great old-timers of the Sri Lankan performing arts... But Bandaranayake is not merely an enormously talented artist; he is also a citizen with a social conscience…. Read more of the article.  Read more about Dharmasiri Bandaranayake in Madhawaihapitiya's case study featured in "Acting Together."

Artistic Responses to Other Global Crises - Arts

The power of arts in the Middle East crisis
War alters societies, and art can serve to gauge the change. In the war-struck Middle East, artists are hindered in their work, and some are forced to emigrate. But they still believe in the healing capacity of art.Sayed Kashua, an Israeli-Arab writer and columnist for Israel's oldest daily newspaper "Haaretz,"left his home in Israel last month. What was supposed to be a short stay in the United States turned into a permanent move. The war between Palestinian Hamas and Israel means Kashua cannot go back. Read more.

Tripoli Graffiti: Revolution Street Art in Libya
It’s difficult to imagine the extent of trauma that the Libyan people have gone through over the past forty years and during the Feb17 uprising, but the street art around Tripoli is just scratching the surface. Messages of deep patriotism and hope combine with the memory of thousands of fallen heroes and fury against the dead tyrant. Honestly, the little graffiti that I saw left me with deep respect for the Libyans and sincere hope that their path will learn from ours and lead to a better future.

For the sake of peace: Young artist spray paints her views on the Saudi-Yemen conflict

“We are facing adversities from all sides these days,” said Abdoz cofounder Umer Asim. “The aim of this artwork is to reawaken the spirit of patriotism and hope — the hope that someday everything will be fine. Our messages are anti-war. We uphold the values of peace and love.”

According to Asim, the mural painting allowed the students of SMIU to engage with art and learn through it. “It feels really good when we conduct these kinds of activities,” he said. “It allows students to come up with ideas and help us make better artworks with meaningful messages. This boosts our morale.” Read more.

Art of the Arab Uprisings
The Occupy Gezi movement—which began as a protest against the destruction of Gezi Park for development purposes—included graffiti logos and slogans painted across Istanbul. Graffiti was one way that demonstrators and artists in Turkey and across the Middle East fought to reclaim public spaces from repressive regimes. The protests also gave voice to thousands of artists who used posters, murals, puppet shows, and plays to express their frustrations and their hopes for the future. Read more.

Palestinian Hip-Hop Group: ‘There are many layers to Palestinian life and identity - not just the occupation.’
Heralded by Le Monde as ‘the spokesmen of a new generation’, the members of DAM – the first [known] Palestinian hip-hop crew and among the first musicians to rap in Arabic – began working together in the late 90s. "There are many layers to Palestinian life and identity – not just [the] occupation."... "Rapping about women’s rights is as important as rapping about the occupation. You know, without social justice, there’s no freedom; so, we feel it’s important to raise our voices and bring [to light] all the issues Palestinians [are facing] today." Read more.

Project & Exhibit: Geographies of War | Iraq Revisited
The exhibition "Geographies of War | Iraq Revisited " was curated by Dr. Alan Ingram in 2013 at University College London. Bringing together artists from Iraq and Britain, it shows six works that give material form to the violence, anxiety and ruin of war but which also raise questions about resistance, resilience and dreams of peace. The project has been guided by the following main questions: How have artists and art institutions responded to the war? How have their responses engaged with the experience, representation and construction of geographic space? What have been the implications of artistic responses for public engagement in issues of war and peace? View the catalog, read more about the exhibit, and view the project’s ongoing blog.

Artists Support Ukraine
Artists Support Ukraine is a cultural initiative aimed at turning the attention of international public towards the current situation in Ukraine. There is an urgent need to stand against military aggression, propaganda and injustice. We are engaging artists and cultural workers from all over the world to make a statement in order to support peace and freedom. View, read and watch messages about the conflict in Ukraine from artists and cultural workers from all over the world. #supportukraine

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. ‘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.

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Resources & Opportunities

Sign up for USDAC's Next Action: Emissaries from the Future
Applications Due: September 10

USDACToo often, we’re persuaded to believe our voices don’t count or that the future is determined by a powerful few. In these times, exercising social imagination—the capacity to envision alternatives to what is—is a radical and necessary act, shifting dominant narratives and affirming that all of us make the future. When we have the audacity to dream in public, when we begin to unleash imagination and turn it into action, we can move the world.

