Peace-Building Projects through the Arts: A Look at The TE’A Project

We here at AltMuslimah appeal to our readers and supporters to help the TE’A Project!

Phobias, hate crimes, injustice, inequality, violence, frustration, confusion, hysteria. These struggles seem to be perpetual obstacles to peace, and the frustration lies in the often “back-logged” legal and political channels to address such large-scale iniquities.

But as the saying goes, “necessity is the mother of invention.” I am going to add to that and say that “necessity is the mother of invention and imagination.” The need for solutions has led us to look for alternative methods to address and create space for peace-using creative, innovative, and artistic minds.

One group using art and dialogue as an instrument of conflict resolution is The TE’A Project. “TE’A” (pronounced tay-uh) stands for “Theater, Engagement, and Action.” The TE’A Project’s method involves “story collection, theatrical performance, and facilitated dialogue in a process that makes it possible for us to engage imaginatively with the barriers of social and cultural difference that divide us.”
Taking the stifling issues surrounding race, politics and religion, The TE’A Project gathers creative artists to first talk and listen to one another, and then transform these conversations into creative, dynamic, and compelling theatrical performances. The goal is that this process of participating in these conversations become the inspiration behind the performance; in other words, the performers are acting from those owned experiences.

The results of this step-by-step journey is what The Tea Project describes as “ [making] it possible for artists, audiences, and community members to negotiate the profound, difficult, yet exhilarating learning curve entailed in the shift “(from us and them) to (a new us).”

In an effort to continue spreading awareness and ultimately celebrating and embracing artistic movements for peace, The TE’A Project is hoping to launch their next endeavor entitled, “Remembering 9/11: Produce regional tour to build peace through theater” via the support of the Pepsi Refresh Project– a program that is giving away $1,300,000 each month to fund great ideas.

The TE’A Project’s philosophy and methods are major tools in bringing about understanding and awareness through creation and imagination. Our communities need this tool to bridge the gaps, and thus, we here at AltMuslimah appeal to our readers and supporters to help the TE’A Project win a grant from Pepsi for $50,000. All you have to do is take a second put in your vote:
You can get information and VOTE online here.

We hope you will join us in broadening the possibilities for dialogue and peace through art!

Shazia Kamal is Associate Editor of Altmuslimah.com

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