Paintbrush Diplomacy has been using art and words to connect people around the world for almost 50 years. We link children, classrooms, and artists together – as pen pals with paintbrushes. This museum showcases some of our extensive collection, which includes more than 2,000 pieces from over 100 countries across the globe.
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Our hopes for this museum
The images on this website are powerful, personal, and transformative. An eight-year-old boy from Prague speaks of “racism” as one who knows too much pain. An eleven-year-old girl from India paints the horrors of 9/11 in black, white, and red. Children from war torn, impoverished, and rich nations alike, express the joy of family, friends and celebration with vibrancy and passion.
We believe in the power of art to change the world. For that reason, we want to pool our resources, share knowledge, and give everyone access. That is why we are providing this museum as a free resource for all people.
Now, more than ever, connecting the world through creative expression is paramount to creating deeper understanding and greater peace.
More on our artistic values
We foster creative and communication abilities through the arts, expanding awareness, understanding, and connection across fields or disciplines, social issues, cultures and nations. Art cultivates self-awareness and understanding of issues in one’s environment (e.g., pollution, health, oppression, war) as well as offering a way of moving beyond one’s own world to understand the world of others. Under this broad umbrella, manifold other activities evolve, as Paintbrush Diplomacy develops partnerships with other programs that promote international communication and diplomacy, employing rapidly evolving media and technology to facilitate that process.
Creativity: We believe that creativity is a process that can be learned. In addition to artistic technique, Paintbrush Diplomacy emphasizes respect for imagination, learning to work outside one’s comfort zone, experimenting and learning from failure, collaborative brain storming and problem solving, reappraising one’s work, and persisting until the problem is solved. The purpose of Paintbrush Diplomacy is not necessarily to prepare people to be artists, but to develop habits of thought that will serve them in careers, and in their awareness of themselves and the world throughout their lifetime.
Cultural and international understanding: The artwork that people transmit electronically to us provides a powerful basis for Paintbrush Diplomacy and others to develop and test curriculum designed to enable the transition from understanding the issues in one’s own life to understanding those of people situated elsewhere; in other words, empathy. Thus, this online museum becomes a powerful tool for learning the skills of diplomacy and cultural understanding.