From October 10-18, 2015, Emissaries from the Future will create Imagination Stations nationwide—popping up in parks, classrooms, galleries, conferences, farmer's markets and beyond to invite participants into this large-scale act of collective imagination. Using an array of creative tactics, Emissaries will engage people in envisioning the world they hope to inhabit and—looking back from the future—celebrating the work they did to get there. The resulting texts, images, videos, and more will be uploaded to an online platform, yielding a crowd-sourced vision of the future, inspiring art, policy, and community action.

Emissaries receive a free toolkit full of creative activities and tips, access to online training and 1-1 assistance, and the opportunity to put your Imagination Station (and all that it yields) on the map, connecting local visions to a national dialogue. Learn more and sign up to host an Imagination Station as an individual or as a group/organization.

Book - Forced to Flee:
Visual Stories by Refugee Youth from Burma

By Erika Berg

ForcedToFleeFor over 50 years, Burma was one of the most isolated and oppressed nations in the world. In 2011, the country’s military junta ceded power to a quasi-civilian government that has begun to implement democratic reforms. Yet beyond the media spotlight, human rights abuses have continued, especially in resource-rich ethnic regions of the country.

Forced to Flee: Visual Stories by Refugee Youth from Burma offers a child’s-eye view of the longest-running civil war in the world. In this deeply personal and impactful book, youth forcibly displaced by conflict harness the power of narrative art to personalize human rights issues and promote interethnic/faith reconciliation in their homeland. Their narrated paintings illustrate that emotions conveyed and evoked by a single image can tell a story of a thousand words, open hearts and build bridges of understanding. The visual stories came from 40 plus workshops facilitated along the borders of Burma and in the United States and Canada. Read more and order a copy.

Tomorrow’s Peacebuilders
PeaceDirectApplication Deadline: September 15

Peace Direct is launching the third annual Tomorrow’s Peacebuilders awards to showcase the best locally led peacebuilding organisations across the world. Entrants will need to show how they are making communities more peaceful, or breaking the cycle of violence in the world’s most fragile and needy places. To be eligible, your work must fit into the categories:

  • Arts and peacebuilding
  • Women-led peacebuilding
  • Youth peacebuilding
  • Environmental peacebuilding
  • Inter-religious peacebuilding

The three winning organisations will receive:

  • $10,000 prize funding for peacebuilding activities.
  • Invitation to attend a winners’ event in London.
  • Promotion of their work online, including on the Insight on Conflict and Peace Direct websites and newsletters.

Alongside the main prize and categories, the organisation that best makes use of technology in their work will receive a scholarship to attend the Build Peace 2016 conference in Zurich, Switzerland, and become a Build Peace Fellow, receiving additional support for their peacebuilding work. Learn more and view the flyer.

Call for Applications, The Intercultural Innovation Award

United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) & BMW Group
Submission Deadline: September 30 at 5:00pm EST

iiaThe Intercultural Innovation Award is a partnership between the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) and the BMW Group that aims to select and support the most innovative grassroots projects that encourage intercultural dialogue and cooperation around the world. Not-for-profit organizations that are active in promoting intercultural understanding, with a track record of managing intercultural projects and willingness to expand their range of action, are eligible to apply. These organizations should be working in the fields of: migration and integration; intercultural awareness; education for intercultural citizenship; and/or be organizations addressing the needs of specific groups in promoting intercultural understanding (e.g. faith-based, youth, women, media, etc.).

The Award is bestowed upon ten organizations, who receive one year of support and consulting from the UNAOC and the BMW Group, which will assist their projects to increase their effectiveness. Support will also be provided to successful projects so that they can be replicated in other contexts or settings where they might be relevant. Read more and download the application guidelines.

IIE Launches Program to Assist Threatened Artists- Artist Protection Fund (APF)

IIEIn many parts of the world, artists suffer harassment, imprisonment, violence, and even death as a direct consequence of their unique role and power to advance free and creative expression, inspire others and provoke dissent. The Institute of International Education (IIE) announced the launch of a program to save the lives and work of artists who face persecution in their home countries. The new Artist Protection Fund (APF), a three-year pilot program supported by a $2.79 million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, will make life-saving fellowship grants to threatened artists from any field of artistic endeavor, and place them at host universities and arts centers in countries where they can safely continue their work and plan for their future.

