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Iraqi/American Youth Mural Workshop: “How Will They Know Us? Building a Culture of Peace”

March 28, 2009 March 29, 2009 EDT

A two-day art workshop will bring together a group of local Iraqi and American youth to collaborate on a mural painting project. These youth share visions of a peaceful, just coexistence in the workshop, “How Will They Know Us? Building a Culture of Peace.” Guided by Claudia Lefko, director of the Iraqi Children’s Art Exchange, among others, these murals will be exhibited in Egypt next year for the “UNESCO Decade of Peace and Non-Violence Among Children of the World.”

The workshop is being co-sponsored by the Sanctuary for Independent Media, the Iraqi Children’s Art Exchange, and the Iraqi Refugee Project. The Iraqi Children’s Art Exchange in Northampton, MA invites Iraqi and American children and youth to participate in art-inspired project to foster communication, and promote peace and nonviolence. The Iraqi Refugee Project is a coalition of Women Against War, Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace, Women’s Association for Family Affairs whose goal is to support the needs of Iraqi refugees locally and internationally through direct assistance, advocacy and education about the issue.

Press Release

Guided by Claudia Lefko, director of the Iraqi Children’s Art Exchange, Branda Miller, Rensselaer professor of media arts, and mural artists, Linda Iannacone and Lauren Jacobs, the American and Iraqi youth ages 8 to 18 will work together to shed light on the Iraqi refugee experiences and to share visions of a peaceful and just coexistence through artistic expression.

Professor Branda Miller’s students from her “Art, Community, Technology Class” at RPI and artist Linda Iannacone, an experienced muralist, will also help facilitate the workshop. Branda Miller is a media artist and educator and co-founder of The Sanctuary for Independent Media.

The ultimate destination of the mural is Egypt, where in September, 2010, the end of the UNESCO Decade of Peace and Non-violence Among Children will be celebrated with a giant, gala exhibition of thousands of murals created by children and youth from around the world. Claudia Lefko’s organization the Iraqi Children’s Art Exchange is coordinating The Iraq Art Mile as part of The Art Miles Murals, an international project that emerged in support of the UNESCO Decade of Peace. The Iraqi Art Mile will be a series of murals painted in the Middle East and in the US with the theme: Building a Culture of Peace: Who Are We/Who Are They.

3361 6th Ave
Troy, 12180 United States
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