Opening Lines 2019
Humans today are more globally connected than at any other time in history. The way a farmer plans her monthly budget at her kitchen table in rural Maine can depend on the stroke of a pen made by an OPEC delegate in a ministry office of Kurdish Iraq earlier that morning. With cultural overlap across the globe unavoidable, the peril of stereotype can be lessened by individual, personal acquaintances across borders; a literal face rather than an idea of one.
After exchanging videos and artwork, two 5th grade classes in Slemani, Iraq and Biddeford, USA painted messages alongside artist Pat Perry on two new murals in both of their homes 9,091 km apart. The kids’ ideas and drawings show how their similarities far outnumber their differences, and are easily found when looking through the lens of curiosity rather than suspicion.
Pat Perry’s talent, skill, hard work and commitment to inspire children brought this project to life. Thank you!!!
Thank you aptART (Awareness & Prevention Through Art). AptART is a nonprofit organization founded by Samantha Robison, that has created meaningful and educational art installations all over the world, many of which have been in refugee camps and countries crippled by war. Samantha is the co-creator of the One Blue Sky project.
Thank you to the children at The International School of Choueifat – Sulaimani. Their energy, silliness and friendship is cherished.
To all the volunteers who helped get the wall ready in Iraq, and to the skate park community which supported this project, Thank you !!!!!!
Thank you to filmmaker Emad Rashidi for documenting this project and helping all along the way!!
Thank you Biddeford, Maine!! Your community welcomed us and supported our mission and we are so grateful. Tammy Ackerman at Engine, we could not of done this without you. Your organization is inspiring and such a gift to the community. Thank you Pepperell Mill Campus for your wall, trust and support and to all the VERY kind people working in building #9 thank you for your patience with our disruption. And Thank you to Kate Gerwig and the 4th and 5th graders of the Biddeford Intermediate School who demonstrated the true meaning of friendship and kindness and taught us as much as we hoped to teach them! What a COOL city Biddeford Maine is!!!!!!