|Inspiring and inciting awareness of social and environmental issues around the world through the transformative power of art.|
|On June 5, World Environment Day (WED), Art Works For Change launched Millions of Pieces, Only One Puzzle, an online photography exhibition created for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to explore the critical connections between humans and biodiversity. We invited the Venezuelan photographer-biologist Antonio Briceño to photograph the people and land of Rwanda, the global host country for this year’s celebration, to tell the stories of individuals and the land upon which they rely for their sustenance and wellbeing.
“Millions of Pieces, Only One Puzzle” was featured on the website of the U.S. business magazine Fast Company in June and can be viewed as a virtual exhibition on our website.
The show was funded by SC Johnson & Son, and by the energy company ContourGlobal. SC Johnson & Son plans to host the exhibition this fall at its world headquarters in Racine, Wisconsin.
Next year, Briceño’s images will join additional artworks to form a new exhibition, “Nature’s Toolbox: Biodiversity, Art & Invention,” which will tour museums internationally for several years. If you are interested in bringing this exhibition to your venue, let us know.
|Another UNEP-affiliated project, The Nature of Cities, opened July 4 in the United Nations pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo. The exhibition consists of 16 short videos from artists, animators and architects from around the world addressing the theme of urban biodiversity. .
The exhibition illustrates the relationship between the urban and natural environments, proposing new ways forward that acknowledge the necessity of human habitats and the fragile state of our ecosystems. Created with design and previsualization by Zoetrope Aubry Productions — an offshoot of Francis Ford Coppola’s American Zoetrope — the exhibition is presented as a series of looped videos played across six monitors divided in four parts: “The City as Metabolism,” “Cities’ Liquid Assets: Water,” “Why Cities Need Nature,” and “Nature as Model and Mentor."
To our great delight, “The Nature of Cities,” which was to run for the month of July, has drawn such interest and positive response, that the UN High Commission asked that the exhibition be extended through the duration of the Expo.
The UN anticipates four million visitors will see the multi-screen installation and its important messaging.
“The Nature of Cities” was generously sponsored by Adobe Foundation.
“The Nature of Cities” is a prelude to the upcoming international traveling exhibition, “Nature's Toolbox: Biodiversity, Art and Invention,” which Art Works for Change plans to launch in 2011.
Partnering with Amnesty International, Ambulante -- a documentary film festival founded by Diego Luna, Gael Garcia Bernal and Pablo Cruz -- and a number of nonprofit organizations focused on ending sex-trafficking, we look forward to a rich and varied community outreach and educational programming at del Chopo.
“Off the Beaten Path” will then move to the Chicago Cultural Center, January 22 to April 13, 2011. The Voices and Faces Project, and Columbia College Institute for Women and Gender in Arts and Media will provide programming that will include a testimonial writing workshop for survivors of sexual and physical abuse; Stories on Stage –- a reading series of compelling literature addressing violence against women performed by regional actors; a return of The Bandana Project, a partnership between the Southern Poverty Law Center and Chicago-based organizations working to raise awareness of the sexual exploitation of immigrant and farmworker women; and artist panels, films and discussion.
The UN has designated March 8 International Women’s Day and Chicago Cultural Center, Art Works for Change, and our partner organizations, Voices and Faces Project and the Columbia College Institute will be hosting panel discussions, concerts and programming addressing the issue of violence against women for the entire week leading up to it.
Art Works for Change is currently in discussion to tour the exhibition through 2013 to venues in Atlanta, Cape Town, Dallas, Geneva, Johannesburg, London, Seoul and Toronto.
This pioneering exhibition is set to break the silence of violence against women in West Africa and will showcase inspired works of art created by West African artists conveying their cultural concerns. With support from UNIFEM and UNESCO, educational resources will be provided to accompany the exhibition as it tours.
This exhibition will further challenge perceptions, broaden perspectives and stimulate discussions thereby unraveling the complexities of violence against women in West Africa.
|In Spring, 2010, Art Works for Change Board member Anne Ream and “Off the Beaten Path” artist Patricia Evans traveled with the non-profit The Voices and Faces Project to Mexico to meet with the women of Atenco, a courageous community of sexual violence survivors who are standing up and speaking out about the sexual violence that they have endured at the hands of police.
Theirs is a case that our allies at Amnesty International have been closely involved in, one that reminds us of the importance of speaking truth to both power and perpetrator.
During a police operation in response to protests by a local peasant organization in San Salvador, Atenco, more than 45 of these women were arrested without explanation. Dozens of them were subjected to physical, psychological and sexual violence by the police officers who made these arrests.
More than three years later, the women of Atenco are still waiting for justice. None of the officials responsible for their abuse have been held accountable. Federal authorities conducted an investigation that resulted in a list of 34 names of police officers who were suspected of being responsible for the abuses, but concluded that these individuals should be prosecuted at the state level.
|The Freedom to Create Prize — an international celebration of the power of art to promote social justice, build the foundations for an open society and inspire the human spirit — is seeking entrants. Last year, over 1,000 artists entered from more than 80 countries.|
The Prize consists of three categories: the Main Prize, open to individuals or artistic groups in all creative fields; the Imprisoned Artist Prize, focusing on artists who are currently imprisoned for their artwork; and the Youth Prize, which is open to artists under the age of 18. The total prize fund is US$125,000, which will be divided between the winning artists and their nominated advocacy organizations to further the cause their artwork has highlighted.
Deadline is August 15. Cick here to apply.
|Art Works For Change, Inc. is a California nonprofit public benefit corporation.|