People joined together with a clear intent have an incredible power to change the world.
— Katherine Josten
The mission of the Global Art Project for Peace is to joyously create a culture of peace through art. The Project celebrates diversity and multi-culturalism while expressing the idea: We Are All One. Nominated for a UNESCO Prize for the Promotion of Tolerance and Non-Violence, the Project is a biennial international art exchange for peace that has involved over 145,000 participants in 93 countries on all seven continents. 200 Regional Coordinators help to spread the word and organize Global Art Project for Peace activities and exhibitions in their part of the world. For over twenty years the Global Art Project has been dedicated to the idea that “Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved through understanding.” The Project is a 501(c)3, grassroots organization supported by volunteers, donors and participants. In addition to the thousands of participants who have created and exchanged their heartfelt expressions of peace, love and goodwill, millions more have been affected through thousands of local exhibitions, books, presentations, magazine and news articles, television coverage and its website. Since the first exchange in 1994, the Project has brought together thousands of people in local communities who have come together to create, exhibit and send their artwork off to form a cooperative Global Community.
Participants create a work of art, in any medium, expressing their personal vision of global peace and goodwill. The art is displayed or performed locally in each participant’s community. Global Art Project then organizes an international exchange by matching participants—group-to-group and individual-to-individual. The exchange occurs April 23-30 every two years, resulting in thousands of people sending messages of peace and goodwill around the world at one time—visions of unity simultaneously encircle the Earth. The art is sent as a gift of global friendship and exhibited in the receiving community. Recipients keep the art that they receive as a gift of global friendship.
Anyone can participate: adults and children, individuals and groups.
A person may participate as an individual or as part of a group. The Global Art Project matches participants around the world – connecting people in the spirit of unity without regard for race, culture, gender, nationality, age, belief, sophistication or any of the categories that separate and divide – joining all together in the spirit of wholeness. Participating groups have included art councils, art centers and galleries, artist cooperatives, bank cooperatives, big sisters, brownies, girl scouts and boy scouts, children’s homes, children’s museums, church groups, environmental clubs, families, fire stations, food coops, hospitals, law firms, libraries, music and theatre groups, neighborhood groups, seniors and women’s clubs, youth programs, YMCA’s and YWCA’s. Hundreds of schools have participated and involved thousands of students from pre-schools through graduate programs. In many schools, each student in the school participates; along with teachers and parents—bringing together the entire school community.
Art created for the Project may be in any medium that can be sent from one group or individual to another – visual or literary art, audio or videotapes of performances, etc. Participants are encouraged to send a photo of themselves along with a personal note to their partner. Participants are also encouraged to send to the Global Art Project photos of their art, of people creating the art and letters describing their experiences with the process of participating. They also send news clippings of Global Art Project activities in their part of the world. This documentation becomes part of the GAP Art Bank for Peace. These heartwarming and inspiring images and stories are shared with people around the world in Project presentations, promotional materials and the Global Art Project website – giving people an opportunity to experience inspiring visions of peace and goodwill created by individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds.
The Global Art Project promotes peace through art by: 1) addressing the root causes of violence by teaching tolerance and cooperation; 2) connecting people of diverse cultural backgrounds, providing exposure to new ideas and teaching that the world can be safe for diversity; 3) seeding the future with visions of peace, love and friendship; 4) connecting people who choose to create and share a vision of global unity, thus creating a network of cooperation that can help to make the vision of unity a reality; 5) healing and transforming feelings of isolation and separation by providing a feeling of connection to the Whole; and 6) exemplifying in concrete form: We Are All One – people can be different and unique yet act together as integral members of one living organism—Earth. Participants in the Global Art Project for Peace exchange are encouraged to: 1) see themselves as part of a world-wide community; 2) think about how they’d like the world and their future to be; 3) know that they can make a difference; and 4) take action for peace.
For additional information, please view the Global Art Project for Peace website at www.GlobalArtProject.org.
Copyright © 2016 Katherine Josten. All rights reserved.