about the initiative

The 2020 Year of Kindness and Nonviolent Action is a Public Art and Community Engagement initiative that uses the transformative power of the arts to bring people together around the common goal of fostering an inclusive and peaceful community.

Evanston residents, artists, and leaders from community organizations, youth groups, and educational institutions have collaborated to shape this initiative. Through a yearlong series of arts-based programming and events, the initiative focuses on ways to increase awareness around the roots of violence, and draw on the existing strengths in our community to empower its members to take action.  Recognizing and enacting kindness within our community are important ways to respond to the concerns we identify. By empowering our citizens to engage in nonviolent action, we contribute to lasting change that is built from the courage and strength of our community. 

From January-December 2020, the city of Evanston will be host to a series of programs, exhibitions, performances, workshops, talks and events that: 1) increase awareness around the roots of violence that plague our community, 2) celebrate and activate kindness and nonviolence, and 3) engage and empower residents to take action and be part of change in their community.  


The initiative is coordinated by leaders from local community organizations, educational and religious institutions, artists and activists. They have been working together to facilitate collaborations between residents, businesses, and community groups to create a series of programs and events to take place throughout the year. The initiative is also reaching out to organizations and programs that are already doing work around kindness and nonviolent action to help promote their efforts and link them to the larger initiative.

initiative coordinators

Colette Allen, Director,  Evanston Family Focus

Lachisa Barton, Youth/Young Adult Outreach Worker, Parks, Recreation & Community Services, City of Evanston

Mariana Bojorquez, Latino Engagement Librarian, Evanston Public Library

Lisa Degliantoni, Director, EvanstonMade

Alice George, Citizen-Artist, Co-Founder of Sketchbook Brewing

Fran Joy, Artist/Political Activist

Indira Johnson, Public Artist/Peace Activist

Nina Kavin, Director, Dear Evanston

Sarah Laing, Director,  Open Studio Project

Laura Lindroth, Director of Programming and Community Engagement, Rainbows for All Children

Angela Lyonsmith, Artist/Art Therapist, EvanstonMade, Kids Create Change

Sheila Merry, Executive Director, Evanston Cradle to Career

Pat O'Connell, Peace Activist

Melissa Raman Molitor, Artist/Art TherapistEvanstonMade, Kids Create Change

Tim Rhoze, Artistic Director, Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre