( June 19, 2014 ) Paris, France – Artists and Artists’ communities are joining forces to raise awareness about global issues affecting the lives of many people in the world. “World Citizen Artists” (WCA) is a global community of artists and creatives launching on 20th June, coinciding with World Refugee Day, to highlight the plight of refugees around the globe as the first UN World Day highlighted by the WCA. The launch is a call to visual artists, photographers, writers, and musicians from all countries, backgrounds, ages, and genders to join the movement. It is also an invitation to art lovers and those who wish to support the aim of raising global awareness through art.
In addition to highlighting global issues, WCA intends to democratise art through social media by providing a platform for emerging artists to get their message across alongside established artists who wish to use their reputation to bring about positive change in the world. The WCA launch is welcomed by “Playing for Change” who have shown their support by offering their video “Clandestino” featuring Manu Chao to be shown on WCA’s website www.worldcitizenartists.org
WCA’s aim is to encourage people to engage in positive action to bring about a transformation that will improve the lives of those disadvantaged by poverty, climate change, political and social upheaval, lack of opportunity and prejudice. It will involve organising art projects, exhibitions, and competitions to highlight key issues and to support changes in the way individuals, groups, societies and nations go about addressing the collective challenges that exist all over the world. The pre-launch WCA membership consists of visual artists, musicians, photographers, filmmakers, and creative thinkers.
WCA has attracted members such as Yosvany Terry, a famous saxophonist on the Jazz scene who has worked with major figures in every realm of Cuban music including pianists Chucho Valdes, and Frank Emilio and the celebrated nueva trova singer/guitarist Silvio Rodriguez. “ Playing for Change” is a movement created to inspire and connect the world through music, with similar aims to WCA. They have over 100 million followers worldwide.
WCA is actively working to find sponsors and raise funds in order to organise artistic events that highlight targeted global issues. The artist selection process will be based on criteria such as the strength of the message conveyed by the artwork and how likely it is to raise awareness about the topic. Similar selection criteria will be applied to other creative mediums, such as poetry, prose, music, film, installations. The proceeds from these events will be donated to NGO’s. Decisions about where to allocate funds raised will be made by voting members in the WCA Facebook Group.
WCA’s Founder, artist Valerie Won Lee explained the birth of the WCA concept; “It pained me to see so much suffering in the world and I wanted to do something about it by raising awareness through my art. But I am only one artist and couldn’t make much impact alone. I began trying to connect with other artists who believe that art can spread a message to raise awareness, encourage responsibility and motivate people to take action to bring about positive change. It took some time to find these fellow artists as they were scattered around. So I decided to build a community of like-minded people, who care enough about issues affecting many people’s lives”.
WCA has an online magazine on its website and a Facebook membership group where members can exchange ideas, get involved in discussions about world matters and debate who to use art and other creative media to raise awareness and bring about change at www.facebook.com/groups/
“We at Playing for Change are loving what World Citizen Artists are doing because it’ s exactly the right space for musicians and artists around the world to come together that will eventually lead to positive change…and continue supporting WCA because they’re doing a great work.” Playing for change