OTISFIELD, MAINE | In the Summer of 2012, Seeds of Peace will hold its second two-week summer course for educators from the Middle East, South Asia, and United States. Drawing on the power of the arts to empower youth and address conflict-related issues, the session will focus on “Expressive Arts; Educational Transformations.”
Where there is conflict, the creative arts have a vital role to play as an effective vehicle for engaging youth and building the capacities required for peace. This is especially true when the hostilities and sensitivities of an active conflict make it difficult for educators to use a broader range of curricula to address issues between divided communities.
This summer, Seeds of Peace will bring educators and arts practitioners together to share best practices, strengthen techniques and develop new skills and resources for educating and empowering youth through the expressive arts. Educators will learn from a diverse range of visiting faculty, staff, and one another. They will have the opportunity to visit local schools, colleges, and organizations engaged with the arts and education. Over the course of two weeks, participants will work together to create action plans for independent and/or cooperative projects to be implemented in their home countries.
This initial group will form the foundation for an ongoing and growing network of educators and artists committed to using the expressive arts as a vehicle for empowerment, cross-cultural understanding, and peacebuilding. Seeds of Peace will also engage internationally-renowned personalities to act as “ambassadors” for the group by using their influence, voice and platform to heighten awareness about the power of the arts to promote and advance peace.
Seeds of Peace welcomes educators and artists to apply from South Asia (Afghanistan, India, Pakistan), the Middle East (Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Palestine) and the United States. Specifically, Seeds of Peace is looking for formal or informal educators with experience in the expressive arts—music, drama, visual arts, creative writing, and/or film making—or a desire to incorporate these tools into their work. Seeds of Peace also encourages practicing artists who want to use their work to engage youth in peacebuilding to apply. Successful applicants will show creativity, competence, and commitment to peacebuilding. Priority will be given to those who have not been to the Seeds of Peace International Camp before, though all applicants will be considered.
The session will take place over the course of two weeks, from July 23-August 7, 2012.
The session will take place at the Seeds of Peace International Camp in Otisfield, Maine, approximately 45 minutes from Portland, Maine, and three hours north of Boston, Massachusetts. Participants live in a traditional American summer camp setting located on Pleasant Lake.
Each participant is asked to contribute 375 USD, a small portion of the costs for lodging, food, activities, transportation, and airfare for international participants. American participants are also expected to cover the cost of their transportation to and from Camp. There are scholarships available, and Seeds of Peace will not turn away any participant for financial reasons. Participants must cover the cost of “incidentals,” e.g. gifts or snacks.
Applications are due April 10, 2012. Seeds of Peace expects to select approximately 32 participants and will notify all applicants by May 1, 2012.
“In conflict regions throughout the world, artists and cultural workers are creating works and facilitating processes that foster the capacities required for peace: receptivity, creativity, imagination, compassion, and the ability to embrace paradox. In times of destruction and war, artists assert the power of creativity and counteract the demonization of the enemy.”
—Peacebuilding and Arts Program, Brandeis University’s International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life