As part of this year’s Institute, we asked participants to think about why the arts are so important in teaching about human rights, and then to give us their thoughts. They wrote each idea on a paper leaf; then we filled the branches of a tree of human rights, created during the Institute, with the leaves.


We’re pleased to share these thought-provoking ideas with you. Read/download the entire document here.

A few examples:

  • The creative arts give us our shared humanity through beauty, humor, joy, design, freedom of imagination.
  • The ARTS brings HUMAN RIGHTS down from the HEAD and into the HEART.
  • The arts give a voice to the silenced.
  • The arts engage our emotions. They tap into our shared experiences and help us look deeper into issues that we may need to talk about by getting them up in a non-threatening way.
  • The arts sometimes allow us to express human rights ideas that we would otherwise be afraid to voice.
  • A person’s rights will not be respected or honored until we are able to see the whole breadth of humanity in each other – art facilitates that.