IIE is calling on arts organizations around the world to join in this important effort. Hosts can be traditional university art education programs and arts residencies, as well as arts centers, performing arts organizations and less traditional artistic communities. Hosts will be requested to match the fellowship support, through contributions that may include housing, studio space, art supplies, and other support from their networks.

Mariët Westermann, Vice President of the Mellon Foundation, said, "The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is proud to support IIE’s launch of the Artist Protection Fund, a pioneering effort to create a fellowship program to rescue threatened artists and get them working again in the safest, most productive, and most welcoming atmosphere possible. The program will enable their work and voices to continue to be seen and heard, which, as many artists tell us, is of critical importance to them. The benefits will accrue to the artists and their families; their host and home communities; and the larger world in which their art can continue to play a prominent role."

Novel: Dancing with Diana
By Jo Salas

DwDDancing with Diana is a novel by Acting Together Project contributor Jo Salas. The novel centers around Alex, a boy in a wheelchair who meets the future Princess Diana when they are both 15 years old. The story also is about Diana as well, and the last day of her life. The author and storyteller Dan Yashinsky wrote, "This is a very fine book that side-steps clichés about celebrity to create a new awareness of Diana, and also gives us a startling sense of life lived strongly and meaningfully with cerebral palsy." The book is published by and available through Codhill Press, as well as available as an e-book at Amazon.com. Read more about Dancing with Diana.

Photography Competition on Human Rights and Belonging
Galway International Summer School on the Arts and Human Rights
Applications Due: June 10

Photographers from around the world are invited to submit photography that encapsulates this theme of ‘Belonging’ for the opportunity to have their work featured in an exhibition hosted by The Irish Centre for Human Rights, National University of Ireland and The Hunt Museum. The inaugural Galway International Summer School on the Arts and Human Rights takes place July 9-11, 2015. As part of the Summer School series, they are hosting an exhibition to celebrate and feature selected submissions.

Up to 20 photographs will be considered for inclusion in the exhibition, with one overall photograph being considered for a feature in the Irish Times (82,059 daily print circulation). The selected photographer will also have their work supported across various social channels. The Exhibition will take place from July 9, 2015 for three weeks during the Summer School and the Galway Arts Festival with an approximate footfall of 10,000. Read more.

2015 Imaginings
Hosted by the US Department of Arts and Culture (USDAC)


USDAC is hosting "Imaginings" throughout the U.S. in May and June. Imaginings are vibrant, arts-infused gatherings in which a community envisions its ideal future and identities creative tactics to get there. Cultural Agents in 16 cities will host arts-infused civic dialogues to envision to imagine what their neighborhoods (and the world) might look like in the year 2034, when art’s transformative power has been fully integrated into all aspects of public life. Part performance, part facilitated dialogue, part celebration, Imaginings bring together a diverse groups of artists, organizers, and community members. The ideas, images, and visions generated during Imaginings are documented and fed back to inform the USDAC’s emerging national story and strategy.

Learn more about the upcoming events in: Atlanta, GA; Baltimore, MD; Boston, MA; Cleveland, OH; Chicago, IL; Decatur, GA; Fort Lauderdale, FL; Harrisonburg, VA; Miami, FL; New Orleans, LA; New York City, NY; Passaic, NJ; Philadelphia, PA; Seattle, WA; St. Louis, MO; and Stockton, CA. Visit the website for links to individual events.

Learn more about what happens after an Imagining. Be sure to enlist as a Citizen Artist to find out when Imaginings are happening near you!

Public: e-Journal from Imagining America

PublicImagining America is proud to announce the most recent issue Public, a peer-reviewed, multimedia e-journal focused on humanities, arts, and design in public life. It aspires to connect what we can imagine with what we can do. We are interested in projects, pedagogies, resources, and ideas that reflect rich engagements among diverse participants, organizations, disciplines, and sectors. The current issue is titled "Organizing. Culture. Change." and features the 2014 IA Conference on the same theme, a piece by Marion Wilson on the integration of art as social practice with her teaching, followed by a conversation with McArthur winning artist Rick Lowe. The issues also features a broad range of case studies that provide examples of integrating culture and organizing and concludes with Ben Fink's review of Harry Boyte's Democracy's Education. Access the journal at public.imaginingamerica.org.

Call for Applications, 2016 SXSW Community Fund $10,000 Grant
Application Deadline: June 26, 2015
sxswSouth by Southwest® (SXSW®) would like to recognize, reward and further the good work of 501(c)(3) organizations in the world, with the belief that promoting good in local communities is one of many ways of helping foster creative innovation. SXSW is inviting qualified 501(c)(3) public charitable organizations to apply for a $10,000 project or program grant from the SXSW Community Fund of Communities Foundation of Texas. 

Each program or project should be related to one of the following areas: music, film, interactive technology, education or sustainability, as a thematic connection to one of the events in the SXSW familyThis grant process is goal and outcome focused, as well as focused on solutions to community issues, especially when they can improve the lives of the underprivileged or disenfranchised. We will also ask that you share your strategic plans for use of the grant funds.Grantees will also receive up to two Platinum registrations to the SXSW 2016 event in March and an additional registration to either the SXSW Eco 2015, SXSW V2V 2016 or SXSWedu 2016 event, whichever is most applicable to their work. Grant receipients will be invited to showcase their innovative work at the SXSW event in Austin, Texas in March 2016. Applications are due June 26, 2015. Read more and apply.

Broadsided Press

BPStreet art. Fine art. Free art. Dialogue. Serendipitous public art. A counterforce for billboards advertising fast food and cars. Founded in 2005, Broadsided publishes an original literary/artistic collaboration each month for visitors to the site to download, mull, print, and share. Broadsided is here to put literature and art on the streets. On the first of every month, a new Broadsided literary/visual collaboration ise posted on the Broadsided website for free download as a letter-sized PDF.

Broadsided Press takes its name from the traditional broadside, which is loosely defined as paper printed on one side for public distribution as a poster or announcement, and has its roots in 16th century England. It is the origin of popular press and news. "To have been broadsided" means that one has been hit from the side, most often out of the blue. Both histories are behind the name of Broadsided Press.

A unique aspect of Broadsided's structure is that it engages a wide network of "Vectors" (this could be you!) to post issues throughout their communities. Issues can be downloaded and printed by anyone with a computer and printer. See where Vectors are posting and add your town. Broadsided has Vectors posting in almost every U.S. state, in several European countries, Chile, Japan, the Philippines, and several provinces in Canada. Broadsided also presents "Special Features", which includes Broadsided Press Responses, inviting writers and artists respond to current events in the world with their best, most empathetic, most insightful, most wide-ranging selves. The Broadsided Press Groundsourced anthologies, or poems for when things seem impossible to articulate, shared directly via Tumblr via #hashtag. One recent collection is #PoemsForFerguson. Broadsides on the Bus places poetry and art on buses in two communities: Cape Cod and Moscow, Idaho.

Interested in being published in Broadsided Press? Writing is chosen through submissions emailed to Broadsided. Artists allied with Broadsided are emailed the selected writing. They then "dibs" what resonates for them and respond visually. You could be a Vector. You could get Broadsided. Learn more and view a flyer with general information about Broadsided.

Call for submissions: How do you build a creative community?
"HI-LI" Database hosted by the U.S. Department of Art and Culture

USDAC"HI-LI" stands for High-Impact Low-Infrastructure. The U.S. Department of Art and Culture (USDAC) is interested in finding and highlighting HI-LI models for building creative community that are participatory, replicable, volunteer-friendly, low-cost, and bridge-building. Examples of current projects posted include Little Free Libraries, Community Cookbook, Interactive Protest Archive, and and the Community Action Clinic. Browse projects and submit your own project idea

BogotArt Foundation

The BogotArt Foundation is an organization established in 2013 to promote a more democratic art and cultural world in the city of Bogotá, capital of Colombia. It is a group of urban reality shapers who want to have a world where the public space can talk about the pursuit of equality and conditions of balance that the society as a whole seeks to accomplish. In that sense, BogotArt works with marginalized communities to achieve social inclusion, using the culture and art as means. The organization believes that the mutual understanding between different society groups is the foundation of real and long-lasting peace.

