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(Madison, Wisconsin)—These past few weeks, I have had the joy of helping out with the first LunART Summer Arts Camp! LuNART Festival supports, inspires, promotes, and celebrates women in the arts through public performances, exhibitions, workshops, and interdisciplinary collaboration. It’s been awesome collaborating with old and new friends: two of my fellow Creative Peacebuilders at The Peace Studio Midori Samson and Maya Williams as well as pianist Satoko Hayami at the Goodman Community Center. Maya and I teach remotely—an optimistic effect of the current global situation is that I can do this at all from my desk here in Sydney.

From LuNART:

LunART is thrilled to partner with Goodman Community Center for the first LunART Summer Arts Camp! For nine weeks this summer, middle schoolers at GCC will take weekly arts classes with our teaching artist team: Satoko Hayami and Midori Samson (LunART Community Engagement Coordinators), Maya Williams, and Catherine Sarah Young. Using music, poetry, and visual art, workshops will emphasize play and experimentation, access and equity, confidence and validation, and teamwork and community-building.In addition to arts classes with our teaching artist team, students will experience weekly live performances by LunART guest artists. This component of the day, “Art Share,” will invite LunART artists to present instrument show-and-tells, short interactive concerts, or guided activities.

Find out more here: https://www.lunartfestival.org/summerartscamp

(USA and International)—The Peace Studio supports, trains, and unites the next generation of artists, journalists and storytellers to inspire people everywhere to become active peacebuilders. Earlier this year, they began commissioning creatives to generate peace offerings in response to the isolating COVID-19 pandemic in their 100 Offerings of Peace Campaign. I’m stoked to have contributed to this awesome and necessary campaign on Day 23; my piece is about the Australian bushfire crisis.

Human hearts cast out of resin, bushfire ash, soil, stones, flowers, etc.

“I moved to Australia in September 2019, and what I viewed initially as a move to a country that was relatively safe from climate catastrophes quickly turned into a move to ground zero because of the bushfire crisis. I decided to use the ashes to create art as a way forward for healing and regeneration. I reference the scene of the “Weighing of the Hearts” of the Egyptian Book of the Dead, in which the dead person’s heart is weighed against a feather. This peace offering asks us, what weighs our hearts down or makes them lighter?”

“One day I woke up and a piece of the planet was in my heart,” is how my art/sci/nature/sci-fi video offering starts. Check out the video here: https://thepeacestudio.org/day-23/

The Peace Studio is co-founded by Dr. Maya Soetoro, also consultant to the Obama Foundation and whom we in the Obama Leaders: Asia-Pacific cohort have the honor of being with. Let’s do what Yo-yo Ma (Day 25) says and to create art and post it online with the hashtag #OfferPeace. Please support their wonderful work on @the_peace_studio and www.thepeacestudio.org.