The International Human Rights Art Festival comprises a growing series of initiatives. Below is the full vision statement for where we would like the project to be at the ten year mark:
INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS ART FESTIVAL: We will continue to run the week-long advocacy-art festival bringing together human rights art in all media to educate on social concerns. This takes place around International Human Rights Day (December 10) at the Wild Project Theater in New York City’s East Village and involves a week’s schedule of different events, presenting 150+ artists in all media over the course of the week. The next full festival is December 9-15, 2019.
INTERIM EVENTS: A series of events, once or twice monthly, collected around specific themes, issues or media, produced in an off or off-off-Broadway houses. We are adding mini-festivals to this list, which will be day-long explorations of specific issues and concerns.
EXPANDING PARTNERSHIPS: We continue to deepen OUR partnership with the Wild Project Theater, who will be aiding in curating, fundraising, marketing and publicity for our next full festival. Additionally, we are initiating ongoing partnerships with the NYC Commission on Human Rights, Muslim-Jewish Solidarity Committee of NY, Glasgow (Scotland) School of Art, Tourism Santa Fe (NM), Columbia University (NY) and others.
IHRAF publishes features writers -- known and unknown -- whose work is tough, beautiful vulnerable and focused on creatively working toward the common good. As the Sufis say: "Words spoken from the mouth will never get past the ears, but words spoken from the heart, enter the heart." We highlight such heart-speakers.
INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS ART FESTIVAL (National and International): We will be expanding the festival to other cities and countries. We are in various stages of talks to bring the Festival to Santa Fe, NM; Glasgow, Scotland; Barcelona, Spain; Paris, France and other locales around the United States and the world.
INSTITUTE OF PROPHETIC ACTIVIST ART: Operating under the umbrella of the IHRAF, the INSTITUTE will act as the educational arm of the project.
CLASSES: semester-long courses in Applied Mysticism, 10-week seminars exploring the intersection of mystical thought with creative practice, social and political life. Currently planned for this spring is Improv(e): Improv Comedy meets Social Activism. Other courses envisioned are Great Books, Prophetic Activist Art and Manifestos.
WORKSHOPS: half- or full-day ineractive events run by IHRAF artists on fusing creative practice with the values of beauty, sincerity, personal vulnerability and engagement with audiences outside the comfort zone.
CONFERENCES: half-, full-day or weekend-long gatherings of artists and activists concerned with specific issues, educating on specific concerns, as well as around specific artistic media.
LECTURES: recognized experts working along the IHRAF philosophy sharing their ideas and work in a lecture format.
FELLOWS: National and International Fellows supported for a year with a monthly stipend. We will choose art-activists of particular merit to highlight, support and expand their audience.
MORAL OMBUDSMAN: we will bring together a board of recognized religious leaders who share the IHRAF philosophy (beauty, sincerity, vulnerability and engagement) to form a non-governmental organization to provide moral oversight of our lawmakers, as well as the laws that they make. This has been outlined in Tom Block’s book Machiavelli in America (Algora Publisher, NY, 2014), under the chapter: “A Response to Machiavelli.”
SUMMER INSTITUTE (RANGELEY, ME): a summer residency, creative and performance space for activist artists. Artists would apply to work on a specific project, and be accepted into the program for one, two or four-week residencies.
JOURNAL: the Institute will produce a semi-annual, online journal which will offer the latest ideas, possibilities of seeding transformative, activist energy into the society using art as the vehicle.
BOOKS: The Institute will support the writing and publication of books which continue to develop and disseminate specific activist strategies within the prophetic activist tradition.
CLEARINGHOUSE: The International Human Rights Art Festival will develop an international database of activist artists to serve as the largest and central place to look for activist artists in all media and covering all social concerns.
FRIENDS OF THE HOMELESS: Purchase, pack and distribute 100 bags of necessities, foodstuffs and sundries to the homeless on Christmas Day.
VOYAGE TO THE SPIRIT OF ACTIVISM: A study trip to the intersection of spirit, activism and revolution. Gandhi’s India; Ho chi Minh’s Vietnam; Mandela’s South Africa; al-Wei Wei’s China; Vaclav Havel’s Czech Republic etc.
OFFICE SPACE: 1000 sq. ft in midtown Manhattan.
CLASSROOM AND CONFERENCE SPACE: 2000 sq. ft in midtown Manhattan:
THEATER: space for Interim events and full-week Festival.
HALL OF FAME OF ACTIVIST CREATORS: a central venue in which the greatest, most successful and most positive activist artists are enshrined, and their message and manners brought to the general public. This would be a room, hallway or other space in the larger IHRAF headquarters.
INTERNATIONAL PEACE CAFÉ: a café which serves coffee and perhaps food and alcohol (depending on difficulty, local zoning etc.), and focuses its energy on providing a gathering space for activists, artists and concerned citizens would be created. It would host discussions, presentations, informal workshops, informal performances and other forms of interactions between and among the IHRAF community.