fD welcomes new staff member Mary Ann DeVlieg

We are excited to welcome Mary Ann DeVlieg as our Senior Advisor for Strategy and Organizational Development, who joins the fD team this Fall. Mary Ann’s experience spans

international performing arts, cultural policy, intercultural practice, arts mobility and arts and human rights. From 1994 -2013, Mary Ann served as the Secretary General of IET (International Network of Contemporary Performing Arts). Her other functions have included serving as Chair of EU Working Group on Arts, Rights, Justice (2011- present) and co-founding the International Coalition for Arts, Human Rights and Social Justice. Additionally, she co-founded the Roberto Cimetta Fund for Mobility of Mediterranean Artists and Arts Organisers and founded www.on-the-move.org for artists’ mobility. She has steered the EU initiative, ‘Culture and Creation as Vectors of Development in Africa, Caribbean and Pacific’, is a member of European Commission’s High Level Reflection Group on Youth Mobility, received the EU’s ‘Individual Award’ for life-long services to artists’ mobility and chaired the Japan Foundation’s PAJ Europe Fund (2006-2010) and the EU Working Group on Creativity and Creation (Access to Culture Platform), 2008- 2010. 

2013 Artraker Awards – September 21 – London, UK

Announced every year on 21 September (International Peace Day) the Artraker Award provides visibility and financial support to artists working on art and conflict. It recognizes new ways to raise awareness, communicate, stimulate debate and transform our understanding of war, violent conflict and social upheaval. 


An international panel of experts from both the art and peace-making/peace-building disciplines assesses submissions to the Artraker Fund. They look for experimentation and engagement, audacity, change and capacity to inspire. The final prize is granted to inspirational, creative projects and imaginative initiatives. 


Jury members for 2013: Dr, Bernadette Buckley, Adrian Harewood, Sidd Joag, Htein Lin, Olufemi Terry


We are pleased to announce the 18 Artrakers for 2013, whose work is deemed particularly outstanding. The Artraker prize winner is among the 18 Artrakers and will be announced during the launch event on 21 September 2013 at Goldsmiths College. 


For more information visit: http://artraker.org   


National Alliance of Latino Arts and Culture: Regional Arts Training Workshops – September 28 – Bronx, NY

NALAC Regional Arts Training Workshops are convened throughout the nation to assist in strengthening local networks of Latino artists and Latino arts and cultural organizations, while fostering active engagement between NALAC and its constituents.


The seminar brings together national arts experts and local arts professionals for comprehensive capacity building opportunities and community dialogue. Events include panel discussions, workshops, networking, art exhibits, performances and luncheon. Workshop tracks for artists and organizations focus on research, capacity building, strategic planning and business skills for artists. 


fD Director, Sidd Joag will lead a discussion on regional culture worker safety and readiness initiatives and cultivating creative resistance. 



Pregones Theater

571-575 Walton Avenue,

The Bronx, NY 10451




The seminar is free to NALAC Members. $10 for non-members.


Visit www.nalactienda.org to register today!


Who should attend?

Artists, Arts and cultural leaders, Activists, Cultural Workers, Educators, Organizers


For more information please call 210.432.3982 or email info@nalac.org.  


Arts/Rights/Justice Working Group presents UN Special Rapporteur on Cultural Rights Report on The Right to Freedom of Artistic Expression & Creation – October 2 – Brussels 


The presentation of the UN Report, “The Right to Freedom of Artistic Expression and Creation” at the European Parliament in Brussels on 2nd October 2013, from 11:30-14:30 in the Paul Henri Spaak Building, Room P5B001.  Presenting the report will be its author, Mme Farida Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur in the field of Cultural Rights. 


The United Nations established the UN Special Rapporteur in 2009. Ms. Farida Shaheed’s UN Special Report was formally presented to the UN on 31st May 2013. The EU Working Group on Arts and Human Rights (ARJ)* invites members of the European Parliament and the European Commission, selected foundations, NGOs, artists and experts to join in the discussion.  A copy of the Report can be found here.


The European Parliament already recognises artists as a category of human rights defenders. Recent highly visible events such as the incarceration of the Chinese visual artist Ai Wewei or of the Russian music group Pussy Riot have brought the vulnerability of artists to the public eye. Indeed, discussions about artists as human rights defenders have taken place relatively recently in the European Parliament and the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights. Artists are an ‘early and easy target’ for governments seeking to increase repression. Closer to home, we see increasing numbers of cases in Members and candidates of the EU. From censorship to beatings, imprisonment and death we have documented stories of the silencing of artists who wish to highlight injustice through song, writing or image.