BogotArt develop programs aimed to have a long-term impact, transforming areas heavily affected by prejudices and considered hotspots of criminality into cultural hubs, featuring both the external offer and the very own creations of the communities living in these neighborhoods. Through workshops lead by professional artist in fields like muralism, photography, drawing and theater, BogotArt enables a capacity-building process that allows the new generations to be the changemakers of their own reality. Thus the youth recover the sense of belonging towards their neighborhood and strengthen the community identity, enabling their image to be modified before the eyes of the external environment. Here BogotArt the organizatino is acting ‘glocally’, fostering global citizenship at a local level. Learn more.
"Art does not know colors of the skin."
photo credit: Leonardo Párraga, BogotArt

Volunteering and Internship Opportunities with Ba Futuru


Image courtesy of Ba Futuru

Ba Futuru is a local non-government organisation located in Dili, the capital of the newest independent nation in Asia, Timor-Leste. The vision of Ba Futuru is to transform mistrust and violence into peace and self-directed growth by supporting the people of Timor-Leste to engage in creating a positive future for themselves, their families and their communities. Since its founding in 2004, Ba Futuru has provided life-enhancing programming to more than 30,000 children, women, youth, community leaders, police and other key actors in the areas of peace building, gender empowerment, child protection and conflict transformation.

The organization is looking for volunteers for a minimum of three months, including professionals (with skills such fundraising, nonprofit law, graphic design, or IT) and students with majors including international relations, conflict resolution, development studies, human rights, psychology, social work or similar fields. Read more about Ba Futuru and opportunities with the organization.

You Reap What You Sow: Crowdfunding for a Film by Pakistani Director
FreeBird Films
fbAlaa Ashkar, a Palestinian director, is working on a new documentary project about the internal colonisation in Israel, through an intimate portrait of his family in Galilee. "My idea in this film is to give impressionist tableaus of daily sceneries, ambient sounds and encounters, showing the daily reality of an ordinary Palestinian Christian family in Galilee, in the context of the ongoing Israeli settlement projects around. These projects are quietly erasing the past and shaping a complex future."

Your support comes at a crucial moment to complete this adventure. Your contribution, even a most modest one, will enable him to finalize the development phase and begin production. Learn more and support the project.

Press Release: Spoleto Festival
La MaMa Umbria International Announces Artists
for Summer 2015

lamama La MaMa Umbria International announced March 1, 2015 its largest gathering of world theatre artists who will teach workshops, lead facilitated retreats, create new works and direct productions in the Spoleto Festival in Italy this summer. Programs focusing on directing, acting playwriting or theatre-making will come to life from mid-June to the end of August 2015. The 16th La Mama Umbria International Symposium for Directorswill take place June 27 - July 27, 2015. The 9th Annual Playwright Retreat will take place August 9-18, 2015. Read the full press release.

Featured Theme: “The Most Important Images of the Year”: Artists Respond to Racial Violence in the U.S.

Artists against Police Brutality
Final Submissions Due February 28
Artists against Police Brutality (APB) is a comic book anthology with one primary goal: to show pictures and tell stories that get people talking. We are looking for artists across the disciplines to lend their talents and critical eye for this artistic examination of the US justice system and its treatment of communities of color. We are looking for personal stories, biographies, sociopolitical and historical analysis that shed a light on shared experiences across these communities, not just to act as an echo chamber, but to be used to change minds outside of these communities. Final submissions are due February 28, 2015. Learn more.

Cultures in Harmony


Musicians in Cameroon.
Photo courtesy of
Cultures in Harmony.

Cultures in Harmony (CiH) brings people together through music, aiming to advance and promote international and cultural understanding through music and interaction. CiH is pleased to announce the Passacaglia Project, which will celebrate the organization's 10th anniversary by traveling to ten of the countries where they have conducted projects. In each country, they will compose passacaglias with youth and local musicians, culminating in a recording of all the passacaglias.

The first part of the project will be a concert entitled "Building on a Common Ground" in collaboration with musicians from all of provinces of Pakistan seeks to mirror the mutually respectful, egalitarian relationship that the organization believes should be a model for the Pakistan-US relationship. The concert will promote the unity of Pakistan and raise funds for Aware Girls, in partnership with IPAC to present the concert and with funding from the US Embassy. Learn more about Cultures in Harmony. View additional photos.



