Mission Statement

T:AP is dedicated to

1. promoting dialogue through music and the arts

2. offering interesting and useful online information about the power of music and the arts for peace.

3. facilitating exchanges and research on the above topic through its website and mailing list.

Our mission is to tap into the human potential for peace by supporting creativity and the arts. Using the metaphor of a huge wall of obstacles obstructing our vision towards peace, T:AP offers five windows allowing to see glimpses of peace on the other side, through the wall of violence, greed, mistrust, hatred, and ignorance, and asks how music and the arts can be used to enlarge those windows. In order to explore the ways in which people create peace, from inside to outside, our first window will be the inner world of each individual.

On the individual level peace starts with the cultivation of qualities such as courage, wisdom, compassion, gratitude, hope and engagement. The tools of psychology, self-scrutiny, meditation, creative writing, musical composition, artistic creation, and spiritual practice, can all be used to enhance personal peace and self-fulfillment. Through this window we see that peace starts with people who are vigorously engaged in improving themselves through personal effort.

Moving from the purely individual level to the relational, we need to use our courage, wisdom, compassion and other qualities to develop fulfilling relationships with others, family members and friends, people in the neighborhood and at work, more distant others, and eventually other human beings in completely different civilizations on the other side of the planet. If we want to develop a culture of peace, we need to start from inside with our inner qualities, and bring them out as to hold meaningful and mutually enriching dialogues with people of different cultures and backgrounds.

Moving from the relational to the community and societal levels, the fact that people are full of courage, wisdom, compassion and gratitude, and capable of having meaningful dialogues with people of different cultures will not guarantee world peace. On that foundation, we have to ensure that social institutions reflect those same qualities and behaviors. For that we need points of reference that we can agree on, such as ethical principles that will inspire a maximum of people. Then we can develop our qualities for peace collectively. The Earth Charter and other international roadmaps such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Manifesto of Humanitarian Art are good examples of documents pointing in that direction.

Moving to the planetary level, even though the Earth Charter and other ethical guidelines are essential for peace, they will not suffice to guarantee a world at peace, we also need institutional frameworks and excellent laws that can enable us to coordinate relations between countries and regions, provide concrete steps to implement denuclearization, disarmament, environmental protection and other global issues. For instance we can use music and the arts to support the United Nations and make it more effective because there is nothing to replace it at this point in time.

Besides the first four windows, we need a fifth one to enhance our vision of peace research and peace education, in order to develop skills in peaceful conflict transformation, sustainable development, a culture of peace, gender equality, and the many other challenges facing our world. Music and the arts are already used the world over in order to contribute to this task, and the goal of the T:AP Network is to make this information more available, and to stimulate the creation of many more initiatives in that direction.

The T:AP Network will explore how music and the arts can be used to enhance the bits of peace we see through these five windows. We wish to provide useful resources for, and facilitate exchanges between, peace researchers, peace educators, peace activists, as well as for musicians and artists interested in peace issues.