Who We Are
Artists for World Peace is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. We are artists and activists, and our goal is to feed the hungry, house the poor, and encourage peace throughout the world, working one person, one family, one community at a time. All donations are completely tax deductible.
What We Do
Artists for World Peace raises funds through making art to support grass-roots organizations in communities around the world. Currently, we provide schooling, shelter, food, clothing, and other necessities for those in need. Artists and peacekeepers everywhere incorporate the International Peace Belt in this important work.
Wendy Black-Nasta, a Connecticut-based jewelry designer, designed and built a sterling silver belt draped with coins and gems representing, to date, 155 countries. Upon its completion in 2003, a caretaker took the International Peace Belt en to India for a conference celebrating the golden jubilee of Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, India’s “God-woman,” who blessed the Peace Belt. Known simply as Amma, she is called a “living example of how personal peace is the essence of world peace.” With that event, a foundation was born. A woman who works with Amma at her ashram wore the Peace Belt at the head of the peace procession, which numbered more than 150,000 people. The Artists for World Peace Foundation creates opportunities for artistic expression that foster world peace and raise funds to benefit humanitarian causes around the world. Our mission is to spread peace.
Since 2003, the Peace Belt has traveled to 25 countries on five continents. It has been worn during hundreds of artistic performances, sacred ceremonies, and at peaceful and spiritual gatherings in New York (Ground Zero), South Korea, Haiti, Spain, Brazil, Tanzania, Canada, Egypt, Tonga, Scotland—the list goes on.
Wherever the Peace Belt travels, dancers, artists, musicians, peace activists, and spiritual leaders meditate on and lend their voices to support peace. In this way, the Belt becomes a living link between cultures and a symbol of peace and unity of all nations, of all people as one.
Current Humanitarian Support
Artists for World Peace pays living and educational expenses for 13 children in China, Haiti, India, and Tanzania. Under the Children of Peace umbrella, we have also helped 12 Haitian students travel to Brazil, where they are pursuing higher education unavailable in Haiti.
Santa Clara Scholarship Endowment Fund
Artists for World Peace met the wonderful children at Santa Clara and delivered 500 pairs of shoes. We are currently discussing adding the educational expenses of a Brazilian child to the Children of Peace project.
Safe House for Women and Children
Artists for World Peace built a battered women’s shelter in Cambodia, raising the money through our first Hats for a Cause event. Twenty-five artists from around Connecticut came together to design and create one-of-a-kind hats that were sold or auctioned.
Ecuador and Beyond
Indigenous Shuar children living in a remote village could not attend school because they did not have shoes, so Artists for World Peace procured 500 pairs. The last leg of the trip included loading the shoes into canoes and hauling them up an Amazon waterway. After supplying the shoes, we helped build the Amazon Refuge School. Since then, we have delivered 500 (or so) pairs of weather-appropriate shoes whenever our volunteers have visited humanitarian project sites: the rain forest of Ecuador, sites in Africa, or Native American reservations in the United States.
Community Health Center in Kibosho Umbwe
This much-needed, long-awaited health center will open in the summer of 2012. Artists for World Peace raised money for the roof as well as for the recently installed solar-powered electricity system.
Good Hope Trust Orphanage Center
Josephine Machuwa feeds, houses, and educates several dozen children who are very poor, who were abandoned, or who were orphaned by AIDS. Josephine also built a one-room schoolhouse, which offers early education to very young children in the village.
The word lukundane means “Let us love each other.” Through the Lukundane Peace Pig Club, Artists for World Peace funded a self-sustaining pig-raising venture. The pigs are a source of protein and income, and the manure is sold as fertilizer. We are currently investigating ways of using manure as a green energy source.
Young girls from Onana, a small village in the Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania, carry heavy loads of corn to the nearest grinding machine. For some, that means walking for miles.
A maize porridge is the mainstay of the villagers’ diet. Women and children walk for hours to the nearest maize-grinding center each day, balancing heavy loads on their heads. Grinding corn locally will supply another source of income for the Lukundane Co-op and ensure food for the children who live at the Good Hope Trust Orphanage.
Close to Home
Artists for World Peace provides need-based scholarships and art supplies for Mercy, Middletown, and Xavier High School students and students attending Middlesex Community College.
Food Bank Drives
Artists for World Peace spearheads annual efforts to improve food security for individuals and families in need.
The reprise of this very successful event is coming in fall 2012. Last year, 16 Broadway performers took the stage at the Helen Mills Theatre in New York City for a star-studded evening of dancing and musical entertainment.
This series of salon-style house concerts, held at the Hubbard House in Middletown, Black-eyed Sally’s in Hartford, and private venues, helps support the Children of Peace.
This benefit at the Charter Oak Cultural Center included performances by eight dance companies, live music, a fine art auction, and a crafts market, including artisan-crafted jewelry, gift items, peace flags, and hors d’oeuvres catered by Billy Grant (Bricco Trattoria, Grants Restaurant, and Restaurant Bricco) Black-eyed Sally’s, NoRa Cupcake Company, and Cold Stone Creamery of Middletown, CT.
Jennifer Siskind, Administrative Secretary
Sharon Challenger, Executive Secretary