Monday, September 29, 2014

The true power of the performing arts

"The arts, whatever they do, whenever they call us together, invite us to look at our fellow human being with generosity and curiosity. God knows, if we ever needed that capacity in human history, we need it now. You know, we're bound together, not, I think by technology, entertainment and design, but by common cause. We work to promote healthy vibrant societies, to ameliorate human suffering, to promote a more thoughtful, substantive, empathic world order." 
Ben Cameron is the Program Director, Arts, at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation in New York, where he supervises a $13 million grants program aimed at the theatre, contemporary dance, jazz and presenting fields. In this TED talk he looks at the state of the live arts — asking: How can the magic of live theater, live music, live dance compete with the always-on Internet? In his talk, he offers a bold look forward.

Arts Expansion Initiative - Boston US

The Boston Public Schools Arts Expansion Initiative is a multi-year effort to expand arts education in schools across the district. Launched in 2009 by EdVestors, BPS Arts Expansion is focused on a coherent, sustainable approach to quality arts education for all Boston Public School (BPS) students. A true public-private partnership, BPS Arts Expansion has brought together local foundations, the school district, arts organizations, higher education institutions and the Mayor's Office. This collaboration of local leaders along with students, families, and school staff believe in the power of art to develop creative, engaged learners. Their focus is to ensure that all BPS students, regardless of where they attend school, have access to high quality arts education.
Great initiative.
-- read "Connecting Creative Youth Development and In-School Arts Education" on Artsblog


Arts Education Expanding in Boston Schools from Chris Lovett on Vimeo.


Art Programming to Expand in Boston Schools from Chris Lovett on Vimeo.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Crucial Impact of the Arts

"For art establishes the basic human truth which must serve as the touchstone of our judgment. We must never forget that art is not a form of propaganda, it is a form of truth" - JFK
Actor Kevin Spacey talks about how the arts is humanity's weapon to fight against injustice in the world. This is an excerpt from the Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts and Public Policy at the Kennedy Center, part of Arts Advocacy Day 2011 put on by Americans For The Arts in partnership with Ovation. Great speech.

Kevin Spacey on President Lincoln and the Arts

Friday, September 26, 2014

Kids Review Famous Paintings...

The Huffington Post visited the Arts Camp at the West Side Y to talk to a group of kids ages five to six about famous art. From Renaissance-era portraits to 20th century masterpieces, the students acted like miniature art critics, proving how impactful even a color copy of a painting can be. Apparently the best art critics are 5 years old!
This is funny and very interesting -- read full article on Huffingtone Post

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Life is Your Talents Discovered

In this closing of TEDxLiverpool, Sir Ken Robinson argues that talent is often buried and that we need to search for it. In fact, the foundation of wisdom may be the willingness to go and look for it.. Sir Ken has given three TED presentations on the role of creativity in education (His 2006 talk has attracted over 27 million views and seen by an estimated 250 million people worldwide) and changed the lives of many. In 2011 he was listed as “one of the world’s elite thinkers on creativity and innovation” by Fast Company magazine, and was ranked among the Thinkers50 list of the world’s top business thought leaders. He comes from an arts in education background influencing the formulation of the National Curriculum in England. For twelve years, he was professor of education at the University of Warwick, and is now professor emeritus. In 2003, he received a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II for his services to the arts.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Kids need more than test prep

Orchard Gardens, a school in Roxbury, Mass., had been plagued by bad test scores and violence -- but one principal's idea to fire the security guards and hire art teachers is helping turn it around. Chris Plunkett, a visual arts teacher in this school, spoke with NBC's Katy Tur about the success of the arts program that led to an inspiring turnaround for students. He said the classes help develop trust between the faculty and students. During one particularly memorable project, he asked his eighth graders to write a memoir about a life experience and what they learned from it and then create a self-portrait.“I couldn't believe how honest and candid they were, and how much I learned about them,” Plunkett said. “I mean it was really, it was one of the most incredible things I've seen in eighth graders.” -- read on NBC news

>> Click here or on image below to watch video

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Peace Like A River

I've got peace like a river / I've got love like an ocean / I've got joy like a fountain in my soul
Be the Peace you want to see in the world...Happy Peace Day to all tomorrow!!!

Can music change the world?

"Music can give hope and encouragement in the times of the greatest and deepest crisis..
All my life I have been focused on the music I was playing, on refining the music I was playing or even worse on my persona on the stage, but I have been ignoring the third and most important element of music making: the audience. So when the door opened that night...I realized that the universal message of music had remained completely connect, to share, to communicate. And for the first time in my life I walked on the big stage not feeling nervous because I knew why I was playing music."
Panos Karan is a classical pianist of Greek origin. He was educated at the Royal Academy of Music as a student of Sulamita Aronovsky. He is also founder of Keys of Change, a young charity formed by individuals of different backgrounds who deeply believe that playing music can make this world a better place. Their goal is to promote and establish musical education and its benefits in remote areas around the world.
This is a wonderful talk by a remarkable young man, a powerful message of hope through music.

