BI Overseas Programs

I have been involved with BuildaBridge International in Philadelphia for the past two years (I am currently acting as director of communications). Though it is a small organisation, the people involved have a great deal of experience and professionalism; we are now concentrating on doing a few things very well. Since 1997, BI has provided opportunities for artists and socially-minded people to experience other cultures and serve people in great need.
Our overseas programs are greatly expanded this year; I know some of you who may be interested in exploring one or the other of these programs so I’m posting an excerpt from the BI website here:

Arts Relief and Restoration
Arts Relief and Restoration is the advanced volunteer program of BuildaBridge International; it is comprised of arts therapy professionals, artists and community service workers trained in emergency relief through artistic intervention. The mission ARR is to provide, through the arts, a sense of normalcy, bring emotional healing, provide aesthetic nourishment, and to primarily feed the souls of children who have experienced traumatic circumstances as a result of war and catastrophic events around the world.

Requirements for the artists participating are:

  • Strong motivation,
  • Ability to deal with difficult environments,
  • Creativity in working with scarcity of artistic tools, and
  • Training in therapeutic arts methods and crisis management.

Overseas Institute for Arts and Transformation
The Overseas Institute for Arts and Transformation provides training and workshops to artists abroad. Around the world, BI professionals teach artists how to use their gifts as an instrument for help, education, and aid. Artists trained by BI professionals will implement the skills learned in working for social development in their communities.

Goodwill Tour
Goodwill tours provide overseas concert tour opportunities for US-based performance groups. BuildaBridge International partners with the group to promote and advocate its mission overseas and, at the same time, bring an experience of the arts internationally. ed. BI has previously organised a wide variety of touring groups, from interpretative dancers to gospel choirs.

Cross-Cultural Discovery Tour
The Cross-Cultural Discovery Tours are trips to many areas of the world that offer opportunities for global education. These trips are especially for those who wish to broaden their understanding of other cultures and experience firsthand the lives of people around the world. The Cross-Cultural Discovery Tour enables BI to promote its mission and activities overseas by bringing people from different cultures face to face. Travelling in a Cross-Cultural Discovery Tour means meeting with other cultures, learning new traditions, and discovering how diversity means enrichment.

This year’s scheduled trips:

Arts Relief and Restoration

  • Dec 2006 Guatemala
  • Jun 2007 Borneo
  • Aug 2007 West Kenya

Institute for Arts and Transformation

  • Jun 2007 Malaysia
  • Jun 2007 India
  • Aug 2007 West Kenya
  • Aug 2007 Ethiopia
  • Sept 2007 Guatemala

Goodwill Tours

  • Jul 2007 Europe
  • Aug 2007 Kenya

Cross Cultural Discovery Tours

  • Jun 2007 South Africa
  • Aug 2007 Italy: The Art of Wine

As you can see, It’s quite a docket of activities for the year. Some of these are pre-planned with existing groups. However, for most, there are opportunities to get involved. If you’d like further information either contact me at nicholas[dot]media@mac[dot]com (replace the [dot] with actual dots) or e-mail Elisa Schwab-Clewis, the overseas program co-ordinator at BuildaBridge.