Cities of Peace Auschwitz Initiative 2019-20:
“Honoring the 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz”
Inaugurating the Cities of Peace Commemorative Series
Visual Arts, Education and Cultural Diplomacy
Painting is the Language through which we speak Peace.
Cities of Peace Auschwitz is a peacebuilding and healing initiative involving local Polish artists and scholars in the creation of a collaborative monumental gold-illuminated work of art to honor the 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz.
Cities of Peace was conceived and developed by visionary founder and artist Ellen Frank, PhD. In 2018 she was awarded the title of Fulbright Specialist in Peacebuilding and Reconciliation by the US Department of State’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Aﬀairs for her work in Kosovo.
The 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz provides a historic occasion for implementing this initiative in Poland. Cities of Peace is forward-looking, we seek to foster engaged and active citizenship that recognizes, respects and celebrates the multi-ethnic, multi-religious world in which we live. Cities of Peace Auschwitz will bring together American, Israeli, German, Russian and Polish participants in a shared enterprise involving the visual arts, education and cultural diplomacy.
In 2015, Cities of Peace was selected to exhibit its smaller collection at the 70th Commemoration of the Liberation of Auschwitz at the House of Silence, International Youth Meeting Center (IYMC). A roundtable of noted Polish artists, invited by IYMC, laid the groundwork for the current project by convening co-sponsors of the project, the Auschwitz Foundation, and the Judaica Foundation. The roundtable resulted in compelling interest from the artists and an invitation from the Mayor of Oswiecim for Cities of Peace to return to Auschwitz for 2020. Upon return to Auschwitz, together with the Polish artists, Cities of Peace will create and unveil a collaborative monumental painting honoring the Liberation. Fundamentally, Cities of Peace will launch an education program to help counter the global rise in antisemitism, islamophobia, racism and destructive nationalism.
This project is modeled on the successful Cities of Peace Initiative in Pristina, Kosovo, in 2018, in which Cities of Peace US built a Consortium including the University of Prishtina, the Museum of Kosovo, and the NGO Cultural Heritage without Borders. Led by Dr. Ellen Frank, the Consortium engaged local, regional, national and international artists, scholars, students and youth participants in a comprehensive research-based collaborative art project. Through the assistance from the US Embassy in Pristina, Cities of Peace was inclusive, uniting Kosovo Albanians with minority populations – Serbs, Roma, Ashkali Egyptians, and women victims of war crimes. The US Embassy live-streamed the Kosovo project, reaching over 28,000 views. More than 300 direct participants engaged in painting, peacebuilding and human rights education and included children from 38 municipalities in Kosovo. For this work, Cities of Peace received an Award for Excellence by NATO and KFOR.
Cities of Peace in Pristina 2018!
See Ellen Frank interviewed about the project here!
Cities of Peace®/Qytetet e Paqes/Gradovi Mira
June 12, 2018 at the Museum of Kosovo Unveiling of the work of art/Zbulimi i veprës së artit/Otkrivanje umetničkog dela:
This monumental painting is illuminated with 4 precious golds including Palladium leaf to celebrate the 8000 year history of the region. Created with participation by students, artists, scholars, people from all the ethnicities and 38 municipalities, Pristina: The Flowering traces with the finest lines of filigree the past, present and future of this growing city.
On its 10th Anniversary, we rejoice that the world will know through art this city, a place of life. May peace continue and freedom flourish!