Why choose the arts?

This is fun...

Friday, September 19, 2014

Heal the World

We Could Fly So High / Let Our Spirits Never Die / In My Heart / I Feel You Are All / My Brothers / Create A World With / No Fear / Together We'll Cry / Happy Tears / See The Nations Turn / Their Swords / Into Plowshares

Planting seeds of mindfulness

"Planting Seeds" The Power of Mindfulness is based on the book "Planting Seeds" practicing mindfulness with children by Thich Nhat Hanh and the Plum Village Community. Mindfulness is a powerful tool to help children, parents, teachers and communities develop the skills to promote peace in themselves and in the world around them. This feature documentary and animated film is produced by Peace is the Way Films, whose work is focused on ordinary people and communities who made a decision to do something positive and constructive to make the world a better place.
The film stars Jay, an incredible teenager from Hong Kong who is a mindfulness practitioner. Jay will show us how to compassionately transform situations (bullying, parents fighting) and himself using "The Power of Mindfulness."

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Creativity Is the New Literacy

As a global society we are currently facing crises across every imaginable sector including economic, climate and humanitarian issues. What is the one common thread in all these crises? The solution lies in the power of human creativity. Today we have a creativity crisis. On the positive side, thought leaders are taking notice of the critical need for creativity. A recent study of 1500 CEOs cited creativity as the #1 leadership competency. However, current education paradigms stifle creativity because our archaic system was built around farming and factory ways of life. How do we empower this new generation of learners to solve the world’s issues with creative skills? It starts with an education system that cultivates creativity and a society that puts value on creativity. Creative, problem solving skills placed in the hands of every learner will unleash a new culture that will tirelessly pursue amazing, creative alternatives until something works (from SXSW)
Chase Jarvis, renowned photographer and director turned digital entrepreneur, co-founded creativeLIVE in 2010 to share free creative education with the world. Since that time creativeLIVE has delivered more than 1 billion minutes of free online education to 2 million people across every country in the world. Please watch his talk at the World Domination Summit.

Chase Jarvis from Chris Guillebeau on Vimeo.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Citizens of the Earth

As a contribution to International Peace DayThe Prem Rawat Foundation (TPRF) is offering Citizens of the Earth, featuring the words of its founder, Prem Rawat: "The time has come that every citizen of planet earth needs to take responsibility for the benefit of all mankind." This video is the centerpiece of its "Peace for People 2014" initiative. The mission of TPRF is to address the fundamental human needs of food, water and peace so that people can live with dignity, peace and prosperity.

EU Children of Peace

Children are among the most vulnerable victims of conflict. Following the receipt of the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize for its achievements in peace on the European continent, the EU dedicated the prize money to help girls and boys around the world who are deprived of the opportunity to grow up in peace. The EU Children of Peace initiative aims to address a severely underfunded sector: education in emergencies. In its first two years the EU has, through the initiative and its partner organisations, reached more than 108 000 girls and boys in 12 countries around the world.

Coloring my Future

Syria’s civil war is now in its fourth year - and the conflict is having a devastating impact on children and young people. War Child Holland has given a platform to Syrian children to share their perspectives and demands for a normal life. It is a powerful new booklet highlighting Syrian children’s own perspectives on their daily situation. The booklet brings together drawings, stories and quotes from the children themselves and highlights their demands for a better future.
Click on image below or here to browse Booklet

Monday, September 15, 2014

Ride the Wave

In Bermuda and around the world, Music and the Arts in general remain on the margins of education. Young people whose families cannot afford the expense of extra-curricular programs therefore have little opportunity to explore their creative passion and potential.
Ride the Wave, a Bermuda charity founded in conjunction with the first Bermuda Peace Day Concert, is launching its music and arts sponsorship program to ensure that all of Bermuda's youth have opportunities to pursue music and the arts. We know that involvement in the arts not only builds the creativity of our young people but also improves general academic performance and social skills. The sponsorship program provides bursaries for up to three terms of extra-curricular classes in music, art, drama, or dance. Please support us in encouraging a new generation of artists to pursue their creative passions and reach their greatest potential.
-- read about Music + Art benefits

Ride the Wave Charity # 949 is launching its sponsorship program at 12 noon September 16th, 2014.

