While conflict rages in the Middle East and news reports bombard the world with daily stories of human suffering, youth and local communities across the region strive for a brighter future, one in which all citizens have a right to live in peace, have access to education and employment, and unite across ethnic and religious lines to achieve common objectives. Artolution artists facilitate community-based public art projects with youth and families in the Middle East in collaboration with local artists, educators and institutions.

Through our programming, Palestinian and Israeli adolescents connect with each other, often for the first time, through the creative process of collaborative art-making. This process is aimed at breaking the barriers of hate and fear, allowing young people to recognize one another’s humanity in order to plant seeds of partnership and peace for the future. Other projects in the region engage Palestinian teenagers in communities across the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and African refugee children in South Tel Aviv, providing a platform for constructive dialogue, the exploration of identity, and creative empowerment.

In Jordan and Turkey, Syrian refugee youth uplift their camps and host communities through brightly-colored murals, exploring their plight in healthy and creative ways. These projects give young people an opportunity to dream of a brighter future in which they will rebuild their communities and live in peace. Refugees children and teenagers connect with positive adult role models and open up about their trauma, learn from local artists and educators, and work with local kids their age.

Artolution is developing ongoing, sustainable programming in the region led by local artists and facilitators with our partners, including the International Rescue Committee (IRC), the German organization GIZ, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), Mercy Corps, Parents Circle Family Forum, US Consulate in Jerusalem, US Embassy in Tel Aviv, UNICEF, UNHCR and many local schools and community centers.