Peacebuilding and the Arts

Supporting grassroots actors within the arts, culture, and conflict transformation field in Colombia

group of young people

Still from the zoom training.

In 2021-2022 the Cultural Affairs team of the Central  Bank of Colombia / Banrepcultural de Colombia partnered with IMPACT and Brandeis University’s Program in Peacebuilding and the Arts to organize project design workshops for grassroots organizations in Colombia working at the nexus of arts, culture, and conflict transformation. The initiative was a response to the need formulated by the organizations themselves in an earlier convening coordinated by the Bank’s Cultural team in 2020, right before the pandemic hit. 

Cecilia Campos Villafani, of Bolivia, designed and led the workshops offering a learning and sharing space for the representatives of nine organizations from Colombia. 

In hands-on workshops, the participants had an opportunity to develop ideas for their own projects, discuss them with their colleagues from their own organizations, and get feedback from other workshop participants.

The Bank’s Cultural Affairs team helped participants identify potential donors for the projects they developed, and facilitated communication with the funders to give an opportunity to the organizations to pitch their ideas. 

Brief articles on the work of each organization and the goals of their projects, as well as the project’s relationship to the search for a culture of peace and social transformation, have been shared on social media.

Angela Pérez,  Cultural chief manager of the Bank, describes the project and how it came to be as “impactful and IMPACTful.”  “I approached Toni [Shapiro-Phim] in the U.S. with the idea of organizing capacity building training. Toni reached out to other members of IMPACT – Ana Cabria Mellace and Carmen Olaechea in Argentina – to identify a group or a person to design the workshop. Ana and Carmen recommended Cecilia, a trainer in Bolivia who designed and led the whole process in Colombia - and as a result, a community was built. This is exactly what IMPACT is.”

Currently, the initiative is in its second phase, continuing to build on the achievements of the first cohort and to engage new organizations and groups in a similar project design workshop.