The Artisans of Peace Program creates space for peacebuilders to gather in an environment of trust and creativity that nurtures hope, sparks concrete collaboration, and creates relationships that build resilience and protect against destructive rivalry.
A space for peacebuilders that is free of fear and destructive rivalry so that it can be full of creativity, trust, and hope.
Our research and conversations reveal that the professional side of peacebuilding—meetings with donors, planning summits, networking events—creates some of the greatest stress for peacebuilders. They’re rarely able to enter these spaces in a relaxed way. Most of the time, the culture of these spaces pushes them to justify themselves professionally or ideologically, often questioning their commitments to nonviolence. This breeds a constant sense of rivalry and a need to perform, which prevents the learning and collaboration essential to discovering solutions to conflict and violence.
Artisans of Peace is a program for such peacebuilders. In these experimental, diverse spaces that bridge all sorts of divides, we want to encourage all participants to discover their creative edge and their capacity to innovative alongside others who share their commitments to nonviolence and peace.
Rooted in Cohorts
Community is at the heart of this program. We foster this sense of community through cohorts designed for racial, gender, geographic, and ethnic diversity, as well as professional diversity across fields of academia, arts, religion, and activism.
Participants in Artisans of Peace are organized into cohorts of 12 peacebuilders. These cohorts gather monthly for an entire year, culminating in an in-person summit where everyone can meet, celebrate, and do deeper interpersonal work.
The attendees are co-designers of their curriculum. They experience and create works of art, priming processes of discovery that culminate in concrete (and hopefully collaborative) peacebuilding projects to transform their broader communities.
Cohorts may be global and diverse, or they may be focused on specific regions, specific themes, or structured for problem-solving. Whatever the purpose of gathering, every AOP cohort is unique and shares a set of common goals:
The Artisans of Peace Program creates the space for peacebuilders to gather in an environment of trust and creativity that nurtures hope, sparks concrete collaboration, and creates relationships that build resilience and protect against destructive rivalry.
Our goal is that each cohort undergoes four transformative experiences that they can then multiply in their own contexts:
Even the most creative and courageous peacebuilders are not immune to fear, destructive rivalry, and discouragement. They long to engage honestly in spaces where there is hope that bitter conflicts can give way to justice and peace.
Forming friendships with other creative peacebuilders sustains them in difficult circumstances and reveals otherwise unimaginable opportunities. Exploring collaborations across diverse cultures, religions, and worldviews energizes peacebuilders for the work ahead.
Building peace is an art and a creative act. Intentionally gathering academics, artists, and activists brings different perspectives to the table and draws out the creative spirit in all. Working together on creative tasks nudges each participant beyond their comfort zone and fosters collaboration.
Renewing the Heart
Peacebuilders emerge from Artisans of Peace gatherings with a renewed sense of the value they bring to their communities. They feel revived, ready to tackle the difficult, challenging path of nonviolent social change and return to their communities as models of what is possible when rivalry gives way to friendship.
What We Believe
Trust is essential to learning. The formation of trust among a group of learners allows our brains and bodies to relax, stimulates creativity, and allows for vulnerability, which feeds deeper trust.
The result of this trust is a new admiration for those we work beside, and even sometimes compete with. Participants in the Artisans of Peace program complete their journey with a new hope that even apparently irreconcilable rivalries can be transformed.
We believe this is a potentially life-changing experience for peacebuilders, who can re-engage their own spaces with a new sense of humanity and purpose.
There is hope in these divided and difficult times.
The world's peace builders desperately need spaces of trust, curiosity, and collaboration. Meet the need by supporting gatherings that nurture hope and inspire creative solutions to the world's toughest problems.
Join us to transform communities plagued by violence and rivalry.