Peace is a human right

Video for the international codification of human right to peace. The participants are: Juanes, Miguel Bosé, Alejandro Sanz, Eva Longoria, Paulina Rubio, Juan Luis Guerra, Amaia Montero, Daniel Martin, Pau Gasol and Rafael Nadal. Directed by Miguel Alcantud.
-- go to Paz Sin Fronteras (Peace without Borders)

Peace Day and the Arts

“One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul.” -- Clarissa Pinkola Estés
Engaging in arts activities is a great way to observe Peace Day! Art, music, dance, theater, poetry, creative writing, photography and film are engaging and powerful ways to express our thoughts, emotions and visions about peace. Art has the power to affect us deeply, whether we are in the role of creator or viewer, and to connect us to our common humanity. The arts give creative voice to our human experience and can connect us in ways dialogue sometimes cannot (from Peace Day Philly)
THE PEACE CRANE PROJECT - Armed with the Arts invites every child in the world to fold an origami crane or dove, write and draw a message of peace on it, then share it with friends or someone far away through their Peace Crane Exchange.
-- DOWNLOAD the Peace Crane Project PDF

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Right of Peoples to Peace

Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples. It is also a day of global ceasefire and non-violence, which is crucial for humanitarian aid access. To inaugurate the day, the United Nations Peace Bell is rung at UN Headquarters (in New York City). The bell is cast from coins donated by children from all continents except Africa, and was a gift from the United Nations Association of Japan, as “a reminder of the human cost of war”; the inscription on its side reads, “Long live absolute world peace“.
To mark the 30th anniversary of the General Assembly Declaration on the Right of Peoples to Peace, the theme of this year’s International Day of Peace is the “Right of Peoples to Peace”. The Declaration on the Right of Peoples to Peace recognizes that the promotion of peace is vital for the full enjoyment of all human rights.
Last year theme was "Education for Peace". In his speech Secretary General Ban Ki-moon stated that education is vital for fostering global citizenship and building peaceful societies. "On this International Day of Peace, let us pledge to teach our children the value of tolerance and mutual respect. Let us invest in the schools and teachers that will build a fair and inclusive world that embraces diversity. Let us fight for peace and defend it with all our might."
He launched the Global Education First Initiative (GEFI) in September 2012 to spur renewed efforts to reach global education goals. By rallying a broad spectrum of world leaders and advocates, GEFI aims to raise the political profile of education, inspire new partnerships and mobilize additional funding to deliver on the promise of Education for All.

What if there was a World without Art?

"This is Art. We participate in a World of Ideas"

Friday, September 12, 2014

# PeaceRocks

As well as winning the David Lynch Foundation's Peace and Love award, Ringo Starr has worked with designer John Varvatos as the face of his autumn/winter 2014 campaign, and all his profits will feed back into the film director's philanthropic organization.
The David Lynch Foundation provides the stress-reducing, evidence-based Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique to inner-city students, veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress, and women and children who are victims of violence and abuse. This is a cause Ringo has supported after his own experiences with and enthusiasm for the practice after the Beatles studied with the Maharishi in 1968.
To kick off Ringo’s 74th birthday, John Varvatos is launching #PeaceRocks, a charitable, social media-based initiative wherein Varvatos will donate $1 to The Ringo Starr Peace and Love Fund for every peace-sign selfie that is posted to either Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and is tagged with hashtag #PeaceRocks. “We are encouraging fans and supporters around the world to share their own ‘peace and love’ moment by posting on their social media outlets and spreading [Ringo’s] universal message of peace and love” says Varvatos
-- read on digital journal
-- read on InStyle

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Global Peace Index 2014

Despite living in the most peaceful time in human history, the world has become less peaceful over the last seven years, according to the 2014 Global Peace Index. The Global Peace Index (GPI) is the world’s leading measure of national peacefulness. Now in its eighth year, it ranks 162 nations according to their ‘absence of violence’.
Vision of Humanity brings peace research to life, with interactive peace maps, ground breaking reports and the very latest news and videos pertaining to peace.

Steve Killelea, Founder and Executive Chairman of the Institute for Economics and Peace, talks about the importance of peace research. He highlights the use and significance of measuring peace, and explore the Institute's flagship study: the Global Peace Index.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The World is coming to an End

"So yes, the world is coming to an end / And the path towards a new beginning starts within you"

PRINCE EA - Richard Williams, better known by his stage name Prince EA, is an American rapper, music video director and rights activist from St Louis, Missouri.
-- read lyrics here

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

We've Been Asking Questions

"When it comes right down to it, it's up to you / The future of the world depends on what you do."
-- We've Been Asking Questions by John Phillips (Mamas and Papas)
Scott McKenzie was an American singer and songwriter best known for his 1967 hit single and generational anthem, "San Francisco". He performs a song that was written by John Phillips (Mamas & Papas) just before his death in 2001.

