Community Arts Network
IMPACT is partnering with the Community Arts Network, a joint venture of the Porticus and Hilti Foundations, along with ReCAST Inc. to research the power of—and make the case for—arts and cultural processes in addressing complex challenges that our planet is facing, including climate change, inequalities and poverty, legacies of violent conflict, the rise of authoritarianism, gender-based violence and many more.
Cynthia Cohen, the director of the Program in Peacebuilding and the Arts and an IMPACT Leadership Circle member, put together a diverse team of researchers representing multiple perspectives, including artists, scholars, and practitioners, to explore nine qualities of the arts: dignity, beauty, creativity, agency, ambiguity, beyond rationality, paradox, interdependence, and honesty. The team of researchers includes Ángela María Pérez (Colombia), Toni Shapiro-Phim (USA), Armine Avetisyan (Armenia/USA), Bonface Beti (Kenya), Mary Ann Hunter (Australia), Dagmar Reichert (Switzerland), Jasmina Ibrahimovic (Netherlands), Carole Kane (Northern Ireland), Ameer Shaheed (Switzerland), Polly Walker (USA), Emily Forsyth Queen (USA). Through the journey of exploring their topics, the researchers were engaged in conversations with each other and with some “Thinking Partners”: James Thompson, John Paul Lederach and Carole Kane. The findings of this exploration feed the “Making the Case” report, which is designed as a tool for practitioners, artists, funders, and policymakers who work to make a difference. The report will be published on the Community Arts Network website in August or September of 2021.
Other Current Partners
The Festival Academy is a global community of 836 festival managers from 96 countries today. The Academy believes festivals are bridging platforms with a direct link to people and civil society structures. It believes a critical reflection between artists, arts and cultural managers worldwide and cross-sectoral stakeholders can bring about positive change, informed awareness, ideas and proposals for actions through personal human relations and based on knowing, respecting and tolerating different value and belief systems. The Festival Academy offers various training formats and peer to peer exchange on festival management to emerging, dynamic and passionate festival makers worldwide coming from all art disciplines and from very diverse geographical, cultural and social backgrounds.
The Buffer Fringe Performing Arts Festival is an annual festival emerging from within the Buffer Zone of Nicosia, Cyprus. It aims to showcase new and experimental work by Cyprus-based and international artists, to challenge physical and artistic barriers and borders, and to create opportunities for artists to meet and exchange ideas.
The 2020 Festival, rising to the challenges set forth by the COVID-19 crisis and prioritizing financial and creative support of artists, will host (virtually and/or in person) groups of artists and interactive installations that will explore this year’s Festival topic, “Displacement,” through various innovative means and approaches.
Thanks to a valuable partnership with IMPACT (Imagining Together Platform for Arts, Culture and Conflict Transformation, currently based at the Program in Peacebuilding and the Arts at Brandeis University, USA), the Festival will implement its first-ever “Thinking Partners” initiative, which entails the targeted matching of participating artists with a Thinking Partner, who will have an advisory role. Working in close contact with the artists to generate critical discussion around the artistic practice itself and the arts, culture and conflict transformation field in general, the Thinking Partner – who might come from any field of expertise relevant to the artists’ exploration - will contribute to the artists’ conceptual and/or creative process, by offering new, distinctive perspectives and ideas, and by further connecting them to the global arts and conflict transformation ecosystem.
Every three years at the end of March, a temporary, creative world emerges in Rotterdam filled with unique community-based art projects and artists aiming to create bridges between people from all walks of life. The International Community Arts Festival (ICAF) draws theatre, dance, music, film, and visual arts projects from every continent. It is built around the idea that community art is a worldwide, cutting edge, and highly relevant arts movement.
The festival program offers in-depth conversations, inspiration, and exchanges during the days. The evenings are chock full with live theater, dance, film and music performances. The eighth edition of ICAF will take place from March 25 to 29, 2020.
ICAF is the largest and most prominent community arts festival in the world, fostering a growing network of worldwide community artists, arts organizations, scholars and social workers. Between festivals, ICAF organizes artist-in-residence programs, international summer schools, and acts as a partner for different international projects within the field of community arts and participatory arts.
IMPACT and ICAF have established a very important long-term partnership, rooted in the shared belief in the power of art to contribute to a safer, more equitable, and more just world. As partners, we also share the knowledge of the importance of critical reflection and a respect for the complexity of this practice.
The partnership between the two entities is already underway. In addition to the ongoing dialogue between ICAF and IMPACT, we will convene formally at the ICAF 2020 Festival in Rotterdam and IMPACT will serve a formal partner of the Festival. There will be opportunity to develop ideas and create new alliances with ICAF partners. A seminar will be hosted with artists, social workers, and potential sponsors and funders, to bring together those who do the work and those who can make the work possible by funding it. Philanthropy can contribute to a more just world by supporting artists and arts organizations, raising the visibility of their work and giving them a seat at the table. In the longer term, ICAF and IMPACT plan to continue to explore avenues to share knowledge, resources, and connections to build a diverse, worldwide platform and network for participatory arts.
The Baker Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies, formally established on the campus of Juniata College in Hundington, Pennsylvania, in 1986, provides oversight of the college's undergraduate program in Peace and Conflict Studies and sponsors conferences, workshops and public forums on issues relating to war and peace. Baker Institute programming creates the infrastructure and energy for new intellectual conversations to arise among the Juniata community and with outside institutions.
Photo Credit: Mark Souther/Creative Commons
Maseno University, founded in 1990, is a public university based in the Maseno district of the city of Kisumu, Kenya. It has more than 10,000 students and is ranked among the best universities in the country. The university comprises five campuses, 12 schools and an institute offering various degrees, diplomas and certificates. Its eCampus, the first of its kind in Kenya, is a virtual campus that runs flexible online programmes both for on-campus students as well as off-campus students enrolled in various Maseno University programmes through eLearning.