As a former Disney animator and longtime author and illustrator of books for children, I began to wonder how people like me could move beyond entertainment to guide the world’s youth towards a conversation about peace, community, harmony, and connectedness. As I mulled the possibilities on Facebook, the discussion caught the eye of Deborah Moldow, the chair of the United Nations Peace Day NGO. Deborah asked if I could create a project for Peace Day. This was the beginning. Soon, my Peace Crane Project took flight.
Since launching the Peace Crane Project in late 2012, my goal to arm our children with the skills to express themselves creatively, and connect them to one another through the arts has been met with astounding enthusiasm and support around the world. The United Nations Peace Day team has been incredibly generous in their support and encouragement. Rubia Braun, a friend and fellow creative, has been instrumental as well, producing a series of global videos to capture the essence of the Project. But, at its core, is all of you. The teachers, parents, and community leaders that have joined in, one by one, have come together in ways I could never have imagined, to make the Project their own and build a more harmonious world of tomorrow.
To date, nearly two million children, from 154 countries, have joined in. Our participants engage and communicate with one another every day of the year, often building on the network I have created, and bringing a new level of compassion, appreciation, and understanding to their communities.
In addition to overseeing the Project this year, I am exploring the possibility of installing a series of large scale exhibits around the world, each featuring one thousand origami cranes in flight. Every child participating in the Peace Crane Project will be invited to write a poem about peace, fold it into an origami crane, then send it to me for inclusion in this special art installation. This could be hosted at museums, corporate lobbies, libraries, and other venues around the world. I look forward to developing this celebration of our children, and our universal goal for peace and understanding in our homes, communities, countries, and planet. You’ll be hearing more about this in the coming months.
Thanks for joining me on this incredible adventure.
Fold a crane. Meet the world.