Artolution is a community-based public arts organization that seeks to ignite positive social change through creative, participatory and collaborative art making. We facilitate projects around the world that connect diverse peoples in order to address common social objectives. Our projects bring together children, families, local artists, educators and community groups. Our main objective is to address critical issues related to armed conflict, trauma and social marginalization by cultivating sustainable global initiatives that promote reconciliation, healing and community empowerment.
Artolution is founded in participatory and collaborative art making. Our process empowers artists, young people and communities to be agents of positive social change, to explore critical societal issues and create opportunities for constructive dialogue.
We believe that through the process of creating collaborative art, we can bring diverse communities together in times of conflict and social turmoil to address the challenges they face together. Artolution projects engage youth and communities that have faced social exclusion and trauma, including refugees, street youth, the incarcerated, people with physical and mental disabilities, and young people living in areas of violent conflict or extreme poverty. These projects have been organized and facilitated in partnership with local artists, grass-roots community groups, schools and international institutions in 30 countries across Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, North America, Europe, Australasia and South Asia.
We utilize visual public art mediums such as mural art and community sculpture, as well as performance genres like dance, theatre and music. In our workshops, participants address various community issues and collectively decide on the subject and content, culminating in the collaborative creation of works of public art. Through this process, we emphasize the building of positive relationships among participants, communicative skill-building, the sharing of knowledge and the encouragement of community activism.
Artolution began as a community-based public art initiative founded by US-based artist Max Frieder in 2009. At the same time, Joel Bergner (aka Joel Artista) was following a similar trajectory with his community street art initiatives around the world. In 2015, following many collaborations, Joel and Max joined forces as co-directors to launch Artolution as an international organization built on partnerships with community-based artists, educators and institutions around the world.