Peacemaking – An American and European Exchange of Art and Writings

We are grateful to Gallery Kerstan for hosting this exhibition of art and writings from the USA, a

two-year venture that is now coming to full fruition. We present 29 American perspectives on Peace

and Peacemaking, thirteen professional artists, thirteen professional writers and three student

artists. Each artist and writer offers their unique perspective on the subject, a passion for each.

Our primary US sponsor, Elizabethtown College was founded by the Church of the Brethren, "one of

the three historic peace churches in the USA." The college houses the Young Center, a leading

research center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies. The following was compiled and written by

Project Peace participant, Julia Spicher Kasdorf.

This exchange of art and writings between American and German people recalls our particular

histories. Stuttgart became home to American military personnel after World War II, but our

memory reaches to an earlier time. In the seventeenth century, pacifist Täufer (Anabaptist /

Mennonite) fled Swiss persecution and migrated to the Rhineland Palatinate and worked hard to

restore the land destroyed by war. William Penn, familiar with Mennonites after traveling through

the Palatinate in 1677, specifically invited them to join his “Holy Experiment” in America. In

1683, they began to settle in Germantown, north of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania. The Neue Täufer

(Church of the Brethren) began in 1708 in Schwarzenau, North-Rhine-Westphalia, and reorganized

on Christmas Day, 1723, in Germantown. Elizabethtown College was founded by the Church of the

Brethren, one of three historic peace churches in the United States, along with the Mennonites and


A special thanks to all the contributing artists and writers in this project. The artists and writers

give insight into their personal struggle for inner peace, compassion, and a passion for World Peace.

Each expression is filled with the past, the present and a hope for the future. We ask difficult

questions, and perhaps the answers are challenging. We are grateful and thank our sponsors for

Project Peace: Kunst Stuttgart International; the Joseph Robert Foundation; a CISP Grant, Elizabethtown

College; the Center for Global Understanding and Peacemaking, Elizabethtown College;

the Bowers Writers House, Elizabethtown College; the English and Fine and Performing Arts

Departments, Elizabethtown College. Thank you Andreas Kerstan and the City of Stuttgart for

hosting our project. We hope that this gesture on our part, will make a lasting impression on your

city and all who see and read our work. We are grateful for this opportunity.

Elizabethtown | USA | June 2018

Milt Friedly, David Kenley and Jesse Waters

Directors – Project Peace USA | Elizabethtown College

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