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Our two-day community action project, Peace Arts Zone: Peace-ing our Communities Together, was a great success, bringing together six Boston-area youth groups and six elder centers to creatively explore peace in the community. This event was co-sponsored by Phillip Speiser and the Whittier Street Health Center in Boston.


Participants included nearly 100 IEATA volunteers from all parts of the world, including Ecuador, Chile, Argentina, Russia, Taiwan and Israel. After a rich day of training, the volunteers and youth groups visited elder centers to connect, share stories of peace, sing and create silhouettes – outlines of the elders’ faces, filled in with images and words of peace. Woven together into two 5’ x 9’ murals, the silhouettes were displayed at the conference, along with a video documenting the project.


In conjunction with the Boston-based event, a global social action initiative engaged communities around the world, culminating in a video slideshow showcasing these international efforts.





  Pre-conference presenters:

  Shaun McNiff

  Vivien Marcow-Speiser and

  Phillip Speiser

  Robert Macy and Dicki Macy

  Stephen K. Levine and Ellen Levine

  Jason Cruz, Mary Flannery,

  Kit Jenkins, Beau Diehl

  Natalie Rogers and Mutki Khanna

  Kathleen Horne, Victoria      

  Domenichello-Anderson and the

  Expressive Arts Florida team



  Post-conference presenters:

  Sally Atkins and ASU faculty

  Kyoko Ono (Japan)

  Carylbeth Thomas

  Graciela Bottini (Argentina) and        

  Maria Gonzalez-Blue

  Keren Schecter (Israel) and

  Yousef Al-Alarma (Palestine)

  Adriana Marchione

  Julia Byers

  Lisa Donavan

8th Biennial International Conference

Expressive Arts in Social Action: PEACE-ING OUR WORLD TOGETHER.

Expressive Arts in Social Action:

August 12-15, 2009 Hosted by Lesley University Cambridge, MA

More than 475 participants from around the globe attended the IEATA 2009 Biennial International Conference in Cambridge, MA, making this truly an international event.

Hosted by Lesley University over six days in August, the event featured 71 conference presentations, plus seven full-day pre-conference and eight half-day post-conference offerings. Robert and Dicki Macy, and David Gere delivered the two keynote addresses.


Other events included an IEATA business meeting, regional meetings, a banquet and Shining Star Award ceremony, and an engaging performance by Paolo Knill and Elizabeth McKim followed by an open mic. Participants also enjoyed a special celebration honoring Lesley University’s centennial.



The conference began with a warmup through music and movement led by Paolo Knill and enhanced by musicians Stan Strickland, Harold McKinney and Mitchell Kossak. Welcoming remarks followed by IEATA Executive Co-chairs Syntha Lorenz and Nicki Koethner, and by Vivien Marcow-Speiser, Dean of Lesley University’s Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences, Shaun McNiff, Dean of Lesley College, and Provost Martha McKenna.




Dr. Robert Macy and Dicki Macy of the Children's Trauma Recovery Foundation explored the fundamental therapeutic variables and social transformation elements of the Expressive Therapies-based Classroom-Community-Culture Based Intervention (CBI), which has been adopted for use worldwide as a psychosocial stabilization and traumatic stress reduction program following natural and manmade disasters. A recent cluster-controlled trial in Indonesia demonstrated rates of efficacy on par with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. The Macys also covered quantitative and qualitative study results, and anthropologic and ethnophysiologic approaches.


The two founders and developers, graduates of the Lesley University Expressive Therapy program, used lecture, film and audience participation to demonstrate how CBI reduces traumatic stress, maintains hope – even in the face of war – and ultimately creates social transformation among participants. This interactive keynote included slides and video of their work after the Tsunami in Indonesia, the earthquake in Turkey, and with refugee communities in Sudan and Palestine. The presentation also included a beautiful movement performance with their Isadora Duncan dance group, demonstrating the essence and core of their work.


For our second keynote, Dr. David Gere presented an engaging program on several projects related to AIDS and bringing AIDS awareness to the public. He shared results from an ongoing hospital project in Chennai, India, and a global participatory photography exhibition created in collaboration with South African photojournalist Gideon Mendel. Through photographs, video and lively interaction with the community, Gere brought his work to life and informed the community about using the arts to bring awareness of a very difficult and often marginalized subject into mainstream consciousness.


Dr. Gere teaches at the University of California at Los Angeles and is the director of MAKE ART/STOP AIDS, an international network of artists intervening in the AIDS epidemic, director of the Art/Global Health Center, and associate professor in the Department of World Arts and Cultures.


Conference Presentations


Conference participants chose among 71 presentations offered as three-hour or 90-minute workshops. Presentations varied in format, often combining lecture, panel discussion, performance and/or experiential elements.




Paolo Knill and Elizabeth McKim gave an inspired performance, The Heart of the Matter, through music and poetry on the first evening of the conference, followed by a rousing open-mic event.




The IEATA board met in evening and all-day sessions, and held a business meeting with the IEATA community. A panel of REACE and REAT offered information about applying for these two types of professional registration.


Education Fair/Poster Session


An educational fair highlighted various programs from around the world, and the poster session showcased new work that is adding to the body of Expressive Arts research.


Banquet and Shining Star Award Dinner


Steven and Ellen Levine were honored at this year’s banquet as the recipients of the Shining Star Award, given to individuals (or in this case a couple) who have demonstrated outstanding service to the IEATA community. Steve and Ellen graciously accepted with humor and humility. The banquet also included live music and dancing.


Lesley Centennial Celebration


Lesley University, in conjunction with the IEATA conference, kicked off its Centennial Celebration with free performances by Expressive Arts community groups run by Lesley’s Expressive Therapy alumni, with special recognition of the founder of Lesley’s program, Dr. Shaun McNiff. The event featured a performance by alumni Stan Strickland and Express Yourself (founded 1989 to help immerse young people into the creative world of music, dance and visual arts), and an exhibition of artists and filmmakers from RAW Art Works. RAW was founded in 1988 and honored by the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the President's Council on the Arts and Humanities, and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.




The conference organizers deeply appreciate all of the volunteers who helped to make this conference a success.


Conference summary by

Karen Estrella and Mitchell Kossak, Co-chairs,

IEATA 2009 Conference Committee

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