Art has the enormous ability to communicate, persuade and inform, reaching beyond language, cultural and geographical boundaries. It provides us with insight and meaning and allows us to empathize with and feel compassion for others. Recognizing this, many artists and organizations are using the power of art to promote global peace and understanding. One such organization, Pasos, is an interactive peace museum where individuals, families, and groups experience and learn about peacebuilding. William Repicci, Executive Director, explains that the mission of the museum is "to connect, inspire and empower peacebuilders". It places a high value on creative expression as a tool for stimulating the imagination in order to create the steps necessary to build peace. Pasos, which means "steps" in Spanish, hosts special events and exhibits, programming in schools, conferences and workshops and an online virtual museum and blog.
The Global Art Project is a multi-cultural celebration of peace and diversity that has actively involved 100,000 participants on seven continents to share their art with others and promote a culture of peace through art. Participants create a work of art that conveys the message of peace and shares it with their local community. The Project then organizes an international exchange with other participants throughout the world. Katherine Josten artist, educator, speaker and Founder/Director of the Project states:
" What better way to call forth our universal dream for peace than to inspire people to sing peace, dance peace, drum it, paint it, write it? And then to pass on that sense of oneness, to let it connect the hands and hearts of people living vastly different daily lives?"
People who visit my studio often say "Your work makes me feel peaceful and I wish that I could just stay here all day". It is my intention that my paintings provide a refuge for people to celebrate our common human experiences, creating empathy and compassion for others. These are the stepping stones towards peace.
Good will towards men and Peace on Earth, one Brushstroke at a Time.