We engage conflict-affected youth and communities worldwide in collaborative art-making to nurture hope, cultivate well-being, and promote self-determination.
- Provide tools to create solution-oriented art: We create a platform for adolescents and community leaders to represent issues and values that are important to them.
- Facilitate opportunities for healing, relationship-building and knowledge-building: We create safe relational spaces for emotional expression and creativity.
- Build community: We facilitate discussion with a range of societal actors which allows them to communicate and connect around shared values, responsibilities and interests.
- Build partnerships: We work with international and local partners to build local capacity and increase the sustainability of our work through local ownership.
- Our projects train groups of 30 to 40 conflict-affected youth over a period of 4 to 6 months during which they:
- Learn new skills in painting and drawing
- Participate in activities designed to encourage reflection and emotional expression
- Build knowledge around important issues in the community
- Engage in relationship-building activities
- The projects culminate in the collaborative creation of public murals to portray community-based solutions to local concerns using positive imagery
- All projects receive regular input from local leaders who form a community arts council.
Why We Engage Through Art
Since the beginning of human existence art has been used as a form of personal and collective expression. It is a primal skill enabling us to express ourselves and connect to others in ways that surpass cultural, linguistic and even psychological barriers. Investment in art, at its core, is investment in people and the larger scale health of the society. One cannot have thriving societies without nurturing its hearts and minds. A growing body of research now confirms that art has the power to effectuate:
- Holistic healing
- Expression and communication
- Personal and community agency
- Deeper thought and reflexivity
CC has successfully completed seven projects located in refugee camps and post-war areas in Sub-Saharan Africa directly benefiting 205 young people, and reaching an estimated 100,000 residents through a public mural-making process. Our projects have addressed the important issues of sexual violence, health promotion, peaceful cohabitation between ethnic groups, education for girls, and human rights.
Our projects resulted in increased
- Representation: People advocate for themselves and others
- Solidarity: People feel connected to others and that they belong to something larger through shared values, responsibilities and interests
- Equality: People’s behaviors reflect a greater belief in the equality of all people
- Social capital and competence: People are able to build and manage relationships and social situations in constructive ways
- Healing: People process and represent their emotions and thoughts and reconnect with their bodies
- Self-efficacy: People are more resilient, motivated to effect change, and able to handle hardship
C/O University of Georgia, School of Social Work
279 Williams St Room 125
Athens, GA 30602-1746