Art by Sahra Denner


What is the International Human Rights Art Festival?

The International Human Rights Art Festival is a year-long series of interim events in NYC ending with an annual weeklong Festival in December (, at the Wild Project Theater (East Village). The mission of the festival is to raise awareness about Human Rights issues through performances based in their signature values of beauty, sincerity, vulnerability and engagement with non-art activists, social leaders, governmental workers and politicians.  

Artistic expressions such as theatre, dance, music, poetry and visual arts are used as tools to open a space for conversation around difficult social issues. The festival was founded on the belief that art can open hearts and minds, and heal the wounds becoming more evident in our society.

The International Human Rights Art Festival at Columbia University will be an edition of the NYC festival and will be a day-event happening next November, organized in partnership between Ratrock Magazine, Amnesty International Columbia University and the producer of the NYC festival, Tom Block. It will be comprised of three events: a Human Rights panel of activists and politicians and two events featuring Columbia-Barnard student-artists’ works dealing with Human Rights issues: a gallery exhibition (afternoon) and a show on stage (evening).


What to include in your proposal? 

1. Name, school, year

2. Short Bio (type.s of art you make, where you have already featured your work)

3. Description of your proposal for the festival (idea, how it connects to the values of the festival)

4. Pieces you want to submit OR Examples of your past works (for both we accept: videos, recordings, photos, texts…)

5. Any logistical details/material needs for your piece (how many people involved, resources you would need etc...)

Submit a proposal!

Student-artists (dancers, musicians, comedians, poets, clowns, puppeteers, visual artists and any other creative media) are invited to produce an original work for the first edition of the International Human Rights Arts Festival at Columbia University (stage-work and gallery-show).

The work must treat an ongoing social concern, based in IHRAF's signature values of beauty, sincerity, vulnerability, and engagement. We are looking for work that opens a space for conversation and healing; IHRAF does not feature rants, accusatory art or work representing anger, regardless of how justified these emotions might be.

For performing artists: works should ideally be 10-15 minutes long and will be featured on stage (Black Box Theatre at CU), but we are open to other creative propositions.

For visual artists: you are invited to submit a selection of your works based on those same values, to be featured in the gallery exhibition.

Submit performance/visual proposals to before April 26th with the subject line <Your Name, Submission Proposal>.