WED. SEPT 21, 8PM | “The Music of Peace” a Celebration of the International Day of Peace with Nation
Aaron Shneyer is the Founder and Executive Director of HEARTBEAT, a music based conflict transformation program for Israeli and Palestinian youth, which he formed in 2007 as a Fulbright-mtvU Fellow.
Born and raised in Washington, DC, Aaron has been living in Jerusalem since 2006 and recently returned to Washington, where he is a Social Enterprise Fellow at American University’s School of International Service. Since graduating from Georgetown University in 2005, Aaron has worked as a dialogue facilitator and program coordinator with various youth empowerment and civil society peace-building efforts including Seeds of Peace and the Sulha Peace Project. Aaron writes and produces music and performs with various music ensembles in the Middle East, Europe, and the US.
HEARTBEAT unites Israeli and Palestinian youth musicians to build critical understanding, develop creative nonviolent tools for social change, and amplify their voices to influence the world around them. http://heartbeat.fm/
Mazi Mutafa is the Executive Director of Words Beats & Life, a hip-hop nonprofit founded in January of 2002 in Washington D.C. WBL teaches, convenes and presents Hip-Hop in The District, throughout the country and around the world. Mazi Mutafa began this organization as an after school program dedicated to creating transformative learning experiences in non-traditional classroom, teaching the elements of Hip-Hop.
Anna Forgie is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer having served in El Salvador. Anna worked with the National Youth Orchestra in the capitol city of San Salvador, working at the orchestra offices every day, developing curricula, teaching theory and performance classes, and being at rehearsals and concerts.
The orchestra was a safe haven for kids - a place they could grow and develop not just as musicians but as community members. The kids built skills of leadership, compromise, loyalty, teamwork, and dedication. In a country stricken by gang violence the orchestra became a way to build a new generation of kids who weren't just going to slide into a cycle of violence but who, even if they didn't become professional musicians, were going to grow into peaceful, compassionate, hard working adults and thereby contribute to building peace.