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<strong>Peacemaking</strong> – An American and European Exchange of Art and Writings<br />

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

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

and <strong>Peacemaking</strong>, thirteen professional artists, thirteen professional writers and three student<br />

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

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

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

research center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies. The following was compiled and written by<br />

Project Peace participant, Julia Spicher Kasdorf.<br />

This exchange of art and writings between American and German people recalls our particular<br />

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

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

Mennonite) fled Swiss persecution and migrated to the Rhineland Palatinate and worked hard to<br />

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quakers.<br />

A special thanks to all the contributing artists and writers in this project. The artists and writers<br />

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

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

questions, and perhaps the answers are challenging. We are grateful and thank our sponsors for<br />

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

College; the Center for Global Understanding and <strong>Peacemaking</strong>, Elizabethtown College;<br />

the Bowers Writers House, Elizabethtown College; the English and Fine and Performing Arts<br />

Departments, Elizabethtown College. Thank you Andreas Kerstan and the City of Stuttgart for<br />

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

city and all who see and read our work. We are grateful for this opportunity.<br />

Elizabethtown | USA | June 2018<br />

Milt Friedly, David Kenley and Jesse Waters<br />

Directors – Project Peace USA | Elizabethtown College

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