Redefining the nature of hope

 
In the past year, we finished the development of our Cambodian productionSee You Yesterday, with performances that broke a silence between generations in Phnom Penh; we toured with the Cambodian cast to Rwanda–where genocide met genocide–closing the Ubumuntu Arts Festival in Kigali to a standing ovation; and we performed for thousands of Congolese refugees on a makeshift stage in a dusty football field in the Kigeme refugee camp, giving our audience members a sense of hope and possibility through the realization that they are not alone in the conflicts they have endured.

The Cambodian cast of See You Yesterday leading a workshop with young Congolese refugees in the Kigeme refugee camp

The Cambodian cast of See You Yesterday leading a workshop with young Congolese refugees in the Kigeme refugee camp

At the same time, we finished filming a new documentary on our work in Cambodia that will be completed in the coming year; we screened A Snake Gives Birth to a Snake at the UN and are arranging educational distribution for the film; and we are a designing a theatre-based curriculum that will introduce students here in the US to Global Arts Corps’ work, while asking them to collaborate and empathize with others from around the world.
 
It has been an extraordinary 12 months… and we would like to thank you all for your support.
 
As we look to 2017, we will continue to pursue touring opportunities for See You Yesterday while also expanding our work with migrants and refugees–incubating smaller productions in places like Sicily, where we will begin partnering with UNICEF to share the stories of young refugees arriving in Europe via Lampedusa. We will also look to increase our educational outreach through the Corps of teachers we have built up over the past 12 years… with trainers from South Africa, Kosovo, the US, the North of Ireland, and now Cambodia… where we have brought on 19 young artists at the very start of their careers.
 
The goal is to begin putting the tools that we have developing working in conflict areas around the world into the hands of young people with the courage to share and lead in teaching those even younger than they are. It’s about approaching youth to find ways to create identity based on diversity and not on inherited hatred or victimhood.
 
So It also involves redefining the nature of hope… turning hope into an expectation rather than a dream, taking people isolated by their own fights and introducing them to others with their own fights and training them to use each other’s denial to temper their own. We will bring these young artists together in a Summit of Radical Reconciliation–a well-publicized place for a groundswell of dialogue between people who have never talked together before. I plan to achieve this by 2020–our next election.
 
As we approach the end of the year, we would like to thank you for all of your past generosity and ask that you join us again in 2017 by supporting this effort with a tax-deductible donation to Global Arts Corps–either through our website, or by mailing a check to Global Arts Corps at 790 Riverside Dr. #6P, New York, NY 10032.
 
Thank you and happy holidays from all of us at Global Arts Corps.