Freedom of expression is the cornerstone for protecting artists. States that inhibit freedom of expression often curtail other related human rights: freedom of association, freedom of assembly or the right to gather with others, freedom of association or the right to join unions or professional associations, freedom of movement or the right to travel in and outside the country, the right to access information, the right to defend a cultural identity.


Please RSVP with the following details before 24 September, to Ana Zarraga artist@article19.org.

Name and Organisation

Full Address, City, Country


Passport Number


*These details are required for entry into the European Parliament.  


Yiyuan Society – Jintai Art Museum | Pavilion | Sino-American Friendship Association |The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations "Do One Thing" Campaign | freeDimensional | and World Policy Institute present:


Beyond Cultural Diplomacy: Arts, Policy, Change 

Panel Discussions and Networking Reception

Sands Point Preserve

Friday, October 11, 2013. Noon-6PM 


The work of photographers, visual artists, filmmakers, musicians, poets and writers deals with many of the same challenges that keep policy makers up at night. In recent years diverse coalitions at the nexus of the arts and policy worlds have driven unprecedented investments and harnessed new platforms and technologies with the power to transform communities, spark innovation and economic empowerment, and strengthen human rights.


Cultural diplomacy is morphing before our eyes, extending beyond its traditional bounds into the space of humanitarian action and social movements.  Today’s program brings together artists, policy makers, philanthropists, diplomats, cultural organizations, business, and thought leaders to explore the power and potential of arts-policy collaborations.


How can public policy harness fertile cross-sector collaboration and the excitement of disruptive technologies and translate these benefits across geographic and class boundaries?  How can it empower rather than constrain or replace social movements?  How can we tear down the remaining walls between government, business, and civil society in order to support the emergence and development of new ways of seeing, making, and doing on the global stage?


Keynote Address by Mary Ann DeVlieg 

Secretary General Emeritus, IETM – International Network for Contemporary Performing Arts

Senior Strategy Advisor, freeDimensional


Featuring panelists: 

(partial list of speakers as of Sept. 16)

  • Jean-Christophe Bas, United Nations Alliance of Civilizations
  • Anita Durst, Chashama
  • Palitha Kohona, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations
  • Joey Lico, New York Foundation for the Arts
  • Anna Smith, International Arts & Artists                                  

With Moderator:

Todd Lester, World Policy Institute Senior Fellow and Director of the  Arts and Policy Incubator, which facilitates collaboration among artists whose work addresses social challenges and policy thought leaders seeking creative ways to reach hearts and minds–and, in turn, hands and feet.


For more information visit: www.worldpolicy.org

A Blade of Grass Fellowship for Socially Engaged Art

Online application form opens Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Application Deadline: Monday, December 2, 2013


We are excited to announce the launch of the ABOG Fellowship for Socially Engaged Art. Seven Fellows will be selected to receive an unrestricted stipend of $20,000 to realize an innovative community-based project. The program will also offer tailored professional support to socially engaged artists including documentation and assessment of each project, and workshops that teach skills that are particularly relevant to artists working directly with communities to enact social change.


Through active training, incubator-style workshops and professional consultations, the artists will be given tools to evaluate their own progress, as well as gain feedback from peers, community stakeholders, and objective, third-party evaluators. In addition, A Blade of Grass will conduct interviews with each of the artists and produce three-to-five minute documentaries on each project that will be accessible on the A Blade of Grass website.


Selection Process

Artists nationwide are invited to submit proposals through a two-stage, open application process. A distinguished Selection Committee, made up of artists, educators, curators, critics and other art professionals, along with community leaders and advocates, will evaluate the proposals in terms of their artistic excellence, their ability to position artists in leadership roles to promote social change, and their relevance to communities. Application guidelines are now available at www.abladeofgrass.org. Letters of inquiry will be due Monday, December 2, 2013. Finalists will be invited to submit full applications in January 2014 and selections will be made and announced in April 2014.


Projects We Like:


During the Summer of 2013, artist/activist Issa Nyaphaga traveled back to his native Cameroon with a team of volunteers to continue his work empowering tribal communities around access to information, health education and social justice. Issa's on-going work addressing social issues through the arts and innovative social practice is one inspiring example of the ripple effect our work at fD. Check out the following links to learn more about Issa's projects: 


The Radio Taboo Tower in the village – (Over 1 million people will have access cellphone by the end of 2013… before the Community Radio.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHYpDgI_NYg


Water For Social Peace is a partnership between HITIP & Rotary Foundation to provide clean water to 20.000 villagers. Most of them are enjoying potable water for the first time, and they also share it with the neighboring tribes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kxlLx7Q7GA