Seeing Peace Impact Statement

The Ambassador has returned to his office. He is sitting in his chair and contemplating what he has just experienced in the great hall of the General Assembly of the United Nations.

It was extraordinary, he thought.

Maybe even momentous.

191 artists. One from each one of the 191 member nations had come to the General Assembly. They had come to the table. They were sitting, each artist with their respective Ambassador at their Countryâs table, talking about their work in the lobby gallery and the crucial need for the artistâs imagination to be present in local, state, national and international forums. The image was somewhat outside the experience of the Ambassador. Yet, he was intrigued by it·

He was just not quite sure what to make of it. What it all meant. Was there any use of bringing these artists to the table? What might come of this grand image?

Yet, he could not get that image, that tableaux, that freeze frame out of his mind. 191 artists at the table with their Ambassador. What would it be like he thought if this model of bringing the artists to the table, of including them as part of the dialogue that we engage in was actually implemented? Many times he himself had said, and others as well, that our problems were simply one of a failure of the imagination. That if the use of imaginative thinking and its implementation became not only a component of civic discourse, but woven into the fabric of it as well it might foster all kinds of things, he thought international cooperation, creative environmental projects, village to village and town to town creative exchanges. Who knows what? And, he began to realize, that this could only happen if the artist was at the table!

The Ambassador had known, of course, that President Havel of the Czech Republic had included artists at the table. But, he also knew, that President Havel was an artist and that it was not such a stretch for him to do this. And then the Ambassador began to think about freedom. And what was it about this tableaux that brought this to mind. He had wandered through the gallery and had experienced the art from around the world. Each piece uniquely reflecting the artistâs cultural perspective of seeing peace. 191 views of peace. All seeing peace. All suggesting a ripple effect of artists at the table in villages and towns and state and national and international gatherings.

The imagination on view.

He began to feel the potency of the tableaux, this freeze frame. He realized that Seeing Peace, the first step, occurs through our imagination. And what better way to initiate and make visible the power of the imagination than to bring the artist to the table of our largest international forum, the United Nations.

Seeing Peace.