ConsensusConsensus is an Arts-Based Peacebuilding Center on the southwest side of Chicago where people connect, create, and cultivate. Consensus aims to build peace by fostering collaboration among artists and human service projects in Chicago. The organization's programs, events, and outreach mobilize the arts to prevent violence, transform conflict, and promote healing. They offer their "maker space" as an open, beautiful, inspiring environment where talents become gifts to the community. Current programs include Graffic Traffic, an after-school program for youth who have been disciplined for tagging/vandalism, as well as Urban Art Movement (UAM), Mora Open Mic, and Art as Therapy. Read more.

OptivismElad Mehl, Sorensen Fellow and Brandeis undergraduate, founded the website Optivism. "The Sorensen Fellowship pushed me to do things I wouldn't normally do. It inspired me to be a doer, work for a better world, and so now that I had some free time I decided to open my own international entertainment website called Optivism. The idea behind it that cultures are very broad, and enjoying each other’s cultures through inviting outlets such as music and films is exciting and positive for the world." The website includes a world music blog featuring local music on a weekly basis and a growing collection of recommended popular music radio stations from all corners of the world, as well as a collection of international films. Visit Optivism.

Publishing opportunity for students and faculty: The Artifice
artificeThe Artifice is an online magazine that covers a wide spectrum of art forms, including Film, Anime, Comics, Literature, Games, and Arts. It is collaboratively built and maintained by the writers. The platform has an established audience of millions. The Artifice is currently expanding and providing an opportunity for Brandeis students and faculty to join their team of writers. Their current writers range from undergraduates, to graduates, to professors and a bit of everyone in between. Read more.

Artistic Responses to Other Global Crises - Resources

In Place of War
IPWMobilising, empowering and connecting artists and creative communities in sites of war, revolution and conflict.

In Place of War supports artists and creative communities living in sites of war, revolution and conflict to build powerful networks, create social change through creativity and demonstrate the value of the arts to public space, public life and public debate. We are based at the University of Manchester and have been working with international creative communities for ten years. Read more and watch a video about the organization.

Hybrid Theatre Works
Hybrid Theatre Works (HTW) is an international collective of artists focused on breaking artistic and cultural boundaries through the creation of work that is a hybrid of disciplines, cultures, and fields of study. HTW creates interdisciplinary devised work, develop new international plays, and create community based projects, integrating social events into performances to encourage dialogue and community among the artists and audience. HTW was founded in late 2009 by Tracy Cameron Francis and J.J. El-Far to forge their common passions and backgrounds in theatre and peace-building. Since its inception HTW has worked with artists from all over the world including Iran, Libya, Lebanon, Egypt, UAE, Colombia, Turkey, Palestine, Paraguay, Iraq, Pakistan, Italy, and more. Read more.

artroleArtRole is an International contemporary arts organisation dedicated to building a cultural bridge between the Middle East and rest of the world facilitating artistic dialogue, exchange and mutual support. It works to establish harmonious connections through the medium of art and art education. ArtRole was founded in 2004 by British artist of Kurdish-Iraqi origin, Adalet R. Garmiany, Since its inception ArtRole has worked to develop an annual programme of arts activity in UK, US and Iraq including international artist exchanges, artist residencies, exhibitions, performances, presentations, arts festivals and workshops, human rights and environmental conferences. Read more.

Video: "What does leadership mean to you?" via Portraits of Purpose
During 'DEIS Impact 2014, the event series "Seeking Lives of Purpose" featured an exhibition called Portraits of Purpose, a photography exhibit featuring social justice leaders in Boston and the world. This video compilation reflects on various perspectives emerging from the exhibit on what it means to be a leader.

"What is 'the good' of arts-based peacebuilding?: Questions of value and evaluation in current practice" by Mary Ann Hunter and Linda Page
This article, which was published by Nova in Peace and Conflict Studies, reports on the perception and support for using the arts in peacebuilding within international development agencies, and proposes an original framework for documenting and evaluating this work. Mary Ann Hunter, one of the authors, is a contributor to the Acting Together Project. Read the full article.

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

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

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