Monday, September 08, 2014

The Strangest Dream

"And if peace is what we pray for / and peace is what we give / then peace will be the way we are / and peace the way we live"
-- John Denver - The Peace Poem

Sunday, September 07, 2014

The Heart of the Matter

"We live in a world characterized by change—and therefore a world dependent on the humanities and social sciences. How do we understand and manage change if we have no notion of the past? How do we understand ourselves if we have no notion of a society, a culture, or a world different from the one in which we live? How do we ensure our security and competitiveness in the global community? A fully balanced curriculum—including the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences—provides opportunities for integrative thinking and imagination, for creativity and discovery, and for good citizenship. The humanities and social sciences are not merely elective, nor are they elite or elitist. They go beyond the immediate and instrumental to help us understand the past and the future. They are critical to a democratic society and they require our support."

-- THE HEART OF THE MATTER, Report by the Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences, American Academy of Arts and Science.

The Heart of the Matter from americanacad on Vimeo.

The Arts Are Essential

"Given how much greater a role the arts and humanities play in their own right -- the arts for arts' sake -- they certainly don't need to be justified by their utility as servants of science. How unfortunate, then, that arts and humanities scholarship receives so little recognition and funding, and so infrequently finds its way into the national discourse..."
"Take, for example, music, which has been an important part of my own life since my teen years...Music as an art form is at once complex, evolving, up to the minute in its currency, and yet primal, basic, and eminently human. It is among the most universal of art forms, among the most organic of experiences. According to Michael Thaut in his book Rhythm, Music, and the Brain, "Throughout human history, music has been considered a form of communication. However, the nature of what and how music communicates has been the subject of long-standing and fascinating inquiries in philosophy, religion, the arts, and the sciences." Music is a communicator, a transducer of emotion, a stimulator of understanding -- explicit or implicit. Music teaches in a way that we cannot replicate with words. Pedagogically complex, music transforms us, touches us alone or in a shared experience, whether planned or improvised. What of the place of plans and improvisation in art, in life? Can anything teach that point more clearly than music? The seamless juxtaposition of the planned and the extemporaneous -- musician to musician, musician to audience, audience to musician -- are vividly evident in the live act of creating and receiving".
"I believe deeply that arts education is of great value in and of itself, not only instrumentally; I believe just as emphatically that education in the arts is the business of all of us, from the home and the family to the neighborhood and the village, from the P-12 school system to higher education to lifelong learning, culminating in the great and defining legacy of our public culture."
David J. Skortons is an American professor of medicine and engineering and an academic administrator. He presently serves as the 12th president of Cornell University, a position he has held since 2006. In this opinion he explains why teaching creativity in schools is not a luxury.
-- Read opinion in full on Edutopia

Friday, September 05, 2014

Art for Peace

The Dreams of Stockwell project brought together local residents to design and create a mural representing their 'dreams of Stockwell'. The project was developed by international peacebuilding organisation International Alert and community development organization Stockwell Partnership, and implemented in collaboration with community arts organisation Art4Space.
International Alert is one of the world’s leading peacebuilding organisations, with nearly 30 years of experience laying the foundations for peace. They work with local people in over 25 countries around the world to help them build peace. They believe peace is possible when people can live in safety, have fair and effective laws, participate in shaping political decisions, make a decent living and secure their wellbeing.
Art4Space is leading Community Arts Organisation established in 1999 to address social, education and health issues using the arts to inspire and strengthen communities. Their philosophy reinforces the Every Child Matters Agenda by providing projects to children and young people that support the 5 outcomes: be healthy, stay safe, enjoy and achieve, make a positive contribution and achieve economic well being.
Nice project - use art to build a peaceful community.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Peace, Love And Understanding

(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace Love And Understanding
Elvis Costello and Nick Lowe
As I walk through / This wicked world / Searchin' for light in the darkness of insanity / I ask myself / Is all hope lost? / Is there only pain and hatred, and misery?

Is World Peace possible #2

Psychologist and cognitive scientist Steven Pinker thinks it is completely conceivable that wars between countries might go the way of slave auctions, debtors’ prisons and other barbaric customs. He argues that while there is plenty of violence around the world, and more ways of killing each other, we have witnessed fewer and fewer wars between countries since 1945. Not only, is war is at an all-time low, rates of homicide are far lower than they were in the Middle Ages, and issues like domestic violence are no longer seen as being acceptable.
Steven Pinker is a Johnstone Family Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University. He conducts research on language and cognition, writes for publications such as the New York Times, Time and The New Republic, and is the author of eight books, including most recently The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined.
Hard to believe, but interesting point of view.
 -- read article on BBC Future

Click on image below to watch VIDEO CLIP:

Monday, September 01, 2014

John Lennon - Art

Funny. British funny :)
-- from the David Frost show

Peace Through Music

Peace Through Music is a film that explores our connections in a world overwhelmed with division. Through the process of making this film we traveled around the world and discovered that music opens the door to a place where we can come together as a human race. Music helps us to persevere through struggles and celebrate our differences which changes the world into a more peaceful place.